[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield 12-16-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Historic districts — See Ch. 49.
Building construction — See Ch. 140.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 285.
Editor's Note: This ordinance was adopted as Ch. 418 but was renumbered to fit into the organizational structure of the Code.
This chapter is enacted for the purpose of preserving and protecting significant buildings within the City of Springfield which constitute or reflect distinctive features of the architectural, cultural, economic, political or social history of the City and to limit the detrimental effect of demolition on the character of the City. By preserving and protecting significant buildings, streetscapes, and neighborhoods, this chapter promotes the public welfare by making the City a more attractive and desirable place in which to live and work.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person or entity who or which files an application for a demolition permit.
- An application for the demolition of a building.
- Any combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals, or property.
- BUILDING COMMISSIONER
- The person occupying the office of Building Commissioner or otherwise authorized to issue demolition permits.
- The Springfield Historical Commission.
- Any act of pulling down, destroying, removing, dismantling or razing a building or commencing the work of total or substantial destruction with the intent of completing the same.
- DEMOLITION PERMIT
- The permit issued by the Building Commissioner for a demolition of a building, excluding a permit issued solely for the demolition of the interior of a building.
- PREFERABLY PRESERVED BUILDING
- Any building within the City of Springfield which is 100 years old or older, as recorded by the Assessor, or any building which is listed on, or is within a district listed on, the National Register of Historic Places.
Within seven days of receiving a demolition application, the Building Commissioner or his designee shall determine whether the building to be demolished is a preferably preserved building. If the building is determined to be a preferably preserved building or if the age of the building is unknown, then the Building Commissioner shall forward a copy of the application to the Commission. No demolition permit shall issue for a preferably preserved building for nine months following receipt of the application by the Commission.
The Commission shall, within nine months of receiving the application, determine whether the building should be designated an historic district pursuant to Chapter 49 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Springfield and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40C.
If the Commission has not designated the building as an historic district, within nine months of receiving the application, then the Building Commissioner may issue the demolition permit.
This chapter shall not apply to any building located in any area of the City designated a "Casino Overlay District" pursuant to Section 8.5 of the Springfield Zoning Ordinance and for which the State Gaming Commission has granted a license.
The Commission shall notify the City Council and the Mayor of any building listed individually on the State Register of Historic Places, any building it determines to be a contributing part of a district listed on the State Register of Historic Places, or any building it determines to be individually eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
After acquiring title to a property, the City has the option to request a determination from the Commission on whether or not the property is subject to the provisions of this article based on Subsections 218-3B or E above. If no determination is made by the Commission within 45 days of receipt of the request, the subject property shall not be subject to the provisions of this article.
[Added 1-9-2017; amended 3-4-2019]
The Commission may exempt any building from the provisions of this chapter upon written request from the applicant. The request shall include:
An exemption from the provisions of this chapter shall require a majority vote of the Commission.
If the Commission fails to act on a request for exemption within 30 days of submission to the Commission, then the exemption is granted.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to inhibit the Law Department's ability to seek and enforce a court demolition order, provided the Law Department and/or the Office of Housing provides the Historical Commission notice upon filing a motion to demolish a building not less than 60 days prior to demolition.
Properties subject to eminent domain taking by the City shall be exempt from the provisions of this article so long as it is disclosed in writing to the Council within the order of taking that demolition of the property will occur.
The Commission may adopt such rules and regulations as are necessary to administer the terms of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to inhibit the Building Commissioner's or Fire Commissioner's ability to demolish buildings under MGL c. 48, MGL c. 143, §§ 6 through 9, and the Massachusetts Building Code.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to conflict with the provisions of the Historic District Act, MGL Chapter 40C. If any of the provisions of this chapter do so conflict, that act shall prevail.
In case any section, paragraph, or part of this chapter is, for any reason, declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court, every other section, paragraph, and part shall continue in full force and effect.