Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge

Thursday, January 19, 2017

MINCO Proposing a Second 80 Unit Development for the 40R District

Excerpts from the planning board meeting of 1/14/17

MINCO 166 Route 1 (property next to Haley’s Ice Cream)

Informal Discussion Lou Minicucci, MINCO, said the approved 40R project at the MBTA site was under appeal and could be scheduled for court in the next two or three months. He hoped for an opportunity to settle but until then the project was in limbo. He was proposed developing a 10,000 square foot building in the 40R district on property next to Haley’s Ice Cream. The area allowed four-story buildings. He showed three development alternatives: 1) two four-story buildings of 10,000 square feet each, 10 units per floor, 80 total units, and 1.5 parking spaces per unit; 2) an option that required a zoning variance was one 20,000 square foot building with 80 units, a more efficient use of land and more consistent with neighborhood buildings like the courthouse; and 3) two building pushed close together, both 10,000 square feet with 80 total units, and 1.5 parking spaces per unit. He would not start the project if an agreement could be reached in the appeal. Board members asked how the proposals enhanced the 40R gateway? Mr. Minicucci said the building’s appearance would set the tone for the 40R as the first things to catch the eye in the 40R coming from downtown. Was the project 100% residential? Mr. Minicucci said yes.
 Member observed the train could be accessed from the Rail Trail behind the buildings. Two buildings fit better with the townhouse neighborhood development across the street. Reducing the scale more would be better, if feasible. The lot was transitional to the smaller neighborhoods. Mr. Minicucci said there would be one level of parking beneath the building with 52 underground spaces and 55 surface level spaces. A member said one building worked better on a busier street. Mimicking what was on the other side of the street was not necessary. Members were concerned with how the building was situated so that parking highly visible. Moving some parking behind the building would be more esthetically pleasing. How much space was between the two buildings close in proximity? Mr. Minicucci said 50 feet by 150 feet. Would there be a clear line of access to the Rail Trail? Mr. Minicucci said the building front would face the Rail Trail. Did he envision vegetation and trees around the parking lot? Mr. Minicucci said yes. A fourth option could be three buildings, consisting of the proposed two buildings and 1 Boston Way. Director Port said a benefit of being next to Haley’s was the opportunity to create a plazatype space between the two buildings that opened up to the Rail Trail to make a dynamic space for Haley’s customers. Providing a pedestrian environment was a key opportunity. Chairman McCarthy said parking underneath was important. He preferred the buildings broken-up and did not want pedestrian space mixing with cars. He supported Director Port’s idea and did not want buildings presented across a sea of cars. Mr. Minicucci said some of the parking was 8-10 feet below the Route 1 grade. Director Port said buildings oriented toward Route 1 were not as inviting, given the opportunity with Haley’s and a dynamic plaza. Where would a majority of the cars come in and go out? Mr. Minicucci said off the side street. Chairman McCarthy said architecturally, there should be some relevance to the approved building at 1 Boston Way. Members said not the same building at a smaller scale, but related. Mr. Minicucci said the first plan met zoning; the other two plans needed waivers. Chairman McCarthy requested electronic copies of the proposals with a list of non-compliant items.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Railing installed on stairway between McCintock and Charron Drive.

Great job done by the DPS.

Community Volunteer Opportunity

The Salvation Army - Friendship Table 

Each Thursday evening you will find a group gathered together at The Salvation Army in Newburyport for a hot meal and friendly environment. The Friendship Table provides a social gathering place for people to come once a week and share a nutritionally balanced hot meal. Meals are prepared and served by community volunteers. 

The Salvation Army has been very fortunate to have many groups of volunteers come into the Newburyport location and provide the meals for the Friendship Table. However, there is a great need for many more volunteers that are willing to supply, cook and serve the meals. This is a great way to give back to your community. 

Dinner for 100 guests is served at 5:00 pm and usually ends by 6:00 pm. Groups that are interested in putting together a Friendship Dinner should arrive early enough to prepare their meal before serving time. All meals are cooked on The Salvation Army premises or in a licensed kitchen. Groups prepare a salad or soup, a main course including protein, starch and vegetables, and sometimes a dessert. Bread and butter are also served and can be provided by The Salvation Army, as can cakes for dessert if needed. A tour of the kitchen can be arranged, together with an orientation of where things are kept and the best way of plating and serving the meals efficiently. After dinner dishes must be washed and put away. In most instances the evening ends, after cleanup, at about 6:30 pm. 

Volunteers can be groups from churches, businesses, or service organizations that can muster 8 to 10 people to commit to one Thursday evening (or more!) in a year. The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are also encouraged to put together a meal, a great way to give back to their community. Groups of friends or families are also welcomed to put together a dinner. 

For additional information or to sign up for a Thursday night, please contact our Friendship Table Coordinator, Maggie Maloney, at or phone The Salvation Army office at 978 465 0883.

City Board Vacancies

Do you want to become more involved with your City?  Do you want to help make decisions that will guide development?  The City is in need of your time and expertise!
We currently have vacancies on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Historical Commission.  Each volunteer group works with City staff and the public to evaluate projects of all sizes, from local home owner’s improvements to large-scale commercial and industrial development.
Send your letter of interest and resume to the Mayor’s Office, c/o Lois Honegger, Newburyport City Hall, 60 Pleasant Street, Newburyport, MA 01950 or via email to

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Sundays this year, the city trash and recycling collectors will be taking Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2 as their holidays. Residents’ trash and recycling will be delayed by one day during each of those weeks. For instance, neighborhoods where pick-ups would normally take place on Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2, will instead have pick-ups on Tuesday, December 27 and Tuesday, January 3.

The downtown business districts trash and recycling pick-ups will not be affected by the holidays. Put trash and recycling out on Thursday evenings as usual.

If you put your Christmas tree at the curb by Thursday, January 12, Newburyport will save considerably on the cost of disposal, and the Newbury Volunteer Fire Department will benefit.

Those trees will be part of the community-wide bonfire. Please do not bag the trees, and remove tinsel and lights. The trees will be dropped off at the Tendercrop growing fields, rather than having to be hauled to the incinerator in North Andover.

Trucks will continue to pick up Christmas trees through the month of January.

The Crow Lane Recycle Center is open throughout the year, on the first Saturday of every month, from 8 am till noon. One change is that we no longer accept colored Styrofoam, or any Styrofoam which has contained food or drink. Neither can we take #4 packing foam. Please do bring electronics (anything with a cord or batteries), appliances (large and small), metal, bicycles, fluorescent bulbs, oil, oil-based paint, tires, rechargeable batteries, and clean bubble wrap,  If dropping off on Saturday is not possible, call and we will arrange a better time -  978-499-0413.

For additional, information please call Mello Disposal at 978-352-8581, see the Recycling and Energy Dept. page of the Newburyport city website, email, or phone the Newburyport Health Department at 978-465-4410

Monday, December 19, 2016

Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017
7:00 pm
Council Chambers

1. Roll Call

2. Business Meeting
 a) Approval of Minutes
 b) Request for minor modification to Dimensional Variance at 48 Boardman Street (2016-004)

3. Public Hearings:

15-19 Williamson Ave Realty Trust c/o Lisa Mead, Blatman, Bobrowski, Mead & Talerman, LLC
15-19 Williamson Avenue
 2016-071 - Special Permit Continued from 11/29/16
construct a two-family home (Use #102)
Raymond and Elizabeth Nippes
24 Bromfield Street
 2016-075 - Special Permit for Non-Conformities Continued from 12/13/16
construct a one-story kitchen addition in the rear of the existing home
Ben Legare, Downeast Building and Development
114-118 Merrimac Street
 2016-090 - Parking Variance Continued from 12/13/16
variance for parking
 2016-091 - Special Permit Continued from 12/13/16
allow mixed use (#405) for two residential and one commercial unit
Newburyport Little River Realty, LLC c/o Lisa L. Mead, Blatman, Bobrowski, Mead & Talerman, LLC
175-177 Storey Avenue
 2017-001 - Dimensional Variance (Lot 1)
variance for lot frontage to allow a lot split on a lot with two existing homes
 2017-002 - Dimensional Variance (Lot 2)
variance for lot frontage to allow a lot split on a lot with two existing homes
Brad Kutcher, Bradco Construction, LLC
4 Ferry Road
 2017-003 - Dimensional Variance
lot split resulting in one conforming lot and one lot requiring relief for lot area, front yard setback, and
rear yard setback
Page 2 of 2
Kathleen A. Barrett and William K. Barrett
158 Old Point Road
 2017-004 - Special Permit for Non-Conformities
demolish and reconstruct pre-existing non-conforming single family home