Lara Kritzer joined JM Goldson community preservation + planning in 2017 with an interest in applying her background in Historic Preservation and professional experience with the Community Preservation Act and Affordable Housing programs towards assisting communities in reaching their planning and preservation goals. Her 17 years of experience in municipal government has focused primarily on historic preservation, affordable housing, and the administration of the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act, but has also included extensive experience in grant writing and administration, comprehensive and community planning, open space restrictions and conservation, neighborhood design reviews and surveys, and community engagement.
Lara joins JM Goldson after nearly a decade as the Senior Planner for the Town of Concord. There, Lara’s work focused on the oversight and development of the Town’s Community Preservation Act, Local Historic Districts, and Historical Commission activities and programs. As staff to the Community Preservation Committee, Lara was responsible for administering an application and project oversight program with an average of $1.4 million in annual allocations to projects in community housing, open space, recreation, and historic preservation. The wide range of her work in this area includes experience with the purchase of open space and agricultural lands; the restoration of both locally and nationally significant historic sites; the development of new playing fields and park spaces; and the construction of new affordable housing units both in existing and new developments. Lara is the primary author of the Historic Districts Commission’s new Design Guidelines and provided technical assistance in writing the Districts first set of comprehensive Rules and Regulations, Administrative Practices, and New Construction policies in the 50+ year history of Concord’s Districts. Lara assisted the Historical Commission in writing the Town’s new Demolition Review Bylaw, including developing the administrative and review processes necessary for its smooth implementation, and oversaw the Town’s Historic Survey and newly established Archaeology programs. Her experience in Affordable Housing includes unit purchases, rehabilitations, and resales; the development of Housing Production and Fair Housing plans; and the implementation of Concord’s Small Grants Program and initial HOME program requirements.
Prior to her work in Concord, Lara was the Senior Preservation Planner for the City of Newton for 8 years, with direct responsibility for the oversight of their Demolition Review and Historic District programs. While in Newton, Lara worked to establish clear and consistent processes for both programs. During her tenure in Newton, Lara oversaw the creation of two new Historic Districts from the initial public meetings and neighborhood discussions to the creation of an administrative review process and the training of the new Historic District Commissions. Her work also included expanding the City’s Historic Resource Inventory; developing a Citywide Preservation Plan and Post WWII Housing Survey; reestablishing and expanding the City’s historic neighborhood walking tour program; and growing the Town’s Local Landmark Program.
In both communities, Lara expanded the capacity of the existing programs by taking advantage of grant and other funding sources whenever possible. Lara has extensive experience in writing grants and requests for proposals, and has served as the project coordinator for both construction and survey grants. Her experience also extends to the Section 106 Review and other State required Project Notification form processes.
Lara has a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from Boston University and received a BA in History with a minor in Business from Washington University in St. Louis. Lara is a past member of Newton’s Urban Design Committee and served on the American Planning Association’s National Conference Committee for their Boston Conference.