Demolition Review Process

One of the major responsibilities of the Historical Commission is to protect significant properties by encouraging preservation and rehabilitation, rather than demolition. Chapter 48 of the Medford Municipal Ordinances now says, in part:

This article is enacted for the purpose of protecting the City’s significant historical, cultural, and architectural buildings. This article aims to protect and preserve significant historic properties within the town by encouraging their owners to seek out persons who might be willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore such buildings rather than demolish them.

Any person who intends to file an application for a permit to demolish a building which:

(1) is listed in, or is the subject of a pending application for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places or is listed in the Massachusetts Register of Historic Places; or,
(2) was constructed more than 75 years ago,

shall first file a notice of intent to demolish a significant building with the city clerk. The city clerk shall forthwith transmit copies of each duly filed notice of intent to the commissioner and the building commissioner.

If the commission determines that a building is not significant, this determination shall be transmitted to the applicant, to the building commissioner, and to the city clear and the applicant shall not be required to take any further steps prior to filing for a demolition permit.

If the commission determines that a building is significant, the commission shall hold a public hearing on each such notice of intent within 30 days after the initial determination of significance is made. Within 21 days from the close of the public hearing, the commission shall file a written determination with the city clerk as to whether the demolition of the building will be detrimental to the historical, cultural, or architectural heritage or resources of the city. Upon a determination that the building is a preferably preserved significant building, the commission shall so advise the applicant, the building owner, the building commissioner, and the city clerk, and no demolition permit may be issued until at least eighteen months after the date of such determination by the commission.

Click here to download a copy of the current Demolition Delay Package, including the Notice of Intent to Demolish form to be filed with the City Clerk. Please note, applications submitted to the Medford Historical Commission must be in hard copy – electronic submissions will not be accepted.

Please see here for the Medford Municipal Ordinances. In 2017, our demoliton delay bylaw was strengthened to better protect our historic resources. Below are –

The Demolition Amendment and
Our Memo to City Boards and Departments

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