[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Lunenburg as Art. IX, § 22, of the Town Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent and purpose of this chapter is to protect the historic and aesthetic qualities of the Town of Lunenburg by preserving, rehabilitating or restoring, whenever possible, significant buildings or structures which constitute or reflect distinct features of architectural or historical resources of the Town, by promoting continued private ownership and utilization of such buildings and by providing owners of significant structures with time to consider alternatives to demolition, thereby promoting the public welfare and preserving the cultural heritage of the community.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An application for a permit for the demolition of a building, which shall include a photograph of the building taken within the past year.
- The act of pulling down, destroying, removing or razing a building or structure.
- A permit issued by the Building Commissioner for demolition of a building pursuant to an application.
- SIGNIFICANT BUILDING
- Any building or structure that the Historical Commission determines, in conjunction with the Building Commissioner and Fire Chief, meets one of the following conditions:
- A. Listed on the National or State Registry of Historic Places or is the subject of a previously submitted application for listing of historic places on said registries; or
- B. Included in a local Registry of Historic Places or is on a current or previously submitted inventory prepared by the local Historical Commission; or
- C. Importantly associated with one or more historic persons or events, or with the broad architectural, cultural, political, economic or social history of the Town of Lunenburg or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; or
- D. Historically or architecturally important in terms of period, style, or method of building construction; or
- E. Seventy-five years old or more.
An application for a demolition permit will be made to the Building Commissioner, who shall, within five days, forward a copy of the demolition permit application to the Historical Commission. The Historical Commission shall, within five business days of receiving said application, determine whether a demolition plan review is required. If a demolition plan review is required, the applicant will supply to the Historical Commission a written narrative that includes the following:
Within 30 days after said application is reviewed by the Historical Commission, the Historical Commission shall hold a demolition plan review meeting during its next scheduled public meeting to determine the applicability of the delay procedure or to make a determination of nonapplicability of the delay procedure. Said meeting will be advertised in the local newspaper and posted in the usual manner one week prior to said meeting.
Written reports shall be presented by the Historical Commission, Building Commissioner and Fire Chief and the applicant pertaining to the applicability or nonapplicability of the delay procedure to the building or structure. The Historical Commission shall determine the status of the application based on the reports noted above. The written report of the determination taken shall be given to the Building Commissioner with seven days of the closing of the review meeting.
If the Historical Commission determines the building or structure is not a significant building under this bylaw, the Building Commissioner may issue a demolition permit upon receipt of the notification.
If the building or structure is determined to be a significant building under this bylaw, the Building Commissioner shall impose a demolition delay of 540 days from the date of notification, in which time the applicant must notify the Historical Commission through written documents that:
[Amended 11-13-2018 STM by Art. 11]
Bona fide, reasonable attempts have been made to sell, preserve, move, rehabilitate or restore said building or structure. Evidence shall include a listing of the building with a licensed real estate broker, an estimate of rehabilitation or restoration costs of the building or structure or an estimate for moving the building or structure.
A party or parties have been located who have agreed to preserve, rehabilitate, restore or relocate the building or structure.
The applicant has agreed to alternatives to demolition and/or accept conditions noted in the applicability determination.
Nothing in this bylaw shall restrict the Building Commissioner or the Fire Chief from ordering the demolition of a significant building determined to present a clear and present danger to the safety of the public, which only demolition can prevent.
The Building Commissioner is empowered to institute any proceeding in law or equity as he deems necessary to obtain compliance with the requirements of this bylaw to prevent a violation thereof.
No building permit shall be issued with respect to any premises upon which a significant building has been demolished in violation of this bylaw for a period of two years after the date of the violation.