The Historical Commission is the agency responsible for ensuring that preservation concerns are considered in community planning and development decisions. It operates under the statutory authority of MGL Ch 40C and its members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The Commission also performed the functions of the Historic District Commission when the two commissions were merged by the Board of Selectmen. In this role, the Commission acts as the authority responsible for regulatory design review within the designated local historic districts. There are 4 districts: Main Street, Mount Pleasant-South Street, Downtown, and Broadway. The purpose of the historic districts, as described in MGL Chapter 40C, Section 2 is "to promote the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the public and owners of property located in historic districts through the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places significant in the history of the Commonwealth and its cities and towns.."