Demolition Delay

What Is the Demolition Delay By-law?
Article XXVI of the Town of Weston General By-laws was enacted in 1998 and amended in 2000 for the purpose of preserving and protecting significant buildings within the Town of Weston which are outside Local Historic Districts. The by-law is administered by the Weston Historical Commission.

How Long Is the Delay?
The maximum delay is 12 months plus time needed to go through the regulatory process, which involves filing the Demolition Delay Application (PDF), followed by an initial determination hearing before the Weston Historical Commission (WHC) to determine significance, sometimes followed by a public hearing. The exact number of days between each step in the process is set by statute and explained in the ABC’s of the Demolition Delay Process: Timeline and Procedures of the Demolition Delay By-law (PDF).
A photograph of a house on 412 Highland Street, demolished in 2011
What Buildings Are Subject to the Demo Delay By-law?
To be subject to the delay provisions, a building must be “significant,” which is defined in the by-law as being constructed in whole or in part by 1945, or of unknown age, and meeting 1 or more of the following 3 criteria:
  1. 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
  2. Is included within a “significant area” or “further study area” inventoried or outlined by the Commission in the 1993-1994 Historical Resources Survey
  3. Is documented on a Cultural Resources Inventory form prepared by the Commission
Demo Delay is determined by vote of the Commission at the initial determination meeting to be of historical or architectural significance by reason of period, style, method or building construction, or by reason of its association with a particular architect, or a builder, or with a person or event of importance to the Town’s history.
A house on 18 Cedar Road before 2011 demolition
18 Cedar Road location after demolition
How Can I Determine If My House Meets the Criteria Above?
The Weston Cultural Resources Inventory lists all pre-1945 buildings located within Local Historic Districts, National Register Districts, and Historic Areas, or listed individually. The Commission continues to add to the Cultural Resources Inventory.

What Types of Changes Are Subject to Review?
The Commission reviews both partial demolition and total demolition applications. Partial demolition can include changes to the exterior of the house, including changes to windows, siding, and trim as well as additions and other exterior remodeling. Particular attention is given to changes visible from the street. The Commission does not review landscaping.
If My House Is Subject to the Delay & I Want to Make Changes, What Should I Do?
On the Demolition Delay Application and Procedures Delay page you will find links to the application form and an explanation of Demolition Delay history and timelines.

What Do I Need to Bringing to the Preliminary Hearing?

Applicants should bring photographs of the house, particularly of the area where changes are to be made. If the house is to be enlarged or window locations changed, the commission will need plans and elevations, although these do not have to be architect-stamped.