I would like to clarify issues of concern discussed in both the Times article on Rockport demolition articles and Mr. Kolackovsky’s letter to the editor, both in the Aug. 23 Times.
The Plan r a site plan review of a building or structure 100 years old or older (based on Assessors’ records) that has a gross floor area of 800 square feet or more. A subsequent Article M defines the information the Planning Board believes any property owner should consider or should have considered before beginning to tear down a major structure on a site.
For instance, how will you control noise and dust, will the resultant site require grading, will you need to remove or add fill, will you be adding or removing plantings. These considerations help the community-through the Planning Board review-know that you have left the site in a condition that is secure from the elements and flooding, is safe for human use, is not detrimental to abutting parcels and uses, and incorporate other requiremsents of Site Plan Review that should be incorporated at that stage.
These articles do not ask anything about what subsequently will be built on the site, but merely are meant to assure that the site is left in a presentable condition, ready for whatever structures replace those which have been demolished. These articles, most importantly, do not prevent any property owner, large or small, from demolishing structures.
The process of going through the site plan review would not be costly, require hiring experts on water run off or consultants on plantings and the like, nor should the review be time consuming.
Rather, the process would require the owner has thought about what happens after demolition, shares those thoughts with the community and, through the effort, shows that the town of Rockport is interested in avoiding unsightly plots of land created by demolition efforts. It further avoids issues pertaining to any applicable bylaws which now have to be addressed in a reactionary way by the Planning Board.
The Planning Board members would be happy to answer any questions you might have on these articles and our process.
HENRY T. BETTS
Chairman, Rockport Planning Board