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HPC Meeting Minutes

July 18, 2013

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street.  After a brief delay, Brian Roche chaired the meeting and called the meeting to order at approximately 7:10 p.m.  He began the meeting by taking roll call.

Commissioners Attending: Brian Roche, Chair, Katie Clendaniel, Will Dennehy, Farrell McCoy (arrived at 7:07 PM).

Members Absent: Dormaim Bromwell Green.

Other Representatives or Staff Attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II.

Brian Roche presented the opening statement and asked if there any changes to the agenda.  Mr. Brandewie advised HPC members that due to concerns over the State's Open Meeting's Law, he is recommending that additional testimony be considered by the full Commission on the previous case for 104 West End Avenue (Case No. 45-13). A reading of this law would suggest that it is inappropriate for any decisions to be made on this case by a subcommittee outside the public hearing process.  Mr. Brandewie noted that a subcommittee consisting of Katie Clendaniel and Farrell McCoy with staff visited the site for further evaluation of the condition of the existing porch columns.  Subcommittee members had made arrangements for a contractor to further evaluate the condition of the columns.  This contractor was supposed to have reported back to the subcommittee but to date staff is not aware of any new information on the matter.  The HPC tabled action on this request at their June 20th meeting pending more information.  Ms. Clendaniel noted that this item was not on the formal agenda.  Staff is advising that the HPC act to allow this item to be added to the agenda to be brought back for additional discussion.

Farrell McCoy moved to amend the agenda to allow additional testimony to be heard on this case.  Second by Will Dennehy.  Motion carried. Mr. Roche stated that this matter will be heard as part of the Continuation Items.

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

Brian Roche asked if there were no objections to delaying action the minutes until the end of the meeting. There were none.


Consent Agenda:

HPC#4-14, 700 Travers St., Clay Lewis (owner):  install 4 ft. picket style fence on vacant lot.

HPC#6-14, 312 Glenburn Ave., Jane Devlin (owner): replace and install 4 ft. wood picket fence in rear yard area.

Brian Roche asked if there were anyone in attendance or if any Commission members had any comments or had any objections to approving the three cases listed on the Consent Agenda.  Hearing none, Mr. Roche asked for a motion.

Farrell McCoy moved to approve the cases listed on the Consent Agenda; second by Will Dennehy.  Motion Carried.



HPC#31-13, 705 Church St.: Jamie Richardson (applicant-purchaser): to replace existing one over one windows with one over one vinyl replacement windows.  The HPC acted to table action on this application at the last meeting with concurrence of property owner to explore ways to preserve or repair/replace front and other windows.  Mr. Brandewie noted that Mr. Richardson has provided new information on cost estimates for repairing windows at 705 Church Street.  This information along with the original application has been provided to HPC members.  He has again requested that this item be tabled.  No action necessary.

HPC#45-13, 107 West End Ave., Annette Mitchell (owner), B.A.S. Construction (contractor), installation of composite 3" porch flooring, install round columns.

Mr. Denney noted that he had visited the site with staff and inspected the columns.  He believed that while repairs were possible, there could be structural issues based on past and future repairs. The replacement columns were a reasonable match.  Mr. Brandewie stated that he conducted a closer inspection of the columns and noticed several long vertical cracks.  It was his opinion that additional repairs would likely be needed in the future.  Ms. Clendaniel noted that Mr. Brandewie was not qualified to offer that opinion.

Ms. Annette Mitchell offer additional testimony on the nature of the repairs and the condition of the columns.  She stated that Mr. Victor McSorley, the contractor that evaluated the columns had quoted her an estimate of $850 for repairing the columns.  It was noticed that the half columns, the pilaster columns, would remain.  There was no additional testimony from the public.  The HPC acted to close the discussion.

After further discussion, Mr. Dennehy moved to approve the replacement columns with the further recommendation that the base be fiberglass and not a foam material; pilasters to remain in place.  Second by Farrell McCoy.  Motion carried 4-0 in favor.


Regular Agenda Items

HPC#1-14, 304 High St., National Bank of Cambridge, Robert Powell (applicant): replace 4 sets of double hung windows on rear of building.  Mr. Brandewie noted that staff and Mr. Roche visited the site and confirmed the extent of deterioration.  The windows are on the rear side of the building and are not original.  Mr. Powell presented a sample of the windows product to Commission members.  The windows would be made by Marvin which is a wood vinyl clad window.  It is would match the style and dimensions of the existing window.  There were no additional comments from the public.  Commission members acted to close the discussion.

HPC members noted that the windows were not original to the structure with evidence of deterioration.  A bar hung vertically across the window for security will not be replaced.

Farrell McCoy moved to approve the replacement windows as submitted, second by Katie Clendaniel.  Motion carried 4-0 in favor.

HPC#2-14, 201 Belvedere Ave., Marie J. Trice (owner), Edward Griffith (applicant): replace wood shake siding with composite shake siding.  Mr. Griffith presented a new specification of a vinyl cedar shake material to Board members. He noted that it is a better match to the dimensions of the existing shingles.  He noted that the existing wood shingles were in poor condition and that the owners have attempted to paint them many times.  His original thought was to install regular vinyl siding.  Ms. Jackie Vickers, a neighbor to the property owner, testified in support of the application.  The owners have for many years tried to maintain the shingle but they are deteriorated to the point they need replacement.  There were no additional comments from the public.  The Commission acted to close the discussion.

Mr. Roche reviewed the guidelines and notated that alternative can be considered by the HPC in this situation.  Ms. McCoy noted that a future owner would still be able to re-install wood shingle siding in the future.

Farrell McCoy moved to approve the siding alternative as submitted; second by Ms. Will Dennehy.  Roll call vote:  Brian Roche-yes, Katie Clendaniel-no; Will Dennehy-yes; Farrell McCoy-yes.  Motion carried 3-1 in favor.

HPC#3-14, 812 Locust St., Miloud Mohamed Amenzouy (owner): install six replacement windows on front area of house. Mr. Brandewie noted that the owner and contractor were asked to stop work after staff became aware that new installations were being made on some windows without HPC review and approval.  Two, one-over-one, double hung, vinyl replacement windows have already been installed in the lower, first floor of the bay extension in the front of the house.  Mr. Roche and Mr. Brandewie visited the site prior the meeting; the owner further presented evidence of deterioration of the existing windows.  The owner would be replacing three lower windows on the front bay room and three on the lower right façade where there is a mixture of four over four and one over one double hung windows.  He further stated the house has vinyl siding and trim around the windows.  Much of the details are already covered with vinyl material. Mr. Brandewie stated that the owner did contact the Building Permit office where he was informed that he did not need a building permit but apparently misunderstood this to mean that he could install the windows without further HPC coordination.

Mr. Amenzouy testified at length that the windows are needed for energy savings and that it was not cost effective for him to repair the wood windows.  The six windows are all he can afford at the moment but believes they are necessary to reduce his heating bills. He bought the house a couple of years ago and has made several improvements over its previous condition.  Discussion followed.  There were no additional comments from the public and the Commission acted to close the discussion.

HPC members noted that there was evidence submitted of deterioration.  Members expressed concern that he would be replacing a four over four wood windows with a one over one replacement window.  HPC members reviewed the guidelines for the record.

After further discussion, Will Dennehy moved to approved the five (5) one over one windows in the locations as shown where the current over one windows are located; however, the replacement window for the one remaining four over four window should be of a suitable window that matches the existing window and that will provide for external grids.  Second by Farrell McCoy. Brian Roche-no; Katie Clendaniel-yes; Will Dennehy-yes; Farrell McCoy-yes.  Motion carried 3-1 in favor.

HPC#5-14, 511 Court Lane, Grason Winterbottom (owner): replace existing 3 tab shingles with architectural-dimensional shingles on office.  Mr. Brandewie provided a brief staff report on the proposal and noted that the existing 3 tab shingles are not original to the house and the proposed architectural dimensional shingles would be better substitute, given the nature of improvements to adjacent properties. Mr. Winterbottom stated that there appears to be multiple layers on the roof including wood shingles.  HPC members noted that two fiberglass doors were installed on the office building and asked the owner to explain this change.  Mr. Winterbottom stated that the existing doors were made worse it seemed after the earthquake last year, they wouldn't lock and he believed that these doors matched the existing ones.  Discussion followed.  Hearing no further comments from the public, the Commission acted to close the discussion.

HPC members reviewed the guidelines and generally thought the proposed shingles were a reasonable substitute and would improve the appearance of the property. Katie Clendaniel moved to approve the application as submitted; second by Will Dennehy. Motion carried 4-0 in favor of the motion.

HPC#7-14, 521 Poplar St., Chuck Kelly (owner): request to renovate façade and redesign commercial entrance way at former Craig's Drug Store (resubmission of previous HPC action).

Brian Roche recused himself from voting on the matter due to the fact that Mr. Kelly is a current client.

Mr. Brandewie noted that the proposed work is a major alteration of the storefront with the owner proposing to remove the alcove entrance and make it flush with the façade.  The façade had a marble material on portions of the storefront which has been removed for some time now.  This style possibly dates back to the 30's with Art Deco influences.  This style has been found in at least one or two other storefronts.  Where the marble like material had been removed, the adhesives and brick are showing.  The owner would be cover the lower façade with brick and make major alterations to the windows and doors.  The HPC apparently reviewed this application several years ago and acted to approve it with recommendations.  A copy of the minutes where the HPC previously acted on the request has been provided to the Commission along with a copy of this original application.  Staff believes that there are potential contradictions with the proposed change with respect to our local Guidelines and the Secretary of Interior Standards.  Given the nature of the improvements, and the fact that new information is being provided at tonight's meeting, staff would advise that this review should be considered conceptual in nature.

Mr. Kelly provided members with additional drawings of the façade changes.  He noted his goal is to eliminate the alcove entrance but is somewhat flexible regarding other possible changes.  The former business, Craig's Drugstore, has been in the family for many years.  His desire would be to have the work completed in the fall so a tenant could be in there prior to December.  He noted that the interior needs major work.  Discussion followed.  It was noted that the previous HPC commented that a flush storefront from the 1920's may have preceded the current look.  Mr. Kelly believed that there is a photograph showing the original storefront but cannot locate it.  Hearing no further comment from the public, the Commission acted to close the discussion.

HPC members expressed concern over the nature of the changes and recommended that a subcommittee be appointed to further evaluate these changes and to meet with Mr. Kelly on site to examine the existing façade.  They recommended tabling the application with the concurrence of Mr. Kelly who agreed to this.  Mr. Roche appointed Mr. Dennehy and Ms. Clendaniel to the subcommittee. Mr. Dennehy moved to table the application as recommended; second by Farrell McCoy.  Motion carried.


Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance

HPC-Adm #32-13, 617 Locust St., Brian Manning (owner): replace 3 tab shingles on rear garage with 3 tab shingles.  Administratively approved June 19th, 2013.

HPC-Adm. #33-13, 519 Poplar St., ACM Chesapeake, Pub., Paul Myers (applicant): remove existing sign (Dorchester Star) and relocate to adjacent storefront; remove other sign (out of business-Sweet Magnolia) and replace with existing sign. Administratively approved June 27th, 2013.

HPC-Adm. # 1A-14, 324 West End Ave., Judith Spence (owner): replace existing architectural dimensional shingles with in-kind replacement shingles on main body of house. Administratively approved July 5th, 2013.

HPC-Adm. #2A-14, Golden Shore Academy-School-Mill St. Project, request for 6 month extension.  No changes to plans.  Administratively approved July 11th, 2013.

Mr. Brandewie provided an update on enforcement efforts and work on the draft Guidelines.  HPC members acted to adjourn the meeting at approximately 9:15PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie, City Planner II


Note:  These minutes were approved at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on August 15th, 2013.