[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Middleborough 10-2-2017 STM by Art. 30, AG 1-18-2018, eff. 2-15-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 275.
This bylaw has been prepared by the Middleborough Historical Commission in order to protect and preserve historically significant structures, and to encourage owners of such structures to seek out persons who might be willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate, restore or remove such structures rather than demolish them as outlined in the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Planning Manual. To achieve these purposes, the Middleborough Historical Commission is empowered to advise the Building Inspector with respect to the issuance of permits for demolition as defined in this bylaw.
As used in this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An application for a permit for the demolition or razing of a structure.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The person occupying the office of Building Inspector or otherwise authorized to issue demolition permits.
- The Middleborough Historical Commission as established under MGL c. 40, § 8D.
- The act of pulling down, destroying, removing or razing an entire building or commencing or carrying out the work of total or substantially total destruction of an entire building with the intent of completing the same. Excluded from this definition shall be pulling down, destroying, removing or razing a part of a building if a substantial part of the building will remain after such work is completed.
- DEMOLITION PERMIT
- Any demolition permit issued by the Inspector of Buildings under the State Building Code which authorizes the destruction, demolition or removal of an entire building or substantially an entire building. Excluded from this definition shall be any demolition permit which authorizes destruction, demolition or removal of a part of a building if a substantial part of the building will remain after such work is completed.
- The parcel of land on which a significant structure is located.
- SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURE
- Any building or portion thereof which:
- A. Is listed on, or is within an area listed on, the National Register of Historic Places or is the subject of a pending application for listing on said National Register; or
- B. Is included in the Cultural Resources Inventory prepared by the Commission, including those buildings listed for which complete surveys may be pending; or
- C. Has been determined by vote of the Commission to be historically or architecturally significant in terms of period, style, method of building construction, or association with a famous architect or builder, provided that the owner of such a building and the Building Commissioner have been notified, in hand or by certified mail, of such vote.
Upon receipt of an application for a demolition permit, the Building Inspector shall, within five working days, forward a copy to the Chairman of the Historical Commission or his/her designee. No demolition permit shall be issued at this time.
Within 20 days from its receipt of a demolition permit application, the Commission shall determine whether the structure in question is a significant structure. The applicant for said permit may, within this time frame, make a presentation to the Commission if he or she chooses to do so. If the Commission determines that the structure is not a significant structure, the Commission shall so notify the Building Inspector and/or owner(s) of the structure(s) in writing within five days of such determination and at this time a demolition permit may be issued.
If the Commission finds that the structure is a significant structure, the Commission, in cooperation with the applicant, shall fix the date for a public hearing. The expense of such notice shall be borne by the demolition permit applicant and the applicant shall give public notice thereof by publishing notice of the time, place, and purpose of said hearing in a local newspaper, and also at the Town Hall, at least 14 calendar days prior to said hearing. In addition to this, notice shall be mailed to the applicant(s) within seven days of said hearing, and to the abutters of said premises in question within a radius of not more than 300 feet, as they appear on the most recent tax list. The hearing shall be held no later than 30 days from the determination under Subsection B that a structure is a significant structure.
If, after such hearing, the Commission determines that the demolition of the significant structure would not be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage or resources of the Town, the Commission shall so notify the Building Inspector within 10 calendar days of such determination. Upon receipt of such notification, or after 15 calendar days from the date of the conduct of the hearing, if the Building Inspector has not received notification from the Commission, he/she may, subject to the requirements of the State Building Code and any other applicable laws, bylaws, or rules and regulations, issue the demolition permit.
If the Commission determines that the demolition of the significant structure would be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage or resources of the Town, such structure shall be considered to be a "preferably preserved significant structure." At this time, the Commission shall give a written statement to the owner(s) of said structure and all concerned parties, as well as the Building Inspector and any other Town offices that the Commission deems necessary to notify, outlining and defining the reason(s) for such determination. In order to allow the applicant(s) of a preferably preserved significant structure the time to find alternative methods as opposed to demolition, no demolition permit shall be issued for the structure in question for a period of not more than 12 months from the date of such determination by the Commission. If the building is listed as a National Register property, either individually or as a contributing resource within a National Register District, the period shall be no more than 18 months.
Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the Building Inspector may issue a demolition permit for a preferably preserved significant structure at any time after receipt of written advice from the Commission to the effect that either:
The Commission is satisfied that there is no reasonable likelihood that either the owner(s), applicant(s) or some other person(s) or group is willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate, restore or remove such structure in question; or
The Commission is satisfied that the owner has made continuing, bona fide and reasonable efforts to locate a purchaser to preserve, rehabilitate, restore or remove the subject structure, and that such efforts have been unsuccessful.
If a structure poses an immediate threat to public health or safety due to its deteriorated condition, the owner(s) of said structure may request issuance of an emergency demolition permit from the Building Inspector. At this time, the Building Inspector shall arrange to have the property inspected by himself or his designee. If the Building Inspector finds that the condition of the structure poses a serious and imminent threat to public health and safety and that there is no reasonable alternative to the immediate demolition of the structure, then the Building Inspector may at this time issue an emergency demolition permit under these provisions, he shall prepare a written report surrounding the basis for his/her decision to issue an emergency demolition permit with the Commission. Nothing in this bylaw shall be inconsistent with the procedures for the demolition and/or securing of structures established by MGL c. 143, §§ 6 through 10. In the event that a Board of Survey is convened under the provisions of MGL c. 143, § 8 with regard to any structure identified in this bylaw, the Building Inspector shall request the Chairman of the Middleborough Historical Commission, or his/her designee, to accompany the Board during its inspection. A copy of the written report prepared as a result of such inspection shall be filed with the Commission.
The owner(s) of a preferably preserved significant structure shall be responsible for participating in the investigation of options and for facilitating the process by providing any necessary information, allowing access to the property, securing the premises, and being actively cooperative in seeking alternatives with the Commission and any interested parties.
The Commission and the Building Inspector are each authorized to institute any and all proceedings in law or equity as they deem necessary and appropriate to obtain compliance with the requirements of this bylaw or to prevent a violation thereof.
Anyone who demolishes a structure, in whole or in part, as defined within § 122-2 of this bylaw, without notifying or receiving prior consent from the Commission or Building Inspector, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $300. If the Commission subsequently determines that the building that has been demolished was a significant structure, a building permit for said premises shall not be issued for a period of two years from the date of such demolition.
If any section, paragraph or part of this bylaw is for any reason declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court, every other section, paragraph and part shall continue in full force and effect.