Bay Village HDC continues discussion of revised guidelines

The Bay Village Historical District Commission (BVHDC) met for its monthly hearing on Feb. 11, and though there were no design review hearings on the agenda, the Commission continued their conversation around the proposed changes to the regulatory standards that have been in the works for several years now.
At this point in time, the document is pretty much ready to go, with some minor changes left to be made. Joseph Cornish, Director of Design Review for the Boston Landmarks Commission, said that the most recent changes presented to the Commission on Tuesday afternoon reflect comments from two Boston Landmarks Commissioners who reviewed it, Richard Henderson and Lynn Smiledge.
“I don’t think there are a huge amount of changes,” Cornish said. The document has been reformatted by Commissioner Thomas Hotaling with a numbering system that has specific clauses for easy referral in the future.
At the hearing on Tuesday, the Commissioners went though the document page-by-page and made small corrections where they saw fit for things like clarity and spelling.
Cornish said the next steps for the document are to have it reviewed by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the City’s law department to double-check that these changes can be adopted at a public hearing in the near future.
Commissioner Anne Kilguss said she could discuss this with the Bay Village Neighborhood Association, as well as distribute copies of the new guidelines to the community so everyone is aware of them should they want to complete any exterior work within an area that is visible from a public way. She said she wanted the BVHDC to have a reputation of being “more reasonable,” as this hasn’t always been its past reputation.
Cornish said that as soon as the BPDA looks at the document, it can be passed along to the BVNA for comments. If there are a lot of changes proposed, the BHDC might want to meet again to discuss them, but if not, they are very close to adopting these revised guidelines.
No vote was taken on Tuesday.

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