Developers have succeeded in introducing a bill, Senate 2053, that would reduce the Massachusetts Historical Commission's (MHC) review of state projects that have an adverse effect on historic properties (buildings, districts and sites) that are in MHC's Inventory but not yet listed in the State Register of Historic Places, by permitting the project proponent to ignore MHC's recommendations for preservation or mitigation.
The scariest part is the bill allows developers to challenge any previous Historical Commission decisions in a 40B project, as it would be retroactive to any previous project reviews that MHC has done in the past.
To see the bill's language: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/Senate/S02053
Please take a few minutes to call not only the Committee members but your own state rep to register your opposition to Senate Bill 2053.
This is in Senate Committee right now. It is being chaired by Senator Ken Donnelly. Please contact his office as well as committee Reps Nyman and Hedlund, and Chelmsford's Senator Susan Fargo to oppose approval of this bill (S02053):
We need an immediate response on this issue as the bill may be heard next week. This is your children's heritage which the MHC has worked to protect since its inception. Do not let the politicians determine your heritage - let the science of anthropology and archaeology do its job!!
The bill is presently in the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. Opposition (letters, e-mail, and phone calls) should be directed to the two chairmen and your local state senator and representative. See http://www.malegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/J25 for committee contact information. The two chairmen are Senate Chair Kenneth J. Donnelly and House Chair Peter V. Kocot. The two Vice Chairmen are Senate Vice Chair James T. Welch and House Vice Chair James M. Murphy. Senate Committee. Members include: Susan C. Fargo, John F. Keenan, Michael J. Rodrigues, and Bruce E. Tarr. House Committee Members include David M. Nangle, Michael D. Brady, Jason M. Lewis, James J. Lyons Jr., Kevin Agular, Kate Hogan, Edward F. Coppinger, and Steven L. Levy
Chelmsford has four different state representatives. To find your rep, just type your address into http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Search
Roland Van Liew