Last Thursday evening, the BoS acknowledged the resignation of Heritage Commission Chair Cristina Ashjian from the Village Vision Committee. According to the June 11th Heritage Commission meeting draft minutes, this was due to time commitments during the summer months.
During that same Heritage Commission meeting , the Village Vision survey was also reviewed and apparently rejected by the commission: "The Village Vision Committee draft survey was discussed and it was agreed that the Heritage Commission could not endorse the survey as presently drafted". The VVC was asked to remove the Heritage Commission from the list of sponsor of the survey. A small subcommittee of the VVC drafted the survey and it was discussed and finalized by the VVC on May 20th. At the time the survey was approved on May 20th and the meeting afterward, the Heritage Commission was still represented on the VVC. The Heritage Commission minutes do not expand on any reason as to why the survey was not endorsed. In addition, the Heritage Commission June 11th meeting refer to the survey as " draft" when in fact the VVC voted unanimously to approve the survey on May 20th.
Concerns were expressed about the survey and whether it would provide any new information not already available from the 2013 Master Plan survey and to a large extent I would have to agree that there is significant duplication. I do however believe that the new survey is short and sweet and worded in a very straight forward manner and will be an entirely paper survey. It remains to be seen what the response rate will be, but if nothing else, it will validate or invalidate all or part of the 2013 survey. That's important.
At this point it appears there is no one on the Heritage Committee with the time to participate on the VVC and I think that is a major concern. What I did not read in Heritage Commission minutes was a means to bring whatever their concerns were about the survey or the VVC itself , to the forefront.
According to the Heritage Commission Mission Statement "Established in March 2009, the Moultonborough Heritage Commission will promote the proper recognition, use, and protection of significant historical and cultural resources in the Town of Moultonborough. Seeking to integrate preservation into the planning process, the Commission may advise and assist town boards regarding matters that affect historic buildings and sites. The Heritage Commission will also collaborate with local organizations, businesses, and individuals on community preservation projects."
To be true to their mission will require participation in the VVC process in some significant manner. The output of the VVC will go to voters at 2015 Town Meeting for endorsement , and then potential changes to zoning ordinances that address the very character of the village may soon follow.