Selectmen pondering ways to keep Belmont Village cleaned up

BELMONT — The sidewalks are painted, the road is fresh, the Veteran's Memorial with its gardens are in bloom in front of the library, and, aside from a few last-minute touches, the village district has never looked so good — and selectmen want to keep it that way.

For them, keeping the area free of garbage and unregistered cars is a top priority and Monday night they discussed with Town Planner Candace Daigle the possibility designating the village area as some kind of "overlay" or historic district to keep it clean.

Selectboard Chair Ron Cormier said "step 1" could be some kind of alteration solid waste ordinance to address the rubbish and how it is handled.

"I'm concerned about garbage not making it to the road," Cormier said.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said the town already has a solid waste ordinance and enforcement is the key. Daigle noted that any changes to the solid waste ordinance would have to be applied equally throughout town.

"We can't limit to the village," Mooney said.

"Not unless you have issues in the district that are different (from the rest of town), Daigle said.

Selectman Ruth Mooney said she agrees with Cormier that any proposed solution can't be too cumbersome but said the town's goal should be to keep the village center area looking tidy and clean.

What selectmen don't want is any kind of strict overlay historical or village district where the color of the houses are regulated or windows have to be double-paned.

"We just want buildings in an acceptable state of repair," Cormier said.

"We're just trying to clean it up," said Selectman Jon Pike who said he is frustrated by what he sees as people not wanting to keep the village looking neat.

Daigle explained that to create a "village district" there must be something specific to Belmont Village that doesn't necessarily apply to the rest of the town. She said there is such a thing as zoning or an overlay district that could address specific characteristics but the village as it is, is not now a legal designation.