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How to file for Article 85 demolition delay

How to file for Article 85 demolition delay

Anyone who wants to demolish a building in Boston at least 50 years of age or located in certain areas of the City must submit an Article 85 application. You have two options:

Last updated: 7/13/16
Step
1

Before you get started - in person

About article 85 demolition delay

The Boston Zoning Code was amended in 1995 to include a demolition delay policy called Article 85. The article provides a predictable process for reviewing requests to demolish buildings by:

  • Establishing an appropriate waiting period during which the City and the applicant can propose and consider alternatives to the demolition of a building of historical, architectural, cultural or urban design value to the City;
  • Providing an opportunity for the public to comment on the issues regarding the demolition of a particular building; and by
  • Minimizing the number and extent of building demolition where no immediate re-use of the site is planned.
WHAT BUILDINGS ARE SUBJECT TO ARTICLE 85?

Designated (landmarked) buildings are reviewed through a different process by the BLC or the appropriate local historic district commission.

Step
2

Complete your Application

Please read the Article 85 Regulations before submitting the Article 85 application. You can either print out the application or pick one up in Room 709.

The following documents are required as part of the application:

  • Photographs of the property and neighboring properties. All photographs must be keyed to a map;
  • A map showing the property. Maps are available on the Assessor’s website or through the Boston Redevelopment Authority;
  • A plot plan;
  • Plans and elevations if a new structure is proposed;
  • Proof of ownership; and
  • The notarized signatures of the owner/applicant.

Specific details about the document requirements are listed in the application itself. The ten-day staff review does not begin until the application is complete. See our top 10 tips for preparing your Article 85 application.

Step
3

Bring your application to us

Complete applications may dropped off whenever City Hall is open, during business hours Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., at:

Boston Landmarks Commission
One City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
Please note: staff is not able to review applications for completeness before it is submitted.
 

Step
4

Wait to hear from us

Landmarks Commission staff will review each complete application within ten calendar days and get back to the applicant with a determination. Using the specific criteria in Article 85, we either find the building “significant” or “not significant.” If it is significant* we schedule a public hearing within 30 days, but the applicant is required to hold a community meeting prior to the Boston Landmarks Commission hearing. Check with staff about the process - read more about these requirements and the public hearing process.

Keep in Mind

*"Significant" means something very specific in Article 85 review, it is not an arbitrary determination. The five criteria staff use to determine significance are listed in Article 85-5.3. There is a common misconception that if a property is not included in any official governmental list, or register of historic places, or inventory, or survey, or preservation report, or study, etc., the property is not worthy of preservation. There are many as yet unidentified significant (historic) properties all over Boston. 

Step
1

Before you get started - by mail

About article 85 demolition delay

The Boston Zoning Code was amended in 1995 to include a demolition delay policy called Article 85. The article provides a predictable process for reviewing requests to demolish buildings by:

  • Establishing an appropriate waiting period during which the City and the applicant can propose and consider alternatives to the demolition of a building of historical, architectural, cultural or urban design value to the City;
  • Providing an opportunity for the public to comment on the issues regarding the demolition of a particular building; and by
  • Minimizing the number and extent of building demolition where no immediate re-use of the site is planned.
WHAT BUILDINGS ARE SUBJECT TO ARTICLE 85?

Designated (landmarked) buildings are reviewed through a different process by the BLC or the appropriate local historic district commission.

Step
2

Complete your application

Please read the Article 85 Regulations before submitting the Article 85 application.

The following documents are required as part of the application:

  • Photographs of the property and neighboring properties. All photographs must be keyed to a map;
  • A map showing the property. Maps are available on the Assessor’s website or through the Boston Redevelopment Authority;
  • A plot plan;
  • Plans and elevations if a new structure is proposed;
  • Proof of ownership; and
  • The notarized signatures of the owner/applicant.

Specific details about the documentation requirements are listed in the application itself. The ten-day staff review does not begin until the application is complete. See our top 10 tips for preparing your Article 85 application.

Step
3

Mail it to us

Mail complete applications to:

Boston Landmarks Commission
One City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201

 

Step
4

Wait to hear from us

Landmarks Commission staff will review each complete application within ten calendar days and get back to the applicant with a determination. Using the specific criteria in Article 85, we either find the building “significant” or “not significant.” If it is significant* we schedule a public hearing within 30 days, but the applicant is required to hold a community meeting prior to the Boston Landmarks Commission hearing. Check with staff about the process - read more about these requirements and the public hearing process.

Keep in Mind

*"Significant" means something very specific in Article 85 review, it is not an arbitrary determination. The five criteria staff use to determine significance are listed in Article 85-5.3. There is a common misconception that if a property is not included in any official governmental list, or register of historic places, or inventory, or survey, or preservation report, or study, etc., the property is not worthy of preservation. There are many as yet unidentified significant (historic) properties all over Boston. 

Contact:
Landmarks Commission
1 City Hall Square
Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
United States