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GA Blog: Salisbury

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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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8.5.13 Proposed New 30-Home "Pocket Neighborhood" in Salisbury

 Village at Salisbury Square in Salisbury

According to the Daily News, there is a new 30-home development proposed in Salisbury.  The project, “Village at Salisbury Square”, would sit on 5.94 acres, be accessed at 12 Beach Road behind Pat’s Diner, within walking distance to Salisbury Square.

This type of development is generically referred to as a “pocket neighborhood.”  Village at Salisbury Square would maintain 65% open space, allowing a number of small greens with abutting homes around the lot.

While in traditional subdivisions, a substantial portion of land is paved to accommodate roads, and houses abut the street as activities take place in backyards and on back decks; however, according to the article, in pocket neighborhoods, the concept is different.  Large front porches play important roles. In front of the homes, sidewalks link the dwellings, not streets.  Garages are incorporated into the development, but are located in the back, where they’re accessed off small alleyways.

The Village at Salisbury Square will hold 27 single-family homes and 4 duplexes.  They’ll range from 1,260-1,640sf. Twenty-six will be 3-bedroom units and four will have 2 bedrooms. The price range will be $290,000-$369,000.

This type of development is possible in Salisbury because of zoning created years ago in the Salisbury Square area, Hill said.  Most of this acreage is in the Village Residential Overlay District, with a small portion in the southwest corner in the Village Center District.  Approved by Town Meeting in 2006, both of these zoning districts surround Salisbury Square. The zoning allows more housing density on the land than the two-acre lot method.

Read the entire Daily News article.

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1.4.12 Route 95 Bridge Being Replaced – Effect on Bike Trail

The Whittier Bridge on Route I-95

The Newburyport Current recently reported that the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge on Route 95, spanning the Merrimack River from Amesbury and Newburyport, is set to be replaced in a state project aimed to stat in the spring of 2013.  The project is one of the state highway department of transportation’s largest under the $3 billion Accelerated Bride Program.

The 60-year old bridge will be replaced with a four-lane highway with a shared-use path for bikers and walkers called the Whittier Trail. The four-lane bridge should speed up traffic on the sometimes congested I-95 area, as well as promote alternative modes of transportation with the Whittier Trail.

Local members of the Coastal Trails Coalition have raised concern that the new trail over the span will poorly affect the current trail system that runs through Amesbury, Newburyport, Newbury and Salisbury. Although the state is placing a trail system over the new bridge, it fails to continue the bike paths in the other areas it plans to widen the highway.

The trail coalition will likely discuss the trail issues at a state design public hearing set for the spring of 2012.

Read the Newburyport Current article.

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11.2.11 Newburyport Seek Help for Repairing Jetties

Break in the jetty Monday at Plum Island Point. Photo by Nicole Goodhue

The Amesbury News reports that according to state and local officials the two jetties in Salisbury and Newburyport are rapidly worsening and becoming compromised, reported the Newburyport Current. Officials say the jetties must be repaired in the near future.

Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday and a group of officials recently went to Washington D.C. to convince the Army Corps of Engineers to take on the job. The last time the jetties were repaired was in 1970, when a $1.5 million federal job poured 70,000 tons of stone onto the jetties.

The two jetties span roughly 5,500 feet at the mouth of the Merrimack River and protect against beach erosion, make the river more navigable, and provide public safety.

Plum Island has felt the worst of the compromised jetties affects, with its beaches eroding at the rate of 13 feet per year from 2000 to 2007, rather than at the typical pace of 1-2 feet per year.

Read the entire Amesbury News article.

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6.3.11 Salisbury to receive $1.2 million to Repair Culvert

The Newburyport Daily News recently reported that the town of Salisbury is in line to receive $1.2 million in state and federal grants to purchase pipeline to repair a Route 1 culvert that had collapsed in 2007.  Flooding caused by the collapsed culvert has cost local businesses “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in water damage over the past four years.

The culvert is located on Bridge road and allows Town Creek, a tributary of the Merrimack River, to flow underneath the road. Town Creek waters are known to rise with the spring’s high waters as well as during high tides in the ocean.

Officials had been working for three years with state and federal legislature for receive funding from FEMA’s hazard mitigation program. After two attempts FEMA approved a grant that will cover three-quarters of the project, the rest coming from state funding. Town Manager Neil Harrington credited Congressman John Tierney for securing the grant.

The town now waits for Governor Patrick’s office to announce that the money is officially on its way.

Read the entire Newburyport Daily News article.

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5.6.11 Salisbury Looks to Classify Mobile Homes as Affordable Housing

The Daily News reports that the town of Salisbury is looking for approval to submit a petition that would classify mobile homes that have been in the same space for 20 years as permanent housing, and thus affordable housing, reported the Newburyport daily News.

Town officials first need approval in this month’s town meeting in order to submit a proposal to the Legislature. If approved, the town of Salisbury will meet the state’s affordable-housing requirements which state that 10 percent of the town’s housing must be affordable. Without the mobile homes being counted towards the total housing stock, the town only has 8.6 percent of its homes considered as affordable housing by law.  This means affordable housing developers can override certain zoning bylaws

"This is a question of fairness," said Town Manager Neil Harrington. "The state classifies all mobile homes as not part of a community's permanent housing stock because they technically can be moved, even though mobile homes in Salisbury haven't been moved in decades. Ignoring that most of these homes provide affordable housing opportunities for people flies in the face of reality. You have all these people in Salisbury living in de facto affordable units that are mobile homes, and the state says, 'you can't count those.'

The town meeting will take place on May 16th where the home-rule petitions will be proposed by town officials to the town.

Read the entire Daily News article.

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