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HPC Meeting Minutes

September 13, 2013

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, Sept. 19th, 2013 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, Chair, Will Dennehy, Dormaim Bromwell Green, Farrell McCoy.

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

Brian Roche presented the opening statement and asked if there any changes to the agenda. Mr. Brandewie stated that there were no changes to the agenda.

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

Mr. Roche asked for consideration of the Aug. 15th minutes. Mr. Brandewie noted that they were not included in the original package but were provided by email. It was moved and seconded that they be considered at the end of the meeting.

Consent Agenda:

Brian Roche noted the following items were on the Consent Agenda and asked if there any members of the public or from the Commission that wished to comment on these applications or move these items to the regular agenda. Hearing no comments, he requested a motion.

HPC#12-14, 310 West End Ave., Francesca Riddy-O'Dowd (owner): repair of existing damaged wood siding and trim where necessary, with new cedar siding/trim; re-installation of porch railings, shutters (in-kind replacements).

HPC#14-14, 512 Poplar St., Morgan Mann, dba-Vintage and Vogue: (applicant), install new 24"x 13.5" projection sign.

HPC#15-14, 203 Belvedere Ave., Jackie and Walter Vickers (owners): replace 3 tab shingles with arch./dimensional shingle on front porch roof.

HPC#17-14, 214 Willis St., Daniel and Mary McAuliffe (owners): replace 3 tab shingle with arch./dimensional shingles on house.

HPC#19-14, 702 Water St., Ron and Pat Hurley, (owner); First Baptist Church (applicant); construct handicapped access ramp in rear of house (after the fact construction).

Will Dennehy moved to approve the items on the Consent Agenda, second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Brandewie noted that all cases have been scanned and can be brought up on the screen for further review.


Brian Roche noted that there was no action needed on the following item:

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 previously approved plans). Request filed to table application to October meeting.

Regular Agenda Items

HPC#13-14, 902 Glasgow St., Robert and Joyce Green, installation of vinyl shutters, wood fence in left rear, new screen door, repairs to front porch. Mr. Green provided an overview of the proposed improvements. HPC members asked about the appropriateness over the size of the shutters. They noted also that the entire house has vinyl siding and trim. The proposed shutters would not detract further from the appearance of the house. Hearing no further comments, HPC members acted to close the discussion. After further discussion, Will Dennehy moved to approve the application as submitted with the recommendation that the fence be installed with "good side" out and that prior to the installation of the blocks near the front porch entrance, they be submitted to staff for review prior to installation. Second by Farrell McCoy. Motion carried unanimously.

HPC#16-14, 204 Belvedere Ave., Bill George, (owner): replace wood entrance door with composite match, shift upper transom window from flush to inside to flush to outside. April George, owner, provided a review of the project. The replacement door would be a custom made wood door to replicate the existing door which is damaged. The storm door, if installed would be a full glass door. They seek to move the upper door transom flush with the outside of the door. HPC members noted that it is unusual to have a transom flush to the inside of the door.

Walter Vickers, a neighbor testified in support of the application.

Hearing no further comments, HPC members acted to close the public hearing.

HPC members noted the poor condition of the existing door and verified that the design of the new wood door would match. HPC members expressed concern about moving the transom.

Farrell McCoy moved to approved that application for the replacement of the existing wood entrance door based on the design as submitted; to allow the installation of a full glass storm door, to allow the installation of the new transom window to be shifted flush with the exterior with the condition that the interior of the transom window be preserved. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried unanimously.

HPC#18-14, 101 Oakley St., Lynette Chase (owner): replace 3 tab shingles on front porch with arch./dimensional shingles. Mr. Brandewie stated that this application to replace roofing on the front porch was originally requested to allow architectural dimensional shingles to be installed. Staff advised them to consider an alternative due to the fact that there is slate on the main body of the house. Staff is not recommending slate for the roof but has recommended a slate like asphalt shingle. There is a mixture of shingles on the porch roof. Perry Atkinson presented the application on behalf of the owner and testified that the porch roof is in deteriorating condition. The owner also hopes to apply for a façade renovation grant. Jay Corvan suggested that there may have been metal roof on the porch at one time. Hearing no further discussion, members closed the discussion to the public. HPC members had no objections to the proposed use of materials as recommended by staff and would be better match to the existing contributing features of the house. The front porch roof has limited visibility from the street view. It was noted due to the pitch, extra underlayment may be necessary.

Will Dennehy moved to approve the application with the recommendation that the shingles on the porch consist of the slate-like asphalt shingles as reviewed with the recommendation that the antique slate color be used. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion Carried unanimously.

HPC#20-14, 207 Belvedere Ave., Charles McFadden (owner), new front porch, entrance door, window replacements, rear deck, rear vinyl fence, fish scale siding on front dormer area. Staff provided an overview of the project and described how the façade of the house has been modified over time. Judd Vickers, representing the owner summarized the application for HPC members. He noted that it would be the owners desire to apply for façade grant funding as part of this application if possible, which may determine if composites or wood will be used toward some of the exterior changes.

HPC members raised the following issues with the application: it is unclear how a new window on the right side façade would fit within the context of the façade and be compatible with existing windows. Concern was also expressed about changing the appearance of a casement style window on the sun porch to double hung windows. The applicant also is proposing to introduce a new element, fish scale siding on the front of the house at the peak of the roof line, near the upper dormer area. HPC members expressed concern how vinyl or simulated fish scale siding would look at this location. Members also discussed the upper dormer windows and the need to retain their appearance.

Walter Vickers, 203 Belvedere Ave. spoke in favor of the application. Hearing no further discussion, the Commission acted to close the discussion.
Jackie Vickers, speaking as a neighbor to the property spoke in favor of the application.
Judd Vickers spoke in favor of the application. Hearing no further comments, HPC members acted to close the discussion.

After further discussion, Will Denney moved to approve the application as submitted with the following conditions:

1. Action is tabled on the request for the installation of the new window above the sunroom on the upper floor with the applicant to furnish a side elevation view showing the location and dimension of the new window opening;
2. That the siding material in the front upper dormer area be removed to allow the original siding to be exposed; or if the applicant chooses to install fish scale siding, the material shall consist of a wood variety, such as cedar.
3. The applicant is proposing to install new double hung windows on the sunroom addition in place of casement windows previously installed. The sunroom, while an addition to the original structure, is a contributing feature to the house. The 3 sets of casement windows on the front and 4 casement windows on the side also contribute to this character. It is not clear how double hung windows would mirror the dimensions and style of existing casement windows. For this reason, it is not recommended to replace existing windows on the sun room addition with double hung, four over four windows. HPC approves alternative casement style windows to match existing casement windows with specifications to be provided to staff and HPC officers for further review. Composite casement windows can be considered but should match the existing dimensions, style and exterior grid pattern; or existing windows should be repaired.

Second by Farrell McCoy. Motion carried unanimously.

Staff recommended that if the applicant for Case No. 21-14 does not object, would it be appropriate to move this case to the end of the agenda, since this has been before the HPC before. There were no objections from anyone to shift agenda items.

HPC#22-14, 206 High Street, Dorchester County Council, (owner), Tom Moore, (applicant): to install a 6 ft. high security fence around rear parking lot of Courthouse.

Tom Moore presented the application on behalf of the Dorchester County Council. Honorable Judge Brett W. Wilson and Amy Craig, Clerk of Courts were also in attendance. Mr. Moore stated this proposed fence is requested due to security concerns as this rear parking lot area serves as an entrance for employees and for transferring prisoners. It will be partially funded by a grant. It was originally recommended by a security consultant to install an 8 ft. fence but the County can live with a 6 ft. fence. The fence material is to black aluminum in style with finial designs and is compatible with surrounding fence material in the vicinity of the Courthouse. Judge Wilson spoke of security concerns with the parking lot currently be open to public access.

Mr. Brandewie noted that the fence, if placed near the sidewalk, may need to be setback 6 inches or, preferably one foot to allow for sidewalk repairs if necessary. Mr. Moore noted that they would take that into consideration.

There were no additional comments in favor of against this application and the Commission acted to close the discussion. HPC members noted the need for security was important and the six foot height would be acceptable. The proposed fence material from the application with one of the designs as submitted would be acceptable.

Hearing no further discussion, Farrell McCoy moved to approve the application as submitted with the further recommendation that the final choice of fence design be submitted to staff as part of the final application. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried unanimously.

HPC#21-14, 507 Race St., Cambridge Historic Inc.,-Jay Corvan, (applicant), request to rebuild and install metal roof on fire damaged building. Farrell McCoy recused herself from the Commission proceedings due to a conflict of interest. Mr. Brandewie reminded the HPC members that this application was before the HPC earlier this summer as an informal discussion item. The non-profit entity, Historic Cambridge Inc., is still under negotiations to acquire the property and some grant funding has been obtained to assist in this process. The City is also requiring the applicant to appear before the Housing Board of Review.

Mr. Corvan presented the design drawings as submitted to the HPC. The primary focus is to put a roof back on the structure to prevent further damage. Discussion followed. There was no one else to speak in favor or against the application and the HPC moved to close the discussion. (2:17).

After further discussion, Will Dennehy moved to approve the replacement and repairs to the front, brick parapet wall and repair-replace gable areas; reconstruct damaged walls with reset salvaged bricks on site; replacement of existing roof with metal roof as specified in application and shore up existing walls as required by structural engineer. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion Carried.

Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance

Mr. Roche noted on the following items approved administratively. There were no comments or questions from HPC members.

HPC-Adm. #7A-14, 416 Race St., Chesapeake College, application of polymer coating over existing metal roof. Not visible from the street. Administratively approved. Aug. 27th, 2013.

HPC-Adm. #8A-14, 326 West End Ave., Lawrence Wolfraim, (owner); replace two squares of 3 tab shingles with arch/dimension shingles on shed roof in rear of house, emergency repairs, not visible from the street. Administrative approved. 9-6-13.


Mr. Roche asked if there were any changes on the August 15th minutes. Mr. Denney moved to approve the August 15th minutes. Second by Dormain Bromwell Green. Motion carried.

Enforcement Items

Mr. Brandewie provided an update on enforcement efforts and work on the draft Guidelines to be handed out at the next work session. He reported on the two satellite violations and demolition by neglect structures. Mr. Dennehy reminded staff that he has requested an enforcement spreadsheet of violations in the district. The condition of several properties and the relationship to demolition by neglect were discussed and how they tie in to the draft Rules of Procedures.

Commissioner Vickers brought up a complaint from a neighbor about a wire fence located on the corner of Willis and Travers Street. Mr. Brandewie provided a history on this, as he spoke to the owner, Mr. Larry Mills about it. Mr. Brandewie raised the issue as to whether we should go back and enforce this for a wire type fence that has been up for 5-6 years now and replaced a previous wire fence according to the owner. Discussion followed. HPC members noted that it should be the owner's responsibility to prove that the fence had been previously approved by either submitting proof of have a COA. Staff noted that it is still being reviewed.

HPC members acted to adjourn the meeting at approximately 9:15PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie, City Planner II

Signature: ____________________________________ Date: _______________________

Note: These minutes were approved at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on December 19th, 2013.