Rules and Regulations

I. Historic districts; purpose, jurisdiction, location. 

  • A. Purpose. 

The purpose of the districts is to promote the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places significant in the history of the Town of Wayland, the maintenance and improvement of settings of such buildings and settings, and the encouragement of design compatible with the existing architecture.

  • B. Jurisdiction

The Wayland Historic District Commission shall be governed by Chapter 40C of the General Laws of Massachusetts, as amended. The jurisdiction shall be delineated on the official maps defining the districts as filed at the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds and on file in the Town Clerk’s Office and in the Surveying Department.  

  • C. Location 

In 1960 Massachusetts enacted legislation enabling the creation and protection of Historic Districts. The Historic Districts Act, Chapter 40C of the General Laws was adopted in 1965 by the Wayland Town Meeting creating the first Wayland Historic District at Wayland Center. The location and boundaries of the Wayland Historic District are defined and shown on the map entitled "Plan Showing Proposed Historic District Changes in Wayland, Massachusetts 2001 Annual Town Meeting” dated 2-1-2001. This district includes the original district adopted March 10, 1965 and amended in 1994, 1995, 2000, and 2001.   

In 2003 the Bow Road Historic District was created by Town Meeting. Bow Road Historic District is described as shown on the map entitled, "Plan of Land in Wayland, Massachusetts showing Bow Road Historic District,” dated September 25, 2003 . Copies of district maps describing each district are attached to these Rules and Regulations.

II. Historic District Commission; membership and terms; power and duties 

  • A. Membership and Terms

1. The Historic District Commission shall consist of seven (7) members, appointed by the Selectmen. The Selectmen shall fill the vacancies in membership arising from expired terms by appointments for a term of three (3) years. Appointments to membership shall be so arranged that the term of at least one member will expire each year.  Any vacancy in the membership of the commission shall be filled for the unexpired portion of any member's term by the Selectmen.

2. The commission shall include one (1) member from two (2) nominees submitted by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects which is the Boston Society of Architects; one (1) realtor from two nominated by the Board of Realtors covering Wayland; one (1) member from two (2) nominees submitted by the Wayland Historical Society; and one (1) or more resident(s) or property owner(s) in an historic district administered by the commission. If within thirty (30) days after submission of a written request for nominees to any of the organizations herein named no such nominations have been made, the Selectmen may proceed to appoint members without nomination by such organization. 

3. The Board of Selectmen may appoint up to two alternate members to the Commission. Alternate members need not be from nominees of organizations entitled to nominate members. In the event that a permanent member is absent or unable to act for any reason, the chairman of the commission may designate an alternate member to act in place of a permanent member. The initial appointments of alternate members shall be for terms of two (2) or three (3) years, with appointments thereafter being for three (3) year terms.

4. Each member and alternate member of the commission shall continue to serve in office after the expiration date of his or her term until a successor is duly appointed.  

5. Four (4) members of a commission shall constitute a quorum.

  • B. Powers and Duties 

1. The Commission shall regulate the construction and/or alteration of any building(s) or structure(s) within the districts over which it has jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of G.L. c. 40C. No building or structure within a district shall be constructed or altered in any way that affects exterior architectural features unless the Commission shall first have issued a Certificate of Appropriateness, a Certificate of Non-Applicability or a Certificate of Hardship with respect to such construction or alteration. 

2. The Commission may from time to time amend these Rules and Regulations in accordance with Chapter 40C, only after a public hearing that is duly noticed at least fourteen (14) days prior to the hearing. Notice shall be given to all property owners affected by the Rules and Regulations and shall be posted in the Town Clerk’s Office, in a conspicuous public space in the Town Building and in the Town Crier.   

III. Historic District Commission; Meetings; Records 

  • A. Meetings 

1. Regular meetings of the Commission will be held. Notice of date, time and location of all meetings shall be posted in the Clerk’s Office and Town Building at least 48 hours prior to a scheduled meeting. A quorum of four members is required for the Commission to conduct any business, including voting on applications for certificates.  

2. Public hearings shall be held to consider applications requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness or Hardship. Notice of date, time and location as well as subject matter shall be posted in the Clerk’s Office and a public place in the Town Building, and in the Town Crier at least fourteen days prior to the hearing. In addition notices of public hearings shall be sent to applicants and to abutters of subject property and to others who have requested notification in writing.  

  • B. Records 

1. Minutes shall be recorded for all posted meetings and hearings and shall be part of the public record filed in the Clerk’s Office. They shall constitute a permanent record stating the Commission’s decisions, transactions, resolutions and the vote of each member participating. 

2. Certificates shall be recorded in the Clerk’s Office within 60 days of the receipt of an application for a certificate. In addition copies of the Certificate will be sent to the property owner, and placed in the Historic District Commission files.  Copies of all Certificates of Appropriateness will be sent to the Building Commissioner. 

IV  Review of Changes; Criteria

  • A. Changes Requiring Review

1. Application must be made for all changes to exterior architectural features which are portions of the exterior of a building or structure, open to view from a public street, public way, public park or public body of water, including but not limited to the architectural style and general arrangement and setting, the kind, color and texture of exterior building materials, the color of paint or other materials applied to exterior surfaces and the type and style of windows, doors, lights, signs (excluding real estate signs) and other appurtenant exterior fixtures. For the purposes of the Wayland Historic District: 

     (a) A building is a combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals or property. 

     (b) A structure is a combination of materials other than a building, including a sign, fence, wall, terrace, walk or driveway.

  • B. Changes Not Requiring Review 

1. The commission shall not consider interior arrangements or architectural features not subject to public view. 

2. The Commission shall not regulate or prevent landscaping with plants, trees or shrubs.  

3. The Commission shall not regulate ordinary maintenance, repair or replacement of any exterior architectural feature within a district which does not involve a change in design, material or the outward appearance.

4. The Commission may determine from time to time that various designs for certain features, such as lighting fixtures, or a roster of colors of paint and roofing materials meet the requirements of the historic district and require no further review. Such determinations shall be made only after holding a public hearing that was duly advertised and posted at least fourteen (14) days in advance in a conspicuous place in the Town Building and in a newspaper of general circulation in Wayland.  

  • C. Review Criteria 

1. In deliberating on applications for certificates, the commission shall consider, among other things, the historic and architectural value and significance of the site, building or structure, the general design, overall massing, arrangement, texture, material and color of the features involved, and the relation of such features to similar features of buildings and structures in the surrounding area. 

2. In the case of new construction or additions to existing buildings or structures, the commission shall consider the appropriateness of size and shape, including the overall massing, of the building or structure both in relation to the land area upon which the building or structure is situated and to buildings and structures in the vicinity, and the Commission may in appropriate cases impose dimensional and set-back requirements in addition to those required by applicable zoning bylaw. 

3. In the case of consideration of a Certificate of Hardship the criteria are that the commission must determine whether, owing to conditions especially affecting the building or structure involved, but not affecting the district generally, failure to approve an application will involve a substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the applicant and whether such application may be approved without substantial detriment to public welfare and without substantial derogation from the intent and purposes of this ordinance. If the commission determines that owing to such conditions failure to approve the application will involve substantial hardship to the applicant and approval thereof may be made without such substantial detriment or derogation, the commission shall issue a Certificate of Hardship. 

4. The Commission shall not make any recommendation or requirement except for the purpose of preventing developments incongruous to the historic aspects or the architectural characteristics of the surroundings and of the district. 

5. The Commission shall not prevent a property owner from meeting requirements certified by a duly authorized public officer to be necessary for public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition.  

V  Procedures for Review of Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness, Non-Applicability and Hardship.

1. Any person who desires to obtain a certificate from the commission shall file an application with the commission. The application should be accompanied by plans, elevations, specifications that include sizes and dimensions, photographs, materials samples and information, paint samples, and other pertinent information as is necessary. In the case of demolition or removal, there should be a statement of the proposed condition and appearance of the property after demolition.  

2. The date of the filing of an application shall be the date on which a copy of such application is received at the Town Building. A member of the Commission shall determine within fourteen (14) days after the filing of an application for a certificate whether the application involves any exterior architectural features which are subject to approval by the Commission. 

3. If the application involves any exterior architectural features which are subject to review and approval, the Commission shall hold a public hearing within a reasonable amount of time to allow for filing a decision within sixty days of the submittal of a completed application. Additional time may be agreed to by both the applicant and the commission. At least fourteen (14) days before the public hearing, public notice shall be given by posting in the Town Building and in the Wayland Town Crier. The notice shall identify the time, place and purpose of the public hearing. At least fourteen days before the public hearing, a copy of the public notice shall be mailed to the applicant, to the owners of all adjoining properties and to any person filing written request for notice of hearings and to other persons that the commission decides to notice.

4. Within sixty (60) days after the filing of a completed application for a Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of Hardship, and following the public hearing that must be held according the Section V. 3, the Commission shall render a decision and file the decision with the Town Clerk. If the Commission fails to make a determination within sixty (60) days, the Commission shall issue a Certificate of Hardship. Additional time for making a decision may be granted only by the applicant who must state in writing the acceptance of additional time beyond the sixty days and the request must be filed with the Town Clerk.  

5. If the commission determines that the construction or alteration for which an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness has been filed will be appropriate for or compatible with the preservation or protection of the district, the commission shall issue a Certificate of Appropriateness. 

6. In issuing certificates, the commission may, as it deems appropriate, impose certain conditions and limitations, and may require architectural or plan modifications consistent with the intent and purpose of c.40 C of the General Laws. 

7. In the case of a disapproval of an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Commission shall record the reasons for the disapproval and send notice of the decision including reasons for the decision to the applicant.  The Commission may make recommendations to the applicant with respect to appropriateness of design, arrangement, texture, materials, and similar features. Prior to the issuance of any disapproval, the Commission may notify the applicant of its proposed action accompanied by recommendations of changes in the applicant's proposal which, if made, would make the application acceptable to the Commission. If within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of such notice the applicant files a written modification of his application in conformity with the recommended changes of the commission, the commission shall issue a Certificate of Appropriateness to the applicant.

8. If a commission determines that an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness or for a Certificate of Non-Applicability does not involve any exterior architectural feature, or involves an exterior architectural feature which is not subject to review by the commission, the commission shall issue to the applicant a Certificate of Non-Applicability.  

9. If an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness is determined to be inappropriate and therefore disapproved, the Commission must consider a Certificate of Hardship according to the criteria established in Section 10 (c) of c. 40C of G. L. and Section IV.C.3 of these Rules and Regulations. 

10. Each certificate issued by the Commission shall be dated and signed either by the chairman, the vice chairman, the clerk, or such other person designated by the Chairman to sign certificates on behalf of the Commission. 

11. The commission shall send a copy of certificates and disapprovals issued to the applicant and shall file a copy with the Town Clerk and the Building Commissioner. 

12. A public hearing on an application for a certificate may be waived:

     (a) in writing by all persons entitled to notice. 

     (b) by the Commission if the commission determines that the exterior architectural feature involved is so insubstantial in its effect on the district that it may be reviewed by the commission without public hearing on the application. However, if the commission votes to dispense with a public hearing on an application, notice of the application shall be given to the owners of all adjoining property and other property deemed by the commission to be materially affected and fourteen (14) days shall elapse after the mailing of such notice before the commission may issue a Certificate of Appropriateness.

VII Enforcement 

The Commission is authorized to institute any and all actions and proceedings, in law or in equity, in any court of competent jurisdiction, consistent with the provisions of G.L. c. 40C, s. 13, as amended, or its successor, as it deems necessary and appropriate to obtain compliance with the requirements of this bylaw and the determinations, rulings and regulations issued pursuant thereto. Whoever violates any of the provisions of this c. 40C of G.L. shall be punished by a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each offense. Each day any violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.