Wiscasset’s Historic District was created in 2015 by the residents of the town to provide a framework within which the residents of the Town of Wiscasset can protect the historic, architectural and cultural heritage of significant areas, buildings, structures, landmarks and sites in the Town while accepting compatible new construction. The heritage and economic well-being of the Town will be strengthened by preserving its architectural and historic setting, conserving property values in unique areas, fostering civic beauty, and promoting the use of historic or architecturally significant buildings for the education and welfare of the citizens of the Town of Wiscasset. The intent of the Historic Preservation Ordinance is to assist property owners in maintaining the architectural integrity of historic resources within the Town. Once destroyed, these historic resources cannot be replaced. To prevent such losses, the intent of this Ordinance is to:
- Protect, preserve and enhance the outward appearance and architectural features of structures within designated districts or designated sites or landmarks.
- Prevent, without prior review, the demolition or removal of significant historic buildings or structures within designated districts or designated sites or landmarks and other significant design elements.
- Preserve, protect and enhance the essential character of designated districts by protecting relationships of groups of buildings or structures.
- Accept new buildings and structures in designated districts that do not displace historic structures or sites, and that are designed and built in a manner which is compatible with the character of the district.
- Promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the people of the Town of Wiscasset.
Additionally, noted in the Historic and Archaeological Resources section in the Town of Wiscasset’s Comprehensive Plan (2008), goal #1 states, “preserve the maritime, historic, cultural, and rural character of the town,” while goal #3 states, “ensure the compatibility of new construction with the maritime, historic, cultural, and rural character of the town.” The Historic Preservation Ordinance certainly assists the Town of Wiscasset in reaching its historic and archaeological resources goals, as noted in the Comprehensive Plan.
The Wiscasset Historic District is defined by the boundary of the zoning districts of Village I, Village II, and Village Waterfront.
It is the duty of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to protect Wiscasset’s historic resources. The HPC is also responsible for reviewing all applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness for properties in the Historic District. The HPC reviews for conformance to local regulations pursuant to the Historic Preservation Ordinance. In addition, the Commission makes recommendations to the Planning Board with respect to amendments to Wiscasset’s Historic Preservation Ordinance.
What projects need a permit otherwise known as a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission?
- New construction of a principal or accessory building visible from a public street where such building will be located in a historic district or upon a historic site
- Demolition of any landmark, building or portion of any building, including the removal of architectural features from a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district
- Moving of a historic landmark or any building located in a historic district
- Additions, alterations or reconstruction, including porches and steps of existing buildings within a historic district, or a historic site
- New signs placed in a historic district or on a historic site or landmark
- New construction of walls, fences and parking lots in a historic district that are visible from a public way
- Sandblasting of brick or stone buildings within a historic district, site or landmark
Please note: Painting and paint color as well as interior renovation are not regulated by the Historic Preservation Commission.
An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness can be obtained from the Planning & Codes office. A fee as established in the Town of Wiscasset Fee Schedule by the Selectboard shall be paid at the time of submission of the application.
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