Heritage Commission Looks at Warrant Articles for Stone Walls, Town Hall

HAMPSTEAD – The Historic District/Heritage Commission is proposing a stone wall ordinance warrant article and another warrant article to include the Town Hall and the property it sits on in the Historic District.

In addition, the commission heard a proposal to use the old police station, when the new police station is built and occupied, as a fire department museum.
The commission several years ago worked on developing a stone wall ordinance and sent it to the Planning Board, where it died. That was the end of it at the time. However, with several recent incidents relating to stone walls, the commission resurrected the proposed ordinance, researched what other towns have in place, and is in the process of putting together a new stone wall ordinance to submit to the Planning Board for its recommendation.
Commission member Priscilla Lindquist questioned why the Town Hall was not in the Historic District. She had researched the issue and decided that given the fact the building was once the town’s high school, it should be in the historic district along with the Old Meeting House and the current police station. The parcel where it sits is all one piece, encompassing the field and front lawn.
Lindquist, who is also a selectwoman, put together an article that reads: “To see if the town will vote to amend the Zoning Ordinance to include the complete parcel of Map 7, Parcel 47, which includes the Town Office Building or former Hampstead High School, and the Cobbler’s Shop, in the Historic Zone, Zone E. Part of the parcel including the Meeting House was the first Historic District, voted in the 1975 warrant.”
The commission voted unanimously to submit Lindquist’s proposed warrant article and asked that she re-work the stone wall article and submit it to the Planning Board this week.
Former Hampstead firefighter Jerry Mackey, who lives in Hampstead but is now with the Salem Fire Department, proposed restoring the current police station to its former shape as a fire station, with the ground floor be used as a museum to house the town’s antique fire truck and photos and other fire department memorabilia. The upper floor could be used by another entity.
The commission looked at photos of the building when it was a fire station and the more they talked, the more they warmed to his idea. They asked Mackey to meet with the Fire Department to see if they would be on board with it, and to submit to the commission a written proposal.
In other business, the capitals for the Historical Museum columns have arrived, and once the support boxes are built, they will be put in place.
The commission is undecided about what to use as covers for the support boxes and left that discussion for another meeting, but authorized the building of the support structures.

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