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Extension of historical building bylaw fails

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The Winchester Historical Commission’s attempt to extend the scope of the town’s demolition of historic buildings bylaw failed for the second time in as many years. After heated debate, Town Meeting on April 29 rejected an article — by a vote of 80 in favor, 83 opposed — that would have amended the bylaw to include all buildings constructed before 1920. Last year, a similar Town Meeting proposal sought to afford protection to buildings constructed before 1945; that proposal failed when a motion to indefinitely postpone it passed 85 to 80. Currently, the demolition delay bylaw applies only to buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places or are included in the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s “Inventory of Historic and Archeological Assets of the Commonwealth.” Both the Planning Board and selectmen had recommended passage of this year’s warrant article.

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