City Council approves non-transferability of demolition permits for historic homes

The Newton City Council approved by a slim margin on Monday April 4, 2016, the amendment to prevent transferabilty of demolition delay permits. This amendment had passed within the Zoning and Planning Committee and was supported by the Newton Historical Commission. Mayor Warren did not sign this legislation; this meant it had a 30 day period to become effective on May 4th.

Generally those looking for more steps to protect the historic character of certain neighborhoods in Newton support this measure, and developers looking to accelerate demolitions and new construction do not support this measure.

The main tool available to the Newton Historical Commission to prevent demolitions of historic homes is to have an 18-month delay if the structure is "preferably preserved." This amendment will mean that when a property is sold, the new owner needs to go through this application process and "restart the clock". This gives time for the new owner to consult with the historical commission and the neighbors which can lead to adapting the building rather than demolishing it.