First place to move
Jam session is an opinion forum offering commentary on issues from a group of Plymouth residents. It appears on the Forum pages of the Weekend edition of the CMO.
The journal asks the group a question each week, and participants choose whether or not to comment. This column is designed to bring the voices of knowledgeable residents into the Forum page to address issues, one at a time.
Participants cross the local political spectrum and live across the city. Some are current or past Town Meeting representatives, and all are active in the community. We hope that their diverse views will encourage discussion of the issues facing Plymouth.
This week’s question
No place in Massachusetts has gained as many residents as Plymouth during the pandemic. More than 1,000 people moved to the city’s main postcode until the end of February, according to a study by our friends at WBUR. What is the significance of this?
A thousand new addresses in Plymouth amplify the need to reassess our Master Plan. It’s wonderful to diversify the city with young urban professionals, but making sure Plymouth is a family-friendly city is imperative. We have two wonderful new high schools that may not have enough students to fill if the current trend continues to exclude employees and families from the housing market.
Pat Adelmann has been a resident of Plymouth since 1977 and is a mother of five Plymouth Public School graduates, a proud grandmother of 12 children, a former school committee member and a former town hall representative.
There are two reasons. First, many people now work from home and find it slightly cheaper to live in Plymouth and other towns than the city. Some cities control rents and, through zoning, control the number of apartments and cottages available. Our streets are clean and we have good schools and there is housing available, but not necessarily that affordable.
Second, many people are fed up with violence, expensive living costs, crumbling infrastructure, high tax rates, schools where even teachers won’t send their children, homeless camps, open drug use, lack of respect for the police, no law and order, etc., etc.
The real bad thing is that, for the most part, those same people who came here to escape the city are working to make our city a city.
Jay Beauregard, born and raised in Plymouth, served four years in the Marine Corps and worked for 40 years at a local company. He is a libertarian who served three terms as a representative of the municipal assembly of the enclosure 6.
In 1976, wanting our first home, we moved from an apartment near Boston and moved to Plymouth, where the cost of a house the size we wanted on substantial land was half of what it was in Boxborough. , where we had previously searched. Connections to Boston are available by train, car and bus, and Plymouth is centrally located – easy to get to Boston or Providence or Newport and minutes from Cape Cod. Plymouth is no utopia, but it’s much better for families than continuing to live in or near Boston.
A resident of Plymouth for over 40 years, Jeff Berger is the founder and owner of JMB Communications / websitethatworkusa.com and Everythingsxm.com as well as the North East Ambassador for SkyMed International, www.skymed.com/jmb. He is a past chairman of the Plymouth Nuclear Questions Committee and its Cable Advisory Committee.
Over 1000 people moved to Plymouth until February ?? Which means more condos. No more houses. No more children. No more service needs. More traffic. Sorry for being so negative, but let’s see if our taxes go down. You’re right!
Karen Buechs was a Municipal Assembly Representative and Ward 7 President. She has served on the Manomet Steering Committee, Manomet Village Common Inc., the Capital Expenditure Committee, and the Income Ideas Task Force. She has also been a member of the Charter Commission and a member of three Charter review committees. Karen has been a resident of Plymouth for 46 years.
More and more people are moving from urban areas to the suburbs and the countryside. It’s a fact.
Many had worked remotely during the pandemic and many companies are cutting their physical costs by allowing their employees to continue. This opens up the possibility of moving to cheaper urban settings where there is enormous aesthetic value, social interaction, the development of friendships and community bonds. Others lost their jobs and found they could pursue a new career with less cost or stress outside of town. Some have simply returned to their starting point.
Mike Landers is a representative of Town Meeting and is the founder and producer of Project Arts of Plymouth. He also owns Nightlife Music Company and is a stage musician.
It means Plymouth is a great place to live! We knew it. It would be interesting to see how many people moved into those tiny PO boxes around town. Manomet (02345) and East Manomet (02381) would likely show an increase which would leave the “rural” gain of Plymouth in the minority, the villages of Manomet being the most blessed with exemplary resources and character.
Given the circumstances of the remote job, if people could live anywhere, given our exceptional geographic and cultural significance, it would have to be Manomet, Plymouth proper, I guess if it’s as close as possible . Sure, Plymouth has a pretty old square rig to visit and a legendary history, but that’s no reason to move here. These are our resources; and Manomet is rich, you know. We have about a thousand acres to do with the town’s ‘Briggs Estate’, lots of character driven on forest roads, quality public and private ocean beaches, beautiful ponds and a few streams, but most importantly lots of people. friendly talking, honking and greeting.
So we have been discovered, again. It is important that we are recognized as a great place to live, not just to visit. If I hadn’t already moved here I would ~! ~
Randy Parker is a land surveyor and owner of Land Management Systems in Plymouth. He has served on the town hall and a number of committees over the years and remains a director of the Churchill Landing Association in Manomet.
Importance? This confirms recent trends, even before Covid, that it’s a city that thinks it’s a city, growing by 1,000 people or more every year. PineHills and Redbrook are the biggest contributors, but people are learning it’s a great place to live. Convenient access to Boston with a wonderful range of recreational options, active street life, and historic attractions. The pandemic has accelerated existing trends, and we have two large 40B apartment / condo developments of 320 units about to begin, each accommodating approximately 1,000 people. Plymouth is growing, and this growth is putting major pressure on our infrastructure, municipal services and our irreplaceable natural environment. We need to do proactive planning to manage and guide growth, while protecting our open space and natural resources at the same time. We need a master plan update, from now on.
David Peck is the retired director of facilities planning at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is Chairman of the Plymouth Building Committee and Vice Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a representative at the municipal assembly of district 4.
This 19% increase on incoming residents is very alarming as the new homes do not cover the expense burden they place on the city. This is especially true for families with students. Each student costs us $ 17,000 and there aren’t many homes in Plymouth that pay that much tax for their land. These new residents do not cover the cost of the new roads and infrastructure they impose. We are facing a future financial crisis as more and more houses are built. It is unbearable. This is one of the reasons why I support Selectman Flaherty’s “Climate, Energy and Environment Working Group Proposals”; one of the proposals sets a target of having 30% open space. Most of us like to live in our “countryside” setting. These new residents come here to flee the city. They take it with them.
Ed Russell is a lawyer and representative of the District 12 Municipal Assembly, and sits on a number of municipal committees.
The question is interesting because it seems that many people believe that they will continue to work from home from this point on. If that doesn’t happen, many will back down if they can. One downside to this move is that rents are going up, hurting those who live here and are struggling.
Roger Silva is a five-term former elected representative of Plymouth who began public service as an elected member of the Town Hall. He has served on the advisory and financial committee and on two charter commissions.