Southampton New York Proposes “Skin Deep” Shift in Historic Building Code

A proposed change would soften the permitting requirements for interior renovations in historic buildings, but retain strict rules over exterior facades.

Pelletreau Silver Shop, An Ancient Building in Southampton

As reported by Jen Newman at

Southampton Town officials have proposed code changes for buildings and structures that need to go before the Landmarks and Historic Districts Board before any demolition or construction takes place.

One of the possible changes proposed by the town’s planning department staff with the support of Southampton Town Councilman John Bouvier would distinguish between interior and exterior changes to an older building. Currently, demolition permits are all encompassing of any construction, alteration or restoration. The update to the code would mean interior renovations, or other similar construction projects, would not require a full demolition permit from the town—although the applications would still need to be referred to the Landmarks and Historic Districts Board.

Another proposed change to the code would require any structure built before 1941 to be referred to the board for review and recommendations—the current wording in the code requires the board’s review if the structure is 75 years old or older.

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