- Written by Colleen Moore
- Category: ROOT
- Published: 21 July 2009
- Last Updated: 21 July 2009
- Created: 21 July 2009
â€œThis is not a process you rush,â€ said Georgia Taft Pye, a member of the committee said.
At the meeting, the committee discussed different areas of town in which a historic district might be needed. While the committee has a great deal of information about High Street from when it was first proposed in 1991, it is by no means the only area under consideration.
If the committee simply looked at High Street, it would be like starting with an end in mind, Pye said. The committee is studying the town as a whole and is far from deciding on one single area.
Area resident Ray MacFarlene spoke out against the idea of an historic district. MacFarlene said the High Street neighborhood had already decided that it did not want a district in 1991, when the town voted against it. MacFarlene collected signatures against a historic district in the early 1990s.
â€œIf you want to preserve something, you donâ€™t need someone telling you what to do,â€ MacFarlene said. â€œI would like to see [the committee] look at the fact that you donâ€™t need a historic district anywhere.â€
Dennis Murphy of High Street collected signatures around the neighborhood in support of a historic district. His actions helped spark the creation of the study committee.
â€œI think there is a consensus for moving forward with High Street,â€ Murphy said. Times, and neighbors, have changed since the district was not approved in 1991, and it is worth revisiting the idea of having a district on High Street, he said.
Chairman James Hartford stressed that the committee is not focusing on one particular neighborhood. The committee is a study group that was established to determine if there was a need for a historic district in town, and if so, where the district would be.
As of now, the group is in itâ€™s very early stages of research and planning, and is not limiting itself to one area in town. There is simply a wealth of information about High Street from when it was last proposed in 1991.
The group focused on creating a feasible timeline for completion of the study. While the group originally focused on the 2010 Town Meeting, after reviewing where it was now and what is left to do, they decided that the 2011 Town Meeting was more appropriate. The committee wants to be 100 percent prepared for the meeting, Hartford said.
The main focus of the group now is to educate and listen to the public. In late August, the committee will hold a public meeting with Chris Skelly, a representative from the Mass. Historical Commission. From there, the committee is looking forward to hosting coffee sessions, in which some members of the committee will invite residents of historic areas to discuss the establishment of a historic district in their neighborhood.
â€œWe need to engage the public and see where they want to have a district,â€ Terry Vose, a member of the committee said.