Ordinance Committee to discuss Preservation Society’s proposed changes

The City Council voted to send the Preservation Society’s proposed ordinance changes for increased protections on city-owned historic properties to the Committee on Ordinances and Legislation for discussion.

The resolution was approved at the City Council’s Oct. 22, 2019, meeting and invited representatives from the Preservation Society and Historical Commission to meet with the Committee, City Administrator, and City Counsel.

The meeting date has yet to be determined.

The Preservation Society recently submitted a proposal to change the city’s ordinances to better protect city-owned historic properties. They are:

Twelve-Month Demolition Delay
The city adopt a twelve-month demolition delay ordinance for all city-owned historic buildings. This would not replace the current six-month delay for private properties. The twelve-month delay is a recommendation of the 2018-2022 Massachusetts State Preservation Plan and would give a more realistic time-frame to find alternatives to the demolition of historic properties that’s acceptable to the neighborhood and the community at-large.

Preservation Restriction Deeds
An ordinance that requires the sale or disposal of all city-owned properties 50 years and older be subject to review for preservation restrictions on their deeds as a condition of any agreement. The Massachusetts Historic Commission suggests properties 50 years and older may be considered historical in value. A preservation deed restriction could be waived by the Fall River Historical Commission if deemed unnecessary for the property.

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