• 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
  • 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
  • City of Cambridge Maryland

Print this page

HPC Meeting Minutes

January 20, 2011

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street.  Katie Clendaniel called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Ms. Clendaniel began the meeting by taking roll call and swearing in the persons to testify.

Commissioners Attending: Farrell McCoy; Kathleen (Katie) Clendaniel; Brian Roche      

Absent:  Kathy Manicke, Chair; Gary Young, Vice Chair

Other Representatives Attending: Daniel L. Brandewie, City Planner II


NEW CASES                                               

HPC #27-11, "119 Vue de Leau St", owned by the Estate of John Patton Mende, represented by Richard Harrington, requests demolition of side portion of front porch.

Richard Harrington, 1861 Hudson Road, Cambridge Maryland, said he is personal representative of the Estate of John Patton Mende.  Two years ago at the time of Mr. Mende's death, he owned 119 Vue deLeau Street. Mr. Mende obtained a permit to repair the porch on the side of the house, but he didn't have the funds to complete it.  The porch continued to deteriorate and I approached the Planning and Zoning Department about securing a permit to make emergency repairs to stabilize it.  However, the contractor, upon working on the porch, could not stabilize the porch and it had to be partially removed.  He was then contacted by Mr. Brandewie with the need to follow-up with a certificate of approval for partial demolition of the porch.

Mr. Brandewie concurred.  Mr. Harrington has spoken with the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Department and they authorized temporary repairs to stabilize the porch.  At that point, when it was taken down, they notified Mr. Harrington to contact the department and file the applications so they could get it on record.  He has complied with that. 

Mr. Brandewie said the HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) needs to decide if they want the plans brought back to them for replacement of the porch or do they want the demolition  to  stand the way it is and not request that it be restored.  He thinks it is appropriate for the HPC to ask that the plans be brought back to the HPC for review and approval to restore the porch.  That is the most significant feature of their historic homes. 

Ms. Clendaniel asked if there were any questions or comments from the public; there were none.

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

Ms. Clendaniel asked if there were any comments from the HPC. Ms. McCoy thinks the application should have been for replacement of a porch.  Mr. Brandewie said there are no funds to do that, according to Mr. Harrington.  Once the estate is closed they would put the property up for sale at which point the new owner should be required to file an HPC application to restore the porch.

Mr. Roche moved to approve the partial demolition of the porch with the following stipulations: when the contract creating the sale of the house is made, language will be put in stipulating that the buyer of the house has to restore the porch according to Cambridge HPC guidelines and that within six months of the sale of the house plans be brought back in front of the HPC for the restoration of the porch.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Clendaniel said Mr. Brandewie will follow up with Mr. Harrington and send him the Certificate of Appropriateness.  The HPC requests that Mr. Brandewie be notified when the house is sold.

HPC #28-11, 1-7 "Oakley Street, Oakley Beach Condominiums" represented by the Council of Unit Owners for the reconstruction of balconies; to replace columns, rails and decking. 

Kirk Parsons, 1903 Candor Lane, Marysville, Maryland, is a representative from an engineering and technical consultant firm.  He has been assisting the Association in regard to the evaluation and design of the balconies.  The application includes copies of their initial report as well as the design documents for all of the work.  They have had problems with water penetration at many of the components of the balcony and those components have to be replaced.  The columns and rails on the balconies as well as the water proof floor sheathing have to be removed and replaced.  The work will be to replace it all with in-kind material.  The existing round columns will be replaced with in-kind round columns, decorative bases and tops.  The rails are currently vinyl picket style that will be replaced in-kind.  In the waterproofing of the balcony floors, the current condition has essentially a roof membrane suitable for roofing, but not necessarily for terraces or balconies.  They are replacing that with a traffic bearing waterproofing system.  That is not necessarily visible from the ground.  It is only visible from the unit itself.  Everything else as viewed from the ground will be the same.  He had photographs to show if that would be helpful. 

Currently along the corners of each balcony there are three round columns.  At each base of the three columns there was interfacing between the waterproofing and the roofing membrane on those balconies making it a little bit more difficult to detail.  As an alternative, they looked at pricing for replacement of the three round columns with a single square column.  That was not accepted by the ownership of the Council.  So, they are going back with the three round columns.  There are also round columns on the ends and those are being replaced as well.  In terms of the waterproofing feature, what is there now is different from the original bid request. The Ownership has selected the contract coding system for that purpose.                       

Julia Paluch, President of the Oakley Beach Unit Owners Association, asked the Commission why three columns were approved.  It was noted that the Commission does not know who designed the Oakley Beach Condominiums; there is no mention in the minutes.  She said her group is trying to find out what the problems were; it is an issue because the supports underneath the columns are crumbling.  The columns have started to lean and cause the cracking in the balcony rails.  The columns also support the roof.  This is not something that can be ignored; they need to try and get started and moving on it. 

Mr. Brandewie said from an economic and maintenance standpoint, wouldn't it make more sense to go with one corner column as opposed to three.  Ms. Paluch said it would, but for some reason the HPC wanted the three columns, so they did not want to "rock the boat".  All of the columns on all of the units have to be replaced because what was underneath was not supporting it; it has caused it to crack, it has caused the railing junctions to crack.  She would not let her 14-year-old out on the balcony because the railings are not safe.

It was noted Richard Beavers was the original contractor.  Mr. Parsons said there was discussion about what the Association's obligations were for the construction. From the Association's perspective, the work was not done right to begin with.  Ms. Paluch said almost immediately they went back to Mr. Beavers and complained from the beginning, but it was pushed aside and nothing was done. 

Mr. Brandewie asked if the original columns are salvageable.  Mr. Parsons said initially that was part of the reason they wanted to do a test to see if they could re-use them, remove them and put flash appropriately underneath them and put the columns back.  The columns were cracked and fractured along the planes, so they did not feel comfortable in re-using them, at least in the ones they took off.  There was question about if they take them off and find that they are good or find that they are bad and having to temporarily store them and wait for it to be heard. 

There were no other comments and Ms. Clendaniel asked that the discussion be closed.    

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

After further discussion by members, Ms. McCoy moved to approve the application as submitted.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Clendaniel said Mr. Brandewie will be following up with Mr. Parsons with their Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).  Mr. Brandewie said the COA should be ready hopefully in a couple of days; he said he will work with them as quickly as possible. 

HPC #30-11, "447 Race Street", Gregory and Maria Vandevisser and Steven and Angela Vondenbosch, are the applicants and are requesting installation of gutter and downspouts to correct property code violations; and an after the fact partial demolition of rear addition.

Gregory Vandevisser, 2671 Choptank Main Street, Preston Maryland, said he is one of the owners of 447 Race Street.

Mr. Brandewie had suggested to Mr. Vandevisser before the meeting to include the following as an amendment to the application: to request HPC approval to put gravel in the parking area that would essentially be a parking lot where the shed that was removed was located.  Mr. Vandevisser said he does not have funds to do that right now but would like to request approval for it.

There being no additional discussion, Ms. Clendaniel asked for a motion to close the discussion.

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

After further discussion, Ms. McCoy moved to approve the application as submitted for the replacement of the gutter and downspouts at the rear of the building and for a partial demolition with the addition of the gravel improvement for parking.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Ms. Clendaniel said Mr. Brandewie will follow-up with Mr. Vandevisser's Certificate of Appropriateness and that will detail all of the components of this motion.

HPC# 29-11, "306 Belvedere Avenue", Jeffrey and Judith Moss, homeowners, represented by Branden A. Spear, B.A.S. Construction, are requesting the replacement of 3 tab shingles with architectural shingles on the main part of house and rear addition.  No one was present to present the case.

Mr. Brandewie said he has not been contacted by anyone saying they were or were not coming.  Anastasia Spear was the primary person he spoke to about it.  It did not seem to be a complicated application.  The P&Z Staff does not have a problem with the application as it is presented. 

Mr. Roche said the ridge vent was the only issue that stood out in his mind.  He read that in older homes, unless the soffits are vented, one should not put in a ridge vent because what will happen is air will be drawn up from the house which is typically moist air and could rot the roof.  So, it is better to not put in a ridge vent unless one has a vented soffit.  Most soffits historically in the district are not vented.  Mr. Roche said he does not know why Mr. Spear is using a ridge vent; he would like to have an explanation from Mr. Spear because he is the contractor and he probably has a valid reason, but in Mr. Roche's research one does not want to do that in a historic home.

Mr. Brandewie suggested approving the asphalt shingle work, but Mr. Spear needs to explain why the ridge vent is needed.  Mr. Roche recommended that they defer to the code enforcement officers to make sure that it is something that makes sense on that particular structure.  Mr. Brandewie said he thinks a code enforcement officer can give an opinion as to whether that assessment is correct or not. 

Mr. Brandewie said he will call the owner and talk to him directly about this issue.  There were no additional comments from the public and discussion was closed by the Commissioners.

Mr. Roche moved to approve the application for the replacement of the shingles, the installation of the gutters.  We are requesting more information on the ridge vents as to why it is needed.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.



HPC #21-11, "702 Church Street", Michael and Beverly Robinson, homeowners, request replacement of porch columns, general repairs to the porch.

Mr. Brandewie noted that the Board authorized repair of the porch last month and a question came up about what columns they were going to use.  The columns already installed, possibly several years ago, which are wedged in with 3 or 4 blocks to meet the height requirement, were not approved by HPC when he installed it.  This renovation started with a violation notice also where he was told he had to correct this.  Mr. Robinson brought in an estimate; a lot of it is in kind repair work.  Mr. Brandewie noted that the HPC never approved these columns to begin with and is the HPC going to allow them more round columns to be added.  At a previous meeting, the applicant provided a spec sheet showing they would be similar to the existing columns.  The applicant has to build up the base on these columns to make them fit and the contractor agreed to do it proportionately.  The applicant is asking for 2 or 3 additional round columns to match what is there.  The question is does the HPC want to allow for the round columns.  The applicant is willing to do an engaged column at some point, but he said he cannot afford to do that right now. 

Mr. Brandewie thinks it is appropriate for the applicant to provide the HPC with a cost estimate on what the difference is going to be with spindle columns to mirror what is there.  If they don't ask for that now, they may not get it. Mr. Roche thinks the contractor needs to come before the HPC and explain the way the work is going to be done.  The applicant could not make it to the meeting last month because of the weather. Ms. Clendaniel recommended Mr. Brandewie discuss with the owner what the alternatives are as far as where to look for spindles, asking for an estimate, comparing them and for the contractor to come in and speak to the HPC; as it stands Ms. Clendaniel does not think it is acceptable.

Ms. Clendaniel said she would like the applicant to bring to the HPC some alternatives.  Mr. Roche said he is comfortable with this as long as there is some mechanism to facilitate the ultimate repair of the house.  The Commission acted to close the discussion hearing no further comments.

Ms. Clendaniel moved to deny the request for replacement with the applicant's presented materials for a classical Greek round column and the HPC requests him to return next month with alternatives that match what is seen in the half engaged columns.  The Commission requests Mr. Brandewie to tell the applicant they would be happy to work with him to help find alternatives that are affordable.  If he wants to come back with estimates, the Commission would welcome those.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance

Mr. Brandewie said there are no routine maintenance cases. 


There has been no recent action on enforcement issues.  He has seen one additional satellite dish on a house on Glasgow. 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  November 18, 2010; December 16, 2010

Mr. Brandewie said the November 18, 2010 minutes were not finished.

Mr. Roche asked Mr. Brandewie if they need to revise the December 16, 2010 minutes to include the fact that the HPC approved tongue and groove on the rear deck. The change is to be made on page 3, last paragraph starting after "applicant explore either wood decking or pre-primed pressure treated wood tongue and groove board ..."   Mr. Brandewie said he thinks that might be appropriate to reflect.    

For the record, Mr. Roche acknowledges that the change in the December 16, 2010 was discussed and the Commission acknowledges that change.

Mr. Roche suggested amending the December 16, 2010 minutes with the recommendation of P&Z Staff that the rear decking on 315 Belvedere be changed as Staff recommendation.     

Ms. McCoy moved to approve the minutes of December 16, 2010 with the suggested changes from Mr. Roche and Ms. McCoy.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Changes to By-law; Guidelines, Rules of Procedures

Mr. Brandewie said they need to keep the by-laws, guidelines and rules of procedures up to date and get the zoning ordinance modified to reflect those changes and get the guidelines up to date.

Ms. Clendaniel recommends they have either an early working session before the hearing or they have a separate date where they specifically address these issues.  Mr. Brandewie said he would be glad to do it either way; they need to have it every month for the next three months.  Mr. Roche and Ms. Clendaniel said let's do that. Mr. Brandewie agreed.  They decided on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 10 - 12 Noon.  Mr. Brandewie will e-mail the HPC to confirm the date.  Mr. Brandewie will let Kathy Manicke and Gary Young know.

Ms. McCoy moved to adjourn the meeting.  Mr. Roche seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.


Respectfully submitted, 

Daniel L. Brandewie
City Planner II