YES. In Newton, demolition or partial demolition of any building or structure that is 50 years old or older requires the approval of the Preservation Planner and/or the Newton Historical Commission (NHC). If the building or structure is determined to be historically significant AND preferably preserved, a delay of demolition can be imposed.
A delay of 18-months can be imposed for properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. A delay of 12-months can be imposed for all other properties.
Partial demolition can include removing a roof structure, a porch, a rear or side ell. The removal of an exterior wall to accommodate an addition also constitutes partial demolition.
When contemplating changes applicants are encouraged to consult the City of Newton Historic Preservation Design Guidelines available on the Reports and Studies webpage.
A building or structure is historically significant if it is 50 years old or older and meets one or more of the following:
A historically significant building or structure is considered to be preferably preserved if its demolition would be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage of the City. The Newton Historical Commission determines the status of the property at a public hearing based on the degree of historical significance of the building or structure. If a building or structure is determined to be preferably preserved, a delay of demolition is imposed.
The intent of delaying demolition is to provide time to seek alternative preservation solutions for historically significant buildings or structures. Applicants with properties found to be preferably preserved are encouraged to pursue alternatives to demolition during the delay period. Possible alternatives include altering and reusing the building or structure through a renovation or addition project or moving it to another location. Such projects are often granted a waiver of the remainder of the demolition delay by the Newton Historical Commission.
Yes, a number of situations are possible for granting a waiver of the delay. A waiver of delay may be granted if: a building or structure is saved by being moved to a new location; the applicant has demonstrated a reasonable and unsuccessful effort to locate a purchaser who would preserve the building or structure; the applicant has accepted specific conditions from the Commission regarding the demolition; or the applicant has presented plans for redevelopment of the site, including elevations, which the Commission reviewed and approved.
Waivers for partial demolition of buildings may be granted at any meeting assuming the filing for a waiver submitted by the deadline. Waivers for full demolition of buildings will not be entertained within the first four months of the demolition delay for properties that obtained a 12 month delay. For properties that obtained an 18 month delay, waivers will not be entertained within the first six months of the demolition delay. Applicants are strongly encouraged to preserve, renovate and/or add additions to historic buildings rather than demolish them. When contemplating changes applicants are encouraged to consult the City of Newton Historic Preservation Design Guidelines available on the Reports and Studies webpage.
The process usually takes 15 to 45 days to complete. The Newton Historical Commission meets regularly on the fourth Thursday of each month (with exceptions due to holidays) and meeting agendas are posted two weeks in advance. Provided that the applicant has submitted the necessary information before the 5:00pm deadline 15 days before the next scheduled meeting, the Commission will make a decision at the next meeting.
A completed application includes:
Recommended and applicable additional information listed on the application may also be helpful in making a determination. It is the applicant's responsibility to submit this information on time.
Attendance by the applicant or the applicant's agent is recommended but not required. In discussing the property, the Commission may have questions or suggestions for the applicant, which could impact the final decision.