The village should hold off on passing a revision to its zoning law until a professional study of its historic district boundaries is done, said Review Board chair Richard Frisbie.
“The village’s two historic districts are a decade overdue for updating the original survey,” Frisbie said. “The state (Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation) has encouraged us (village and town) to combine for the survey, saying grants would be available next spring.”
Frisbie said he recently met with members of the town Historic Preservation Commission to discuss applying for a joint grant that would survey the two historic districts.
Frisbie said a new survey would once and for all determine whether the home at 40 Partition St. is within the historic district. No other part of the boundary has proven controversial.
Consequences to merging boards?
Frisbie said that, according to Julian Adams, director of the bureau of community preservation services for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the village would lose its Certified Local Government status “immediately if all seven members of the new board did not have history backgrounds and a pronounced and evident desire to preserve our history.”
Having CLG status allows a municipality to apply for historic preservation grants and losing that status would preclude a town or village from making an application. According to village officials, no such grants have been applied for or obtained since CLG status was granted.
“The way the village has already tainted this whole process, I’d be surprised if they could find seven qualified volunteers willing to subject themselves to this abuse,” Frisbie added.
Murphy was unmoved, saying trustees would move forward with their plans to consolidate the two boards, “because it’s the right thing to do for our businesses, and the village.”
The mayor has said a number of HRB members would be appointed to the new commission, which would keep village history experts in the decision-making process.