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Town of Marblehead
Abbot Hall
188 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA 01945
Old & Historic Districts Commission
Jennifer Titus

Mary Alley Municipal Building
7 Widger Road
Marblehead, MA  01945

fax 781-631-2617

Charles Hibbard, Chair
Gary Amberik
Liz Mitchell
Sally Sands
Anthony M. Sasso

What We Do
The five member board, with two alternates, is comprised of residents of the districts and appointed by the Board of Selectmen annually.

The OHDC is charged with ensuring the historical appropriateness of buildings and structures visible from any public way.

The Commission must approve any proposed changes to buildings or property within the districts and make sure the proposed changes are appropriate for the streetscape and neighborhood.

The town requires anyone whose property falls within the boundaries of the historic districts to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the OHDC before any changes are made to the exteriors of structures, fences, walls, driveways, outer structures and signs. This COA is issued after the OHDC holds a hearing on the request. (Historic Districts Map)

To schedule a hearing, residents of the districts must submit an Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Applications and instructions are available at the Engineering Department and the Marblehead Building Department offices as well as on this page. 

Applications are to be submitted to the Building Department for verification of applicable codes and bylaws before submitting it to the Engineering Department's office to schedule a hearing. Marblehead Building Department signature does not constitute approval of the work by the Marblehead Building Department or OHDC.  

Following Marblehead Building Department signature, submit 6 copies of the completed application to the Engineering Department's office by noontime Thursday prior to the scheduled OHDC meeting. 

If the request is for any change that will result in a change of appearance, a public hearing will be scheduled.  Applications requiring a public hearing must be filed at least four weeks before the public hearing and as directed by the commission.

In addition to the application form, anyone wishing to obtain a COA must provide the OHDC with photos of the building and area to be repaired or changed. These photos must be submitted with the application. Deadline for application submission to the Engineering Department's office is Thursday at noon prior to the scheduled hearing.

There is no charge for a regular application hearing.  A public hearing requires a payment of $35.00.

Once the OHDC has approved the project, a COA will be ready for pickup by the applicant and/or a representative usually within 15 days.  This COA is necessary to obtain a building permit within the districts.

OHDC Guidelines - June 2015

When We Meet
The Old and Historic Districts Commission meets in the Selectmen's room at Abbot Hall, 188 Washington Street, at 7:00 PM on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

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