The Cottage City Historic District Commission (CCHDC) reviews building projects in the district. It is the mission of the volunteer members of this Commission to act as stewards of our Victorian buildings and the unique architectural heritage of our sea side resort. It is expected that plans for any architectural changes visible from a public way will be presented to the CCHDC for review regarding adherence to historic architectural guidelines.
Homeowners who also value our unique architectural heritage have been understanding and cooperative in completing the application process. The process includes an application package, a presentation and review of the project at one of our scheduled meetings and an appropriate certificate. The process must be followed before any demolition or exterior construction on houses, porches, garages, sheds, fences, signs, walls, post lights, or above grade terraces. The CCHDC architectural guidelines can be found in the Building Inspectors Office or online on the town website. Regularly scheduled meetings are posted at the town hall. Depending upon the complexity or potential impact of a project, a Public Hearing may be held. Public Hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted at the Town Hall and notices are mailed to abutters.
The members of the CCHDC are empathetic to the balance between historic preservation and financial constraints and work very diligently with applicants to this end. Many homeowners, builders and architects have expressed that initial discussions with the CCHDC have spawned helpful suggestions which have led to a more efficient process. They have thanked the Commission for their insightful design contributions toward a final plan even exceeding the expectations of the applicant.
It has been the pleasure of the CCHDC to participate in preserving the unique architectural diversity of the Cottage City Historic District. The CCHDC thanks the Citizens of Oak Bluffs and the Board of Selectmen for having the foresight to protect such a vital component of our sea side town.