[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Franklin 1-22-2003 by Bylaw Amendment 02-508. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 185.
This chapter is adopted for the purpose of protecting the historic and aesthetic resources of the Town of Franklin by reserving, rehabilitating, or restoring whenever possible, buildings, structures, or archeological sites which constitute or reflect distinctive features of the architectural or historic resources at the Town, thereby promoting the public welfare and preserving the cultural heritage of Franklin.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Franklin Historical Commission.
- DEMOLITION PERMIT
- The permit issued by the Inspector as required by the State Building Code for the demolition, partial demolition, or removal of a building or structure.
- HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURES
- Any building, structure, or archeological site which is:
- A. Importantly associated with one or more historic persons or events, or with the architectural, cultural, political, economic, social history of the Town of Franklin, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or the United States of America; or which is
- B. Historically or architecturally important by reason of period, 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.
- The Building Inspector of the Town of Franklin.
- PREFERABLY PRESERVED
- Any historically significant structure which, because of the important contribution made by such structure to the Town's historical or architectural resources, is in the public interest to preserve, rehabilitate, or restore.
- The parcel of land on which an historically significant structure is or was located.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to only the following buildings, structures, and sites:
Buildings, structures, or sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Register of Historic Places.
Buildings, structures, or sites which in whole or in part were constructed before 1930.
Notwithstanding the above, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any building, structure, or site located in a local historic district and subject to regulation under the provisions of General Laws Chapter 40C.
Upon receipt of an application for a demolition permit for an historically significant building, structure or site, the Inspector shall forward a copy thereof to the Commission. No demolition permit shall be issued at that time.
Within seven days of receipt of the application by the Commission, the Chairperson of the Commission shall post the date for a meeting of the Commission at which the application shall be heard. The hearing shall take place no fewer than 14 days and no more than 28 days after the receipt of the application from the Inspector. The Commission shall give public notice of the hearing by publishing at least 14 days before the hearing an announcement in a local newspaper of the time, place, and purpose of the hearing. The Commission shall also mail a copy of said notice to the applicant, to all abutters, to the owners of all properties deemed by the Commission to be affected by the proposed demolition, to the Franklin Historical Commission, and to any others the Commission deems entitled to notice.
If, after the hearing, the Commission determines that the proposed demolition of the historically significant building, structure, or site would not be detrimental to the purposes protected by this chapter, the Commission shall notify the Inspector within 10 days of such determination. Upon receipt of such notification, or after the expiration of 15 days from the hearing if he has not received notification from the Commission, the Inspector may, subject to the requirements of the State Building Code and any other applicable laws, bylaws, rules and regulations, issue the demolition permit.
If the Commission determines that the demolition of the historically significant building, structure, or site would be detrimental to the historical or architectural resources of the Town, such building, structure or site shall be declared a preferably preserved historically significant structure.
Upon a determination by the Commission that the historically significant structure which is the subject of the application for a demolition permit is a preferably preserved historically significant structure, the Commission shall notify the applicant and the Inspector, and no demolition permit may be issued for at least one year after the date of such determination by the Commission.
Notwithstanding the above, the Inspector may issue a demolition permit for a preferably preserved historical structure at any time after receipt of written advice from the Commission to the effect that either of the following applies:
The Commission is satisfied that there is no reasonable likelihood that either the owner or some other reasonable person or group is willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore said structure; or
The Commission is satisfied that for at least six months the owner has made continuing, bona fide, and reasonable efforts to locate a purchaser to preserve, rehabilitate, and restore the subject building or structure, and that such efforts have been unsuccessful.
Nothing in this chapter shall restrict the Building Commissioner from immediately ordering the demolition of any building or structure in the event of an imminent danger to the safety of the public.
The Commission and the Inspector are each authorized to institute any and all proceedings in law or in equity as they deem necessary and appropriate to obtain compliance with the requirements of this chapter or to prevent a violation thereof.
No building permit shall be issued with respect to any premises upon which an historically significant structure has been voluntarily demolished in violation of this chapter for a period of two years after the date of the completion of such demolition.
If any section, paragraph, or part of this chapter be for any reason declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court, every other section, paragraph, and part shall continue in full force and effect.