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HPC Minutes

October 15, 2015

Historic Preservation Commission


October 15, 2015


The Historic Preservation Commission met on October 15, 2015 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay St.  Chairwoman Patricia Weichmann called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.  Ms. Weichmann began the meeting by issuing a welcome, taking roll call and swearing in persons planning to testify, and announcing the dates and times for the Window Repair Seminar and the Tax Incentive Seminars being hosted by the HPC in the coming months.


Commissioners Attending:

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


Commissioners Absent:

Jackie Vickers--Council Liason, Sharon Smith


Other Representatives Attending:

LaSara Kinser—Planning and Zoning Assistant


September 17, 2015: On a motion by Mr. Nichols the minutes were approved as submitted; Second by Mr. Russo.


Consent Agenda




HPC #2015-012, 116 Glenburn Ave.

The application to install 15 solar panels on the rear roof and the rear porch roof of the house was represented by Mr. Brooks Bridges and Ms. Maureen Farrell. Mr. Bridges discussed the application of the Secretary of the Interiors Standards to the application, the evolution of the application, which includes reducing the amount of panels requested, the level of visibility of the proposed panels and previous work to the house regarding energy efficiency.  There were two letters of support for the application, one by Sharon Smith and one by Cheryl Campbell and Jim Culver. Several members of the public spoke in favor of the application: Charles McFadden of 207 Belvedere Ave., Bill George of 204 Belvedere Ave., Grace Reed of 104 Glenburn Ave., and Deborah Hannan of 6 Willis St. The Commission further discussed the application namely, the application of the Secretary of the Interiors Standards, impact of the panels on the house. Mr. Russo made a motion to deny the application in support of staff’s recommendation which was seconded by Mr. Nichols and passed 4-1, with Ms. Olshesky dissenting. [The dissenting opinion is included as an attachment to these minutes.]


HPC #2015-013, 704 Travers St.

Mr. Frampton represented the application to replace the front porch of the building. He has amended the application from the last meeting and intends to use 3/8” by ¼” tongue in groove fir, and has removed the proposal to cover the header and ceiling boards on the porch, which will instead be sanded and painted. There was no public comment on the application. There was no further discussion on the application by the Commission. Mr. Nichols made a motion to approve the application based on the staff report and compliance with the design guidelines, Mr. Berman seconded the application, which passed 5-0.



HPC 2015-014, 207 High St.

Catherine Morrison, homeowner, was present however Victor MacSorley, project contractor, represented the application to remove the roof-line balustrade on the house. Mr. MacSorley explained the causes and extent of the damage to the roof, namely that the balustrade dams the water on the roof, and has caused damage to the interior roof structure, and the justification for removing the balustrade and potential alternative treatments to preserve the balustrade. Questions and concerns about the application were presented to Mr. MacSorley by the Commission. Public comment was made by Carroll Dail of 202 Glenburn Ave, Mr. Frank Cooke of 303 Mill St., and Purnell Shortall of 1188 Blades Rd., Cordova. The Commission did not further discuss the application. Mr. Nichols made a motion to approve the application with conditions, Mr. Russo seconded the application and the motion passed 4-1 with Mr. Berman dissenting.



321 Choptank Ave.,

Mr. Shortall explained to the Commission that the windows in the gables were rotten, so he removed them and covered the openings with siding. The siding that was originally installed on the house is discontinued and so Mr. Shortall explained that he tried to match the original siding, but that he could not and so the siding that covers the openings does not match the siding on the rest of the house. Mr. Shortall proposed bringing an application for the installation of white vinyl shakes on the entire gable. HPC discussed several potential treatments with Mr. Shortall. The feedback from the HPC was that the window should be reinstalled, and that the HPC will continue to work with Mr. Shortall to determine an appropriate treatment around the windows.


Administrative Approvals

There were no questions on the administrative approvals.

Enforcement Update




Mr. Joe Turner, of Zion UM Church, came to present an upcoming project to replace the roof of the church parsonage (610 Locust St.).


Staff asked for a motion to recommend to City Council a moratorium on solar panels in the historic district, to allow time to prepare and publish guidelines for solar panels. Mr. Russo made a motion to accept staff’s recommendation to ask for a moratorium on solar panels from January 1 to April 30, 2016 to allow City staff to prepare and present to HPC guidelines regarding the application of solar panels in the historic district, which Mr. Nichols seconded and which passed 5-0.


Motion to adjourn: Motion by Mr. Russo, Mr. Nichols seconded the motion and the Commission unanimously approved.  The meeting adjourned at 9:33 p.m. 


Attachment to Minutes—October 15, 2015


Dissenting opinion from Janice Olshesky:


I dissented because, this applicant met the criteria of the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation for Solar Panels document, which  recommends that "Installing a Solar Device on the historic building only after other locations have been investigated and determined infeasible".  More specifically this applicant:

· moved the solar panels off the side elevation of the house, even though this was the best angle to receive solar power.

· their yard is not large enough for the solar panels

· their shed does not face the correct direction and is blocked by shade.

· moved the solar panels to a tertiary facade.

· modified the inverter to a more expensive one to accommodate the panels on the rear elevation which will receive less light

· reduced the panels from 18 to 15

Secondly, the applicant met the criteria of the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation & Illustrated Guidelines, Technical Preservation Services, Building Exterior Roofs, "Designing additions to roofs such as residential, office, or storage spaces; elevator housing; decks and terraces; or domers or skylights when required by the new use so that they are inconspicuous from the public right-of-way and do not damage character defining features." This applicant met this criteria and made significant modifications so that the solar panels would not stand out or attract attention. The applicant met this criteria because:

· The rear elevation is blocked mostly by two large trees.

· changed the selection blue solar panels to black solar panels and black mounts.

· installed new black shingles that will more closely match the black solar panels and black mounts

· selected low profile solar panels that are not prominent

· left the ridge lines exposed and matched the slope of the roof.

· the solar panels are removeable and will not damage character defining features

Respectfully submitted,


LaSara Kinser

Planning and Zoning Assistant