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HPC Minutes

July 16, 2015

Historic Preservation Commission


July 16, 2015


The Historic Preservation Commission met on July 16, 2015 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay St.  Chairwoman Patricia Weichmann called the meeting to order at 7:02 P.M.  Ms. Weichmann began the meeting by issuing a welcome, taking roll call and swearing in persons planning to testify.


Commissioners Attending:

Patricia Weichmann, Ron Berman, Mike Russo, Gaver Nichols, Janice Olshesky--Alternate

Commissioners Absent:

Sharon Smith, Jackie Vickers--Council Liason


Other Representatives Attending:

Pat Escher—City Planner

LaSara Kinser—Planning and Zoning Assistant

June 18, 2015 Minutes: On a motion by Mr. Russo, seconded by Mr. Nichols the Commission unanimously voted to table the minutes until the next meeting.



HPC Case # 51 FY 14-15 205 West End

Mr. Sam Fava of THD At Home Services represented the case.  Ms. Olshesky stated the window in question is vinyl, not wood as was stated on the application and that the other windows on each side are also vinyl.

On a motion by Mr. Russo, seconded by Mr. Berman, the Commission unanimously voted to:  approve HPC # 51 FY 14-15, for approval to replace one white vinyl window with one white, vinyl Simonton 6100 double hung window on the right rear elevation of the building.



HPC Case # 2015-001 209 High St

After discussion about the scope of the project, including the intended repair to the porch trim, Mr. Berman asked to clarify the full extent of the work. Mr. Mark Oberender, who represented the case for Ms. Lea Gore, stated that he would remove the wooden deck, replace some of the framing under the deck as needed, that he would not alter the brick piers supporting the deck and that he would replace the trim under the porch with Azek instead of wrapping it in aluminum as it is currently. Ms. Olshesky clarified that no changes would be made to the handrail.

On a motion by Mr. Nichols, seconded by Mr. Russo, the Commission unanimously voted to: approve the installation of the slate gray Azek composite decking that was shown to the board, with the additional stipulation that the trim below the flooring be a 1” x 10” or equal, Azek PVC material.


HPC Case # 2015-002 102 Choptank Ave

Mr. Atkinson, representing the homeowner Mr. Diaz, explained the scope of the work and its necessity and showed samples of his intended materials. Discussion included the color of the brick piers, other porch elements and their state of repair, and the design of the porch. Mr. Nichols suggested some ideas for further work to enhance the porch.

On a motion by Mr. Nichols, seconded by Mr. Russo, the Commission unanimously voted to: approve HPC # 2 FY 15-16 102 Choptank Ave for the replacement of existing porch decking with Azek composite material and to replace bead board on the interior of the porch base with Azek and recommend approval as otherwise submitted and to recommend the replacement of only the two piers that are necessary in matching color.

HPC Case # 2015-003 301 Gay St.

Ms. Devlin, representing the case for the West End Citizens Association, presented the application, including that they would like to amend the application to include repair of the front door sill, rather than replacement of it. She also introduced two samples of material: the ipe wood for the porches and a sample of the pavers they intend to use. She stated that the building has suffered from neglect, moisture and insect problems.

The Commissioners asked Ms. Devlin several questions and the main points of discussion were:

· The location of an ADA bathroom

o WECA will enter into a shared bathroom agreement with the Dorchester County Public Library

· The use of PVC shutters

o Ms. Olshesky questioned the use of vinyl shutters. Later in the meeting she also pointed out that there are long lasting woods, such as cedar, ipe and mahogany, that are similar in price to the composite and that with the use of marine grade varnish such as cetol will last longer than varnish and need varnish once or twice a year.

§ Ms. Devlin clarified that she is trying to control the quality of the shutters, even after she is no longer involved with the project, and that she would see what MHT recommended. If MHT will not approve the shutters she would need to come back.

· The location of the storm windows and whether they would be flush to the window or to the wall.

o Ms. Olshesky and Mr. Nichols pointed out that on the elevation drawings, the storm windows seemed to be located flush to the wall, which would restrict the view of the punched masonry. Ms. Devlin clarified that they would utilize two track storm windows to be installed flush to the windows where there are currently three track storm windows are now.

· The exterior finish

o Mr. Nichols questioned the scoring detail. Ms. Devlin clarified that they would match what exists currently, and produced the paint analysis report to document that.

· Amendments to the application

o Ms. Devlin clarified that the front door sill would be repaired, and that the rear door would be repaired, considering that it is older than originally thought.

· The timeline of the project

o Mr. Nichols asked if WECA would be ready to start building after final approval from MHT, and Ms. Devlin clarified that construction would begin in September pending the decision from MHT. Mr. Nichols also asked if the project could be used as an educational opportunity for local universities or students and Ms. Devlin indicated that if there were more flexibility of time that would be possible. Preservation Maryland would like to be able to document the building.

· Research

o Mr. Berman asked what research has been done on the building and its changes over time. Ms. Devlin responded that research has been done, and that the consultants who did the paint analysis uncovered information about various building elements and that she intends to complete an historic structures report in the next year. Mr. Berman then asked about the changes to the building that would not be original. These included the mechanical components, no rear pictures exist to document the rear steps, they will use paint as opposed to lime wash. Ms. Devlin reviewed several different coach lights with her architect and said that the coach lights would be the most appropriate lights that could be procured without having them custom made.

· Public Comment

o Mr. Steve Del Sorto, a local citizen, Federal Preservation Officer, Archaeologist, and Architectural Historian, voiced concerns including:

§ The logic of using PVC shutters considering that the library will have to paint the doors and windows etc. anyway and also considering that the PVC material is inappropriate for the building.

§ The storm windows

§ The stucco, which was not only scored, but also sanded. Ms. Devlin clarified that the stucco would be sanded as well.

§ The porch, which should be able to be identified by the average individual as additional material, not original to the building.

§ The coach lights, considering that Williamsburg represents 18th century not 19th century lights. Later in the meeting he clarified that he misunderstood Ms. Devlin’s use of the term Williamsburg to describe the interior lights and that the exterior lights would be very difficult to find.

§ That a phase one archaeological study should be done, where holes are intended to be dug.

· Mr. Nichols asked about the funding of the project and how the project would be affected by the ruling of MHT’s easement committee, and if the HPC acted to approve certain elements, like the shutters, they would still be subject to approval by MHT.

o Ms. Devlin clarified that the money is committed by MHT and that if there were further requirements by MHT that cost more money the project would not stop and the grant would not be jeopardized. Ms. Devlin will also continue to apply for grants.

· Mr. Berman raised his concern about the stock of the historical buildings in Cambridge that are as old as this building (1850’s). Mr. Berman was concerned that there had not been more research done on the building before it was brought to HPC. Particularly as the building is a significant building and also was owned by a prominent citizen.

o Ms. Devlin answered that she has talked to Mr. Wright the town historian and there was not very much information available about the building.

· A discussion followed to craft the motion


On a motion by Mr. Russo, seconded by Ms. Olshesky, the Commission unanimously voted to: approve HPC # 3 FY 15-16 301 Gay St motion for the proposal to replace the asphalt roof with cedar shakes,  repair the chimneys as they are in poor condition, similar to the exterior walls, repoint the exterior masonry as it is in disrepair,  repair/replace the existing stucco to match the original design, repair the wood double hung windows by replacing any damaged or rotted panels or pieces of frame, and painting and puttying the windows as needed, install new storm windows on the exterior of the windows, repair the front door, transom and sidelights, as they need to be repainted, re-puttied, and re-glazed, repair the back door to match the existing front door, build new front and rear porches, the front porch will extend the landing to the front door, and the back porch will match the front. Both will consistent with the existing architecture; Install new coach lighting to be period appropriate, phase 1 archaeological study to be performed; storm windows are to be recessed to match the original windows, shutters to be made of high quality weather resistant wood and paint, build a pathway with a sitting area connecting to the library walkway, and, installing a fence around the necessary mechanical equipment.


A Motion was made by Mr. Russo, seconded by Ms. Weichmann to amend the previous motion to include that the applicant will repair and not replace the existing front door sill.

HPC Case # 2015-004 106 Vue de Leau

Mr. Krusheski, the owner, presented his application and explained the use of his intended materials and the necessary accessories to the roof shingles, which are detailed in the motion. He also answered questions from Commissioners regarding paint color, the underlying cedar shakes.  There was no public comment.

Ms. Olshesky disagreed with the assertion that cedar shingles could not be constructed in a way that will last long term.

On a motion by Mr. Nichols, seconded by Mr. Berman, the Commission unanimously voted to: to approve HPC # 4 FY 15-16 106 Vue de Leau allowing the applicant to remove all layers of roof including original cedar shakes saving a sample of the shakes on site for documentation and to install GAF timberlines shingles, and appropriate details such as drip edges the proposed marine grade, exterior grade plywood subdeck, with the ice and water shield, and valleys, as presented in his presentation.




Mr. Doug Kyle, of 400 Race Street, came to discuss the requirements that he needs to fulfill the conditional Certificate of Appropriateness that he was granted at the March 12th, 2015 meeting. As the roofing materials have not come in yet, he will meet with staff and with Mr. Russo, who is empowered to sign the COA as the Vice Chair. Mr. Nichols applauded the project.


Ms. Weichmann informed the board that though a tax seminar was intended to be planned for the August meeting, but that since we have been unable to secure a speaker, and asked the board members to consider another Thursday in the coming months, which would be on a different Thursday than an HPC meeting or the Thursday of the December meeting since it is usually slow. The board agreed to consider several dates. Ms. Weichmann also reminded the board members that there will be a windows seminar in October, the exact date is yet to be determined, and that there is a Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions Crab Feast at JM Claytons on September 19th, 2015.


Mr. Nichols suggested highlighting interesting projects in town and posting PDF’s of images on the website. Staff agreed to look into the possibility. It may be possible to tie the images to the preservation awards program.


Ms. Weichman also introduced the new City Planner for Cambridge, Ms. Pat Escher. She was most recently a principal planner for the city of Alexandria, VA. She has also worked for Eagle County, Colorado and Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


Motion to adjourn: Motion by Mr. Russo, seconded by Mr. Berman, and the Commission unanimously approved.  The meeting adjourned at 8:46 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,


LaSara Kinser

Planning and Zoning Assistant