To the editor:
I have mulled over the letter from Chairman Henry Betts (the Times, Oct. 23) regarding the Planning Board’s role with the latest Roma III Ltd. house proposal on Granite St.
I commend the Planning Board for attempting to stay within the boundaries of the bylaws we so desperately need, in order to have some order as to whom and what will be granted a special permit and nonconforming building heights in our very extraordinary, eclectic, peaceful and oh so friendly town.
Who cares what a newcomer builds as long as it is conforming to our town’s bylaws and zoning regulations? Actually, no one gives a hoot until this situation hits their neighborhood.
I was under the impression this particular house would not be approved due to the enormous size for the intended area, and the height that would not conform with the neighborhood on Granite Street.
The plans appeared to take away much of the beautiful, breathtaking view that pedestrians have enjoyed with what was on the property before Mr. Roma purchased the land. Some argue that there is not a great view to begin with, but take heart — many of us thank God for such a gift of beauty while walking in that area.
The builder assures us we will have more of a view with this new “hacienda.” Not likely, but perhaps if you put that in writing, I may just start to believe ...
In my observation, during all the many hours of Planning Board meetings, all the hours they toiled, was to assure this town that all abide in certain standards and laws in building houses in Rockport. I did not always agree, but never questioned their intent to exhibit for the good of the town.
I once commented that there should be more communication between the boards. And in this particular case, it is a travesty. There was controversy from the start as to whom could declare the go-ahead, the appeals, etc. — just one problem after another.
We residents realize the importance of growth to the town, and so many cry “taxes” when yet another huge home bulldozes away the smaller quaint house that was there in the past. I certainly agree that the bigger the homes, the more taxes for the town, but please don’t forget all the generations of families that have supported this town for decades with the taxes.
I feel that all homes are welcome here and always have been, but the norm now appears to brush aside any ruling that contains a safety latch to build with a lot of common sense and a little consideration for the neighbors.
It appears we have a long road ahead in the areas of understanding just exactly how important the Planning Board is and the attempts they have painstakingly sifted through — and cheers to you, Mr. Betts, for holding to your beliefs and not crumbling in the face of distasteful “melees” over laws that often bend too far.