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Historic preservation ordinance to go before Windham voters


WINDHAM - Voters at next week's polls will have their say on a proposed zoning ordinance amendment aimed at preserving Windham's historical buildings for the next generation.

Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia said proposed amendments to language in the town's zoning ordinance is intended to offer property owners an alternative when considering the demolition of a historic building or structure. Those possible alternatives include incorporating the structure into the proposed development of the property as well as seeking new owners or businesses that might be willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate or restore the structures or buildings instead of tearing them down.

The amendment also provides for the creation of a documentary record of those buildings and structures that cannot be saved.

Under the amended ordinance, those seeking a demolition or building permit would be required to follow an established procedure with a public hearing to give the landowner as well as local citizens the chance to discuss their concerns and possible alternatives to demolition.

In addition, the amended ordinance would add provisions for additional review and consideration during the planning board's application stage for preservation of such historic structures.

"The intent of this (amended) ordinance is to encourage discourse between the property owner and the public," DiFruscia said.

Voting on all Windham town and school warrant articles is Tuesday, March 12, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Windham High School. For more information on the 2013 warrant items, visit www.windhamnewhampshire.com.

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