Reacting to the pending demolition of an early 20th century bungalow, the Edgartown historic district commission began discussing the possible expansion of the historic district this week.
The Morse street bungalow, slated to be torn down and replaced with a three-bay garage, sits just outside the historic district.
“What’s happening is houses on the fringe of the historic district are becoming very susceptible to demolition,” said commission chairman James Cisek. “The board has discussed in the past extending the historic district, and I think this time we will proceed with extending it.”
The recommendation to extend the district is backed by the town selectmen. The process for expanding the district is lengthy and includes property owner surveys, planning board approval, public hearings, a two-thirds majority town meeting vote and approval by the state attorney general.
Mr. Cisek said a plan of action could be ready in time for the annual town meeting in April.
The historic district was adopted in 1987 and is confined largely to the heart of the downtown. The entire Edgartown village was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, but the designation has no rules to prevent demolition.
At the commission meeting this week resident Edith Blake presented a full binder of documents that recorded the history of nearly every historic home on the south side of downtown Edgartown; she said a north side binder is also available.
She said the historic district originally envisioned much broader boundaries.
“The area was from the water [the harbor] and around Pease’s Point Way, it was a good circle to contain it,” she said. “At the time [the state] was amazed there were 360 Greek Revival houses on the south side of town alone. This is a unique village; there’s no other like it . . . I love all the houses and I wanted them to be saved so I saved the papers about them.”
Mr. Cisek said the commission would set aside time at their regular meetings to plan the project.
The commission is also seeking $4,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to help pay for costs associated with the project.