Saturday, July 18, 2009

Historic District expansion passes Town Council in 5-0 vote

On Wednesday evening July 15 at the regular Bristol Town Council meeting, phase one of the expansion of the Bristol Historic District to Poppasquash Road passed in a 5 - 0 vote but not without lengthy discussion. There was much talk - for and against - lasting close to two hours. Many people were not aware of a 20% RI income tax credit available to home owners who live within the historic district or within the larger National Register. (Maps are available at Town Hall if you need to review the boundaries.) The need for more education about the districts was also noted.
Bottom line: It is hoped by Ken Marshall, Town Council Chair, along with other members of the council that some of the rough edges towns people have had in the historic district and at HDC meetings can be smoothed out by having a workshop to fine tune some of the work of the HDC -  making it more efficient and 'user friendly' to the public. In a July 16 email Ken Marshall wrote:  "Some elements may be able to be streamlined, others may be able to be eliminated, some may be able to be handled quickly in Town Hall without the need for hearings; and how can we as a Town Council possibly help assist in funding the historic protection of one's home to decrease or eliminate the perceived burden of maintaining or restoring an HDC reviewed home. Hopefully, with the input of the Public, our Board, the Council, and our Solicitor we can reduce or eliminate the concerns of the few that feel we have taken away their freedom of choice."
Bristol has many experienced and knowledgable people within the field of historic preservation (and working within historic districts) who are eager to participate in this future workshop and can add invaluable insight. Stay tuned. (Click on photo once to enlarge.)

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