As a Westport, MA Contractor, we perform work in the Historic District.

The information in this post is specific to the “Westport Point Historic District”.

The Historical Commission’s website can be a little unclear when it comes to actually getting support/information for requesting permissions.

Joe Arruda Construction, Inc. has created this post to offer some guidance.  Please note – this is our interpretation of navigating the Bylaws of the Historical Commission and NOT a legal interpretation of their regulations or applicability. 

ALL work under the jurisdiction of the Town of Westport Historical Commission Charter and Guidelines must comply with their Bylaws.  This includes work which needs to be approved as NOT being under their jurisdiction (which still requires permission to proceed without their oversight – more of a “release” than an “approval”).

SUBMITTAL Type 1: “Certificate of Appropriateness” – DIRECT APPROVAL
You fill out an application showing what is being done to a Historic Elevation or Structure, so the Board can review it and approve, redirect or deny it.

SUBMITTAL Type2: “Certificate of Non-Applicability” – MORE OF A RELEASE
This is for work which needs the Board’s approval for a permit, in cases where the work is

  • not subject to view from a public way;
  • a maintenance, repair, or replacement using same design and materials (the Commission calls this “like for like” and suggests using that term in the proposal);
  • a proposed change specifically excluded for review under the Bylaw (which must be specifically expressed).

There are other Historical Commission submittals for demolition or hardship, but JACinc won’t comment or offer guidance online – we require more specific information (and those require direct contact with the Committee Chair for further information).

A link to the application is provided here: Westport-Historic-Application

The Board meets on the first Monday of every month and requests to be added to the agenda must be received 3weeks prior.

Cost of the application is currently $50.

Applications can be filed via email by request (or supporting documents) but the best legal way to file an application is through the Secretary of the Selectman.  2nd Floor of Town Hall.  When it is submitted, the secretary will record the receipt of it…and it will be delivered to the Clerk of the Historical Commission.

APPLICATION and a copy of the HISTORICAL COMMISSION GUIDELINES are physically available on the wall outside the Selectman’s Office at Town Hall.

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If you need assistance with understanding or navigating the Town of Westport Building Department (permitting) or evaluating which work requires a permit, Historical Commission approvals, OR to obtain a quote for work on your home, please contact me via email at

Mark Mahar,
Manager, Estimator, Architectural Designer
Joe Arruda Construction, Inc.