HPC Meeting Minutes
September 15, 2011
The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Chair Kathy Manicke called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 PM. Ms. Manicke began the meeting by taking roll call and swearing in the persons to testify.
Commissioners Attending: Kathy Manicke, Chair; Brian Roche, Vice Chair; Jay Corvan, Alternate; Katie Clendaniel
Absent: Farrell McCoy
Other Representatives Attending: Daniel L. Brandewie, City Planner II; Commissioner Frank Stout.
Approval of Minutes: August 18, 2011
Mr. Corvan moved to approve the August 18th, 2011 minutes. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Regular Agenda Items
HPC#11-12, "109 Vue De Leau St.", Brad Anderson, homeowner, Branden Spear contractor with B.A.S. Construction and applicant, requests to remove and replace vinyl siding; install gutter, remove existing wood windows and replace with vinyl windows, replace aluminum fascia. Mr. Brandewie added one additional piece of information; he circulated specs on the proposed siding that came in after the application was sent out.
Branden Spear, 805 Locust Street, Cambridge, Maryland, reviewed his family history so the Commission would know him better.
Mr. Brandewie said the issue was the applicant intended to replace the vinyl siding. Since the existing siding was vinyl and they were going back to vinyl, the applicant felt they should be exempt from HPC review. Mr. Brandewie's counterpoint was they need to look and see what if anything is underneath the vinyl siding to see if it would be appropriate to match. From a Staff standpoint they are not opposed to vinyl siding as a replacement, but it should be an appropriate match to the house and to the existing siding.
Mr. Spear said he understands if he replaces with the exact same material that is on it now, he does not have to come to a meeting. If it has asbestos, and he is putting asbestos back, he does not need to come to the meeting. Mr. Brandewie pointed out that the vinyl siding on the current house was likely installed prior to the adoption of HPC guidelines and never received approval. Based on a site visit yesterday, it appears that asbestos siding is underneath the vinyl siding so it is difficult to assess what the type and condition is of the original siding.
Brad Anderson, homeowner, said he is employed by a New York company and he is not at this property very often. He comes to the Eastern Shore because likes the area. He does not like the way his house looks. He feels the heating system is very dangerous; there is no heat in his home. After talking to Mr. Spear he cannot take the vinyl off without taking the heaters out; he cannot take the heaters out without putting the vinyl in. He needs to replace the windows, but he can't replace the windows unless he does the vinyl. He wants to be comfortable, he wants the appearance to be good and he wants to be safe. He wants to put vinyl back on there so it looks good, he wants to replace the windows and he wants to remove the heaters so he can put in electric heat so he will be warm in the wintertime.
After Mr. Spear described the proposed full replacement windows, Ms. Manicke thanked him for coming in. She thanked him for discussing the issue of siding with Mr. Brandewie before the HPC tonight. That way they were able to take care of it all in one meeting which is a lot more convenient for every one.
Ms. Manicke asked if any one in the audience wished to speak for or against the project. There was no comment.
Mr. Corvan moved to close the discussion. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Corvan moved to accept this application as submitted. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC#12-12, "1007 Locust St.", David Thatcher, homeowner, filed by Andrew Smith, contractor, requests to replace existing asphalt shingles from upper front flat roof - replace with vinyl sheathing not visible from street. Andrew Smith with O.N. Andrew in Easton, Maryland, said they propose to re-roof the second floor front porch.
Mr. Brandewie said this was presented to the HPC briefly last month asking for routine or administrative consideration. Since this is a change of material, the HPC said this should come back to them for review. Other members wanted to take a better look at it. It is a very flat roof; one cannot see the pitch or the slope from the street. He told Mr. Smith there appeared to be slight bowing of the cornice. As they get into it they may expose some other damage with the rafters. There is noticeable sag and he thinks a flat membrane roof at that location probably is a better alternative than the shingles.
Ms. Manicke asked if any one in the audience wished to speak for or against the project. There was no comment. There was no one.
Mr. Corvan said this application came in last month when he had not had a chance to see the house. He was concerned about whether one could see it from the road. He has been by the house and he realizes that one cannot see it from the road. It seems like a reasonable application.
Ms. Clendaniel moved that the application be approved as submitted. Mr. Corvan seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC#13-12, "1110 Glasgow St.", Frank Cooke, applicant, requests to remove one shed, install stair rail on front porch.
Frank Cooke said he recently acquired the distressed property at 1110 Glasgow Street that has been vacant for several years. His intention is to put it back into a reasonable condition. He asked to table the stair rail and defer it to the next meeting. He would like the Commission's consideration of removal of the smaller shed on the back of the property. There is no foundation and sill plates aren't visible. The building is sinking into the ground; there is a tree taking over part of the building; there is a main root through where the foundation ought to be. He is requesting it be torn down so that he can have a more open area in the backyard. He requests to move forward with the shed removal tonight. He asked for advice about the stair railing type.
Mr. Corvan said he does not have to put any rail on the sides at all. Maybe he wants a walk rail, but it is entirely up to Mr. Cooke. Ms. Manicke said he may need a baluster for safety reasons. She told Mr. Cooke he could come back next time with some different samples for them to look at. Mr. Cooke said okay.
Ms. Manicke asked if any one in the audience wished to speak for or against this project. One individual, name inaudible, spoke for the project. She said the shed needs to go.
Mr. Corvan moved to close the discussion. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Corvan moved to approve the demolition of this application and table the consideration of the front stair rail to another meeting. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC#10-12, 205 Oakley Street, Stephen Fitzgerald, homeowner/applicant, Bob Wright is the applicant's representative, requests to install 16" o.c. metal roof (Fabral) on residential dwelling.
Mr. Wright brought in a sample of an actual roof. He requests to table this meeting until next month because he is having trouble downloading the proper roof color.
Mr. Brandewie noted that as a follow-up to the last month's meeting, he went to the historic district and took pictures of some partial metal roofing applications on several of the homes. There were 5 or 6 homes that have metal porch roofing; there are 2 or 3 roofs that date back quite some time and look like the old pressed tin roofing material. He can find no examples of any homes in the historic district totally covered with metal roofing. He circulated those pictures to the members for the record showing examples of these metal roof applications. Mr. Wright asked the HPC to look at Family Dollar roof commercial application. Mr. Brandewie took a picture of it for the HPC's consideration. As noted at the previous meetings, as far as they know cedar shake was the original material on the roof.
Tim Foley from Tri County Remodelers said the entire house has wide planking boards that are random widths and lengths. Years back they used purlins which were 1 x 3 slats nailed across the rafters. They put wood shake on top of all the random hardwood. On top of the main roof there are two layers of installed shingles on top of that. If they were to do the job regardless of whatever product they used, everything would be stripped off except for the wide planking. Whatever wide planking that is in bad shape, they would get from the mill the same exact product that is there and they would put it back as in kind. From there they would use new products like Ice and Water Shield along the gutter line and in the valley and Titanium for Underlayment versus 15 lb. felt paper and then whatever product the HPC decides they should use. The majority of the homes in the neighborhood have a commercial 3-tab shingle where it is seamless. The majority of the roofs in the neighborhood that have been replaced have been replaced with dimensional shingles.
Ms. Manicke asked if any one from the audience wished to speak for or against the project.
Debbie Wright, Bob Wright's wife, said the house behind this house has solar panels that look terrible. The HPC may not see it, but if they were in the yards of the neighbors they would.
Ms. Manicke said the energy efficiency movement is relatively new and they are trying to catch up with that. A lot of historic districts are allowing solar panels on the back roof because it is not visible from the public right of ways for the most part.
Mr. Corvan moved to close the discussion on this application. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Corvan moved to table this application for a subsequent meeting at the request of the applicant. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
HPC#2-12, 211 Oakley Street, Shawn and Laura Ridgely, homeowners, Branden Haddaway applicant/contractor, requests removal of foundation, replacement of floor joists due to rot under kitchen, pour new footer foundation on side with brick to match, restore Shiplap siding or replace with same siding approved for rear addition, add two new matching vinyl windows as approved for rear addition (opening sizes unchanged).
Mr. Brandewie said he put this on the agenda after consultation with the contractor and the homeowners. The contractor came to his office about one week after the HPC acted on the previous application. This is related to the changes to the rear addition that was approved that included window replacements and artificial siding. A rear, side addition where the kitchen is located was originally not intended to be altered. As they were digging into the foundation and the floor joist, they discovered the floor joist under the kitchen was rotten, shot. Mr. Haddaway approached him about going ahead to allow the application to be amended. He would be replacing the siding and trying to keep the original Shiplap siding. He asked for consideration to replace two replacement windows on that side keeping the same dimension and using the same windows that were approved by the HPC the previous month, same style grid patterns, keeping the same pitch of the roof, replacing the foundation and matching the brick pattern that has been approved around the back side. He authorized it administratively so that he would not be delayed for another 30 days. He felt it appropriate to treat this as an amendment to the COA (Certificate of Appropriateness), bring it to the HPC's attention and ask for their endorsement. Mr. Haddaway followed through with it; Mr. Brandewie checked the foundation, it has been poured. They have the brick exterior around the foundation. He believes they have been moving forward according to the plans.
Mr. Brandewie said their desire was to save the original siding, but it is not in good enough shape to repair it because the cost of reproducing it and re-milling it is cost prohibitive. So they want permission to use the same approved artificial siding for the rest of the rear addition and around the side. It is an amendment to the COA, so he feels it is appropriate for the HPC to vote on it. There was no one else to speak in favor or against this application.
Mr. Corvan moved that modifications as presented at this evening's meeting for 211 Oakley Street be approved. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Roche said earlier this year the HPC had made a request to the Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) to replace the bricks on High Street that were removed and presumably stored some where. After July 1st Ms. Clendaniel asked what is going on with High Street and the brick road and it was indicated that there was no money to do the work now. She said the HPC checked in with DPW earlier in the year and DPW said when the weather warms up they were going to take the asphalt out and put bricks back in. Now they don't have any money.
Mr. Roche said from a HPC standpoint he would like to have Commissioner Stout as the historic preservation liaison to bring it to the Council's attention that the bricks are not being replaced, that the HPC had asked for the consideration and had a verbal consent from the Director of DPW that he would replace them. He thinks it is important because he does not like the precedent that it is setting from the DPW, particularly with a lot of the renovations that are going on in the City. The HPC needs to keep in mind that High Street is very important and in fact maybe one of the single most important streets in the City. In his other role on the Gateway Improvement Subcommittee, it is one of the streets that will determine, at least from the criteria on the Gateway Subcommittee, whether someone purchases a home here or not, which adds to the tax base which pays the salaries and the bills for the City. If the HPC does not push these issues, they are going to continue to be ignored and it is fully in their purview to point that out and make it very apparent that it has been overlooked.
Ms. Manicke said part of why people come to visit Cambridge as a historic place is the brick street. It is a landmark for the City.
Ms. Clendaniel reminded Mr. Brandewie that tomorrow, September 16th, is the deadline for the Endangered Maryland application. They talked about getting something in. Mr. Brandewie said Ms. Roane got in touch with Ms. Jane Devlin. Ms. Devlin felt that she had to take it back to the West End Civic Association to sponsor it and re-submit it because city governments cannot apply. It has to be a non-city government entity. Ms. Clendaniel said she could do it as a non-city government entity. Ms. Devlin had submitted something prior and it was not included on the list. Since Ms. Devlin has all of the material done, there is no point in re-creating it. Mr. Brandewie said it can be re-submitted; it may be just a matter of re-submitting the same application with better photos, better documentation, etc. Ms. Clendaniel said she has not had success in getting Ms. Devlin to respond to her calls. Mr. Corvan said he will call Ms. Devlin and ask her to respond to this.
Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance:
116 High St., Kathleen Manicke, homeowner, requests to remove front door on temporary basis to refinish. Approved as Routine Maintenance on August 22, 2011.
903 Locust St., Brian Roche, homeowner, requests to repair damaged molding along soffit with in-kind replacement. Approved as Routine Maintenance on August 25, 2011.
501-503-505 Poplar St., Cambridge Main St. Partners, LLC. Repair damaged brick, window and frame from car accident with in-kind matching material. Approved as Routine Maintenance on August 27, 2011.
Ms. Manicke said the action they need to do is to approve the letter on behalf of the Pine Street Historic District. Mr. Brandewie said he did not bring the draft. If the Commission would like he can circulate it by e-mail if they have no objections. He will send it to Ms. Clendaniel for signature, bring it over and then they will send it out.
Report on Historic Preservation Conference-use of roll call vote-Katie Clendaniel
Ms. Clendaniel said she went to it in May, 2011. She said they use a method that they recommend which might help solve some of their problems with people understanding their connection with the guidelines. This is coming through the Maryland State Association of Historic Districts. They have a lot of people that operate the mock trial who have been on historic districts for some time and who have a lot of experience. It is a roll call system. Instead of a lot of discussion from members, they have a presentation and then questions and answers and then they do a roll call vote. Instead of saying yea or nay, they give specific reasons why they vote yea or nay.
Mr. Brandewie's point in bringing it up is now the Commission closes the public discussion and then they enter into the deliberations. He believes they should encourage participation from each member to get their input and their thought process. Once that is done, then they ask for a motion and a second. The motion is then seconded and then they ask for a vote. He does not think it is necessary for each member then to go down and give their reasons about why they voted the way they did if they participated in the deliberations. He thinks it is adding more time to the meeting.
Mr. Brandewie's point is to expedite the meeting.
Mr. Corvan moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Daniel L. Brandewie
City Planner II