Hancock Village Conservation Commission to Come
Brookline's Conservation Commission to appoint an interim commission while guidelines are created.
Bylaws from the November town meeting were approved in early June, which included the Neighborhood Conservation Districts (NCD), and the leafblower ban (as reported in June).
Hancock Village was also approved by Town Meeting as the town's first NCD in November. Overseeing the Hancock Village NCD, according to bylaw, there will be a neighborhood conservation district commission.
NCD bylaws require a five- to seven-member neighborhood conservation commission be created, the smaller commission composed of three appointees from the town's Conservation Commission, and two members interviewed and appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
"We are looking forward to playing an instructor role, to get ball rolling, and to setting up guidelines to help manage process in effective way." Preservation Commission Chair James Batchelor said. "I think we will be able to fill positions from Preservation Commission, but I have not yet asked anyone specifically to do that."
Batchelor also explained that the commission is an active board, and that alternate members will often sit in on meetings--although they can only vote if a full member is not present.
"Part of my feeling on what preservation commission members can bring, is that they already have experience with design guidelines, and with dealing with issues that will come up in a Neighborhood Conservation District, which is similar to, but different from a Local Historic District," Selectmen Chair Betsy DeWitt said.
However, partly because of the Selectmen's summer schedule, the interview process may run through August, meaning appointments may not come until September. The bylaw does allow the Conservation Commission to fill the two vacant seats with interim members.
DeWitt explained the preservation commission "can create interim NCD commission, until we have a chance to appoint some members. Its initial task would be to learn how to run itself."
Initially, the Board is opting for the five-member commission, although Selectman Dick Benka notes that they have the option to make a seven-member board if they deem it necessary.
Discussions about the NCD commission are beginning, although no appointments have been made at this time. The Town will post a notice requesting applications for selectmen-appointed members.