Town of Braintree, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Braintree 5-18-2010 by Ord. No. 09-053 (former Ch. 12.12 of the Town Bylaws, which derived from prior code Ch. 24). Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
There is hereby established a Historic District Commission, adopted in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 40C, as amended, with all the powers and duties of a Historic District Commission provided under said statute, and to exercise the powers and duties of a Historical Commission in accordance with MGL c. 40, § 8D, as amended. Further, in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 40C, § 14, the Commission shall hereinafter be titled the "Braintree Historical Commission."
B. 
The Mayor shall appoint the Historical Commission which shall consist of no fewer than five nor more than seven members (note: current bylaw provides for seven members), who shall be residents of the Town, and shall be comprised as follows:
(1) 
One member, where possible, from two nominees submitted by the Braintree Historical Society;
(2) 
One member, where possible, from two nominees submitted by the Chapter of the Boston Society of Architects;
(3) 
One member, where possible, from two nominees of the Massachusetts Board of Realtors covering Braintree;
(4) 
One member, where possible, from two nominees admitted to the Massachusetts Bar;
(5) 
Three other members to be appointed by the Mayor.
C. 
All members of the Historical Commission shall serve for indefinite terms.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places significant in the history of the Town or their architecture, and through the maintenance and improvement of settings for such buildings and places and the encouragement of design compatible therewith.
A. 
The Historical Commission shall review, from time to time, possible additional historic districts and propose, as it deems appropriate, the establishment of additional historic districts or changes in historic districts. The Commission shall report on this activity in the Town annual report at least biennially.
B. 
The Historical Commission may determine from time to time after public hearing that certain categories of exterior architectural features, colors, structures or signs, including without limitation any of those enumerated in this chapter, if the provisions of this chapter do not limit the authority of the Commission with respect thereto, may be constructed or altered without review by the Commission without causing substantial derogation from the intent and purpose of MGL c. 40C.
C. 
The Historical Commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Historic District Act, MGL c. 40C, as amended, and may, subject to appropriation, employ clerical and technical assistants or consultants and may accept money gifts and expend same for such purpose.
D. 
Pursuant to MGL c. 40C, § 14, the Historical Commission shall have and exercise all of the powers and duties of the historical commission as provided in MGL c. 40, § 8D, and as established under Article 30 of the March 25, 1974 Annual Town Meeting and as amended under Article 12 of the December 9, 1975 Special Town Meeting.
[1]
Note: This section was previously amended ATM 5-17-1999 by Art 24 and ATM 5-14-2002 by Art. 31.
A. 
Notwithstanding anything contained in this chapter to the contrary, the authority of the Commission shall not extend to the review of the following categories of buildings or structures or exterior architectural features in the Braintree Town Center Historic District:
(1) 
Terraces, walks, driveways, sidewalks and similar structures, or any one or more of them, provided that any such structure is substantially at grade level (a change of grade level requires Historical Commission review and approval);
(2) 
Storm doors and windows, screens, window air conditioners, lighting fixtures, antennae and similar appurtenances, or any one or more of them;
(3) 
The reconstruction substantially similar in exterior design of a building, structure or exterior architectural feature damaged or destroyed by fire, storm or other disaster, provided such reconstruction is begun within one year thereafter and carried forward with due diligence;
(4) 
Signs of not more than one square foot in area in connection with use of a residence for a customary home occupation or for professional purposes, provided only one such sign is displayed in connection with each residence and if illuminated is illuminated only indirectly;
(5) 
Temporary structures or signs, subject however to such conditions as to duration of use, location, lighting, renewal, and similar matters as the commission may reasonably specify.
B. 
The authority of the Commission shall be limited to exterior architectural features within a district that are subject to view from designated public streets, public ways, public parks or public bodies of water although other portions of buildings or structures within the district may be otherwise subject to public view.
[1]
Note: This section was previously amended ATM 5-14-2002 by Art. 31.
It is recognized that there may be cases in which the potential for an alteration (as defined in Section 3 of the Historic Districts Act)[1] affecting the future use of a property may depend on the future receipt of a certificate from the commission and that the uncertainty as to the receipt of a certificate at some future date may be a hardship to a property owner in contemplating an alteration or the sale of the property. In such cases, the property owner may at any time request a hearing on the matter, and the Commission shall give the owner a ruling, in writing, on the alteration's status as to appropriateness, nonapplicability or hardship; and the property owner shall have the customary rights of appeal. When the contemplated alteration is to be accomplished, the usual application for a certificate with plans and other required details shall be made.
[1]
Editor's Note: See MGL c. 40C, § 5.
The appeal procedures for property owners shall be in accordance with Sections 12, 12A and 13 of the Historic Districts Act, MGL c. 40C.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance, repair or replacement of any architectural feature within a historic district which does not involve a change in design, material, color, or the outward appearance thereof, nor to prevent landscaping with plants, trees or shrubs, nor construed to prevent the meeting of requirements certified by a duly authorized public officer to be necessary for public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition, nor construed to prevent any construction or alteration under a permit duly issued prior to the effective date of this chapter.
There is established under the provisions of MGL c. 40C a historic district to be known as the "Braintree Town Center Historic District," which district shall include generally the area of south Braintree center as defined on the map of the proposed Braintree Town Center Historic District Area A, shown as Appendix B in the final report of the Braintree historic district study commission, entitled "Final Report Proposed Braintree Town Center Historic District," a copy of which is on file with the office of Town Clerk, such area being generally bounded on the east by Follette Circle and Bean Drive, Tenney Road, Union Place and Union Street; thence on the north by Hobart Avenue; thence on the west by Tremont Street; and on the south by French's Common; such historic district to comprise the following buildings and objects described by address and by Braintree assessor's plan and plot numbers:
A. 
Braintree Town Hall, 1 JFK Memorial Drive, plan 1013, plot 1;
B. 
Water Department Building, 2 JFK Memorial Drive, plan 1013, plot 1;
C. 
Southworth Library of Thayer Academy, 745 Washington Street, plan 1014, plot 1;
D. 
Frothingham Hall of Thayer Academy, 745 Washington Street, plan 1014, plot 1;
E. 
Main building of Thayer Academy, 745 Washington Street, plan 1014, plot 1;
F. 
Memorial Gymnasium of Thayer Academy on Campus, Hobart Avenue, plan 1014, plot 1;
G. 
Glover Building of Thayer Academy, 745 Washington Street, plan 1014, plot 1;
H. 
Site of first townhouse, Washington and Union Streets, plan 1004, plot II (partial);
I. 
Fire station, 9 Union Place, plan 1005, Plot 29;
J. 
Moses French House, 766 Washington Street, plan 1005, plot 7;
K. 
General Sylvanus Thayer birthplace, 786 Washington Street, plan 1005, plot 64;
L. 
Barn Museum and Library, Tenney Road, plan 1005, plot 78;
M. 
Oak tree, Frederick J. Follette Circle;
N. 
Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington Street, plan 1005, plot 61;
O. 
French's Common, Washington Street, plan 1013, plot 1;
P. 
Site of Former Arnold Tavern, Washington Street and Central Avenue, plan 1014, plot 1;
Q. 
Monument Mall, JFK Memorial Drive, plan 1013, plot 1.