Town of Harwich, MA
Barnstable County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Special Town Meeting of the Town of Harwich 5-5-2009 by Art. 1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 5-3-2010 ATM by Art. 66]
There is hereby established an Historic District and Historical Commission under the provisions of the Historic Districts Act, MGL c. 40C, consisting of seven members and five alternate members, appointed by the Selectmen, including one member, where possible, from two nominees submitted by the Harwich Historic District and Historical Commission, one member, where possible, from two nominees, one of whom shall be submitted by the Massachusetts state chapter of the American Institute of Architects and one member, where possible, from two nominees of the Board of Realtors covering the Town of Harwich. One or more of the foregoing shall be a resident of an historic district established in Harwich pursuant to the Historic Districts Act. When the Commission is first established, three members shall be appointed for a term of one year, two shall be appointed for a term of two years, and two shall be appointed in like manner for three years, and their successors shall be appointed in like manner for terms of three years. When the Commission is first established, one alternate member shall be appointed for a term of one year, two alternate members shall be appointed for a term of two years, and two alternate members shall be appointed for a term of three years, and their successors shall be appointed in like manner for terms of three years.
There is hereby established an Historic District under the provisions of the Historic Districts Act, MGL c. 40C, which district is shown on a plan titled "Town of Harwich Existing and Proposed Addition to the Historic District," dated November 1972, scale one inch equals 100 feet, Martin E. Moran, Town Engineer, a copy of which is on file at the Town Clerk's office.
[Amended 5-3-2010 ATM by Art. 66]
The Historic District and Historical Commission shall have all the powers and duties of historic district commissions as provided by the Historic Districts Act, MGL c. 40C, and subsequent amendments thereto.
[Amended 5-3-2010 ATM by Art. 66]
When taking action under the provisions of the second paragraph of Section 7 of the Historic Districts Act, MGL c. 40C, the Historic District and Historical Commission shall make a determination within 30 days after the filing of the application for a certificate of appropriateness, or such further time as the applicant may, in writing, allow.
In case any section, paragraph or part of this bylaw is, for any reason, declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court of last resort, every other section, paragraph or part shall continue in full force and effect.
[Amended 5-3-2010 ATM by Art. 66]
It is the purpose of this bylaw to promote protection of the historical, cultural and architectural heritage of the Town by preserving from demolition whenever possible historically significant buildings by affording the Historic District and Historical Commission established by the Charter, Chapter 7, Section 9, and other interested parties an opportunity to explore and develop with the owners of such buildings acceptable alternatives to demolition.
For the purpose of this bylaw, historically significant buildings are buildings constructed prior to 100 years before the present calendar year which:
A. 
Are listed either on the National Registry of Historic Places or the Massachusetts Register of Historic Places;
B. 
Are directly associated with one or more historically noteworthy persons or events or with the political, cultural, economic or social history of the Town;
C. 
Possess particular architectural value or significance as representative of a recognized architectural style or period or due to the method of construction or materials used or by virtue of association with an historically noteworthy architect; or
D. 
Are listed on a register of historically significant buildings developed in accordance with these standards and maintained by the Historic District and Historical Commission.
[Amended 5-3-2010 ATM by Art. 66]
A. 
Before any building constructed prior to 100 years before the present calendar year is demolished in whole or in part, a notice of intent to do so will be filed with the Commission.
B. 
The notice of intent will be in the form provided by the Commission and shall be deemed filed when the completed form with the required number of copies and filing fee established by the Commission has been deposited both in the office of the Town Clerk and in the office of the Building Official.
A. 
Within 45 days of said filing, the Commission shall hold a public hearing to determine the degree of historical significance, if any, of the subject building and, if deemed to be historically significant, explore alternatives to demolition.
B. 
Notice of the time, place and subject matter of hearings hereunder shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town once each week for two successive weeks, the first notice to appear 14 days at least before the day of the hearing (including the day of publication and excluding the day of the hearing), and by mailing a notice of hearing to the owner or applicant, all abuttors to the subject property, the Planning Board of the Town, the Historic District and Historical Commission, the Harwich Historical Society, the Conservation Commission and the Selectmen and such other persons as the Commission may determine.
[Amended 5-3-2010 ATM by Art. 66]
If after hearing the Commission determines the building in question is not historically significant, or if the Commission determines in a case where less than complete demolition is proposed that the proposed work will not destroy or substantially diminish the historical significance of the structure, it shall within seven days of said hearing so notify the owner or applicant and the Building Official and shall also file a record of its findings with the Town Clerk in a form suitable for recording at the Registry of Deeds. Thereafter, necessary permits to authorize work may be applied for. A finding of nonsignificance hereunder shall be conclusive on all parties.
[Amended 5-2-2011 ATM by Art. 42]
If after hearing the Commission determines that the building in question is historically significant and the proposed work would destroy or substantially diminish its historic value, it is empowered to impose a demolition delay of up to one year from the date of said determination and may schedule additional hearings during any such delay period to allow an opportunity to develop alternatives to demolition and the ability to reduce or rescind the delay period if such alternatives are considered not feasible.
If as a result of the Commission's review acceptable alternatives to demolition are developed, the Commission is empowered to enter into an agreement with the owner of the building in question which reflects the alternatives which have been agreed to and where appropriate establishes a time period for implementation of said alternatives. A copy of said agreement shall be filed with the Town Clerk and Building Official. Thereafter, no work in connection with the building shall be done except in accordance with the terms of said agreement unless and until a new notice of intent is filed and processed hereunder.
If at the end of a Commission-mandated delay no alternatives have been agreed to by the applicant, the Commission shall within seven days so notify the Town Clerk and the Building Official and the applicant shall be entitled to apply for all necessary permits to allow the work as described in the notice of intent.
Any person legal or natural who demolishes in whole or in part any building constructed prior to 100 years before the present calendar year without first complying with the terms and provisions of this bylaw shall be subject to a fine of $300. Each day any work continues in violation hereof shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to said penalty, the enforcing official shall be entitled to pursue appropriate action seeking injunctive relief to enjoin and restrain violation hereof.
The Building Official shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this bylaw.
The provisions of this bylaw shall not apply to the Building Official if pursuant to other applicable provisions of law said Inspector orders the demolition of an unsafe building to abate a threat to the public safety, nor shall it apply to persons acting pursuant to such an order.
If any provision of this bylaw is determined to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, said determination shall not affect the validity of any other section hereof.
If any provision hereof conflicts with any provision of the General Laws of the commonwealth, the provisions of the General Laws shall prevail.