ARTICLE 19— SIGNIFICANT BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES: PERMITS FOR
DEMOLITION OR RELOCATION
(Adopted 7/24/07; effective 11/15/07)
SECTION 1. Intent and Purpose.
This bylaw section is adopted for the purpose of protecting the historic and aesthetic qualities of the Town of Becket by preserving, rehabilitating or restoring, whenever possible, buildings or structures which constitute or reflect distinctive features of the architectural or historical resources of the town, thereby promoting the public welfare and preserving the cultural heritage of the town.
SECTION 2. Definitions.
For the purpose of this section, the following words and phrases have the following meaning:
Commission: The Becket Historical Commission.
Inspector: The placePlaceNameBecket PlaceTypeBuilding Inspector.
Demolition or Relocation Permit (the permit): The permit issued by the Inspector as required by the State Building Code for the demolition, partial demolition or for the removal of a building or structure or its/their relocation to another site.
Abutter(s): Owner(s) of record located within 300 feet of the boundary line of the owner/applicant’s property, including any located across any public or private way, at the time of the permit or plan application.
Historically significant building or structure: Any building or structure which is (1) importantly associated with historic persons or events, or with the architectural, cultural, political, economic or social history of the Town of Becket, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the United States; or (2) is historically, architecturally important by reason of style, method of construction or association with a particular architect or builder, either by itself or in the context of a group of buildings or structures.
Preferably preserved: Any historically significant building or structure, which because of the important contribution made by such building or structure to the town’s historical and/or architectural resources, is in the public interest to preserve, rehabilitate or restore.
SECTION 3. Regulated Buildings and Structures.
The provisions of the section shall apply only to any building or structure: (1) listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the State Register (2) located within one hundred and fifty (150) feet of the boundary line, documented with maps, of any federal, state or local historic district.
SECTION 4. Procedure.
(1) The Inspector shall forward a copy of each demolition or relocation permit application for a building or structure identified in (3) to the Commission within seven days of the filing of the application; and shall also record such copy with the Becket Town Clerk at which date the application is deemed to have been received by the Commission. The applicant may include a presentation to the Commission.
(2) Within forty five (45) days from receipt of the permit application, the Commission shall determine whether the building or structure is historically significant. The Commission shall make its determination at a public meeting of its members, a quorum being present, and record the vote of each of its members.
Negative Determination. If the Commission determines that the building or structure is not historically significant, the Commission shall so notify the Inspector, the applicant and the Town Clerk in writing. A 20-day appeals period shall apply during which time any interested person may request that the Commission shall require a Demolition/Relocation Plan Review. After the 20-day appeals period has lapsed and the Town Clerk so certifies, the Inspector may issue the permit.
Failure to make a Determination. If the Commission fails to notify the Inspector and/or Town Clerk of its determination within the forty five (45) days of receipt of the application, then the building or structure shall be deemed not historically significant and the Inspector may issue the permit.
Positive Determination. If the Commission determines that the building or structure is historically significant, the Commission shall notify the Inspector, the Town Clerk and the applicant in writing that the demolition/relocation plan review must be made prior to the issuance of the permit.
(3) Demolition/Relocation Plan Review (the Plan):
(a) Within sixty (60) days after the Commission’s determination that a building or structure is historically significant, the applicant shall submit to the Town Clerk one (1) and to the Commission ten (10) copies of the Plan which shall include the following:
(i) A map showing the location of the building to be demolished, or removed for relocation elsewhere, if applicable, on its property and with reference to neighboring properties, including a list of abutters with location and mailing addresses.
(ii) A description of the building or structure, or part thereof, to be demolished, or relocated.
(iii) The reason for the proposed demolition and data supporting said reason, including, where applicable, data sufficient to establish any economic justification for demolition, or relocation.
(iv) A brief description of the proposed reuse of the property on which the structure to be demolished is located.
(v) If relocation to another site is proposed, a reasonable estimate of feasibility of the relocation; map of the proposed relocation site with reference to neighboring properties, including a list of abutters with location and mailing addresses.
(vi) The cost of any public postings, advertising and notification of abutters shall be paid by the Town of CityplaceBecket.
(b) After public notice made at least fourteen (14) days prior to a scheduled hearing, by public posting, advertising in newspaper(s) of general circulation in the area and notification of abutters by certified mail, the Commission shall hold a public hearing with respect to the Plan.
Within sixty (60) days from submission of the Plan [(3) (a)], the Commission shall file a written report with the Inspector and the Town Clerk on the Plan which shall include the following:
(i) A description of the age, architectural style, historical associations and importance of the building or structure to be demolished or relocated;
(ii) A determination, made by majority vote of the Commission at a public meeting, as to whether or not the building or structure should be preserved.
(c) Negative Determination or Failure to Act. If the building or structure is not determined to be preferably preserved; or if the Commission fails to file its report with the Inspector and the Town Clerk within the 60-day time period set out above [see (3) (b)] and the Town Clerk so certifies, then the Inspector may issue the permit.
(4) Positive Determination. If the building or structure is to be preferably preserved, then the Inspector shall not issue a demolition (relocation) permit for a period of six (6) months from the date the Commission’s report is filed with the Inspector and with the Town Clerk.
During this 6-month period the applicant shall present evidence that a bona fide and reasonable effort to locate a purchaser or grantor who is either willing to preserve, rehabilitate or restore the building or structure or who agrees to accept a demolition or relocation permit on specified conditions approved by the Commission.
At the end of the 6-month period, the Commission shall certify to the Town Clerk and to the Inspector that the Commission is satisfied with the applicant’s bona fide effort as outlined in the paragraph above; and the Inspector may then issue the demolition (or relocation) permit.
SECTION 5. Emergency Demolition.
If a building or structure poses an immediate threat to the public health or safety due to its deteriorated condition, the owner/applicant may request issuance of an emergency demolition order from the Inspector.
As soon as practicable after receipt of such request, the Inspector shall arrange to have the property inspected by a board consisting of himself, the Fire Chief or his designee, and one disinterested person chosen by the Inspector. After inspection of the building or structure and consultation with other members of the board, the Inspector shall determine whether the condition of the building or structure represents a serious and imminent threat to public health and safety and whether there is any reasonable alternative to the immediate demolition of the building or structure which would protect the public health and safety.
If the Inspector finds that the condition of the building or structure poses a serious and immediate threat to public health and safety and that there is no reasonable alternative to the immediate demolition of the building or structure, then the Inspector may issue an emergency demolition permit to the owner of the building or structure.
SECTION 6. Non-Compliance.
Anyone who demolishes a building or structure identified in this section (placePlaceNameRegulated PlaceTypeBuilding and Structures) without first complying with the provisions for a demolition (or relocation) permit of this by-law shall be subject to a fine of not more than three-hundred dollars ($300.00). In addition, unless a demolition (or relocation) permit was obtained for such demolition, and unless such permit was fully complied with, the Inspector shall not issue a building permit pertaining to any property on which a building or structure identified and regulated by this section has been demolished for a period of two(2) years from the date of demolition.
SECTION 7. Severability.
In case any section, paragraph, or part of this by-law is declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court or competent jurisdiction, every other section, paragraph, and part of such by-law shall continue in full force and effect.