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Community preservation committee agrees to hire assessor

KINGSTON – The city is taking one step closer to exercising its right of first refusal for virgin peatland land withdrawn from production.

The community preservation committee unanimously supports the hiring of an appraiser for the acquisition of timber and ancient bogs on Winthrop Street, as supporters of the project seek additional funding to cover the $ 800,000 that a developer plans to pay.

His work is not yet finished. The CPC will seek the assistance of the city administrator to assist in the assessment process. The city attorney will also work with the assessor to ensure all requirements are covered. New conservation officer Matt Penella has offered to help with the assessment process.

With the Conservation Commission scheduled to meet on April 14, the CPC also scheduled a meeting that evening to discuss the project.

No public comments were accepted at the April 1 meeting, when the vote was 8-0 to approve the hiring of an assessor. Committee members also decided not to hold another public hearing specifically for the “Blackwater Memorial Forest” project, as it is not necessary.

Before the vote, the chairman of the community preservation committee, Chris Hofmann, gave all of its members the opportunity to comment on the merits of the request, especially if it was complete and qualified for funding under the law. on the preservation of the community.

Some members raised concerns to be addressed, including the potential for funding through grants and other possibilities to offset costs. Usually there was support for the project, but not everyone was convinced. One concern is that CAP funding for open spaces may be exhausted. Community Preservation Act funds are to be used for open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing.

CPC member Don Ducharme said he was concerned that the project would cancel funding for future conservation projects and that he was troubled that the main applicant was an unknown core group. He said he is also concerned that the board did not vote on the right of first refusal.

“Going to us before the right of first refusal, I think that’s a step in the wrong direction,” he said.

He also asked why the Conservation Commission had not been involved in the process, as it would be responsible for the land, and suggested that housing options with affordable housing be considered with the participation of the Affordable Housing Trust. He said he would not vote to approve it.

CPC member Dot MacFarlane said the Conservation Commission, of which she is a member, cannot consider a land conservation application without an assessment, based on its regulations, but she fears it may there is no mention of possible hazardous materials on the site and no delineation of wetlands.

The Selectmen Board of Directors signed on as a co-applicant, as did the Jones River Watershed Association, led by Executive Director Pine duBois. She said she first learned of the plans for the property in the second week of February and stepped in to help apply for funding to save it.

The Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) grant program, administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, is a potential source of funding with a grant of up to $ 400,000, or half the cost of the deal. buying and selling, which she pursues.

The deadline to submit an application is July 14. One of the conditions is that the general public must have reasonable access to the land. An owner offered to use his property to provide access to the 46 acres. The grant reimburses towns and villages for the acquisition of land for conservation purposes.

“We will not just go after the EEA LAND fund, we will be looking for other opportunities as we see them develop,” said duBois. “So far we’ve just tried to fix this problem.”

Voters in the city assembly would have to approve funding for the grant and the city would be reimbursed by the state, she said. While agreeing to provide the information requested by CPC President Hofmann, she has potential mandate wording for a Town Meeting article with the grant as a source of funding, but advised her to contact the town lawyer.

DuBois said she is committed to raising half of the funds, and with the federal government putting more money into open space projects, she will seek other grants as well. Homeowners are waiting for now, but are committed to the cause and ready to launch a Go Fund Me campaign.

Hofmann said some of their concerns may be addressed as part of the approval process when voting on the CPC’s funding request, but the cost and timing of the grant process continues to be of concern, even with what seems to be overwhelming community support for the project.

Follow the Kingston Reporter on Facebook and Kathryn Gallerani on Twitter @kgallreporter.


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Apply by April 16 for 4 seats on the Framingham Community Preservation Committee – Framingham SOURCE

FRAMINGHAM – The 11-member City Council will appoint 4 non-executive members to the 9-member Framingham Community Preservation Committee.

In November 2020, voters said yes to the Community Preservation Act (CPA) 19,078 votes to 11,414.

Residential and commercial property owners will pay an additional approximately 1% on their property tax bill, starting in fiscal 2021 on July 1, 2021.

The Framingham Community Preservation Committee would be made up of nine members, including a member of the Planning Council, the Conservation Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Historical Commission and the Framingham Housing Authority.

The other four members would be appointed by the city council. All must be residents of Framingham.

The tasks of the members of the committee consist of:

• Develop a community preservation plan. Members are responsible for studying the needs, community resources and possible uses of CPA funds by creating a local CPA plan that prioritizes uses and enables informed decisions to be made on CPA proposals.
• Perform a thorough review of CPA requests and make recommendations to City Council for ownership and action.
• Maintain all respective records and required reports on the CPA budget, including minutes of CPC meetings, proposals and recommendations. CPA is responsible for submitting an annual CPA budget to city council.

Applicants should demonstrate competence and / or interest in serving as a member of the community preservation committee with particular expertise, education, previous and / or continuing experience focused on land use issues relating to the affordable housing, agriculture, historical preservation, recreation and open spaces, planning, and / or management of land use planning. Experience in municipal finance or tax accounting is desirable.

Members are prohibited from holding any other municipal position within a multi-member organization or from holding a municipal officer position while being a member of the Community Preservation Committee.

The City of Framingham is committed to pursuing strategic diversity initiatives that help position diversity, equity and inclusion at the heart of municipal and community excellence in the City of Framingham.

The deadline to apply for the four positions on the Committee is April 16.

Visit www.framinghamma.gov/jobs to apply.


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Biden Seeks to Overhaul Nation’s Power Grid, Transit Systems in Historic Infrastructure Plan

President Biden on Wednesday asked Congress for a massive infusion of funds to renovate the nation’s power grids and develop renewable energy as part of a landmark program designed to tackle climate change and develop American jobs.

The estimated $ 2 trillion U.S. jobs plan, if enacted by a divided Congress, would be the most ambitious federal investment program yet to tackle global greenhouse gas emissions and fight against economic inequalities. The president, who has campaigned in part to move towards a clean energy economy, is pitching the proposal as a major jobs agenda as it seeks to build union support.

The deal is also touted as a way to compete with China’s growing power.

“The president’s plan will unify and mobilize the country to meet the great challenges of our time: the climate crisis and the ambitions of an autocratic China,” according to the White House.

Butcher wells

Specifically for the oil and gas sector, the president has funds to plug abandoned oil and gas wells, as well as abandoned mines.

The jobs plan “would put the energy industry to work plugging orphaned oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines.” Hundreds of thousands of old orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned mines pose serious safety risks, while causing permanent damage to air, water and the environment.

Biden’s plan includes an “immediate initial investment of $ 16 billion that will allow hundreds of thousands of people to work in union jobs plugging oil and gas wells and restoring and reclaiming coal, rock mines. hard and uranium abandoned “.

The investment is also designed to “reduce the methane and brine that escape from these wells, just as we invest in reducing leaks from other sources such as aging pipes and distribution systems.”

Funds are also earmarked for the power sector overhaul over eight years, with tax credits for the construction of high voltage transmission lines and renewable energy / carbon capture projects.

“In 2020, the United States suffered 22 separate $ 1 billion weather and climate disasters, costing $ 95 billion in damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure,” the White House noted. “In Louisiana, Hurricane Laura caused $ 19 billion in damage, resulting in ruptured water systems and a severely damaged power grid that prevented a rapid recovery.

“To rebuild better, investments in this historic plan must make our infrastructure more resilient in the face of increasingly severe floods, wildfires, hurricanes and other risks. Every dollar spent to rebuild our infrastructure during the Biden administration will be used to prevent, reduce and resist the impacts of the climate crisis. “

“Aging electrical network”

Highlighting the power outages in Texas in February, the administration said “the country’s aging power grid is in urgent need of modernization.” Biden called on Congress to invest $ 100 billion to build a “more resilient power transmission system” that includes an investment tax credit to incentivize building at least 20 GW of high-voltage power lines.

The president, who wants to move “towards 100% carbon-free energy by 2035”, proposed to expand and expand investment and production tax credits for production and alternative energy storage. In addition, Biden wants to set a standard for energy efficiency and clean electricity to reduce utility bills and electrical pollution, as well as stimulate competition, while leveraging “the carbon pollution-free energy provided.” by existing sources such as nuclear and hydroelectricity ”.

The president also believes that “the market-based transition to clean energy presents enormous opportunities for the development of new markets and new industries,” noted the White House.

“For example, by pairing an investment in 15 carbon-free hydrogen demonstration projects in distressed communities with a new production tax credit, we can stimulate retrofits and installations of investment projects that boost and decarbonize our industry. ”

Modernization of carbon capture

The plan would also establish 10 “pioneering facilities that demonstrate carbon capture modernization for large steel, cement and chemical production facilities, while ensuring overburdened communities are protected from cumulative pollution increases. “.

To accelerate the use and storage of carbon capture (CCUS), the plan would reform and expand the Section 45Q tax credit, making it “easier to use for hard-to-decarbonize industrial applications, direct capture of air and the modernization of existing power plants ”.

Electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure would also be extended, with the goal of building 500,000 charging stations by 2030.

“The US market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is only one-third the size of China’s electric vehicle market,” administration officials noted. The proposed $ 174 billion investment is designed “to win the electric vehicle market.”

The plan is designed to boost national supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to be globally competitive, and help American workers make batteries and electric vehicles. The plan would replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify at least 20 percent of the nation’s yellow school bus fleet, as well as the federal fleet, including the U.S. Postal Service.

Billions are also being offered to expand climate-related research and demonstration projects, as well as the manufacture of climate-friendly technologies.

“In all of these infrastructure investments, the focus will be on making our future infrastructure more resilient to climate change and on meeting the President’s commitment to target 40% of the benefits of these investments in infrastructure specific to disadvantaged communities, ”the White House said. the spokesperson said in a briefing on Tuesday.

“This plan would make a generational investment in the modernization and reorientation of our electrical infrastructure in this country for the carbon-free electrical future we are heading towards …, by investing in transmission, storage, network resilience.”

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has said it supports some of the Biden administration’s proposals, but not all.

“We support the administration’s goal of modernizing the country’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways and ports,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of political, economic and regulatory affairs of the API. “We also welcome the administration’s efforts to face the risks of climate change by encouraging innovation for hydrogen and CCUS as part of this infrastructure package.

“At the same time, this proposal misses an opportunity to take a holistic approach to meeting all of our infrastructure needs, including on modern pipelines,” he said.

“Targeting specific industries with new taxes would only undermine the country’s economic recovery and jeopardize well-paying jobs, including unionized jobs. It is important to note that our industry does not benefit from any special tax treatment, and we will continue to advocate for a tax code that promotes a level playing field for all economic sectors as well as policies that support and increase tax rates. billions of dollars in government revenue we help generate. “


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Historic Preservation Committee Seeks Dedicated Downtown District – The Appalachian

New Designated Zone in Boone to Protect Properties from Substantial Changes

Samuel cooke

Originally surrounded by grass and featuring stone pillars at its entrance, the Watauga County Courthouse has undergone some changes over the years, but still shares a similar location.

A machine-armed construction crew approached 136 North Water Street one January morning. Then DH Griffin Wrecking Company demolished The Hardin house.

The house was the childhood home of Bobby Hardin, a former mayor of Blowing Rock. Built in 1926, it was an important architectural example of late 1920s residential construction, according to a report by the Boone Historic Preservation Commission.

The Historic Preservation Commission recommended that Boone City Council designate an area of ​​the city center as a Local Historic District. If passed, the designation would protect neighborhood properties from substantial changes, add barriers to demolition, and increase tourism.

Still having distinctive features today, the Watauga County Bank building now houses The Shoppes at Farmers. Despite its new vocation, the building has retained its night safe and its engraved stone sign from the time when it was used as a bank. (Samuel Cooke)

The proposed neighborhood borders Rivers Street to the east near the Beasley Media Complex and Queen Street to the west through the back of Lost Province. The northern and southern boundaries of the district are roughly the Watauga County Courthouse and Appalachian Street near Boone Saloon.

Hardin House is one of 120 properties listed in the report as proof of the historical importance of downtown Boone. Each property meets the age requirement of 50 and has either architectural significance or a connection to historical events or individuals.

John Ward, city manager, said the demolition of the Hardin House and other historic buildings in recent years has served as a reminder of the pace of change.

“These losses have prompted our elected officials to place greater value on the history of our community and work to protect it,” Ward said.

A local historic district is a type of zoning that applies to entire neighborhoods or areas made up of many historic properties. Zoning provides guidelines for the appearance of properties and limits the ability of owners to demolish those properties, according to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

In Boone, a homeowner will have to wait a year after deciding to demolish a property before they can do so. During this year, the CHP will discuss other options with the owner, in accordance with the guidelines and the design manual of the local historic district of downtown Boone.

Boone City Council will not immediately vote on the recommendation. A vote will take place after public hearings where residents can review and comment on the details of the recommendation.

Jones House is located just above King Street. The historic property was built in 1908 by Dr. John Walter Jones. (Samuel Cooke)

The CHP began studying the report over 10 years ago under the guidance of the city council. In 2014, Eric Plaag, founder of Carolina Historical Consulting, joined the team.

Plaag said that prior to joining, the HPC attempted to draft guidelines that landowners should follow if the city center becomes a local historic district, which is usually one of the last steps in the process.

In 2015, the CHP announcement a new strategy. The commission began an investigation involving a meticulous search for the history of every property suspected of having historical significance in the city center. The city council approved funding of $ 8,000 for the equipment and hired three interns to help Plaag with the research process.

At the end of 2019, Plaag and the HPC completed the more than 400 page survey detailing the reason for the preservation of the property described in the proposed district.

“I wanted this document to be something that captures as much information as possible,” Plaag said. “One of my complaints about most architectural studies is that they tend to be more of a snapshot in time and less of a true architectural study where you watch change over time.”

The final version of the Boone Downtown Local Historic District Guidelines and Manual was completed in January 2020.

Now the site of Magic Cycles Bike Shop, the Watauga Motor Company building began construction in 1919 and was completed two years later in 1921. (Samuel Cooke)

The design guidelines are built around the Home Secretary’s standards for rehabilitation, or Secretary standards. These 10 guidelines are used across the country in local historic neighborhoods. This is a set of rules that landowners must follow when making changes to their property that would affect items of historic significance.

The first rule of the secretary’s standards is “a property must be used for historic purposes or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change in the defining characteristics of the building, its site and its surroundings,” according to the NCDCR.

Plaag responded to potential concerns expressed by owners that they would not be able to work on their property if it fell under the Local Historic District.

“I think a lot of people sometimes have the impression that if your building is listed (as historic) there is nothing you can do about it. This is fundamentally wrong, ”Plaag said.

The changes may involve modern updates such as solar retrofits, new heaters and coolers, and changes made to meet code. Lots of changes are possible, “they just have to be done the right way,” Plaag said.

Frank Linney House was originally built as a cottage by RL Council. The house was bought and modified by Frank A. Linney in 1902. (Samuel Cooke)

A district owner who wishes to work on his property will consult with the CHP to ensure that the historic elements of the property are not altered. The commission would also give recommendations for materials that correspond to the historical period of the property.

While property owners would have to follow these guidelines if the local historic district was adopted, they might also see benefits, depending on the Boone Downtown Design Guidelines.

These include a tourism boost, an increase in property values ​​and the potential for tax credits.

John Ward, City Manager, said he hopes the public forums will help educate residents on the benefits of creating a local historic district and “preserving the history of our community.”

Plaag said he believes that preserving historic properties is not only a way to protect the past, but also a great way to prepare for the future.

“A lot of people don’t see preservation as progressive and forward thinking when in fact it is. You keep something that you can use later, ”said Plaag. “This is the same reason why parents with a lot of children learn very quickly: You don’t throw away or get rid of your older child ‘s clothes until your younger ones have used these things.


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Historic Preservation Committee calls on WAPA to stop digging test wells in Cruz Bay | Island life

Historic Preservation Committee Chair Pamela Montegut told Wednesday’s virtual committee meeting she was “baffled” that the VI Water and Power Authority was digging test pits ahead of its planned line burial without an archaeologist on site as ordered by the committee.

“I would like you to say that there will be no more excavations without an archaeologist present in the historic district of Cruz Bay,” Montegut told WAPA project manager Cordell Jacobs, who represented the Authority at the meeting. .

“There are tremendous assets out there that are culturally important to the people of the Virgin Islands, and without proper control these cultural assets could be destroyed. The people who were here before the Virgin Islands had this name set us up to avoid damaging this history and to try to preserve this history. It is in our own name. Do we need to provide you with a cease and desist until you provide yourself with an archaeologist? “

Jacobs assured the committee that no further excavation would take place without the supervision of an archaeologist.

Boreholes approximately three by three feet and up to two feet deep have already been drilled between Mongoose Junction and the post office.

Trenching for the project has not yet started and WAPA is in the process of recruiting a contract archaeologist, Jacobs said.

Historic Preservation Committee member David Knight Sr. has opposed misinformation about whether wooden poles in historic Cruz Bay would be removed as part of the line’s burial project.

“You were dishonest when you said the poles would fall and there would be no more wires in Cruz Bay,” Knight said. “I’m afraid the public felt that putting the electricity underground meant the poles and wires were going to somehow disappear. This is an impression I got of a WAPA press release and the way it was presented to the community of St. John. I think we need to be more honest about the expectations so that people aren’t upset.


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Historic Preservation Committee to Assess Demolition of Historic Thatcher Mill Ruins – Cache Valley Daily

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The fate of the historic Thatcher Mill ruins at 74 West and 100 South will be discussed at a meeting of the town’s historic preservation committee at noon on Monday, March 15.

LOGAN – A meeting that could reveal the commitment of Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) members to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Logan is set for Monday, March 15.

The CHP will hold a public hearing to determine whether the owners of the Millcreek residential project on 100 South St. should be allowed to demolish the historic ruins of Thatcher Mill and Elevator Company and incorporate certain artifacts from this site into their ongoing construction project. .

This meeting is scheduled to begin at noon via teleconferencing technology.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, there will be no public meeting in Logan City, according to Amanda Hovey of the city’s community development department. Residents interested in following this number will be able to access the meeting through Google Hangouts at meet.google.com/sec-pktd-duw or by phone at 636-707-2517, using the PIN code 231 801 920.

“When we get to the agenda item you want to comment on,” advises Hovey, “you can speak… once recognized by the CHP president. As always, comments are limited to three minutes per person and be sure to say your name when it’s your turn to speak.

The Thatcher Mill ruins demolition project is the only item on the CHP’s agenda for March 15.

The Millcreek residential development is the southern anchor of a revitalized downtown core envisioned by Mayor Holly Daines, stretching from 100 South to 400 North on the west side of Main Street.

Elements of this redevelopment effort are the Mill Creek housing project to the south, the recently approved Town Square replacing the Emporium on the Town Center Block, a new library at the corner of 300 North and a possible mixed-use commercial development on this artery.

Another residential development is also underway on Main Street, along 100 East Street.

Construction of Phase 1 of the Millcreek residential complex, at the corner of 100 South and 100 West streets, is already underway.

City officials say the addition of residential housing on 100 South contributes to Logan’s community development goals by increasing the city’s property tax base, increasing the downtown population and encouraging d ‘other redevelopment projects.

The proposed Phase 2 of the Millcreek project is an additional six-storey, 75-unit residential development. As Paul Willie of Mountain States Property Management explained at an HPC meeting in September 2020, this extension of the residential complex would occupy most of the vacant south side of 100 South St., straddling what remains of the oldest commercial mill in Cache Valley.

The Thatcher Mill was originally built in 1860 as a sawmill and later turned into a flour mill. With the addition of a grain elevator by contractors Logan GW and Moses Thatcher in 1886, the Thatcher flour mill was the largest in Utah and Idaho. The mill continued to operate until the Great Depression in the 1930s and finally burned down in 1946.

Willie said all that remains of the mill today is an el-shaped part of its foundation that is now collapsing and is covered in coarse graffiti.

During an informal discussion on this issue in September 2020, CHP members expressed little enthusiasm for expanding the Millcreek Project unless it includes plans to preserve the mill ruins or some sort. structure or place commemorating the history of the mill.

City officials have indicated that Millcreek designers now plan to incorporate rocks and mill artifacts into the Phase 2 residential complex. They also plan to redirect the canal along 100 South Street into its bed. historical.






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Community preservation committee recommends projects for new funding – The Daily Free Press

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Boston’s community preservation committee recommended 67 new projects on Monday that aim to create and preserve affordable housing, sites of historic significance and public spaces throughout the city.

Chandler Pond in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston’s community preservation committee on Monday proposed 67 projects that would enhance historic and public sites. HANNAH YOSHINAGA / FREE DAILY PRESS PERSON

Boston City Council will vote to approve the funding, which totals more than $ 25 million in grants from the Community Preservation Fund.

The fund – created in 2016 with the adoption of the Community Preservation Act – is based on a 1% surtax on municipal property taxes. Applicants who wish to receive funds complete an eligibility form and are selected by the Community Preservation Committee.

The CPC chose projects that would transform neighborhoods, help improve the lives of residents and preserve historic resources ”, city ​​officials wrote in an email.

Alison Frazee, deputy director of the Boston Preservation Alliance and co-chair of Yes for a Better Boston, said she believes historic preservation should receive as much money from the fund as possible compared to affordable housing and public spaces.

“The other two categories already have capital funding across the city,” she said. “They have other sources of funding, unlike historic preservation, which has very, very few places to go to ask for money for brick and mortar work.”

Since the first recommendations were made in 2018, the 131 projects recommended by the committee have received funding, according to city officials.

Frazee added that the requests are generally more than the City can fund in any given year. Of those who are not fully funded, some receive partial funding while others are encouraged to reapply if necessary.

The Boston Preservation Alliance and Yes for a Better Boston advocated for passage of the law in 2016, Frazee said. She added that previous versions of the bill were rejected by voters because they were seen as an additional tax.

“There have been a few bumps in the road as we understand that,” she said. “But we are very happy that it has been adopted by the voters, that it is adopted and that it seems to be celebrated, not hated as something else that you have to pay for.”

Elliot Laffer, president of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, spoke about the history of the Back Bay neighborhood – which was recommended for funding of $ 730,000 to restore the ancient churches, Ayer Mansion and the building of the Guild of Boston Artists.

“It was built like an upscale neighborhood, it was designed to be one… from the mid to late 19th century,” Laffer said. “And so, the buildings that return there reflect that kind of exciting architectural quality.”

The First Baptist Church of 1872, for example, is one of the funded projects. The church has angels on its steeple that were created by the same Statue of Liberty sculptor, Laffer said.

The church, with funding from the Community Preservation Act, will be able to repair the roof, belfry and west transept – which in a church with a cross-shaped interior forms part of the “arms” of the cross.

“The fact that it’s fixed, and in the right way, in a way that preserves the amazing architecture and its history, is really a very strong thing,” said Laffer.

He added that these historic places on the city’s list are landmarks “that help define the Back Bay.”

Preserving old buildings, especially in Boston, is crucial, Frazee said.

More than 50 percent of Boston’s residential units were built before World War II, according to a report released by the city.

“A lot of people think ‘historic’ is places like the Paul Revere House,” Frazee said. “We think of ‘historic’ as any ancient place that has meaning to the people who live there and around.”

Frazee said historic buildings are “the heart and soul” of the city’s neighborhoods and that they make the city unique.

“This is how you know you are home,” Frazee said. “[It’s] how do you know you’re in Boston.


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Historic Preservation Council reversed decision and designated Colony Hill as a Historic District – Greater Washington

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For six days, it appeared that the District Historic Preservation Review Board had finally voted against a historic district application for the first time in its known history. But after another meeting, four board members changed their votes and named Colony Hill as DC’s last historic district.

The Commission first considered Colony Hill’s claim at its January 28 meeting, beginning with presentations from the claimants and HPO staff arguing for him. This case focused on three of the district’s legal criteria for registration.

DC Criterion B: History – Most of the claim argues that the neighborhood deserves the designation because it represents the national and local trend of developers to build more car-centric suburban communities in the 1930s.

DC Criterion D: Architecture and Urbanism – The application also describes the neighborhood’s properties as good examples of the popular colonial revival style that came with thoughtful landscaping to create a quaint suburban aesthetic.

DC Criterion F: Work of a Master – The staff report describes the neighborhood as “important as a collaborative work of renowned architect and AIA vice president Horace Peaslee, renowned local architect Harvey Baxter and respected landscape architect Rose Greely.” .

The Council also heard testimony against the appointment. Full Disclosure: I was one of those witnesses and presented similar testimony to the case I presented here last month, arguing that the recorded story did not reach the required level of significance by criterion B. In short, the application describes the neighborhood as a good example of the trend towards suburban style development, but not as the first or only notable example. Additionally, the story of white communities creating exclusionary neighborhoods is not a missing theme among our existing list of historic properties in the district.

Also testifying against the nomination, ANC 6B06 Commissioner Corey Holman stressed that Criterion D requires not only outstanding architecture and design, but also design “important to the appearance and development of the district,” for which the claim fails to plead.

He also touched on Criterion F, pointing out that the app does not prove at all that these architects are masters. It does not cite the awards they have received nor does it refer to how they were viewed by their peers; he simply calls them “prolific” and “noticed”. Commissioner Holman referred to an earlier case in which the board of trustees voted against the designation of an addition to the Folger Shakespeare library. In this case, the staff report concluded that criterion F was’ not relevant ‘because although the architect was highly regarded and had won several prestigious awards, the nomination’ did not rigorously analyze the work cabinet… nor did it establish a broader context. to assess its work from a preservation perspective. The board eventually agreed, believing that while there may, in fact, be a case for the nomination, the nomination was not made enough and candidates should refine and resubmit a better case s ‘they wanted to try again.

Following testimony on Colony Hill’s request, the Commission had a particularly brief deliberation which ended with a motion to approve the appointment. The failure of that 5-3 vote seemed to take the Council by surprise – they moved on to the next case without commenting on the unprecedented result.

Revisit the vote

The rejection, and the lack of an explanation, did not please supporters of the nomination, who then submitted letters to the Council urging them to reconsider their decision. Their request was accepted at the continuation meeting of Council the following Tuesday. When the deliberations reopened, the Board of Directors spoke in more detail about the individual criteria, with the most detailed conversation taking place around Criterion F (work of a master).

Recalling the Folger case, board member Andrew Aurbach asked the most direct question about the standard the board would set if it voted for it:

“If one supported the idea that because they are creative masters it should be supported, it basically means that any structure created by a creative master should be supported throughout the city. And I don’t think that’s the threshold below which this advice has operated over the past few decades. “

Board member Outerbridge Horsey responded that he believed the bar was set by the collection of properties being considered together and by the nature of the neighborhood as a collaboration of several designers.

“For me, it’s more the collective conception of these masters that makes the difference. And it is the fact that yet there are many houses – 30 odd houses – which together form a whole which is greater than the sum of the parts ”

Board member Gretchen Pfaehler struggled with her decision, ultimately voting for criterion F (but not D or B), but said she saw this as the broadest definition the board had. administration should give:

“I’m really on a razor’s edge about this one… it’s really a thin hair… it’s just that I feel like we’re about to go through this.” I don’t know if we’re clearly on the other side, I think we’re on the line.

In another ballot, the Council voted in favor (6-1) of criterion F (Work of a master) and in favor (5-3) of criterion D (Architecture and town planning), but voted against (3-4) Criterion B (History). As the designation requires only one criterion to be successful, the appointment was approved.

What to do with all this?

Clearly, the overturned decision ultimately reminds us that a board engaged in a broad reading of historical criteria can likely find a path to nomination for virtually any application that comes before it, and that the political pressure it faces. is facing is important.

But it should be noted that the Council at least expressed some hesitation in this case. Their vote against Criterion B was quite unprecedented, and their deliberation on the other criteria at least showed some effort to try to establish minimum standards.

It remains to be seen whether these floors have majority support and whether the Council will stick to them in the future or simply find a unique and worthy detail for each of them, remains to be seen.

Nick Sementelli is originally from Texas, but has lived in Washington since 2005. He works as a digital strategist serving primarily advocacy organizations and publishers. Outside the office, you can find him on the soccer field or at Nats Park. He is currently Treasurer of the Board of Directors of GGWash.


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The 2021 budget thrills Nitin Gadkari; MoRTH Minister welcomes “historic” push for infrastructure

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The Union Minister in charge of roads, transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, praised the “historic” 2021 Union budget and stressed that it was the first budget to give a major boost to infrastructure from the country. Introducing the budget on Monday, FM Sitharaman announced an increased expenditure of Rs 1,18,101 crore for the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways, of which Rs 1.08 lakh crore is for capital, the highest ever provided. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari noted that his ministry’s budget had increased from Rs 91,000 crore to Rs 1,18,000 crore after the 2021 Union budget and predicted that it would be a huge boost for infrastructure.

READ | 2021 Budget Raises Infra Capex by 34.5% to Huge ₹ 5.54 Lakh Cr: Roads, Rail & Sea Breaking Here

In addition, Nitin Gadkari pointed out that the government intends to monetize the assets and use the money for infrastructure development through various means. He also announced the plan of the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways to build 22 green highways. In addition, Gadkari informed that the construction of highways up to 8,500 km has already been awarded and revealed that the various projects, including the important Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor, will be launched by the government in the coming days.

READ | Union budget 2021: history and anecdotes about the Indian Union budget ahead of its presentation today

Major boost for infrastructure in roads, highways and transport

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted that more than 13,000 km of roads at a cost of Rs 3.3 lakh crore had already been allocated under the Bharatmala project of Rs 5.35 lakh crore, of which 3,800 km were built. In addition, she said that 11,000 km of national road corridor should be completed by March 2022 and that projects of 8,500 km will be awarded. Nirmala Sitharaman also announced the government’s intentions to set up more economic corridors in the future, alluding to 3,500 km of national road works for an investment of Rs 1.03 crores lakh.

  • Madurai-Kollam corridor and Chittor-Thatchur corridor, construction of which will begin in 2022.
  • 1,100 km of national road works in Kerala for an investment of Rs 65,000 crore, including a 600 km section of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor in Kerala.
  • 675 km of road works in West Bengal at a cost of Rs 25,000 cr, including upgrading of existing roads in Kolkata, Siliguri.
  • National highway works of Rs 19,000 cr were already underway in Assam and an investment of Rs 34,000 crore covering 1,300 km of national highway will be undertaken in the state in 3 years.
  • An increased expenditure of Rs 1,18,101 crore was provided to the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways, of which Rs 1,08,230 crore was provided as capital – the highest capital provided.

READ | Budget 2021: 137% increase in health spending; Launch of PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana

READ | Budget 2021: Privatization of PSUs in all sectors except 4; Divestment target of 1.75 billion yen; IPO LIC



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The Community Preservation Committee is authorized to allocate funds to taxpayers for the restoration of the British Church

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Grand Barrington – The city government and several Great Barrington nonprofits will be $ 650,000 richer if voters approve the taxpayer-funded grants at the city’s annual meeting in the spring.

The Great Barrington Community Preservation Committee (CPC) voted at its January 19 meeting to fund the nine Stage 2 applications remaining, to the tune of $ 652,959. Most were unanimous or near unanimous committee votes, Chairman Tom Blauvelt said in an interview.

The most controversial proposal was a request for $ 230,000 from the First Congregational Church on Main Street to restore the stone and masonry walls on the presbytery, which serves as accommodation for the pastor. The committee held a vigorous debate on whether it was appropriate and legal for the city to allocate funds to a church.

Much of the opposition is rooted in the so-called establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the establishment of a state religion, as does a similar prohibition in the state constitution known as the anti-aid amendment.

Five years ago, the Unitarian Universalist Meeting in South Berkshire successfully asked the CCP for $ 60,000 to fund repairs to its historic church on Main Street in Houstonic. Photo courtesy of UUMSB

In 2015, the South Berkshire Unitarian Universalist Meeting requested $ 60,000 from the CPC to fund repairs to its historic church on Main Street in the city’s Housatonic neighborhood. Housatonic resident Michelle Loubert, who circulated a letter opposing the funding, said she was “offended as a citizen”.

Then-President Karen Smith said at the time that the issue of funding for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and religious buildings had already been considered by the state’s CPA watchdog. , and that the city council review all city by-laws before obtaining final approval from the state attorney. General’s office. The CPC therefore sent the request to the municipal assembly, where it was approved.

This time, the CPC presented the proposal in David J. Doneski, the city attorney, who responded with a four-page memorandum citing the case of Caplan v. City of Acton. In summary, Doneski believes that the grant to a religious institute is permissible.

“In my view, the Caplan decision does not require a determination that an appropriation of CPA funds for the First Congregational Church project would violate the Anti-Aid Amendment,” Doneski wrote. “Therefore, I think the Community Preservation Committee might consider approving the funding request. “

“I was uncomfortable until I got the opinion of the town lawyer,” Blauvelt said.

Saint James Place received a CPC grant in 2015. Photo: Terry Cowgill

Over the years, two other grant applications have been made to the CPC by non-profit organizations that own buildings formerly used as places of worship: Place Saint-Jacques, which received a grant in 2015; and Restoration of Clinton Church, which applied this year. Both were desecrated several years ago.

Saint James Square has been lovingly redeveloped as a cultural center and event space by Fred and Sally Harris, while the former Clinton AME Zion Church is being restored by a non-profit organization. Both are historic preservation efforts – one of the eligibility criteria for CPA funding.

This year, the CPC approved nine projects for funding. Click on the descriptions of the individual projects to see the detailed proposals:

City of GB – Housatonic Rail Trail Improvements$ 30,000

City of GB – Mansfield Lake Water Quality Studies$ 70,000

City of GB – McAllister Wildlife Refuge$ 31,300

City of GB – Ramsdell Library Archaeological Study$ 9,800

City Historical Commission – inventory of landscapes and open spaces$ 6,000

Congregational Church – repair of stone and masonry walls in the presbytery$ 240,859

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center – replace emergency exit doors$ 15,000

Restoration of Clinton Church – second phase of restoration work$ 200,000

Construct, Inc. – rental assistance and microcredits$ 50,000

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Total: $ 652,959

Blauvelt said a key question about nominations, and one of the first questions asked by the committee at its meeting when nominees make their case, is whether the project has other sources of funding.

The non-profit organization that works to restore the old Clinton church AME Zion has requested a grant of $ 200,000. Photo: Terry Cowgill

“We are sometimes hesitant to be the only source of funding,” explained Blauvelt. Of Clinton Church Restoration, he added, “They have received quite a bit of funding from different programs.

The Clinton Church Project received funding from various sources, including a National Park Service Civil Rights Preservation Grant of $ 400,000, as well as a private fundraiser. Other non-municipal applicants have also received grants and maintain active philanthropic programs.

State Community Preservation Act is a voluntary state law that allows municipalities to fund projects that support the preservation of open spaces, affordable housing, historic preservation and the creation of recreational resources.

In the case of Great Barrington, nominations must also conform to the city’s award-winning program 2013 master plan. The city adopted the CPA in 2012, both through a municipal assembly and a ballot vote, by a two-thirds majority.

The CPA also provides for a significant annual contribution of state funds to each participating municipality through Massachusetts. Community Preservation Trust Fund.

The state contribution varies, but, at the local level, the CPA is funded by a 3% property surcharge on the value of residential and commercial properties above the first $ 100,000 of assessed value. Great Barrington expects to raise approximately $ 350,000 locally each year.

According to the Community Preservation Coalition, 186 municipalities in the state – more than half – have adopted the CPA. To date, 243 communities in Massachusetts have voted for adoption of the CPA. Of these, 53 percent of the state’s 351 municipalities have adopted the CPA, representing a 76 percent adoption success rate.

Some conservatives have applied that CPA is just a workaround for Proposal 2½, a 1980 ballot initiative that limited municipal tax deductions, with some statutory and overriding exceptions, to increases of 2½ percent per year.

Across the political spectrum, former Boston alderman Lawrence S. DiCara, a well-known progressive, argued five years ago in CommonWealth magazine that Prop 2½ expanded income equality in the state and that the CPA actually made it worse.

For obvious reasons, wealthier cities are more likely to adopt the Prop 2½ and / or CPA waivers. These already affluent communities then have more tax revenues to improve, while the poorest communities continue to languish, according to DiCara’s thought.

“The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act only adds to the inequality fueled by the 2½ proposition,” DiCara wrote. “Residents of each municipality pay to the fund through the use of the Deed Registry, but only affluent communities that are able to pass these tax increases are eligible to receive these matching state grants.” However, since the publication of DiCara’s article, Boston, Holyoke, Pittsfield, and Springfield – hardly easy – having kissed the CPA.


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