Input sought on plan for heritage district

GREENFIELD — Many residents have said they want to protect and preserve the buildings and the look of the town center, says Planning Board Chair Bob Marshall. So the board is looking into the possibility of creating a village heritage district and is circulating a survey to get additional feedback.

“We don’t have anything to protect from major development in the center of town,” Marshall said on Tuesday. “A neighborhood heritage district is a new concept, just created. It’s kind of a light version of a historic district. It identifies the character of a district and would create a zoning overlay and establish an advisory committee.”

Marshall said the town has been “extremely fortunate” with the Harvester Market renovations and the restoration of the former Carbee’s Corner building, now known as the Greenfield Meeting Place. He said building owners in both instances worked closely with the Planning Board, with the result that the buildings fit the character of downtown Greenfield that the board hopes to preserve.

Marshall said if a heritage district were to be formed, an advisory committee would review development proposals, perhaps including major additions or alterations to buildings and perhaps reviewing demolition proposals. The committee would not have power to approve or deny projects.

“Historic districts tend to be tightly regulated,” Marshall said. “This would be at a much lower level and would be advisory to the Planning Board.

The Planning Board and a volunteer Village Advisory Committee posted the survey on the town’s website at Marshall also put hard copies of the survey at the Harvester Market, the library and the town office.

“We’re trying to get some basic information from residents in the month of July,” Marshall said at Monday’s Planning Board meeting. “Hopefully, we’ll have an ordinance that we can start to discuss by September.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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