GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

March 28, 2013

Letter: Rockport needs to revisit Long Beach rents

To the editor:

The multiple listing includes specifies “... darling furnished seasonal cottage, baseboard heat for cool nights, two baths, new roof, water heater, gutters, front decking, tiled flooring ... etc.”

Beginning with “two baths,” the amenities are stated as “new.” The cottage has been newly painted and windows recently resealed. Add to this the fact that, legally, this is listed as a two-family, currently used as a single residence. The description ends that the property is currently a single residence, but the first floor could pass for a ground level suite. There is also an outside shower.

The list price for the property is $425.000. The address is 2 Old Colony Road. The house is in the third row of the Long Beach settlement. It contains 900 square feet. There is no mention of taxes. The house sits on a parcel leased by the town of Rockport.

The number of homes on leased property at that location varies in discussion, but the commonly accepted number is something like 150.

This lease is up for renewal this year, by December 2012. The business portion of the lease appears in the warrant for Annual Town Meeting. The warrant cites the article as an amendment to a Town Meeting of 1908, and cites support for the warrant as two sections of Mass. General Laws. If approved, the article settles full responsibility for establishing a new lease “on such terms and conditions as the Board of Selectmen may deem appropriate, and in the best interests of the town…etc.”

I don’t think so.

The seawall at Long Beach is a known critical structure, with repair and or replacement costs cited as $13 million, or more, if the feds determine the wall must be higher than at present. Should the height become a factor, it could affect the “view,” and I assume this is for the “front row.” Some of the issues surrounding the wall project produce discussions as to whether or not the lease holders would be responsible for any costs.

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