On August 1, 2005, the Board of Selectmen unanimously adopted a draft Delay of Demolition Ordinance extending to some 450 Guilford structures the qualified protection against teardowns enjoyed by buildings in the town’s Historic District.
The Ordinance imposes a 30-day moratorium on demolition of “any building listed in the Guilford Preservation Alliance Survey of Historic Architecture, as the same may be amended from time to time.” As resources allow the GPA is adding historic properties to the survey and submitting them to the Town for inclusion in the list of properties protected by the Delay of Demolition. Please refer any questions regarding properties that are currently protected by the Ordinance to the Town’s Zoning Enforcement Officer who holds the official list. If during the waiting period there is no opposition, a demolition permit will be issued by the Town. If there is written opposition, the waiting period is automatically extended to 90 days, at the end of which the owner may reject alternative solutions and proceed with demolition. The delay provides time for discussion of alternatives to demolition.
The ordinance was researched and drafted by Marjorie Noyes, chair of the GPA’s Education Committee, and revised by her in concert with Buildings Inspector George Gdovin and Town Historian Joel Helander. In a letter submitted to First Selectman Gene Bishop, Noyes stated that “tear downs of buildings have increased at an alarming rate in recent years. Guilford’s historic structures are a significant part of the town’s cultural, social and economic character. They encourage tourism and make an important contribution to the town’s prosperity.”