Demolition ordinance will not be on Annual Town Meeting ballot

The Wilton Historic District and Historic Property Commission’s proposed demolition delay ordinance revisions will not be included on the Annual Town Meeting ballot on May 2.

According to Wilton Historic District and Historic Property Commission Chair Alison Sanders, the commission is looking to strengthen the town’s current demolition ordinance by:

  • Extending the demolition delay period from 90 to 180 days.

  • Allowing the commission more time to respond to demolition delay requests.

  • Giving the commission opportunity to photograph historic structures slated for demolition.

There is also a proposal to change the title of the town’s ordinance from “Ordinance Concerning Stay of Demolition of Historic Buildings” to “Ordinance to Encourage the Preservation of Architecturally, Historically and Culturally Significant Buildings by Delay of Demolition.”

According to the commission’s April 4 meeting minutes, input and discussion regarding these proposed changes are still in process with Wilton’s town attorney.

Once that’s finished, the commission plans to present the revisions to the Board of Selectmen and have the revised ordinance ready for the 2018 Annual Town Meeting ballot.

Rules and procedures

The historic commission is also looking to revise its rules and procedures by:

  • Expanding the definition of a “new [historic] district” and adding a “new historic property” description.

  • Replacing language to reflect Freedom of Information Act requirements, since previous language was incomplete.

  • Updating date, time and location information regarding meetings and the use of executive sessions.

The commission postponed the April 4 public hearing on the changes after “a couple of additional points to research and consider … popped up,” Sanders told The Bulletin, including a rule that prohibits town employees from serving on the historic commission.

The commission plans to seek additional input from the Board of Selectmen regarding this rule.

The Wilton Historic District and Historic Property Commission anticipates that its June meeting agenda will include a public hearing and commission vote on all proposed changes.

Click here to learn more about the commission’s proposed revisions.