Local Historic District / Preservation Commission Survey

Thirty years ago foresighted people in this neighborhood worked hard to create the Pill Hill Local Historic District. They held neighborhood input meetings and, in the end, residents overwhelmingly supported adoption of the protections, benefits and restrictions that have worked over these past years to preserve this High Street Hill neighborhood. Today, most of the homes in our neighborhood are owned by different families and the reasons for and the responsibilities of living in a Local Historic District (LHD) are perhaps not as fresh in the minds of our residents.

We on the board of the High Street Hill Association have always been strongly in support of the mission of the Preservation Commission (PC) but we felt it was time to gauge how well the system is meeting its goals and to see if improvements could be made. To that end, over the last year, several of our board along with others from the other Brookline LHDs worked with PC Chair Jim Batchelor and PC staff to put together a survey that was sent out in March.

In order to gather data on the whole process–the application, the hearing and the implementation–the survey respondents were limited to those who had appeared before the PC at an application hearing within the last three years. Here you will find all the information from the survey investigation.

  • Survey Summary (pdf)
  • Survey Details (pdf)
  • Survey Complete Data (pdf)
  • Survey Committee (pdf)

These results were presented at a special meeting of the Preservation Commission on May 18, 2009. On June 9, the PC responded to the major findings of the survey and decided to set up a special subcommittee to further investigate ways to implement the survey findings. They also agreed to post their formal written response on the Town’s PC webpage and asked that the High Street Hill Association post the complete data generated from the survey to which they would post a link on their site.

We would like to thank PC Chair Jim Batchelor, and PC Staff members Greer Hardwicke and Jean Innamorati for their full participation. Thanks especially to Tufts Assistant Professor Karen Jacobsen for her expert guidance. The HSHA, the Cottage Farm Neighborhood Association and the Chestnut Hill Neighborhood Association shared the data collection cost of this survey; the PC paid for the mailing costs.

Brookline TAB article (6/11/09):
Survey hints at dissatisfaction in Brookline’s historic districts.