You’re invited to develop a historic-preservation bill

To the Editor:

This letter is an open invitation for interested citizens to attend a meeting to develop a proposed historic preservation law for the town of New Scotland and village of Voorheesville. The meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center on the Old Road in New Salem. This meeting is sponsored by the New Scotland Historical Association.

John Scherer, town of Clifton Park historian and Voorheesville native, spoke at a NSHA’s May 2018 program on Clifton Park’s Historic Preservation Commission and law, which are part of that town’s zoning laws and planning process.

The law uses positive incentives to encourage property owners to preserve and maintain historically significant structures or sites and provides a review process to prevent their precipitous destruction. The commission and law have successfully achieved these goals.

You can read about the Commission on the Clifton Park website: http://www.cliftonpark.org/committees-commissions/historic-preservation-... and download a copy of the law at https://ecode360.com/6715671.

Members of the NSHA Board and other attendees were excited by John’s presentation. Many of us believe that, if such a commission could work in a town like Clifton Park, it could work in New Scotland where there appears to be a large body of support for preserving the town’s unique environment. We also believe that a joint commission can be established for the town and the village of Voorheesville.

NSHA established a committee to explore the possibilities for such a historic preservation commission. We have expanded this committee to include other community members interested in historic preservation

Our committee’s short-term goal is to produce a proposed draft statute or statutes establishing a joint Historic Preservation Commission modeled after the one in Clifton Park. We plan to submit the proposed draft to the town of New Scotland and village of Voorheesville.

We realize that any proposed law will have to go through the town and village boards’ legislative processes and will likely be modified. We do have representatives from both these boards on our committee, so any proposed statute will not come as a surprise to the town or the village.

John Scherer has graciously agreed to attend our meeting to provide an overview of the Clifton Park Commission and answer any questions on how it operates. Following John’s presentation, there will be a facilitated discussion to allow input from all attendees on what modifications in the Clifton Park law will make it workable in New Scotland and Voorheesville.

There will also be an open discussion to give attendees a chance to voice their opinions on historic preservation issues.

I look forward to seeing you on Sept. 26.

Alan S. Kowlowitz

President

New Scotland

Historical Association

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