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Newton Forum, that other blog to which I contribute, has an interesting post by Kathleen Kouril-Grieser that speaks to the advantages of creating Local Historic Districts. I know Newton Highlands is working on one and Waban is thinking about it. I think Newton Corner may also be considering the same. I know nothing about the movement, and I call it a movement, because it seems that the idea is spreading through the City’s Villages. Why, and why now? I’m certain it involves restricting one’s property rights somewhat, but what does that restriction buy? Does it save houses in a district from demolition? Does it increase property values? From what I can tell, it doesn’t insulate a property from a 40B Comprehensive Permit. Do developers hate it? Can they work within its restrictions, make some money and provide at least some affordable housing? How will Historic Districts affect any new zoning code that the Council proposes in Phase 2? I know this topic is controversial, but I really hope we can have a constructive discussion here and all of us learn something. (I know the NVA is having one of their Speaker Series devoted to this subject on Sunday  from 1-2:30pm at the Windsor Club in Waban and that it is open to the public.)







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