Regarding: Consolidating Architectural Review Boards.
I plan to attend the hearing next month. In the interim, I want to state my concern for not consolidating these boards. It is not about symbolism. It is about the substantive focus of the two boards.
The original BAR was set up to preserve the historic architecture in the city. The establishment of the Parker-Gray BAR reflects a realization about three decades ago that some Alexandrians had been overlooked in our preservation efforts. An appropriate concern is that the merger will obscure the focus of the more recently established Parker-Gray BAR.
The newspaper said neither BAR has a packed agenda. That probably reflects the fact its members are selective in choosing what to consider.
The resources brought to bear on what is considered will have a traceable impact on what is preserved — and what is lost. It is unlikely a consolidated board will preserve the differing focuses that now have an impact on each board’s deliberations.
For this reason, the consideration of inclusion and focus outweighs any perceived efficiency from merging the boards. I speak as a former history major.