(a) The council shall establish criteria and guidelines for state-designated cultural
districts. A cultural district shall be a geographical area of a city or town with a concentration
of cultural facilities located within it. Cultural districts shall attract artists and cultural enterprises to a community,
encourage business and job development, establish tourist destinations, preserve and
reuse historic buildings, enhance property values and foster local cultural development. The council shall assist a city or town if the city or town wishes to develop or
foster a cultural district. The council shall develop an application process, with specific guidelines and criteria,
for a city or town that wishes to develop or foster a cultural district. Executive branch agencies, constitutional offices and quasi-governmental agencies
shall identify programs and services that support and enhance the development of cultural
districts and ensure that those programs and services are accessible to such districts. The council shall consult with the Massachusetts historical commission in developing
and establishing criteria and guidelines regarding preservation and reuse of historic
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, executive branch agencies,
constitutional offices and quasi-governmental agencies including, but not limited
to, the council and historic preservation programs, shall review and revise regulations
and other economic development tools, including the evaluative criteria of such historic
preservation programs, in order to support and encourage the development and success
of state-designated cultural districts.
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