To the Editor:
I understand Chilmark has proposed a new by bylaw to protect historic homes on the Island. I am currently restoring, as contractor and the previous owner, a home built in 1866 in Tisbury that I was surprised to learn had absolutely no historical protections in place whatsoever, and still does not. This home is a majestic work of art built by a well-known Island family during the Civil War.
As previous owner, I could have torn this home down and subdivided this property into four lots, and built four box-shape modular homes. Fortunately, I was able to find a buyer who shared my thoughts of having this home restored to its original historic significance. At great cost, the Corbo family is restoring this home with great detail; it will be a treasure to the Island for another 200 years, or more.
The purpose of this letter is to bring attention to the fact that there are many historic homes that need protection, where there are no protections currently in place. However, regulations must be intelligently designed so as not to overburden those who still want to protect, but simply can’t afford to. Just in the past few years, due to added and sometimes unnecessary regulations, I have had to raise the cost of my buildings by over 30 percent, just to comply with these new regulations. Finding the proper balance between protection and regulations takes intelligence and foresight. I have failed to see this balance in the planning sessions I have attended, and hope the planners will find a proper solution.
Paul D. Adler