Demolition delay eyed for historic properties

Oct 5, 2017 by

Published in the October 6, 2017 edition

MELROSE — Mayor Rob Dolan and the Melrose Historical Commission recently introduced legislation that would protect the city’s historic neighborhoods by imposing a six-month moratorium on the demolition of buildings within the city constructed prior to 1940, or which are considered registered historic places.

The ordinance went to the Board of Aldermen for their meeting Monday night.

“I believe the demolition delay ordinance will be an important tool in helping to protect historically significant resources in Melrose and help further guide our long-standing objective of responsible development across the city and in our neighborhoods,” said Dolan. “This ordinance will provide a significant window of opportunity to consider other alternatives to the demolition of the building.”

Under the proposal filed by Dolan and the Historical Commission, the demolition delay ordinance would impose a six month moratorium on the demolition of a historically significant building. All applications filed with the Building Commissioner would then be sent to the Historical Commission for a public hearing process.

“The Melrose Historical Commission urges the Board of Aldermen to pass this demolition delay ordinance,” said Historical Commission Chair James Bennett. “Demolition delay is a tried-and-true tool that dozens of municipalities across the Commonwealth have employed for decades to protect the historical fabric of their communities. Owing to the tight real estate market in the city, demolitions have increased in Melrose in recent years, and we are at risk of forever losing the architectural heritage that makes this such an aesthetically attractive city in which to live and work. The implementation of a demolition delay ordinance would work to reduce such losses.”

“This important ordinance is intended to preserve and protect significant buildings within our City which constitute or reflect distinctive features of the architectural, cultural, and social history of the city,” said Dolan.

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