The following is a letter we emailed to the Somerville Board of Alderman on , regarding proposed Demolition Ordinance changes.
To the Board of Aldermen:
Thank you for your time and for your work in updating the regulations surrounding building in Somerville. We appreciate the effort you have put into this project, and would like to offer a few comments that we think will be helpful.
First, we appreciate the clarity in scope of the newly revised ordinance. The clearer definitions and examples will make the law easier to follow and reduce confusion.
Second, we like that the rule exempts the city’s “transformational” zones. We encourage the board to expand the exemption to include the “enhancement” zones as well.
Third, we feel that the two-year maximum moratorium is far too long. In our opinion, if a building is so significant that the city would spend two years fighting its demolition, it should be identified in advance and marked as such. Similar to the revised definitions, knowing in advance whether a building is listed as preferentially preserved would bring useful clarity to the city, historic preservationists, and property owners alike.
Somerville YIMBY Steering Committee