What Makes an Effective Commission?
To be effective, an HDC or HPC must do more than just follow the applicable regulations and rules of procedure. Members of HDCs or HPCs are appointed as voluntary public servants and have a responsibility to maintain the public’s trust by thoughtful deliberation and conscientious decision-making. HDCs and HPCs are not meant to prevent growth or change in a community, but rather to guide the evolution of the built environment so that the heritage of the community is maintained and appreciated.
A. An Effective HDC or HPC Operates Legitimately
An effective HDC or HPC operates in compliance with the state enabling statute and the Freedom of Information Act. It follows well-defined procedures in the course of deliberation and decision. Historic district commissions are required to adopt rule of procedure (C.G.S.Sec. 7-147c(e) that governing their actions in accordance with the State Enabling Statute.
B. An Effective HDC or HPC Operates Fairly
An effective HDC or HPC applies the same procedures and criteria to every application, regardless of ownership or use of the specific property. Potential conflicts of interest are avoided through the process of recusal and the seating of alternate members.
C. An Effective HDC or HPC Operates Knowledgeably
An effective HDC or HPC takes advantage of the expertise represented by the individual members and seeks technical assistance or advice as needed. Members may take advantage of opportunities to build their knowledge of local history, architecture, and historic preservation through courses and workshops offered throughout the state.
D. An Effective HDC or HPC Operates Actively
An effective HDC or HPC does not just wait for applications to arrive, but works to promote the value of preservation in its community. Members can play an active role in shaping a community’s preservation policy and contributing to the municipality’s discussions of land use and community planning.