• 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

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HPC Meeting Minutes

Novemebr 15, 2012

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, November 15th, 2012 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street.  Brian Roche chaired the meeting and called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m.  He began the meeting by taking roll call.

Commissioners Attending: Brian Roche, Vice-Chair; Farrell McCoy; Dormaim Green, Will Dennehy, Katie Clendaniel.

Absent: Kathy Manicke, Chair

Other Representatives or Staff Attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II, Jackie Vickers, City Commissioner, Rob Collison, City Attorney.

Brian Roche stated the Commission consists of five appointed Members and an Alternate based on qualifications adopted by the Council.  Tonight the Commission does not have all Members present, so the Alternate will be voting and participating in the discussion and decisions.  The Chair is absent, so as the elected Vice-Chair, I will be chairing the meeting.  It takes a majority of Commission members to act on a motion.

Oath Representatives Persons Wishing to Testify: Brian Roche administered the oath to all persons wishing to testify.

Mr. Roche asked if there are any changes to the agenda tonight.

Mr. Brandewie noted they have one addition to the agenda - the discussion item of Maces Lane High School and the nomination process to the National Register.

Mr. Brandewie noted the Commission was given a packet of information on Tuesday, November 13th on HPC #49-12.  This is the appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) which acted on the decision of the HPC previously.  With our legal counsel, Rob Collison here tonight, if the HPC members wish to discuss that case, as a courtesy, staff asks that it be moved up on the agenda.

Mr. Roche said the Commission needs to vote to accept the revised agenda which would move HPC #49-12 to the top of the agenda so that Mr. Collison can advise us on that topic and add the Maces Lane High School nomination effort to the agenda.

Mr. Brandewie noted the applicant wishes to table action on Case No. 49-12.  He asked if the Commission wanted to discuss any aspect of the BZA decision and any of the appeal process questions they may have.

Mr. Roche motioned to accept the revised agenda.  Motion properly seconded.  Vote carried with Ms. McCoy voting no.

Staff noted that all other items on the agenda have been fully advertised as required. 

Oath Administered-Persons Wishing to Testify: Brian Roche reviewed protocol for the meeting and administered the oath to all persons wishing to testify.


Consent Agenda

Mr. Roche said there is nothing on the consent agenda; they can move to the regularly scheduled items.


Regular Agenda Items

HPC #49-12, 317 Oakley Street, Michelle Kerns (owner) and Tim Kerns (applicant):  installation of vinyl siding on main body of house. Since the applicant wished to defer that, they will get clarification on where the appeal stands and what the Commission's obligations are.

Mr. Collison said the primary reason for the BZA's decision to remand it back to the Commission was a lack of findings on their action and to request a finding on which of the proposed vinyl siding alternatives is most historically appropriate for the house.  The BZA looked at the COA that was issued and examined the record to see if there was a substantial basis for the Commission's decision in the denial of permitting the vinyl type of siding.  The BZA was looking for a reason why this property improvement was not appropriate from a historic standpoint.  There was nothing in the record to back up the HPC's decision.

Mr. Collison said when the HPC is making that type of decision there needs to be reasons stated in the record why it is not appropriate.  For example, this particular material is not appropriate for the following reasons; or for a particular design standard or guideline that they can recite.  The BZA did not find any of that in that particular record.  There were some other ancillary basis for the Board's action to overturn the decision, about financial hardship or not going to look at the property; it's not a requirement that one goes to look at the property per se, if the application is complete, they can base it just on that.  It is more so establishing a record as to why the Commission is permitting or denying a particular material, if it is somewhat discretionary within the guidelines. The BZA did not feel they were in a position to determine what type of siding it should be; they were strictly looking at the record as to whether there was a sufficient reason to deny the request.  That is why the BZA voted to remand it back to the Commission for their determination on the type of vinyl siding that may be permitted.

Ms. Clendaniel asked when this case comes back to the Commission, if it is tabled tonight, are they allowed to review the same application again and use specific language in which the decision making is made ultimately again.

Mr. Collison said the BZA found there was not substantial evidence established for denial of the vinyl siding so they said vinyl siding could be permitted.  There were two types of vinyl the applicant proposed.  The BZA's decision was that they believed there weren't sufficient reasons to prohibit vinyl; so in his interpretation, the HPC has to permit vinyl, but they were not going to make a decision as to which of the vinyl presented is most appropriate for that particular property.  That is what the Commission will be looking at.  The applicant may come back to the Commission or they may not.  He thinks the applicant maybe considering an appeal or the Commission may appeal the BZA decision.  If the case is appealed, it is appealed to the Circuit Court.

Mr. Roche said at this point, the applicant will either come back to the Commission at a later date at which point the Commission will act on the vinyl siding or the applicant moves forward to the Circuit Court.  He asked if any members of the public have any comments on this particular agenda item.  There was no one.

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

HPC #17-13, 311 Oakley Street, Tade Gerischer (owner) requests replacement of windows damaged by fire and porch repairs.

Mr. Brandewie said this house was recently damaged by fire with approximately 10 windows sustaining fire damage and they appear to be not repairable.  Mr. Gerischer, owner, gave him an inside and outside tour to look at the damage. The Queen Anne Victorian style home is a contributing structure.  It has simple double hung, one-over-one wood windows with narrow stile and rails.  Mr. Gerischer is proposing Anderson 400 series wood vinyl clad replacements which appear to be a reasonable match in terms of its style/width and material.  Mr. Gerischer requests to replace a damaged metal porch roof with similar materials.

Tade Gerischer, owner of 311 Oakley Street, stated he had a fire in their second floor bedroom.  Those windows were destroyed and the fireman kicked out all of the other windows in the house on the second floor.  The replacement windows are as close to historic as he could get.  All of the downstairs windows are fine.  The debris from the fire was thrown onto the porch roof which is right outside the windows; the porch is half a wrap around and covers the front and the sides.  All of the air conditioners were kicked out and people traveling on the porch roof damaged it.  He is replacing the roof with cooper and stainless steel.  All of the trim will stay the same.

Mr. Gerischer stated he is requesting to replace 12 windows which are the affected windows.  All of the upstairs windows were fire damaged with the exception of one window.  The window was in the front as it faces the street.  It was his decision to pay extra and replace that window so that all of the windows facing the street are the same.  Technically 11 windows upstairs were destroyed, one was all right but given the rest of the windows it was decided to replace them all.

Mr. Manning asked if any one wished to speak for or against the project.  Elizabeth Fuller, 104 Willis Street, said she is in favor of the project.  No one else spoke.

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

Mr. Dennehy moved to approve the application for the roof and windows as submitted with the modification that a sample is provided to Staff for approval prior to installation.  Ms. McCoy seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

HPC #19-13, 602 William Street, Orville and Betty Willis (owner), Eric Willey (applicant) requests replacement of existing wood windows with vinyl replacement windows.

Mr. Brandewie said this is an application to replace existing wood windows with a vinyl replacement product. This was submitted last month and the information is provided in the packet.  He has information on the windows specs.  Staff met with the applicant.  One suggestion is if they move forward with window replacements would they consider removing some of the artificial aluminum covering over some or all of the windows to help restore or reveal what the window details look like.  Removing the storm windows and aluminum fascia would help restore the appearance of the house.

Eric Willey, general contractor, said he is here tonight to represent the owners.  They want to replace all of the existing wood windows to make it more energy efficient.

Mr. Roche asked the public if any one wished to speak for or against the project.  Someone asked if the original house had flat casing would the owners agree to replace the wood casing if it was in bad shape.  Mr. Willey said yes.  Mr. Roche said if the trim is in bad shape they should replace at least the front façade facing the street to restore the original trim appearance.

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

Ms. Clendaniel said the guidelines speak to repair rather than replace materials.  A full replacement of all of the materials is an inappropriate move for this structure.  The condition of the windows does not seem to be deteriorated to the pointed where all of the windows need to be completely replaced throughout the building.  If parts of the windows are deteriorated they can be repaired.  Mr. Roche does not think that the replacement of this particular type of window is going to have a major effect on the appearance of the house.  In fact, it could potentially be an improvement to remove the storm windows.  The applicant stated that they are doing it for a number of reasons so they can actually afford to move into the house.  In terms of maintenance and upkeep of the house, if it is occupied, it is a better outcome for the district.  Mr. Dennehy agrees with Mr. Roche.  He went to the house this morning and he thinks removing the storm windows would greatly approve the appearance of the house.  It is a simple house with simple original windows in it and this would not take away from the appearance.  Ms. Green agrees with Mr. Roche.

Mr. Dennehy moved to approve the application as submitted with the provision that the front façade trim be restored if it is restorable or if not restorable then it be replaced.  Ms. Clendaniel seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

HPC #20-13, 720 Glasgow Street, Laurie Sanford, owner, requests installation of metal roof on front porch to replace asphalt shingles.  Ms. Sanford said she wants to bring the house back to where it should be; she is a new owner.   She is using 24 gauge metal for the roof because it is the lightest.  Mr. Dennehy suggested that she use 20 gauge; it will cost a few more dollars per square.  The 24 gauge will dent every time it rains hard.

Mr. Roche asked the public if any one wished to speak for or against the project.

Elizabeth Fuller, 104 Willis Street, said she is in favor of the project.

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

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

HPC #21-13, 3 Choptank Avenue, Allen Shinn, property owner, requests front porch modification enclosure for room addition, enlargement of existing garage, two window and two door modifications/replacement.

Glenn Ruark with Glenn P. Ruark, Inc. General Building Contractor, 3003 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge Maryland, said his assistant, Ryan Heckler will be representing the property owner.

Ryan Heckler said Allen Shinn is new to Cambridge.  He was recommended to Glenn Ruark Contractors by the previous homeowner who had a couple of additions done by them prior to this.  Mr. Shinn has requested four projects:  Project - removal of existing double casement window over the kitchen sink and installation of a fixed glass pane window.  He wants the window raised to match the door that is next to it because when he stands at his kitchen sink he is looking at the top of the window trim.   Project 2 - removal of living room glass doors on wall facing the Choptank River and installation of two fixed glass windows.  They will be raised to match the height of the front windows on the home on the adjacent wall.  There is a 10 inch difference in the height of the door to the windows so he asked that it be raised as well. The holes that are going to be closed in will have the same materials; everything will go back exactly how it was.  Project 3 - enclosure of the left corner of the brick wrap around front porch facing the Choptank street side.  It would involve pouring footer and removing a portion of the brick patio, removing the wall that has the current double hung windows and enlarging the bedroom that is on the other side of the wall.  He is requesting two new windows on the front that will match the two existing that are on the right side of the current front door.  The current windows are CertainTeed.  They new windows will be CertainTeed that will match the existing 2 over 2's.  The existing roof on the addition will not be modified in any way.  Project 4 - is a request to build an addition on the existing garage extending if forward to the water to accommodate more storage.  Mr. Brandewie noted that the existing garage encroaches into a private 10 ft. alley easement; however, staff has no objections as long as the extension is not within the easement area. Mr. Heckler stated that the distances would be verified upon locating a recent survey of the property.  There was no one else to speak in favor or against the application.  The HPC moved to close the discussion.

After further deliberation, Farrell McCoy moved to (1) approve the garage as submitted contingent upon it meeting zoning requirements; (2) approve windows changes in the rear as submitted; (3) table action on the installation windows by the fireplace to allow for more time to research the existing dimensions of the original openings; (4) table the porch extension to allow for more time to evaluate the alternatives.  Katie Clendaniel seconded the motion.  Motion carried with a 3-1 vote in favor of the motion.


Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance:

Mr. Brandewie reviewed the following items.  There was no discussion by the HPC regarding these actions.

HPC-Adm #12-13, 5 Choptank Ave., Gordon Hill, renewal of COA for incomplete work:  replacement of chimney, install new roof, front porch restoration, removal of rear shed, installation of rear fence.  Administratively approved, October 12, 2012.

HPC-Adm #13-13, 507 Court Lane Office Building, Tim Crosby (owner), (1) replace existing shutters (previously approved by HPC), (2) repair-replace existing pre-finished metal soffit material w/matching materials; (3) remove existing faux brick asphalt/faux brick siding on gable façade and cover existing wood siding w/ new vinyl siding (not visible from street). Administratively approved, November 5, 2012.

HPC-Adm #14-13, 300 Choptank Ave., installation of satellite dish on rear, upper roof area away from main view-corner lot.  Administratively approved. November 2nd, 2012.

Other Business

Mr. Brandewie gave an update on the following items.  No action taken.

Follow-up Items from previous 2012 Meetings

1.      Annual Report (Dan B. work in progress)

Enforcement Update

Staff Report to be provided at meeting.

Discussion of Guidelines/By-Laws

1.      Set Work Shop Date

2.      Review of Draft Design Changes to Date (procedures for moving forward-request by citizen to form subcommittee).

3.      Discussion of Window Guidelines.


It was properly moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie

City Planner II


Note:  These minutes were approved at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on June 20th, 2013.