Historic Preservation Demolition Review Bylaw

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What is the Demolition Review Bylaw?

A Demolition Review Bylaw provides for a review of demolition permits for historically significant buildings, and can invoke a demolition delay period for such buildings.  The purpose of the Demolition Review Bylaw is to provide a pause before a building is demolished to allow an opportunity to consider alternatives to demolition and encourage renovations and/or additions instead.  During the delay period, the building owner and the Historical Commission can explore opportunities to preserve, rehabilitate, or adaptively reuse the building.  All decisions whether to impose a delay come after a public hearing that is open to all, including Town residents, abutters and neighbors.

All of Wellesley’s abutting communities and all but two of Wellesley’s “benchmark communities”* have established Demolition Review Bylaws.  This includes Natick, Dover, Needham, Newton, and Weston as well as the surrounding communities of Waltham, Lincoln, Brookline, Boston, Medfield, Belmont, Concord, Sudbury, Framingham, and Lexington.  Wellesley is therefore an easy target for developers to dictate the market and character of our historic neighborhoods.  Click the map to see the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

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