Bank appeals after Planning Board rejects expansion | Local News
NEWBURYPORT – The Institution for Savings has appealed the recent Planning Board decision to reject the bank’s expansion plans for its location at 93 State St.
The board voted 5-3 against approving the bank’s demands after 14 months of discussions and a 3.5-hour meeting on March 17.
The bank has revised its plans several times, but scorers and some board members still questioned the mass and scale of the proposed expansion.
The official decision was discussed at the council meeting on April 7.
The bank has since filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Land Court, challenging the board’s denials of its special permit and site plan review requests.
The lawsuit claims the Downtown Overlay District is “apparently invalid because it violates what is commonly referred to as the ‘SCIT doctrine’,” according to a press release from the bank.
The appeal refers to Chapter 40A, Section 4 of the Massachusetts General Laws, which states: “Any zoning ordinance or by-law that divides towns and villages into districts shall be uniform across the district for each class or type of structures or d ‘authorized uses. ”
Bank CEO and Chairman Michael J. Jones called the board’s action “unreasonable.”
“As I stated immediately after the decisions of the Planning Board,” he said, “we firmly believe that the Planning Board, in denying the bank’s requests, was unreasonable, did not properly applied the law and was arbitrary and capricious in his decision-making. .
“Our applications met all of the underlying sizing, usability and parking requirements as needed,” Jones added. “In good faith, we attended at least 16 virtual and / or in-person meetings and public hearings with government agencies and neighbors; we have presented numerous testimonies from historical curators, architects and others; and we have redesigned the project no less than six times to respond to the concerns of the neighborhood, the commission and the members of the board of directors, all to no avail. “
Jones also called the board’s decisions “a terrible disservice to any downtown businesses hoping to improve their properties in order to remain solvent and prosperous.”
In addition to naming the Planning Council and all of its members, the appeal also names the City Council as the respondent.
“We are confident that the facts of our case will prevail in the end,” Jones said.
Board decisions can be viewed at www.cityofnewburyport.com/planning-board/agenda-items/draft-decisions.