It's frankly hard to see how anyone can view the potentially crumbling smokestack of the old Cape Ann Tool Company as holding, on its own, any kind of "historical" significance.
To that end, there are no clear reasons why the Rockport Planning Board should be poised to deny beleaguered property owner Christopher Kaneb and his Old Colony Maritime LLC company the chance to take it down as they prepare the site for sale and, or redevelopment.
But it's also difficult to see how town officials would not see the razing of the smokestack as being a significant alteration of the property. Yet that's what the town's Planning Board will be considering when it meets tonight at 7 in Town Hall Annex, otherwise known as the former Granite Savings Bank building.
Why? Because, if such a change is deemed significant, it will have to be aired before — horrors! — a full public hearing.
Look, given the many issues at play involving the Tool Company site, town officials should reach out for residents' input, not avoid it. Giving this measure the public hearing it deserves should be the board's next step forward.