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  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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HPC Meeting Minutes

December 15, 2011

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street.  Chair Kathy Manicke called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m.  Ms. Manicke began the meeting by taking roll call.


Commissioners Attending: Kathy Manicke, Chair; Brian Roche, Vice Chair; Farrell McCoy; Dormaim Green

Absent: Jay Corvan; Katie Clendaniel 

Other Representatives Attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II; Oden C. Wheeler, Jr., Director of the Department of Public Works.

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 -November 17, 2011Ms. McCoy moved to approve the minutes.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Consent Agenda: No items recommended.


Regular Agenda Items

HPC #25-12, 114 Glenburn Avenue, owner, the Bank of the Eastern Shore requests to demolish shed in rear.  The applicant is Jim Chaney.

Jim Chaney said the bank wants to demolish the shed and sell the property.  He provided pictures.  He described it as being in very poor condition.

Mr. Brandewie said they conducted a staff visit to the site.  Staff concurs with the findings that it is a potential safety hazard; it is in extremely poor condition.  He received a call from a neighbor who expressed support for the shed demolition, but requests that if it is demolished that the ground be leveled off, not raised or elevated because of a drainage concern onto his property.   

Mr. Chaney said from the picture of the back of the neighbor's garage one can see how close it is to the shed; the neighbor is afraid the shed will fall onto his garage and wants it demolished.

Mr. Brandewie said the Reed Study shows the house, circa 1930; as a contributing building. He does not find this shed unusual or unique; it is not architecturally significant nor is in a carriage type category. He thinks the shed has no redeeming features requiring documentation.  Presently they have no clear demolition guidelines. They prepared and circulated a draft set of demolition guidelines several months ago. 

Ms. Manicke asked if any one wished to speak for or against the project.  No one did.   

Ms. McCoy said this was a lovely building and it is a loss to the City.  The City is losing historic buildings every week; this is the 31st one that has come before the HPC.  As commissioned, the HPC is approving demolitions, but they need to be more proactive about documenting their existence and try to make sure the buildings are properly maintained. 

Ms Manicke said she agrees with Ms. McCoy, but they need to look at this individual case because the post which holds it up apparently rotted to the point where it is listing to the side quite a bit and there is so much rot evident through the photographs. 

Mr. Brandewie said the HPC will continue to face this with the sheds; they were not built to any building code standards; they never had footers.  Once rot gets in the studs and floor joists it is a problem.  Property maintenance code enforcement officers do cite people for deteriorated sheds.

Mr. Chaney said property maintenance officers do a good job at checking things, but in some instances problems are not visible from the street; they are in the backyard.  Officers cannot wander around on private property without a complaint. 

Mr. Roche moved to close the discussion.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Roche moved to approve the application as submitted to demolish the shed noting that they do not have any clear demolition guidelines but that the HPC does recommend repairing and restoring buildings when possible. Ms. Green seconded the motion.  Ms. McCoy abstained.  Motion carried.

HPC # 26-12, 119 Vue de Leau Street, Jay Jones, homeowner.  Follow-up with previously approved COA# 27-11 for partial demolition of front porch.

Mr. Brandewie said this case came before the HPC in January or February 2010.  Mr. Harrington represented the property at the time.  He was involved in settling the estate of the previous owners.  He had contracts to settle the estates for this property, 119 Vue de Leau as well as 127 Vue de Leau.  Both properties have been sold. Staff has been working with Mr. Jay Jones on restoration plans.  Mr. Jones has moved forward with partial demolition, taking some parts of the porch off and rebuilding those elements.

When Mr. Harrington approached Staff in December 2010 or January 2011 his request was to stabilize a portion of the front porch.  The porch was in such deteriorated condition it had come partially off.  The HPC at their meeting put in a stipulation that any new owner upon purchase had to present a plan back to the HPC within 6 months of purchase for the restoration of the porch.  Mr. Jones is complying with that request and has submitted plans for the porch restoration to HPC.   He is going to use the original columns; there is some rot at the bottom.  He is asking for composite boards at the fascia and soffit boards at the top.  Mr. Brandewie believes the plans are thoroughly prepared and they appear to be an accurate representation of the original porch. 

Questions were raised on how Mr. Jones is dealing with some elements of the project such as missing shutters, shingles that are partially off of the house (it is a cedar shake siding) and is the porch screen door staying.  Mr. Brandewie thinks Mr. Jones has clarified everything and essentially nothing is being removed; it is going to be replaced.  Mr. Jones is asking the HPC to endorse the plans as submitted with the request to allow the composite materials.

Ms. Manicke asked the audience if any one wished to speak for or against the project.  There was no comment.  There was no further discussion.

Ms. McCoy said this was good work on the part of the Commissioners and Staff. 

Ms. McCoy moved to close the discussion.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Ms. McCoy moved to approve the replacement of the porch as submitted in the application.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

HPC #27-12, 5 Willis Street, Cameron and Lucia Smith, homeowners,  request to install 3 vinyl clad replacement windows in rear addition, grid patterns to match existing replacement windows; install 2 fiberglass replacement doors in rear and side of rear additions, construct 2-3 step wood stairs on side where new door is located with landing.

J. W. Tyler is representing the homeowners.  The project is ongoing; they have remodeled the house in different phases; the next phase is the kitchen and utility area.  Staff had no objections to the request.

Ms. Manicke asked the audience if any one wished to speak for or against the project.  There was no comment.  There was no further discussion. 

Ms. McCoy moved to close the discussion.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ms. McCoy moved to approve the application as submitted.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

HPC # 28-12, 311 Glenburn Avenue, Ronald and Karine Ireland, purchasers, request replacement of existing windows with vinyl double hung one over one; install vinyl siding on rear portion of house; replace handrail on front porch, install solar panels in rear and miscellaneous improvements.  House is to be re-used as assisted living/group home per previous Special Exception permit issued for this property.

Mr. Ireland said he is in his due diligence process with the house; he wants to make sure everything passes before he buys the house so he can start a business.  He wants to replace all of the windows in the house with vinyl siding, but he wants to put pocket windows in; he does not want to disturb the outside frames.  He requested specs, but he has not received them.

Mr. Brandewie said much of Mr. Ireland's scope of work is routine maintenance replacing in-kind with in-kind.  Mr. Ireland wants the HPC to review the windows.  Mr. Brandewie made a site visit approximately 1-1½ months ago.  They reviewed a sample product, a 1 over 1 type product.  It seemed a reasonable match to the existing size and dimensions of the window.  There are 4 or 5 unique lead glass windows on the upper sash of the front windows and possibly two windows on the side. He wants to replace the bottom sashes with tempered glass; he will rebuild the frames to be identical to what is there and put in tempered glass because they are less than 18 inches off the floor and they are at the bottom of the stairwell. 

Mr. Brandewie said there are work items such as asphalt shingles with no specs. The existing porch shingles are architectural. He believes Mr. Ireland can provide specs showing the replacement porch shingles will match the house.  The solar panel is a concept; they will need more information and specs on where it will be located and how it will be situated on the back flat roof area; this item can be postponed.  He recommends Mr. Ireland submit the porch shingle specs to Staff.  If the HPC does not take action on the windows, one suggestion is to appoint a subcommittee to review the window specs, go to the site and review the window details verifying the alternative is a reasonable replacement.  The damaged stone on the garage mentioned in Mr. Ireland's report would be difficult to repair.  Ms. Manicke said it is cement shaped with a mold having a stone profile.  Mr. Brandewie said if it can't be mortar repaired he would recommend replacement; that can be deferred later for further review; that is not a pressing issue. 

The nursing home application was previously approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and BZA as a Special Exception about 5 years ago. At the time there were conditions placed on the application including a limit of 16 beds and a parking site plan requirement to be re-submitted back to the PC for final review requiring a minimum number of spaces.  It is a requirement that the applicant will have to comply with and he will have to re-submit a site plan showing how parking would be on site, address possible screening issues with consideration on how that would affect the historic character of the property and where it would be placed.  The HPC has the authority to look at it as well after the P&Z and Staff review it. 

Ms. Manicke asked if any one wished to speak for or against this application. 

Mr. David Harp and his wife Barbara live at 309 Glenburn Avenue, next door to Mr. Ireland, and they said they have an interest in this and they are here to monitor the situation at this point.  No one else spoke on the case.

Ms. McCoy moved to close the discussion.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Roche moved to approve the application as submitted with conditions: that the HPC is not approving the removal of the leaded glass windows; the HPC is only approving the installation of tempered glass to protect those windows from people and from being broken.  The HPC is not approving vinyl on the original structure of the house, but for that to be properly re-painted.  In addition he asks that they have a subcommittee appointed as part of this application to review the window specifications prior to their installation.  He asks that two members of the HPC be appointed at a later date.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Brandewie asked Ms. Manicke if she would consider the appointment of a subcommittee and get back with him on that and he will contact the applicant.  Ms. Manicke said she would. 

HPC # 29-12, 400-402 Race Street, the owner is Ed Maloney.  Mr. Brandewie is providing the staff report for Mr. Maloney tonight and he is presenting the application.  Mr. Maloney works at Lowes and he could not get off from work.  The property is located at the corner of Race Street; it is the building formerly known as Doris Mae's Restaurant.  It is also part of and adjacent to Leaky Pete's Restaurant which was recently renovated.  He is proposing to replace the upper floor windows that are boarded up with a vinyl replacement window.  There were vinyl replacements already installed in the second floor.  An issue came up with the replacement of a membrane roof over an existing membrane roof that was leaking over Leaky Pete's as work was started without permits.  Both the Building Permit department and the HPC Staff concurred it was a replacement of in kind material and it was not visible from the street; they authorized the replacement of the membrane roof as a routine maintenance item.  The second part would be to replace the windows; he has available vinyl replacement windows that are a match to the existing windows. 

Mr. Maloney has the original shutters to the property stored in the upstairs.  He is willing to move forward with getting those re-installed at some point in the future.  He may have to apply for a façade renovation grant for assistance and help with the overall façade as well.  He is proposing to put vinyl siding back up on the side wall which is next to Leaky Pete's roof where the vinyl siding was apparently located. He maintains that a previous storm damaged the vinyl siding.  There appears to have been fiberglass-asbestos shingles underneath the vinyl siding.   He does not know what is underneath the fiberboard asbestos siding; he thinks it is brick. 

Ms. Manicke asked if any one wished to speak for or against the project.  No one spoke.

Ms. McCoy moved to close the discussion.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

After discussion, Mr. Roche moved to approve the application of 9-10 vinyl replacement windows and the membrane roof as long as the windows match the original openings and the grid lights of the existing windows; to table the siding component until it can be further evaluated in case there is brick underneath.  The HPC encourages replacement of half round gutters since they were clearly what were on the building before.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.


Inactive Docket/Continuation Cases

Mr. Brandewie stated that the Board does not need to take any action.  No information has been coming forth on HPC #17-12 at 106 Choptank Avenue so he recommends putting that in abeyance until there the owner is ready to move forward.  The property owners are not ready to move forward at the present time primarily because of the roof work.  He is advising that this item be removed from future agendas. 

The other one is HPC #23-12 at 310 West End Avenue which came before the HPC last month.  The property owner, Jacqueline Francesca Riddy-O'Dowd, has agreed not to move forward with the vinyl siding on the house.  She will attempt to restore the siding and paint it.  She requested that it be removed from the agenda; if she wants to come back with that she will at a later date. 


Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance

114 Glenburn Avenue, Bank of the Eastern Shore, Rhonda Gray, Senior Vice President, filed by Jim Chaney and 1104 School Street filed by Ted Brooks, Chesapeake LLC.  Mr. Brandewie said the Planning & Zoning Department (P&Z) acted on these two applications.  The house at 114 Glenburn Avenue was one of the cases tonight where they took two wooden deteriorated steps off the back and replaced it with a like kind match.  At 1104 School Street a porch restoration of screened in windows is going on.  No action by the HPC is necessary.


Other Business

Enforcement Update

Mr. Brandewie said the P&Z Department are moving forward with letters to go out on the satellite dish situation at 300 Choptank Avenue.  Mr. Brandewie spoke with the owner who has indicated the renters are refusing to take it down.  The owner asked Mr. Brandewie for a letter ordering the renters to take it down, but the owner has the option of applying to HPC for approval of the satellite dish that has already been installed on the front roof.  These corner properties are very difficult to get a satellite dish onto the house.  If there are any trees and blockage on the south side of the property, it is very difficult to get a satellite signal.  The satellite installer told Mr. Brandewie that the satellite company is refusing to put them on the sides of the house; they will only put them on the roof because the sides of the house may contain less than what is acceptable stud width such as 2 x 4's.  They are running into 1 x 4 studs on these additions.  Once the satellite dish is put on the house roof and if removed, the installer is refusing to take the plates and bolts out of the roof.  That is contrary to our HPC guidelines.  That is an issue the HPC needs to talk about.  The installer does not want to take them out because they don't want to patch and repair the damage to the roof structure. 

There is another case on Choptank Avenue where someone has torn down a shed and put in a new shed without HPC review and approval.  The P&Z Department will send a letter out and there are two or three other outstanding violations they are still working on, but those came up recently.

Mr. Roche said he understands the satellite dish challenge, but knows the FCC has regulated this. The owner can dictate where on the property is permissible and the HPC as a review body can't prevent it from going on, but they can tell them where it should go.  Typically the mounts can be used again, so it is not a total loss cause as long as it is in a permitted location.  Once the mount is there, they are not drilling more holes; they may be taking the old one off and re-mounting it.

Discussion continued about the satellite dish company not being able to install a dish without the permission from the property owner.  Ms. Manicke said legally on the application it clearly states that the property owner or authorized agent is required to authorize the installation of a satellite dish.  Mr. Roche said the satellite company is bound by a federal law. Mr. Brandewie stated that he has been told that as long as the satellite company has somebody 18 years or older to sign the release form when they come to the site, they are happy.  Mr. Roche said this is something that they should look into.


Discussion of Guidelines - schedule-appointment of subcommittee             

Mr. Brandewie suggested appointing three or four citizens in the historic district to work with one or two HPC members to review the draft material on fencing, siding and the demolition. 

It was stated they have not done signage.  They could take sign pictures that are examples of good signage.  Mr. Brandewie said he thinks there are some model documents and ordinances they could borrow from and incorporate their own pictures; he thinks that could be worked up fairly quickly, but he does not have a draft started on that yet. 

Mr. Brandewie said if Staff has individuals they want to nominate, he will collect them and ask each of the HPC members to nominate an individual and give them to Ms. Manicke.  Ms. Manicke can appoint a subcommittee and move forward.  Ms. Manicke said they will do that. 

Mr. Brandewie said the subcommittee would provide input and feedback into the draft guidelines, to see if they think they are reasonable and if they feel they are appropriate for the district that they live in.  Ms. Manicke said that is very important. 

Mr. Roche would like to add signage to the draft guidelines if they are going to take what they have done and present it.  Then the draft guidelines are presented to the subcommittee and at that point they have a public hearing.

Mr. Brandewie said once the guidelines are drafted, the HPC needs to advertise it; it will be on an agenda for the HPC's adoption. Then it would go back to Council for their final endorsement as well as a public hearing. One suggestion would be to ask the Main Street Committee to consider appointing one or two individuals to serve on the subcommittee especially as it relates to signage.  They will be having a new director; perhaps the director would be a part of it. 

Review of the meeting with local architect Tim Crosby to discuss possible COA amendments for two Historic District Projects

Mr. Brandewie said Mr. Crosby is having a meeting tonight with the West End Civic Association about the School Street project.  Mr. Brandewie anticipates Mr. Crosby filing formally to the HPC for both of these projects; the other one being the Dorchester Center for the Arts next month or February. 

Ms. McCoy stated she wanted to listen to the audiotape of November 2011 meeting.  Mr. Brandewie said that can be arranged.  Ms. McCoy wanted to know what was in the minutes about the meeting that Mr. Brandewie, Ms. Manicke and Mr. Roche had with Mr. Crosby. 

Mr. Brandewie said the minutes reflect the Chair and Vice Chair were invited to a meeting with Mr. Crosby to review a power point presentation on possible changes to the Mill Street School project that had been reviewed and approved by the HPC about 3 or 4 years ago.  It was an informational meeting.  Staff reported at the November meeting to the HPC that this meeting occurred and that Mr. Crosby was moving forward with an application. Mr. Crosby was also seeking public input and feedback from the community prior to submitting it to P&Z and the HPC.  Mr. Brandewie said the Staff was present and they fully disclosed this meeting, the outcome and the general direction of the meeting to the HPC. 

Ms. McCoy said in her experience when there is a major project it is brought to the local review board at each conceptual stage.  She thinks it is insulting to the review board.  Mr. Brandewie said the applicant has not submitted a formal application before the HPC for review yet; he has not officially filed an application.  Ms. Manicke said Mr. Crosby is speaking to the HPC and to the local residents near the school as part of his fact finding before he formalizes even his concept.  Mr. Roche said the reason they announced it at the November meeting was if any member had concerns they could have contacted Mr. Crosby and seen the presentation or met with him and seen what he was proposing and review it with him.  There was no rule against any one contacting him.  Mr. Brandewie said Mr. Crosby sent a follow-up letter inviting any of the HPC members to sit on the power point presentation that was given to two members of the PC as well as to the two officers of the HPC. 

Mr. Roche suggested to Ms. McCoy that if she has concerns to contact the architect, Tim Crosby, directly and review what he has proposed.  Mr. Brandewie recommends that if Ms. McCoy contacts Mr. Crosby, to advise Staff and they will accompany them as well to the meeting. 

Ms. McCoy thought that from the very beginning Mr. Crosby should have come before the entire HPC and given conceptual presentations. 

Mr. Brandewie replied that the HPC can always ask if they would like to come in for a preliminary consultation.  Some HPCs provide that mechanism where they are not formally applying so the HPC's are not bound by a 45 day window to approve or disapprove something and the applicants are not bound by a one year limitation to re-submit something.  Mr. Crosby's purpose was to get as much community input into the project as possible; he has changed the design as a result of it already with input and feed back from various people and organizations that he has met with.  It is an evolving design process.  He thinks Mr. Crosby is more than willing to open it up to anybody that wants to look at it. Mr. Brandewie explained that this project consists of a multi-step review process because it was filed as a planned unit development; there are multiple city steps that this project has to go through including P&Z review and Council review.  HPC is not the only organization having a shot at this.  This is a complex project that will have a lot of public review.  This is the very beginning of it. 

Ms. McCoy suggested the HPC get some feed back from MHT (Maryland Historic Trust) circuit writer about how this thing was handled.   Ms. Manicke said it would be a good idea to contact MHT circuit writer and see what happens in other locales with this sort of thing and report back to them at the next meeting. 

Mr. Roche moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:42 p.m.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.            


Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie
City Planner II