Historic Preservation Goal 3
Contributing structures and sites will not be demolished or altered in a manner that eliminates their contribution to the historic district.
3.1 Adopt deMolition by Neglect Ordinance
STRATEGY: Consider adopting a “demolition by neglect” ordinance to apply to contributing structures in the historic district to prevent property owners from allowing contributing structures to fall into disrepair. Such an ordinance should give the town the authority to order the repair of historic structures or cause such repairs to be made at the owners’ expense if they fail to act. While this term is defined in the town’s current ordinance, there is no explicit prohibition on allowing it to occur, nor any procedures established to remedy such situations.
JUSTIFICATION: In situations where a property owner refuses to work within the guidelines set forth by the historic district to maintain a contributing structure, this tool in the ordinance will allow the town to be proactive with its actions to maintain the integrity of the historic district. While this would not be the first path to ameliorating the decline and disrepair of a structure, it will allow the town the opportunity to enact this severe course of action where compliance with the town’s standards and rules are not being met.
3.2 Establish a Historic Preservation Fund
STRATEGY: Consider establishing a revolving loan fund or a historic preservation trust for use in preserving and protecting
threatened historic properties in town.
JUSTIFICATION: An identified monetary source for preserving historic properties will ensure that the town and local preservation groups can act quickly to protect and preserve threatened properties through the purchase of said properties or through a low interest loan to interested property owners.
3.3 Acquire Historic Preservation Easements
STRATEGY: Work with local historic preservation groups to acquire historic preservation easements for significant contributing structures.
JUSTIFICATION: Acquiring easements to significant contributing structures helps ensure that they cannot be arbitrarily demolished.