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Q) Which properties are subject to Demolition Review by the Historical Commission?

A) Any building, built more than 75 years ago that is subject to a total or significant demolition, will be reviewed for significant architectural and historical value.

 

Q) My house was built in 1931 making it 74 years old so its not covered by the Demolition Review?

A) Correct, for this year 2005. But in 2006 it will be subject to Demolition review because it will be 75 years old. The cut off year moves up every January 1.

 

Q) I have no current plans to demolish my house now, but I would like to know if it is Historically Significant. Can I request the Historical Commission to investigate that possibility?

A) No. As much as we would like to do that, the Historical Commission is staffed entirely by volunteers with limited time resources. The Historical Commission can only act on a pending demolition. And that requires that a demolition permit be applied for through the Building Department. The Historical Commission is actively taking an inventory of buildings, which will be followed by an evaluation of each qualifying property to determine its historical and architectural significance. Once this list is done (in several years), you can inquire if your building is included on this list.

 

Q) I recently requested a demolition permit for a building that was newer than 75 years old, according to the 'built date' on the Assessor's Database. But there is a requirement on the demolition application for a signature from the Historical Commission. Why does this need to be seen by the Historical Commission, if the building is not old enough to qualify for a demolition review? And will my permit be delayed waiting for this signature?

A) It is the current policy of the Building Department to pass ALL demolition applications through the Historical Commission because the built date on many city records is missing or inaccurate. The Historical Commission has historical maps, records, and the expertise to more accurately determine the age of a building. The Historical Commission has taken great efforts to automate and greatly speed this dating process and your demolition permit will be quickly checked for an accurate build date. If your building is indeed too new, we will sign-off on the demolition request often within the same day.

 

Q) I applied for a demolition permit for a house that was old enough to be covered by the demolition delay law. At a subsequent hearing, the Historical Commission voted to apply the one year demolition delay. Is there any way I can get this order lifted and start construction?

A) Yes. The Historical commission can lift this restriction on your property, at any time. And we will work with you to review and approve your alternate plans.

 

Q) Are there specific materials or features I must ormust not use in this restoration?

A) There are no specific requirements with regards to materials or physical features, unless your property is located in a Historic District. There is only a general guideline that the property be restored by keeping it as much as practical to resemble the existing property in its look and style; and that it blend into the existing neighborhood.




 

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Demolished Homes and their Replacements

 

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History of Woburn

 

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Historical Commission Ordinance

 

FAQs