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Northville suspends efforts of historic group in village

April 1, 2010
By JOEL DiTATA, The Leader-Herald

NORTHVILLE - The village is halting the efforts of the Northampton Historic Landmark Commission in the village.

The village last week withdrew a 2007 resolution that gave the commission the authority to identify historic properties and set possible property use restrictions.

In the 2007 resolution, the village had determined the Town of Northampton Historic Preservation Ordinance would be applied in the village.

Village Mayor James Groff said under the historic commission's bylaws, it had the authority to restrict renovations at properties within the listings without approval from the village.

For example, if a homeowner's residence was listed on the register and the homeowner wanted to remodel a section of his home, the commission could say no.

Groff said the village has received "a lot" of negative feedback about the commission.

"They [the commission] didn't have to answer to the village board, and the board feels like they should have to," Groff said. "At this point in time, it [the commission] doesn't exist [in the village]."

The board now plans to examine the process before the commission is allowed to proceed further in the village.

"We're in no rush," Groff said. "There's no urgency. We're going to look the situation over and see what we can come up with."

One of the village representatives on the commission resigned. According to village Trustee William Gritsavage, there has been discord among commission members.

The chairman of the historic committee, Skip Taylor, said the commission was naming properties to a list of historic properties that could then potentially be placed on the landmark register if the homeowner wished. That now will be placed on hold.

Taylor said that over the past year and a half, the commission has been working with a private consultant and receiving financial support from the town and village.

"We were moving ahead with our inventory and housing and inviting people to apply for the historic landmark, and now we're going to have to take a step back," Taylor said.

Joel DiTata can be reached by e-mail at



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