Thinking of Demolition?

The demolition of a building is such a final act and can have such an impact on a community's sense of place, that the Town of Falmouth has adopted procedures to insure that buildings that contribute to the community's character are not demolished without consideration of alternatives that might preserve them.

Procedure


The two procedures are:

  • Historic Districts: Proposals to change or demolish buildings in historic districts must receive a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic District Commission before permits can be issued. Historic Districts are located in the following seven villages: Davisville, Falmouth Center, North Falmouth, Quissett, Waquoit, West Falmouth, and Woods Hole. Maps showing the location of historic districts are available online at the Historic Districts Commission page or in Town Hall in the Building Department, Planning Department or the front reception desk.
  • The Six-Month Demolition Delay Bylaw: The demolition delay bylaw applies to 350 buildings of historical or architectural significance that are listed on the town's 'List of Significant Buildings' and are not located in historic districts. The List is maintained by the Falmouth Historical Commission and available in the Town Clerk's office.

Historic District


If the building is in a historic district, applications for review by the Historic District Commission may be obtained from the front reception desk at Town Hall or the Planning Office. Appointments must be made with the town receptionist to appear before the Historic District Commission, which meets monthly.


Waiver of Delay


Upon request of the applicant, the Historical Commission may issue a waiver of delay allowing demolition to proceed immediately, or at a specified time, or upon the fulfillment of specified conditions by the applicant, if the Commission deems that such a waiver is in the best interest of the Town.


Cultural Resources Inventory


The town's 'Cultural Resources Inventory' is a list of buildings, landscapes, monuments, and other resources of historic or architectural significance. The inventory is maintained by the Historical Commission. The Commission can add historic resources to the list by majority vote. Listing usually means that the Commission has documented the property on a state inventory form.

The Historical Commission can be reached by phone at 508-495-7480 and/or by email.