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Spa City could see historic district expansion

The process will take several months to unfold. The foundation had to submit an application to the mayor. Then the issue will be put before the City Council for a vote on whether or not they want to pursue it. If they decide they do want to study the option of expansion further, it will be sent to the Planning Board for advisory opinion, then to the County for an advisory opinion and then back to the City Council where it will hold a public hearing and take a vote.

"There are 43 property owners and some own more than one lot. There are about 34 contributing buildings and seven to 10 non-contributing buildings in question, so there is much opportunity for public discussion and opinion," said Bosshart.

A contributing building is a structure that adds something to the architecture and heritage of a district and is taken into consideration when a district is nominated for the National Register. A non-contributing building is a structure that has been altered in such a way that it no longer resembles what it originally looked like. Bosshart said protecting buildings that contribute to the character of a historic district is important.

"If you look at Saratoga and what makes it so special today, it's its historic downtown and buildings and we have to protect that," said Bosshart. "Unlike other upstate communities that have lost some of the beautiful downtown fabric, Saratoga's is intact and attracts residents, attracts visitors, tells the history of the community. Once a building is gone, it's not really there to tell that story anymore."

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