HPC Meeting Minutes
November 17, 2011
The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, November 17, 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 Bromwell Green (arrived at approximately 7:05 p.m.); Katie Clendaniel (arrived at approximately 7:30 p.m.).
Absent: Jay Corvan (absent due to illness).
Other Representatives Attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II; Frank Stout, Council Liaison.
Ms. Manicke presented the opening statement.
Oath Administered-Persons Wishing to Testify: Kathy Manicke administered the oath to all persons wishing to testify.
Amendments to the Agenda: Kathy Manicke asked if there were any changes to the agenda. Mr. Brandewie noted there were no additions or deletions; however, he has been informed that the HPC indicated at the October meeting that they would hear one continuation case at the beginning of the November meeting. It has been requested to move HPC#16-12, 213 Oakley Street to the front of the Regular Agenda Items. Ms. Manicke asked if there were any objections to this. Hearing none, Ms. Manicke noted this case will be heard first after the consent agenda.
Approval of Minutes - October 20, 2011: Mr. Brandewie noted he made minor corrections to the minutes that were provided to the Commission members - no substantive changes.
Ms. McCoy moved to approve the minutes; seconded by Brian Roche. Motion carried unanimously.
Consent Agenda: Ms. Manicke asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Consent Agenda and would the Board like to move on these items. Members had no changes or objections. There were no comments from the public.
HPC #18-12, 317 High St., James Cox, "Just Yesterday", requests new 18"x 30" business sign to be installed as a projection sign on right facade column, approx. 11-12' from grade. Mr. Brandewie noted that since this was a new sign, he recommended it be reviewed by the HPC. It is historical in character; the dimensions are smaller in size than the previous signage for the decoy store. Staff is recommending approval. Ms. McCoy said the sign looked fine; there were no comments; there was no further discussion.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the application for HPC #18-12, 317 High Street as a Consent Agenda item, seconded by Ms. McCoy. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC #24-12, 107 Mill St., requests replacement of existing windows (one over one) with vinyl replacements to match size and openings; non-contributing structure. Staff felt there were no issues with this. Staff had recommended this be put on the Consent Agenda. There was no further discussion.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the application for HPC #24-12, non-contributing structure as a Consent Agenda item, seconded by Ms. Green. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC #16-12, 213 Oakley St., Mary Beth Adams, homeowner and Robert W. Powell, applicant requests to demolish garage, replace with small shed, install new fencing to match existing. HPC acted to table application to allow HPC members to evaluate condition of shed. On site review was conducted by Ms. Manicke, Jay Corvan, and Staff on 10-28-11.
Mr. Powell spoke at length on the condition and cost of repairing the shed. Ms. Adams said she does not have the money to repair the building; if the PC does not approve it, she will have to let the building fall down. She does not mean for the building to look ugly in the neighborhood; she wants to put up a building that looks better for her neighborhood because it is an eye sore and an embarrassment to her. Mr. Donald Grey spoke on the condition of other sheds in the area and supported the application. There was no one else to speak in favor or against the application.
Ms. McCoy said they are going to be constantly faced with this problem where the HPC asks people to maintain buildings they can't afford to the Secretary of Interior standards. If the HPC is asking this of people, then she thinks they need to have a fund to help them do it. She thinks they should save this building, but the owner is saying she cannot afford to save it. Ms. McCoy said she sympathizes with that decision. Either the City or a non-profit group needs to set up a fund to help people maintain their property to the Secretary's standards. She said she will do her best to make that happen.
Mr. Roche moved to close the discussion. Ms. Green seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the application as submitted and have the homeowner and staff to keep photographic evidence of the property and to do her best to transfer that information to whomever inherits the property. Ms. Green seconded the motion. Ms. Clendaniel abstained. Motion carried.
Regular Agenda Items
HPC #19-12, 112 Oakley St., Nanette Speer (homeowner) John Hodges, (contractor) requests installation of 5 replacement vinyl replacement windows (one over one) to match existing wood windows in various locations of the house. Mr. Brandewie requested that this case be moved to the end of the agenda since he was representing the applicant.
HPC #20-12, 111 Vue De Leau Ave., David and Gena Levy (homeowners) and Wayne Curtis, (contractor) requests to construct new two story salt treated wood deck (approx. 16' by 16') with stair case, porch railing, columns connecting 2nd floor in rear of house. Mr. Levy provided an overview of the project.
Mr. Brandewie said when he first looked at the site plan he noticed that it might not have met an eight (8) foot side yard setback requirement. Upon inspection of the site there is sufficient width; there is no side yard setback issues with this case as he originally thought. The applicant is proposing a wood structure.
Members asked the homeowners if they would consider constructing a covered porch type structure on the 2nd level porch rather than an open deck because they thought it would be more appropriate for a house of this vintage. On the second story the porch would be like a balcony; there was discussion that they could create a pergola on top of it. Mr. Levy said he would talk to Mr. Curtis about doing that.
Mr. Brandewie said that would require evaluation and revised plans turned in as part of their building permit. Mr. Levy indicated he had no problems with turning in revised plans.
Ms. McCoy moved to close the discussion. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the application with the addition of a pergola to be presented to the Department of Public Works for their approval as well. Ms. McCoy seconded the motion. Motion carried. Ms Clendaniel abstained from voting citing a conflict of interest since she is related to the applicant.
HPC #21-12, 906 Glasgow St., John Haught, (homeowner) filed by Prettyman Const. Inc., applicant, requests replacement of existing aluminum siding w/ 7-8" vinyl siding on house The house's existing aluminum siding was damaged during a recent storm event at the back of the house. No one was in attendance on this case.
Mr. Brandewie said that based on his conversation with the contractor, the insurance company is willing to replace the entire siding of the house because they can't find the aluminum siding match any more. He had asked the contractor if he would expose some of the material on the house to verify and determine the appearance of the existing siding. It does look like the original siding is a 7-8" inch clapboard type siding. Mr. Prettyman turned in a sample. It appears to be a reasonable match to the existing siding on the house. There is a small garage in the back that has been sided with a similar material that did receive COA approval several years ago. The proposed siding would match the small garage in the back also.
Staff noted that there is a satellite dish on the top porch roof on the side street and this location is not consistent with the guidelines; and Mr. Haught has been contacted previously about it. The P&Z Staff asks that the satellite dish be re-located and that Mr. Haught comes into compliance with that. The contractor said that this would be addressed. There were no further comments.
Mr. Roche moved to close the discussion. Ms. McCoy seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Ms. McCoy moved to approve the application as submitted, but recommended that the homeowner investigate with the insurance company the possibility of restoring to the original siding. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Ms. Green voted no. Ms. Clendaniel abstained from voting. 3 votes in favor; 1 abstention. The motion carries.
HPC #22-12, 310 Glenburn Ave., Donald Gray, (homeowner), Randy Bell, (applicant), requests replacement of existing deteriorated metal windows that consist of 8 over 8 and 4 over 4 grid patterns with circle and half moon gable windows with vinyl replacement windows, grids to match; replace existing lamp in front lawn, replace bay windows to match and upper portion with asphalt shingles; re-install screen in side porch. Mr. Gray spoke on the condition of the windows. Mr. Bell reported that the circle and half moon replacement windows would match the existing windows but would be box framed in. Mr. Gray discussed the proposed light near the sidewalk, a 3 light fixture. Discussion followed. It was noted that a picture taken earlier shows a single lamp with a simple box lamp housing.
Ms. Clendaniel asked what material was under the asphalt material above the bay windows. The owner reported they weren't sure. Ms. Clendaniel expressed concern about the style of the lamp fitting with the character of the neighborhood and style of the house.
Ms. McCoy moved to close the discussion. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Clendaniel moved to approve the application as submitted with the caveat that a carriage style lamp post and light are installed; Staff and Commission members to assist in providing assistance in exploring alternatives within applicant's current budget for this particular light in the front yard. Ms. McCoy seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Roche said what the Commission is saying is - if it is there, restore it; if it is not there, put it back. The existing shutters are there and they are in repairable condition so preserve them, please. That is what their guidelines indicate.
HPC #23-12, 310 West End Ave., Jacqueline Francesca Riddy-O'Dowd, (homeowner) Frank Bradley, (contractor) requests installation of new vinyl siding, wrap existing window frames and cornice work w/ aluminum; replace 28 existing single glazed one-over-one windows (dimensions vary) with vinyl framed double glazed one-over-one windows, install vinyl shutters, repair brick foundation with matching brick-vents, replace existing porch railing with wood or composite rail/baluster to match profile and height; consider replacing side entrance door and transom-side windows with new door and windows if suitable replacement can be found.
Mr. Brandewie said he is pleased to report that a new owner from New York has purchased the property and provided an overview of the application. Mr. Frank (Stewart Bradley) was in attendance speaking on behalf of the owner and reviewed the application. Discussion followed.
Mr. Brandewie stated that the previous COA application that was submitted and approved in 2005 was to restore the house back to its original condition. He disagrees that the majority of the exterior wood is in bad shape. There are some damaged areas of siding, but the majority of the siding is not that bad. That is why he encouraged the Board members to take a good look at the house up close and form their own opinion about the siding.
Mr. Roche moved to close the discussion. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carries unanimously.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the repair and completion of the brick work and foundation; Azek or wood for the railing as long as it is the same profile, height and detail with specifications and material to be viewed by staff prior to installation; the Commission should postpone the replacement of the siding on the main part of the house until the contractor can discuss it with the homeowner and investigate the cost of painting and restoration of damaged areas; postpone any consideration of the replacement of the exterior parlor door due to lack of information; approve the replacement of the windows with like kind (1 over 1) vinyl double hung replacement windows as specified; and preserve the gable front window or replace with a like kind replacement window to match the openings; to retain the existing remaining shutters but to allow a vinyl replacement shutter with profiles and specifications to be reviewed by staff; to allow the replacement of vinyl siding in the rear addition that has existing vinyl siding with siding that matches the profile and texture of the existing siding if still on the rear addition. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Green stated that she is a realtor and she only knew what she should do for a historic house because another agent told her. She had no knowledge, no information, no anything to tell her clients. She suggested that what they should do is come up with some type of packet to submit to the real estate offices in Cambridge.
Mr. Brandewie said if anybody has another historic district's brochure that they could model something after that would be very helpful to him. He has prepared a "frequently asked questions" document that provides information about their guidelines; they could attach a map to that. Doing a brochure would be more informational. He can get material out right away as far as the guidelines and material on "frequently asked questions" and maps. Ms. Manicke stated she wanted to delay this discussion and listen to the next case.
HPC #14-12, 5 Choptank Ave., Debbie and Gordon Hill, homeowners, requests removal of rear chimney, install louver vents. HPC on 10-20-11 acted to deny removal of chimneys; tabled action on louver vent installations-applicant to explore alternatives.
Mr. Hill reviewed his alternative designs for the gable roof vents and design for the chimney replacement. He is proposing to install windows in the two upper floor front and side gable areas instead of vents. The windows would be custom ordered to fit the openings still present from the interior. He would be installing a gravity fed power louver vent in the rear. He presented a plan showing how the faux chimney would be constructed, using 2" x 4" framing, cement board and half bricks to reconstruct the chimney which would then be anchored to the roof frame. Discussion followed. There was no one to speak in favor or against the application.
Mr. Roche moved to close the discussion; Ms. McCoy seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the application as submitted with the removal of the chimney with the recommendation that the chimney replacement matches the brick, mortar profile and the corbelling of the chimney to the extent possible; approve of the restoration of the two gable window openings with vinyl windows and the rear gravity fed louver. Ms. Manicke seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC # 19-12, 112 Oakley Street, Nanette Speer, homeowner, John Hodges, contractor, requests to install five (5) replacement vinyl replacement windows, one over one, to match existing wood windows. Mr. Brandewie said he thinks it is a reasonable request for the five windows as shown on the drawings. Ms. Speer is attending college and she could not make it tonight because of classes.
Mr. Brandewie explained that to retain the original windows is always preferable. Ms. Speer has stated that she said the cold air that comes through the existing windows is so bad that her heating bills are extremely high; she feels she has to look at a replacement alternative. Ms. Clendaniel encourages her to get a home energy audit and take advantage of one of the DHCD Smart loans. Mr. Brandewie said he would pass that information on to Ms. Speer. There was no one else to speak in favor or in opposition to the application.
Mr. Roche said the home energy audit representative could have sold him windows, but he said vinyl windows fail in five years. He said the Federal government uses incentives for people to go energy efficient and rip out the old windows; on the other hand the HPC is tasked with preserving old windows by the same government and they give tax credits on both sides. The people in this audience are looking at the most economical component for them and they are listening to their contractors as well.
Discussion continued with HPC members noting that people say they want as low maintenance as possible and vinyl siding would give them low maintenance for 10-15 years. What they are hearing is it is not 10 or 15 years and that it is a misconception. Mr. Brandewie noted that it may be important to consider vinyl specs like Easton's which specifies that there has to be a certain thickness and it has to be put on appropriately. This has been previously provided to the HPC for their consideration.
Ms. Clendaniel said she is having more reluctance to vote on vinyl replacements; it is frustrating and draining. Ms. McCoy agrees that she feels like she is presiding over the ruination and degradation of this historic district every single month. Ms. Manicke said the only thing the Commission can do is to get the guidelines re-written and adopted because as long as they are the way they are, the Commission is stuck. In there it says that it is okay to do that. They can have a clause in there that says something about using substitute materials if existing siding has rotted beyond repair, but they do not have that. Ours are very weak.
Mr. Roche moved to close the discussion. Ms. McCoy seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Mr. Roche moved to approve the replacement of the five (5) windows per the application as submitted. Ms. McCoy seconded the motion. Vote is 3:2; motion carries.
HPC #10-12, 205 Oakley St., Stephen Fitzgerald, homeowner, Bob Wright is the homeowner's representative, to install 16" o.c. metal roof (Fabral) on residential dwelling. Applicant left voice mail in 10-19-11 to withdraw application. Confirmation letter of withdrawal sent to applicant. HPC should act to accept withdrawn application for record.
Mr. Brandewie wrote to Mr. Fitzgerald and explained that he received the voice mail and that he is accepting his request for withdrawing the application and he could re-apply if he wants to, re-submit a different material to the HPC within one year; there would be no charge for it. He feels the Commission should go on record as accepting the withdrawal of the application also so that it is further documented.
Ms. McCoy moved to approve the withdrawal of Stephen Fitzgerald's application for 205 Oakley Street. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC #17-12, 106 Choptank Ave. William and Laura Hofherr, repair and replacement of porch components, partial replacement of siding, installation of replacement windows and trim. HPC acted on 10-20-11 to approve porch repairs and substitute material for porch flooring (columns; railings and details to remain); no action taken on roof or windows without further information to be submitted.
Mr. Brandewie said at this point no action is necessary. He has not seen any additional information on any replacement alternatives for some of the items discussed at the last meeting.
Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance
Mr. Brandewie asked if the HPC had any objections to the items he has listed has administratively approved or considered has routine maintenance. He has the applications here if the Commission wants to look at the cases.
306 Mill St. Charles & Kathleen Condon, install one section of 5 ft. high metal fence in rear yard to match fence installed around cemetery. Administrative Approval, 10-17-11.
Ms. Clendaniel asks about the fencing. Mr. Brandewie said there was a gap created at the end where the new metal fencing was installed around the church's cemetery next to an adjacent residence; they wanted to fill in that gap. The request was to install one more section of the fence that matched the church fence that was on the owner's property.
308 High St., Gary Newcomb, replace existing funeral home sign with new sign on existing poles in front of building. Administrative Approval.
Ms. Clendaniel asks if it was the same design. Mr. Brandewie said it is the same style but a different sign placed on the same supports. He presented the sign to the HPC members. Mr. Gary Newcomb is actually buying into the funeral home which prompted the sign change.
5 West End Ave., Cynthia Smith, replace window air conditioning units with one outdoor unit on side of house. Approved as Routine Maintenance. 10-4-11
800 Locust St. Mike Swann, replace architectural shingles on rear shed roof addition with in-kind replacement shingles. Approved as Routine Maintenance, 10-4-11
818 Locust St., Joseph and Donna Willey, Grady Wilson, (applicant): replace 3 tab shingles on house and outbuildings with in-kind 3 tab shingles. Approved as Routine Maintenance. 10-28-11
209 Belvedere Ave., John Mathews III, (G.Bramble-contractor), replace canvas membrane floor on rear 2nd story porch, refinish railings, replace porch columns with in-kind replacement. Administrative Approval. 10-25-11
906 Locust St., Greg Strong, owner, (Grady Wilson, applicant) replace 3 tab shingles on damaged portions of roof with 3 tab replacements. Approved as Routine Maintenance-10-28-11
1110 Glasgow St., Frank Cooke, replace architectural/dimensional shingles on front porch with in-kind replacement. Approved as Routine Maintenance. 11-08-11.
504 Poplar St., Rita Turri, Jason North, replace existing sign in framework with new sign. Administrative Approval as a Temporary Sign.
Review of meeting with local architect Tim Crosby to discuss possible COA amendments for two Historic District Projects.
Mr. Brandewie reported to the Commission that Tim Crosby contacted Staff and asked if Staff, the HPC Chair and Vice Chair would be willing to sit down and review a revised concept plan for the School Street property. There was a plan that was previously presented to City Council as a Planned Unit Development Zoning Ordinance Amendment that had actually received HPC approval. This is the Golden Shore School House property; the plan was approved for 4 or 6 condominiums/duplex type of arrangements with the school being restored. The plan received HPC approval and Council approval. They are scrapping it; they are going to start over and completely re-approach the design of that site. They presented a concept plan to HPC members and Ms. Roane. They have been in contact with MHT; they are contacting and working with the neighbors right now and presenting the concept to them. They intend to present this possibly at the December meeting. The investors want to move forward with this again. The plan that was presented was so economically unfeasible that they asked to re-visit it. Mr. Tim Crosby is taking an entirely different approach; he has explored 10-15 alternatives. He is approaching it both to apply for State and Federal tax credits; he is taking a very serious low impact storm water development approach which ends up saving money or being revenue neutral. Mr. Brandewie thinks it is a very well thought out plan; he thinks it is a big improvement over what was approved recently.
Mr. Brandewie noted the Mr. Crosby may be re-submitting an alternative design for the Dorchester Center for the Arts at an upcoming meeting.
Mr. Roche moved to adjourn the meeting at approximately 10:16 p.m. Ms. Manicke seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Daniel L. Brandewie
City Planner II