[Adopted 12-21-1972 as § 4-1 of the Code of the Town of Agawam]
The Building Code of the State of Massachusetts as provided for in MGL C. 143, § 93 et seq. is hereby adopted as the Building Code of the town and shall apply to the construction, erection and repair of all buildings and structures within the town. The effective date of this code is January 1, 1975.
Copies of such code shall be on file in the Building Department. (See MGL C. 143, § 93-100, as to provisions establishing the State Building Code; MGL C. 143, § 92, as to codes in effect prior to January 1, 1975.)
[Added 1-7-1981; amended 5-5-1986 by TOR-86-11; 10-2-2000 by TOR-2000-7]
Building, electrical and plumbing permit fees and inspection certificate fees by the Inspection Services Department or Building Department shall be waived in their entirety for buildings or structures or parts thereof owned by the town.
Inspection certificate fees by the Inspection Services Department or Building Department shall be waived in their entirety for buildings or structures or parts thereof used solely for religious purposes.
Nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver of the requirement to obtain an inspection certificate or to obtain a building, electrical, or plumbing permit.
[Added 5-17-1999 by TOR-99-1]
Intent and purpose. The purpose of this section is to preserve and protect historically significant buildings within the Town of Agawam and to encourage owners of such buildings to seek out persons who are willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate or restore such buildings rather than demolish them. To achieve this purpose, the Agawam Historical Commission is empowered to advise the Inspector of Buildings with respect to the issuance of permits for demolition of historically significant buildings. The issuance of demolition permits for historically significant buildings is regulated as provided in this section.
Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this subsection:
- Any combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals, or property.
- The Agawam Historical Commission
- Any act of pulling down, destroying, removing or razing a building or any portion thereof; or commencing the work of total or substantial destruction with the intent of completing the same.
- HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT BUILDING
- Any building or portion thereof which after a public hearing of the Agawam Historical Commission:
- (1) Is deemed to be associated with one or more historic persons or events, or with the architectural, cultural, economic, political or social history of the Town of Agawam; or
- (2) Is historically or architecturally important (in terms of period, style, method of building construction or association with a famous architect or builder) either by itself or in the context of a group of buildings or structures; or
- (3) Is located within any federal, state or local historic district; or
- (4) Is located within 150 feet of a federal, state or local historic district boundary.
- SIGNIFICANT BUILDING
- Any building or portion thereof which:
- (1) Is included in the Agawam Inventory of Historic Structures prepared by the Commission, as amended from time to time, including those buildings listed for which complete surveys may be pending; or
- (2) Is listed on, or is within an area listed on, the National Register of Historic Places, or is the subject of a pending application for listing on said National Register.
Upon receipt of an application for a demolition permit for a significant building, the Inspector of Buildings shall forward a copy thereof to the office of Planning and Community Development. No demolition permit shall be issued at that time.
Within five days, the office of Planning and Community Development shall make an initial determination of the building. If the building is listed in the Agawam Inventory of Historic Structures or listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the initial determination shall be positive. If the building is not listed in the Inventory or on the National Register of Historic Places, the initial determination shall be negative. If the building receives a positive determination, the Office of Planning and Community Development shall notify the Commission in writing of the determination. If the building receives a negative determination, the office of Planning and Community Development shall notify the Inspector of Buildings in writing.
If the initial determination is negative, the Inspector of Buildings may issue the demolition permit. If the initial determination is positive, within 30 days of receipt of the determination from the office of Planning and Community Development, the Commission shall hold a public hearing. The Historical Commission shall give public notice thereof by publishing notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing in a local newspaper at least 14 days before said hearing and also within seven days of said hearing, mail a copy of said notice to the applicant, to the owners of all property deemed by the Commission to be affected thereby as they appear in the records of the Assessor's office, and to such other persons as the Commission shall deem entitled to notice.
If, after such hearing, the Commission determines that the demolition of the significant building would not be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage or resources of the town, the Commission shall so notify the Inspector of Buildings within 10 days. Upon receipt of such notification, or after the expiration of 15 days from the date of the conduct of the hearing if the Inspector of Buildings has not received notification from the Commission, the Inspector of Buildings may, subject to the requirements of the state building code and any other applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, issue the demolition permit.
If the Commission determines that the demolition of the significant building would be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage or resources of the town, such building shall be considered a historically significant building. The Commission shall notify the Massachusetts Historic Commission, the office of Planning and Community Development, and other interested parties requesting assistance in preservation funding and adaptive reuses.
Upon a determination by the Commission that the significant building which is the subject of the application for a demolition permit is a historically significant building, the Commission shall so advise the applicant and the Inspector of Buildings, and no demolition permit may be issued until at least six months alter the date of such determination by the Commission.
The Commission and other appropriate town departments shall make all efforts to assist the applicant in the preservation, rehabilitation, and/or restoration of the historically significant building(s). Such efforts may include seeking buyers for the property, seeking grants for preservation, rehabilitation and/or restoration, or obtaining other professional assistance.
Notwithstanding the preceding subsection, the Inspector of Buildings may issue a demolition permit for a historically significant building at any time after receipt of written advice from the Commission to the effect that either:
The Commission is satisfied that there is no reasonable likelihood that either the owner or some other person or group is willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate or restore such building; or
The Commission is satisfied that, for at least six months since the determination that the building is a historically significant building, the owner has made continuing, bona fide and reasonable efforts to locate a purchaser to preserve, rehabilitate and restore the building, and that such efforts have been unsuccessful.
Enforcement and remedies.
The Inspector of Buildings is authorized to institute any and all proceedings in law or equity as he or she deems necessary and appropriate to obtain compliance with the requirements of this section, or to prevent violation thereof.
No building permit shall be issued with respect to any premises upon which a significant building has been voluntarily demolished in violation of this section for a period of two years after the date of the completion of such demolition, such date of completion to be determined by the Inspector of Buildings. As used herein "premises" includes the parcel of land upon which the demolished significant building was located.
Severability. If any subsection and/or portion of this section is for any reason declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court, every other subsection and/or portion shall continue in full force and effect.