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Demo-Delay Redux: List of Houses Protected Reduced Dramatically

Historic District Commission revamped bylaw lowers number of structures under the by-law from several thousands to a few hundred.

Richardson Farms owner Lydia Phippen Ogilby is the grand dame of historic preservation in Belmont, with a knowledge of the town and its past inhabitants second only to Richard Betts, the town's historian and former Town Engineer.

And Ogilby knows all the best bits of the lives of those who lived here.

"Nelson Chase had a monkey that liked to drink gin," said Ogilby to her fellow members of Belmont's Historic District Commission which she is a Member Emeritus.

Ogilby gave out that bit of trivia after finding Chase's Hay Road house and art studio on a new list of approximately 200 homes that the Commission members are currently vetting as they prepare coming before the fall Special Town Meeting sometime in November or December with a revamped Demolition Delay By-law that would halt the proposed destruction of buildings in Belmont for up to one year.

But unlike the previous attempt by the Commission before Town Meeting in April – it was withdrawn from the Meeting's warrant before a vote – the list of protected homes has been slimmed down significantly.

"We learned a lot from our Town Meeting experience," said Smith, acknowledging that the original proposal was so broad it was opposed by the town committees and boards and faced almost certain defeat before the town's legislative body.

Under the initial by-law, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"demolition-delay-by-law-on-the-move"} --> – which was prompted by the

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