Local Historic District Commission

  1. Overview
  2. Application Information
  3. Dickinson LHD
  4. Lincoln-Sunset LHD
  5. Resources
  6. Meetings & Hearings


Clark statue north of Town Hall
The Local Historic District Commission was formed on May 21, 2012 (Town Meeting, Article 27), following the guidelines of Chapter 40 Sec. C of the Massachusetts General Bylaw. 

The Commission helps in the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics and architecture of buildings and places found within the local historic districts of Amherst.  

The purpose of Local Historic Districts, as defined in the Amherst Historic District Bylaw, is "to aid property owners and the Town of Amherst in the preservation and protection of the distinctive  characteristics and architecture of buildings and places significant in the history of the Town of Amherst….”  

This preservation and protection purpose is achieved by a permitting system that regulates construction and alterations of exterior architectural features that are visible from a public way.   Local Historic District Commission members and Amherst town staff administer this permitting system in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Bylaw and in published regulations, with the goal of minimizing uncertainty, administrative burdens, and delays. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Review and regulate construction and alterations of any structure of building within the district, with consideration for the distinctive characteristics of each structure, building and landscape.
  • Encourage and support new and innovative building designs and techniques compatible with the existing architecture.
  • Create and amend design guidelines that set forth the designs for certain exterior architectural features that are, in general, suitable for the issuance of a certificate.
  • Undertake educational efforts to explain to the public and property owners the merits and functions of the district.

  • Retain all permanent record of its resolutions, transactions, decisions and determinations.

Helpful Links

New! Local historic District application has moved online. 

Please submit your application here: OpenGov LHDC Application

Paper copy of LHDC application: Local Historic District Application

Historic District Bylaw

Rules and Regulations



MemberYear AppointedTerm Expires
Bruce Coldham (Architect)20172023
Nicole Miller (Real Estate Rep)20222025
Judith Strayer (Chair)20212024
Greta Wilcox
Karin Winter20192025
Nancy Ratner20222025
Steven Bloom20222025

*Appointed by Town Manager: 7 members/ 3-year terms