How would a Falls local historic district be created?

The Historic Districts Act (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 40C) provides a specific procedure for the establishment of local historic districts in Massachusetts. This process must be followed for a local historic district to be valid.  The study group would suggest the approximate boundaries of the proposed local historic district.  Then it would survey owners in the proposed district for their opinions about the value of such a district.  The study group would want to invite property owners to neighborhood meetings to discuss the proposed local historic district.  If there is sufficient interest in proceeding further, the study group would gather data on the historic homes in the proposed district and prepare a Preliminary Study Report for submission to the Town Planning Board and to the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) for their consideration and recommendations. The next step would be a public hearing on the issue, at which the language of a bylaw could be discussed.  The bylaw would delineate the boundaries of the historic district and also establish a historic district commission.  After the public hearing, the study committee would prepare a final report that incorporated the comments and recommendations from the Planning Board, the MHC, and the community and submit it to the Selectboard for its consideration, with a request to get it on the warrant for Town Meeting.  Approval would require a two-thirds majority.

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1. Why have a local historic district in the Falls?
2. Where did the idea of a local historic district in the Falls come from?
3. Where would the historic district be?
4. How would a Falls local historic district be created?
5. Who would be members of the historic district commission?
6. If my house were to be included in the local historic district, does that mean I have to make it look more historic?
7. What kinds of things would be reviewed by a historic district commission?
8. Does this mean I can’t paint my house any color I want?
9. If my building were located in a local historic district and I were constructing an addition, what would I have to do?
10. Isn’t this just another level of bureaucracy?
11. What will happen to the value of my property if a local historic district is established?
12. If my neighbors and I already maintain the historic character of our properties, why do we need an historic district?
13. How can I learn more about why and how local historic districts are established and maintained?