Historic Stone Wall Protection Ordinance

 THE TOWN OF SMITHFIELD HEREBY ORDAINS:
CHAPTER 305
STONE WALL PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION

 § 305-1. Purpose.
The intent of this Ordinance is to protect the historic stone walls located in Smithfield since they are a cultural resource and help preserve the rural character of the Town. This Ordinance will establish guidelines for the identification of historic stone walls and provide for the protection and preservation of the Town’s historic stone walls. The protection and preservation of the Town’s historic stone walls is in furtherance of the public health, safety and welfare.

§ 305-2. Definition.
For the purposes of this Ordinance, an “Historic Stone Wall” is a vertical structure of aligned natural stone built before 1900, normally constructed to designate a property boundary or to separate agricultural activities within a farmstead. Further classification of historic stone walls will follow the guidelines set forth in Exploring Stone Walls by R.M. Thornton (Walker & Co., New York 2005), as the same may be revised from time to time.

 § 305-3. General Provisions.
a) The alteration, relocation or demolition of an historic stone wall or any portion thereof which is located in Smithfield shall require prior written approval of the Building Official, obtained by submission of a specific plan containing details of the location, project, and reconstruction plan. The plan must show due regard for the historic value of the stone wall and repair methods compliant with these guidelines. A contingency repair bond may be required by the Building Official.

b) The alteration, relocation or demolition of an historic stone wall as part of any subdivision project must also be approved by the Planning Board.

c) The replacement of an historic stone wall at its original location shall be with the same materials and the same construction method as the original wall, using as many original stones as possible.

d) Cuts for driveways, roads, utility easements or fire lanes shall be of the minimum necessary length, and ends of the walls must be restored.

e) Historic stone walls in disrepair or neglected condition shall not be removed from their present location, but must be repaired or left as is. Any in situ reconstruction shall match that of the original wall, i.e., drywall or hidden cement.

f) New stone walls must closely approximate the appearance of the adjoining historic stone wall with respect to coursing, native field stone, joint width and distribution of stones by size.

§ 305-4. Penalties.
Any person violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be subject to a fine of $500. Each day any violation of this Ordinance shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 305-5. Severability.
If any one or more sections of this Ordinance shall for any reason be adjudged unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, the judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remaining provisions.

§ 305-6. Relationship to Other Ordinances.
Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed to restrict, amend, repeal, or otherwise limit the application or enforcement of the Smithfield Zoning Ordinance.

THIS ORDINANCE SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER PASSAGE.

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