A demolition delay is a hold that prohibits any demolition permits from being issued for a property for a specified amount of time. In Brookline, a demolition stay is triggered when any full or partial demolition is proposed on a house that is found to be historically/architecturally significant. For most properties, the demolition stay is issued for 12 months. For properties listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places, the demolition stay is 18 months.
The purpose of a demolition stay is to give the applicant time to consider alternatives to demolition. If an applicant would like to lift their demolition stay early, they can work with the Preservation Commission to submit a design and go through a design review process. The demolition stay thus serves as an incentive for applicants to work with the Commission to improve the quality of new construction or partial new construction.
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For any proposed exterior work on a home located in one of Brookline's Local Historic Districts, you must apply for a Certificate by completing this application. The Preservation staff will work with you to determine which type of Certificate will apply to your type of work and whether this work can be approved at the staff level or will require the approval of the Preservation Commission. If a building is located in a Local Historic District, the applicant should refer to the Design Guidelines for Local Historic Districts for an understanding of the regulations and guidelines for approved work. In almost all cases, the Preservation Commission will not approve demolition of buildings in Local Historic Districts.
The Preservation staff recommends that you try searching online in the MACRIS (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System) for inventory forms and photos of historic buildings. You can also visit the Brookline Room in the Brookline Public Library for archival information, atlases, town records, etc.