The Great Seal of the Town of Saugus, Massachusetts

Section 10.2 of the Saugus Zoning By-Laws provides, in part:

No building permit for demolition of a building or other structure (except signs) shall be issued by the Building Inspector without the Building Inspector first notifying the Historical Commission by certified letter. Except for minor buildings and structures, applications for demolition permits shall be accompanied by photographs of the building to be demolished, which photographs shall be deposited with the Historical Commission. If no objection is raised by the Historical Commission within 21 days of receipt of Certified Mail letter from the Building Inspector, it is assumed that no objection is present and the permit shall not be withheld under this section. The objection of the Historical Commission shall not be a legal reason for the denial of said permit.

The purpose of this demolition delay provision is to ensure that the Town has a record of the evolution of its built environment. Because history is ever-evolving, we have not limited this provision to "historic" structures, since to do so would result in a record skewed to the perceptions of one generation and ignore the fact that what is considered non-historic today may be highly valued by future generations. For example, William Boardman, when he built his house on what is now Howard Street, would not have thought it of any significance beyond a reflection of his personal status, yet today it is one of the best-preserved 17th century houses in the Commonwealth, studied extensively for the information it can provide on architectural techniques of its era.

Another purpose of the demolition delay provision is to allow the Commission time to raise public awareness if a property of exceptional significance is involved, and to work with project proponents to both ensure that adequate documentation is obtained and that options that would allow preservation are explored.

The Demolition Permit Application Form may be downloaded and printed for your convenience.

Saugus Public Library (now demolished)