I recently completed historic preservation commission workshops presented by the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions (MAHDC). The training is targeted toward historic preservation commissioners, staff, code officers, elected officials, and attorneys. The pilot program is located on the Eastern Shore with plans to replicate the training around the state.
The training initiative is comprised of an online tutorial (and companion manual) and two on-site workshops. The online tutorial introduces and reviews core concepts and principles of historic preservation and roles and responsibilities of the commission. The accompanying manual includes the following topics and more: legal fundamentals and special legal issues; designation, protection and treatment of historic properties; and project review. Two on-site workshops focus on design review and legal issues. The workshops are an opportunity for commissioners and staff to share best practices and define and discuss objective procedures resulting in defensible decision making that is fair and uniform across the board.
There are still opportunities to complete this training. The on-line component and manual are available on MAHDC’s website – www.mahdc.org. The schedule for the remaining on-site workshops is also available there. I strongly encourage all historic preservation commissioners, staff and anyone interested in how commissions work to sign up for an upcoming session.