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10.8.14 Massachusetts’ Updated Ocean Plan

The Salem News reports that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has updated its ocean management plan and intends to hold five public hearings, including one in Ipswich, on the changes next month.

Included in the updated plan are:  identification of preliminary transmission corridor routes for offshore wind development; a mitigation fee structure for offshore projects; and the identification of offshore sand resource areas that might be used to build up coastal areas that have been hit hard over the years by erosion.  

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs on Wednesday released the first update to the 2009 plan, opening up a 60-day comment period.  The plan, as well as the update, was required by the Oceans Act, which Gov. Deval Patrick signed in May 2008.  

Read the entire Salem News article.

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9.17.14 Newburyport Waterfront Hotel?


According to the Daily News, Newburyport officials are meeting with executives of New England Development (NED), the largest landholder in the downtown area, to discuss developing a hotel between Michael’s and the Black Cow, two restaurants that NED currently owns.

The city had been in discussion about an 85-room hotel near the corner of Titcomb and Merrimac streets.

The “waterfront west” sector is also tentatively slated for a condo project of about 24 units on the site of the old Richard garage between Merrimac Street and Michael’s.  MINCO Corp., which has a tentative purchase agreement on the property, would tear down the old brick garage and put up one- and two-bedroom residences with access to the river.

Read the entire Daily News article.

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8.19.14 Historic Beverly Home Slated for Demolition

1881 General Charles G. Loring House 

The Salem News reports that the General Charles G. Loring House is slated for demolition after Beverly Historic District Commission's delay expired in April 2014.

Located at 441 Hale Street, the grand ocean-front Loring House was built in 1881 and is presently in disrepair.  The building’s demolition would mark the end of a battle between the owner, Helen Greiner, and the Beverly Historic District Commission, which imposed a one-year delay on its razing last year.  Greiner purchased the residence in 2012 for $3.75 million.

The Loring House was built in 1881 for Charles Loring, a Civil War general who became the first director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  It was designed by Boston architect William Ralph Emerson, a cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Preservations say that said the house is the greatest surviving example of shingle-style architecture from the brief period when it flourished in the late 19th century.

Read the entire Salem News article.

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7.15.14 Lynn Foreclosures - Banks File Lawsuit Claiming Ordinance Unconstitutional

According to the Lynn Item, seven banks (including Eastern Bank in Lynn) have filed a complaint in U.S. District court against the City of Lynn calling the city’s foreclosure ordinance unconstitutional.

Approved in 2013, the city’s mediation ordinance requires banks to reach out to property owners who are behind on their mortgages and give homeowners a chance to meet with a bank representative and work out a way to avoid losing their home.

Ward 6 Councilor Peter Capano believes the system is working.  The city of Springfield is already in the midst of a lawsuit over its foreclosure policy, but that policy was never actually implemented. Lynn’s ordinance has been enacted and successful, according to Capano. 

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services, a Salem- and Boston-based mediator, is handling the mediations, which New Lynn Coalition member Isaac Hodes also said are going well. Hodes has been working with local homeowners under the threat of foreclosure to keep them in their homes and he said the ordinance is working.

Read the entire Lynn Item article.

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6.18.14 Salisbury Solar Farm

Salisbury solar farm

The Amesbury News reports that the solar farm off I-95 North in Salisbury is the largest solar farm in New England.  The solar farm is operated by True North by a third-generation hot water heating manufacturer who owned a plant in the adjacent Industrial Park after Massachusetts passed the 2008 Green Communities Act to encourage large landowners to invest in renewable energy.

Salisbury Solar supplies electricity to the town of Salisbury, the city of Newburyport and Triton High School, the equivalent of powering about 5,000 homes.  Plus, the communities get a 15% metering credit from the state for using renewable energy.

Read the Amesbury News article.

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5.1.14 Conomo Point Sales in Essex, MA

According to the Gloucester Times, following a Town Meeting vote, four Conomo Point properties could be soon sold to private owners.  Selling these properties (there is a total of 8) allows the town to move forward with its plan to open up Clammer’s Beach, effectively creating more public beach access for the town. Properties proposed for sale include parcels 19/97, 19/99, 19/101 and 19/102; they are proposed to go to the current land lessees who own the structures there.

Along with selling the four properties, a conceptual drawing passed out at the meeting shows Clammer’s Beach opened up to the road with parcels 19/95 and 19/96 as open land. The beach — twice as big as before, according to Selectwoman Lisa O’Donnell — would include a boat ramp, an adjacent park and a kayak ramp for residents.

Selling the four properties would result in $1 million in revenue for the town, Finance Committee Chairman Jeffrey Soulard said, adding that it would also bring in real estate tax each year.   Essex’ total operating budget is $15.5 million.

Here is the Essex Warrant following the town meeting:

Read the entire Gloucester Times article.

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