The Canton Historical Commission

Demolition Delay Bylaw




In 2003 the citizens at the Annual Town Meeting approved a Bylaw that would allow the Canton Historical Commission the ability to delay the demolition of Architecturally or Historically significant buildings or structures built prior to 1940. The Commission may delay demolition for a period of up to six months.

Our Demolition Delay Bylaw, alone, cannot prevent demolitions indefinitely, but the opportunity of delaying the demolition of a significant resource can often have a positive outcome. The Historical Commission will work with property owners to create new opportunities for historic structures that may be preferably preserved.

In Canton, a property owner requesting a demolition permit from the Building Department must first receive approval from the Historical Commission. If the Historical Commission determines that the building is preferably preserved, a six month delay period is imposed. The purpose of the delay period is to provide a window of opportunity to consider other alternatives to the demolition of the building. It is our hope that through the recognition of the historic or architectural significance a property owner will seek to preserve the structure. Nevertheless, after the delay period has expired, the Building Inspector can sign the demolition permit and demolition can proceed. A demolition bylaw cannot indefinitely prevent a demolition from occurring.


You can download the application forms and instructions!

 Download a copy of the Demolition Delay Bylaws

 Download a copy of the Demolition Delay Flow Chart

 Download a copy of the Demolition Delay Instructions

 These downloads are in PDF format -- you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and print the files on your own computer.
 Do you need to download Adobe's Acrobat Reader?


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To contact us:
Phone: 781-828-0073
Wally Gibbs, Chairman
Canton Historical Commission
Memorial Hall
Washington Street
Canton, MA 02021