DiMare replaces Reardon on Northborough Design Review Committee

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Christopher Deacetis appointed to Earthwork Board

NorthboroughBy Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

NORTHBOROUGH — New faces are coming to Northborough committees.

The Northborough Planning Board appointed Christopher Deacetis to the Earthwork Board and Dario DiMare to the Design Review Committee during their Aug. 3 meeting.

DiMare will fill the seat that had been held by Tom Reardon, who had sought reappointment for a three-year term. He had served on the committee for 19 years, 

DiMare was approved with a 4-1 vote, with Planning Board member Michelle Gillespie voting against the appointment. 

The board praised both DiMare and Reardon. 

“I’ve always felt that it was good to refresh a board, not over frequently, but on some certain level to refresh a board,” said Planning Board member Anthony Ziton. 

He said that Reardon also served on other committees.

“I think it’s also good to maybe get a fresh perspective and a different perspective on the boards, and this being one of them,” Ziton said.

According to the town website, the Design Review Committee works to “preserve historic land uses and structures and to promote architectural and ecological considerations for the betterment of the community.”

DiMare has lived in Northborough since 2006 and currently serves on the Master Plan Implementation Committee. He owns Dario Designs on Main Street in Northborough. 

“We love the town. [We] decided maybe it’s time we give back a little bit,” he said during his interview with the Planning Board on July 6.

DiMare is a licensed architect in Massachusetts in addition to 48 other states and several other countries. He has helped out with sets for the theater department at Algonquin Regional High School. 

He estimates that he’s sat in front of “hundreds” of design review committees.

DiMare said he liked “front porch” communities where people know their neighbors and can walk places versus having everything in their backyards. 

When asked how he saw his role in Design Review, DiMare said, “I think just helping improve the quality of the architecture and landscape within the community. Just make it a better place to live in any way that I can.”

Some of the Planning Board members said they liked DiMare’s “front porch” perspective. 

Gillespie, who supported keeping Reardon on the committee, said there are other members who are new to the committee. 

“Tom would be the only person on the board who would serve for any extended period of time,” she said.

Planning Board representative Amy Poretsky was appointed to the Design Review Committee in June. Gillespie, who had previously chaired the committee, said committee member Lisa Maselli has been on the board for about a year.

“I think it’s a shame because I think Tom should stay on the board, but obviously, the board has already made a decision,” Gillespie said. 

She said the difference between DiMare, who she called an institutional architect, and Reardon is that one can see Reardon’s designs on Main Street. 

Reardon has lived in Northborough for 36 years and was one of the early appointments to the Design Review Committee in the early 2000s. 

Reardon is the owner of the Northborough-based architectural design and construction management firm Reardon and Co. He’s designed 15 buildings in Northborough’s commercial district. 

Reardon said during his Planning Board interview he likes that the town has a set of design guidelines, which he said gives the committee a basis on which to evaluate applicants’ designs for both buildings and the landscape. 

“That enables us to guide, coach, offer encouragement and give them reasons why their presentations either meet the guidelines or not,” Reardon said.

He helped write those guidelines and is involved in writing new guidelines for duplexes. 

“The modifications to the makeup of the Design Review Committee at this time, with changes at the head of it as well as bringing in new members, you reduce the experience and knowledge of the board at a time when we need to finish the design guidelines for the duplexes, and we need to be ready to work with the Master Plan Implementation Committee,” Reardon said at the end of his interview.

He continued, “It’s an unusual time to restock the Design Review Committee. I think the town would suffer with a lack of experience and knowledge that you could be heading towards.”

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