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Build Out Analysis - Town by Town

The Massachusetts Historical Commission is updating our guidebook
entitled "Preservation through Bylaws and Ordinances - Tools and
Techniques for Historic Preservation Used by Municipalities in
Massachusetts."  This guidebook contains descriptions on the variety of
local bylaws and ordinances currently in use in Massachusetts for
protecting historic resources and community character.  The guidebook
describes how each bylaw functions, includes a list of municipalities
that have passed each bylaw and summarizes success stories from around
the state.  Originally prepared in 1998, the guidebook has been
incrementally revised since then.  The current version of the guidebook
can be viewed online at


Historic Preservation: The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a site that addresses a number of your questions:

Federal law related to taking a federal tax deduction has recently been updated.  There are also links to discussions of these changes on this site.

A number of Massachusetts municipalities have active programs using preservation restrictions as a protective tool, either in relation to Community Preservation Act grants, or donations of preservation restrictions for tax purposes, or requirements of preservation restrictions as a condition of a local permit or variance, or a combination of the above. 

Municipalities often will retain a preservation restriction on a historically significant municipal property when it is sold or otherwise goes out of town-ownership, but placing a preservation restriction on town-owned property means ceding significant control to a qualified outside organization, something most cities and towns would be reluctant to do, at least without some incentive.  Most preservation restrictions on town-owned properties are held by the Massachusetts Historical Commission because they were required as a condition of a Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund grant.

And again, keep in mind that in Massachusetts, Preservation Restrictions fall under state statute (MGL Chapter 184, ss 31-33) and must be approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and (if held by a qualified charitable corporation or trust) by the local municipality.

Growing Greener - A smart way to build subdivisions  A Win, Win Way to Conserve Land

Residential growth, economic development, sprawl, inclusionary zoning are all issues that play a large role in our changing communities. Check out Blackstone Daily's Affordable Housing, transportation and Smart Growth,  and GIS, Open Space sections. Water use is also a critical element in planning: Mendon aquifer, Valley basins, watersheds and preservation incentives.

Critical Resources:

MGIC usually posts the Presentations online, but have not done so as yet, but this link is available to contiue checking:

Tons of links on Planning:

This page will also offer national headlines and experiences often bringing further insight into issues that impact the Blackstone Valley. Please check out the following links:


New demographics and non-traditional families are changing the
nature of the U.S. social infrastructure.
Oct 21 -- Business Week

Homes are the one item where spending more doesn't guarantee good
design. The 'American house needs a makeover.'
Oct 22 -- Newsweek

A new report examines inclusionary zoning successes from around
the country.
Oct 20 -- Policy Link

State officials are making changes to 40B, the Massachusetts'
anti-snob zoning law, in efforts to boost housing supply.
Oct 20 -- Boston Globe



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