HPC Meeting Minutes
March 15, 2012
The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Chair Kathy Manicke called the meeting to order at approximately 7:03 p.m. Ms. Manicke began the meeting by taking roll call.
Commissioners Attending: Kathy Manicke, Chair; Brian Roche, Vice Chair; Farrell McCoy (arrived at 7:05 p.m.).
Absent: Jay Corvan was not present. Dormaim Bromwell-Green; Katie Clendaniel were unable to attend.
Other Representatives Attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II
Ms. Manicke presented the opening statement.
Oath Administered-Persons Wishing to Testify: Kathy Manicke administered the oath to all persons wishing to testify.
Approval of Minutes: Mr. Brandewie reported that the minutes from the February 16th, meeting was still being prepared and they would be available at the next meeting.
Consent Agenda: There were no items to act on.
Regular Agenda Items
HPC# 34-12, 102 High Street. Jeffrey and Deborah Hubbard owners are requesting to install 10' by 16' prefabricated utility shed in the rear yard. Mr. Hubbard provided an overview of the site plan that contained a picture of the prefabricated shed. He noted it was not in a flood plain regulatory area. It would be located approximately 3' from the rear property lines. Mr. Brandewie asked if there were any sheds previously located on the property; and if owners have access by the easement or ally that is located to the rear. Mr. Hubbard responded to his knowledge there were no sheds on the property since they have purchased it. Regarding the rear alleyway, it depends on who you talk to but access to the accessory building from the rear alleyway is not needed for the shed. There was no one else to speak in favor or against the application. The HPC acted to close the discussion.
HPC members noted that the proposed accessory building would be minimally visible from the street and had no objections to allowing this structure at the location proposed.
Farrell McCoy moved to approve the application as submitted, seconded by Mr. Roche. Motion carried 3-0 in favor.
HPC# 35-12, 310 Glenburn Ave., Donald Gray (owner), is requesting to replace existing 3 tab shingles on house and side porch with architectural shingles to match existing patio windows previously approved. He is also requesting approval of soffit and ridge vents on the house and porch. Mr. Gray noted he has a severe moisture problem in the house likely caused by improper insulation in the attic area and no ventilation in the upper area of the house. Mr. Randy Bell provided a shingle sample, a soffit vent sample and a roof vent product to be used on the side porch. He stated they would use a low profile ridge vent. He proposed to remove the soffit boards on the house and replace it with a vinyl product that would be less visible than installing soffit covers. The shingles would match what was recently approved for the front window overhang.
Discussion followed about the nature of the moisture problem with the house. HPC members suggested that the moisture may be originating from the ground and wicking up to the attic area. Mr. Gray noted that the insulation was installed in the rafters of the attic and covered with drywall. Combined with no ventilation this is adding to the moisture problem.
One member from the audience, Mr. Dave Jones spoke on the need to have proper ventilation in the attic. Mr. Brandewie asked if there had been any calculations taken into consideration on the amount of minimum ventilation needed in the attic area as may be required by building codes. He noted that cutting slots or holes in the soffit board and installing a soffit cover may be a better alternative to removing the soffit board which is original to the house. There was no further discussion and the HPC acted to this portion of the public hearing.
HPC members noted that the ventilation problem appears to be significant based on the testimony of the owner and contractor and additional measures may be warranted to improve this situation. They had no objections to the proposed shingles and to the products presented.
Brian Roche moved to approve the application as submitted noting that this is an amended request to reflect the products that were submitted for review at tonight's meeting including: (1) the proposed asphalt shingles as specified, (2) the installation of the soffit vents as proposed, (3) the installation of the porch roof vent and to approve a ridge vent with the stipulation that it be a low profile ridge vent. Seconded by Farrell McCoy. Motion carried by a vote of 3-0 in favor.
Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance: Mr. Brandewie offered to review any of the items. There were no objections.
3 Choptank Ave., Glen Ruark, contractor-applicant) modify existing (borderline non-contributing) shed by shortening the length (32 ft. to 20 ft.) and reconstructing façade back to original condition to allow for improved turning movements from alley.
118 High Street, Lawrence McCormick, repair damaged corners of front porch-routine maintenance. March 3rd, 2012.
5 West End, Cindy Smith, replace existing deteriorated wood fence sections in rear yard with in-kind replacement.
216 Willis, Larry Mills-owner, renter to relocate or remove illegally installed satellite dish on side porch (corner lot) pending property owner approval.
Presentation on Windows-PowerPoint Presentation by Staff. Mr. Brandewie requested a change in the order of the agenda to allow staff to give a presentation on windows; followed by a presentation by representatives from VIWINCO, a vinyl window manufacturer. There were no objections.
Mr. Brandewie provided a PowerPoint presentation that summarized the HPC Guidelines on window replacement. He provided examples and language from the Maryland Association of Historic Districts Commissions (MAHDC) and from other communities on model guidelines that that prohibit window replacements on the sole basis of providing energy efficiency or for the purpose of meeting lead base paint abatement requirements. He also noted in the presentation that some communities, if they allow replacement windows, that they match the existing windows to the extent possible. If artificial grids are allowed, some guidelines require that they have both an exterior and interior grid with spacers between the windows. Some communities also allow more flexibility on the side or rear portions of the building. He also pulled up a website from www.oldhouseguy.com that had a number of pictures of good and poor window installations and replacements as they relate to historic preservation.
Mr. Dave Jones from the Roof Center and Mr. Michael Duncan from ViWinco provided an overview of a new line of vinyl windows that better match the qualities of historic windows. They provided additional hand out materials to the Commission members. Staff commented that it is hopeful that the Commission and the attendees came away with a better understanding of the issue.
Follow-up Items from January-February, 2012 Meetings
Mr. Brandewie noted that the "Design Workshop" sponsored by MAHDC-Meeting Place-Details-Food and Beverages has been confirmed. It will take place on April 21st, from 9-12:00PM at the Council Chambers. Registration material to follow.
Report of Subcommittee for Review of Windows: staff noted that there was no activity to report.
Review of Building Permit Data: Mr. Brandewie noted he is still researching this.
Discuss format of Annual Report: Mr. Brandewie provided a handout on a Historic Preservation Award Program and asked for HPC comments. It would be necessary to act on this tonight in order to send it to Council. The HPC had no comments and endorsed moving forward with this. There were no comments from members of the audience.
Kathy Manicke noted this is long over due and moved to endorse this program and send it to City Council for further consideration. Seconded by Brian Roche. Motion carried.
Enforcement Update: Staff noted that some members expressed concern about the tree trimming conducted in the area. It was recommended that staff prepare a letter to Delmarva Power asking if there could be further coordination with the HPC and their tree trimming companies.
Report of Subcommittee For Review of Property Code Issues-no report.
Discussion of Guidelines/By-Laws: Staff provided draft material on the use of primary, secondary and tertiary areas of visual concern and their applications to items such as fences, satellite dishes, accessory buildings, decks and other items. The Commission took it under advisement.
Work Shop Date: No discussion.
Final Review of Draft By-Laws and Rules of Procedures. Mr. Brandewie noted that these two documents have been reviewed by the HPC members several months ago and there have been very few changes since the HPC members last looked at them. These changes are needed to formalize language allowing staff more leeway in approving items administratively, to reduce advertising costs, and to bring them up to date. Mrs. McCoy asked if additional changes could still be brought to the HPC's attention such as grammatical errors. It was suggested that any additional feedback be sent to staff by Monday. Ms. Manicke asked if there any additional comments from HPC members. There were no comments and no one spoke from the audience on the matter. Staff noted that he has had no feed back from the other HPC members on the draft material.
Mr. Roche moved to approve these changes to the By-laws and Rules of Procedures as submitted and to forward them on to Council for approval; and that any additional non-content related suggestions are forwarded to Mr. Brandewie by Monday. Seconded by Farrell McCoy. Motion carried by a vote of 3-0 in favor.
Ms. McCoy moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:14 p.m. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Daniel L. Brandewie
City Planner II