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HPC Meeting Minutes

November 21, 2013

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, Nov. 19th, 2013 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Brian Roche chaired the meeting at approximately 7:00 p.m. He began the meeting by taking roll call.

Commissioners Attending: Brian Roche-Chair, Will Dennehy-Vice Chair, Dormaim Bromwell Green, Ron Berman, Mike Russo.

Commissioners Absent: Patricia Weichmann,

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 stated that there were no changes to the agenda but provided a letter received from a citizen pertaining to cases to be heard tonight. He confirmed that all agenda items have been properly advertised.

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

Approval of Minutes:

Mr. Roche asked for clarification on the status of the minutes. Staff noted that the minutes shown on the agenda have not been finished; however, approved minutes from previous HPC meetings conducted this past summer were sent out in the package for the benefit of new members.

Sept. 19th, 2013 (unfinished)
October 3rd, 2013 Workshop (unfinished)
Oct. 17th, 2013 (unfinished)
Oct. 23rd, 2013 Special Joint Meeting-WWI Monument (unfinished)
Nov. 7th, Workshop (unfinished)

Consent Agenda:

Mr. Roche identified the following items on the consent agenda:

HPC#28-FY13-14, 704 Water St., Patty C. Brohawn (owner), James Brohawn, Inc. (contractor applicant): replace 3 tab shingles on house with arch./dimensional shingles.

HPC#33-FY 13-14, 304 Glenburn, Virginia Mathews (owner), Ryan Heckler (applicant- contractor), replace 3 tab shingles with arch./dimensional shingles on house.

Mr. Roche asked if there any objections from the public or from Commission members on the two items listed on the consent agenda. There were no comments. Will Dennehy moved to approve the items on the Consent Agenda, second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried unanimously.

Extension/Continuation

HPC#31-13, 705 Church St., Jamie Richardson (applicant-purchaser), replace existing one over one windows with one over one vinyl replacement windows. Mr. Brandewie provided an update to this case. This application was previously filed around March or April of 2013. The HPC acted to table application with concurrence of property owner since that time. The request originally was to replace all windows with vinyl replacement windows. The applicant has further provided a detailed cost estimate on repairing existing windows, estimated at approximately $1,000 to $2,000 per window. He also has revised his application to include repairing the roof and replacing 3 tab shingles with 3 tab shingles. Staff notes that there are a number of shingle types on the roof and this item was therefore added to the application for HPC consideration. At the conclusion of the first meeting on the case, the HPC, as staff recalls, was willing to show flexibility on replacing the majority of windows but to preserve the windows on the three bay or bump out room under the front porch. There was also mention of some windows in the rear of the building that had some unique qualities. Staff noted that a subcommittee had visited the building and noted it was in extremely poor condition and not habitable in its present state. Staff brought up a presentation on the application for viewing by the HPC and the public.

Mr. Jamie Richardson reviewed the work items and indicated a willingness to preserve some of the windows in the front. He stated that the cost of repairing the windows was prohibitive. Discussion followed about the types of repairs needed for the windows and the overall condition of the property. Hearing no further comments, the HPC acted to close the discussion.

HPC members noted that the applicant had done his due diligence. The cost estimate submitted by Mr. Richardson and prepared by an independent contractor for window repairs appeared to be an accurate reflection of the work and expense that would be involved in saving the windows. Mr. Roche noted that he was one of the subcommittee members that visited the property and commented on its condition. Ron Berman stated he thought it important to move forward with improvements to make this property weatherproof and to avoid further deterioration. Discussion followed about the overall repairs needed for the property.

Will Dennehy offered the following motion: to approve the application for replacement of all windows with the replacement windows as specified with the exception of the nine windows on the front façade. These windows should be preserved. This does not include the window on the enclosed front porch area where a replacement window had been previously installed. It was also recommended that no vinyl materials be installed on the exterior of the windows or sills and the exterior details be preserved. It was further stipulated that the unique gridded windows in the rear of the building be preserved, reflecting at least one if not two near the kitchen area. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried 5-0 in favor.


HPC#7-14, 521 Poplar St., Chuck Kelly (owner): request to renovate façade and redesign commercial entrance way at former Craig's Drug Store. Mr. Brandewie noted that this application dates back to 2004 when Mr. Kelly received previous approval from the HPC at that time to conduct extensive façade renovations to this commercial building, previously operated as Craig's Drugstore. The renovations never took place and that COA since expired. Mr. Kelly refiled an application in July seeking re-approval by the current HPC for those original plans. A subcommittee of two HPC members and staff visited the site and further recommended that the applicant seek professional assistance in updating the plans. Mr. Tim Crosby, architect for the project is here to provide an update.

Mr. Crosby provided a PowerPoint presentation of revised plans to HPC members. The period of significance appears to be from 1880 to 1920 for this building although they can find no historical pictures of the building prior to 1900. He showed two pictures dating back to around 1915 showing the building although it is believed the building was possibly constructed in the 1880 to 1890 period. Although it has been unoccupied for several years, it may have been in business as Craig's Drugstore possibly for close to over a hundred years at this location if not longer. He noted that the parapet wall was extended at some point beyond the original roof line. The façade took on a modernistic-art deco style possibly in the 1920 to 1930 era with marble like material on the store front and an art deco style sign. The proposed storefront modifications include: removing the recessed lower storefront and installing a storefront flush to the street; installing an upper cornice to match adjacent building lines; installing new awnings over two windows. The existing two upper windows are wood with a nine over nine grid pattern. It is also proposed to install the following: a new sign, possibly in the style or image of the old Craig's Drugstore sign. The anchor points and cable connections are still on the building. Work also would include: three new gooseneck lights, a new lower cornice and sign panel over the storefront transom area; new awnings over the storefront windows and a new entrance door. The lower storefront bulkhead and pilaster (side columns) would be comprised of brick to match existing brick style on the buildings. The brick plinth design was adapted from nearby buildings. Mr. Crosby reviewed material specifications for the cornice and storefront elements. Discussion followed.

Jim Culver and Maureen Farrell spoke in favor of the application. There were no additional public comments and the HPC acted to close the discussion.

HPC members complimented Mr. Crosby and his work. Mr. Dennehy made a suggestion to further explore the use of wood in the bulkhead area below the proposed storefront windows as opposed to brick for aesthetic reasons. Mr. Crosby concurred that this option could be explored and that more detailed construction drawings would be submitted. Staff noted that more specifications may be needed for certain elements such as the storefront door.

Hearing no further deliberations, Mr. Roche asked for a motion. Will Dennehy moved to approve the application as submitted noting that further working drawings will be submitted to DPW staff to contain more detailed information on specifications and materials. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion approved 5-0 in favor.


HPC#20-14, 207 Belvedere Ave., Charles McFadden (owner): new front porch, window replacements, rear deck, entrance door. Staff noted that Mr. McFadden was here tonight to follow up with items previously acted upon by the HPC at their September meeting.

Mr. McFadden stated that he is requesting a modification to the HPC's previous action of requiring casement style replacement windows on the sun porch addition. This sun porch presently contains seven wood casement style windows with a four over four exterior grid pattern. His request to the HPC is to allow double hung, replacement windows with four over four external grids or muntins. He cited the following reasons for this request: that the casement style windows were not original to the house; the time and inconvenience of having to crank open a case window and the cost of replacement casement windows. Discussion followed about the significance of the sun porch room and the present style of windows as contributing features.

Three additional citizens spoke in favor of the application including Mark Manson, Carol Madison and Maureen Farrell. Hearing no further comment, the HPC acted to close the discussion.

HPC members discussed the rationale behind the original recommendation and the potential impact of allowing double hung windows in place of the casement style windows. It was also noted that Mr. McFadden has also been requested to provide a façade drawing above the sun room for a new window, unrelated to the windows on the lower sun room.

After further deliberations, Mr. Dennehy moved to approve the request to allow double hung replacement windows to reflect the same dimensions and details of the existing windows including the muntin patterns. Additional specifications to be provided to DPW staff for further review prior to installation. No action to be taken on the additional replacement window on the upper façade. Second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried, 5-0 in favor.

Regular Agenda Items

HPC#26-FY13-14, 315 West End Ave., F. Bruce and Robin Herman (owners), Jeff Smith (contractor), replace 3 windows with vinyl replacement windows. Staff showed a picture of the upper three windows to be replaced noting that the existing windows were replacement windows installed some time ago. The windows are leaking and causing interior damage. Mr. Herman also stated that the proposed windows would better match existing windows on the house.

There was no one else to speak in favor or against the application. Mr. Roche closed this portion of the public hearing.

After discussion, Ron Berman moved to approve the application noting the existing windows are not original to the house and the presence of vinyl siding on the house. Second by Mike Russo. Motion approved, 5-0 in favor.

HPC#27-FY13-14, 120 Mill St. Mark Masden (owner), Scot Betts (applicant-contractor), replace wood columns with fiberglass replacements, replace t/g wood porch flooring where needed, replace band board with composite; existing porch railings to be re-used. Mr. Brandewie presented an overview of the project and presented pictures and the application. This request is to replace existing porch columns with fiberglass replacement materials. There is substantial deterioration at the base of the columns. The contractor would be replacing existing flooring with in-kind replacement flooring and to re-use existing porch railings. Mr. Scot Betts discussed the work and condition of the porch in more detail. Mark and Carol Masden spoke in favor of the request. Upon hearing no further public comment, Mr. Roche closed this portion of the public hearing.

After further deliberations, members spoke in favor of application noting that the proposed columns appear to be a close match to existing columns; they support the in-kind replacement of wood flooring and re-use of existing railings. Will Dennehy moved to approve the application as submitted with the further stipulation that the column base's attachments including the square or circular elements be made of matching material and not foam like material. Dormaim Bromwell Green seconded the motion. Motion approved 5-0 in favor.

HPC#29-FY13-14, 116 Glenburn Ave., Brooks Bridges and Maureen Farrell (owners), Steve Scott (contractor-applicant): install 4 ft. new white vinyl fence in rear yard area. Mr. Brandewie provided a review of the project noting that this is a corner lot and the proposed fence would be setback away from the sidewalk edge. Maureen Farrell spoke of the need for the fence in that they need it for protection for their dog that has been attacked by pit bulls running wild in the area. Discussion followed about the type of materials being used and their susceptibility to damage and sagging.

Mr. Charles McFadden spoke in favor of the application. There were no other public comments and Mr. Roche acted to close this portion of the public hearing.

Mr. Roche reviewed the language in the guidelines on fencing. Members noted that the style and material with its proposed location will have minimal effect on the historic qualities of the building and street view. It appears to be of sufficient quality to avoid maintenance and quality issues. Members also spoke of the need to have more information in the future on specifications regarding substitute fence material prior to making a decision. Mike Russo moved to approve the application; second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion approved; 5-0 in favor.

HPC#30-FY 13-14, 114 Glenburn Ave., Heather Herfel (owner), Arcadia Fencing, Inc. (contractor): install 4 ft. white vinyl fence in rear yard area. Mr. Brandewie noted that this application is for a fence adjacent to 116 Glenburn Avenue. Heather Herfel stated that this fence would be of the same material as being used at 116 Glenburn Avenue and that they would share the fence at the common property line. She spoke also of her concerns with dogs in the area harassing her pets. Hearing no further discussion, the Chair acted to close the discussion.

Members discussed the same concerns identified with the previous application and noted that the fence should have minimal impact on the contributing features of the property. Will Dennehy moved to approve the application as submitted; second by Ron Berman. Motion approved, 5-0 in favor.

HPC#31-FY13-14, 105 Choptank Ave., Dave Wham (owner): remove 70 ft. of existing chain link fencing; install 94 feet of white vinyl, 6 ft. fencing including 2 gates to match existing fencing already installed to enclose rear yard area. Mr. Brandewie reviewed the application as the owners are out of town. This application would be to remove existing chain link fence on portions of the property and install 6 ft. high, solid, vinyl fencing to fully enclose the area. There is like kind vinyl fencing on an adjacent property.

Two nearby residents spoke in favor, Cheryl Campbell and Jim Culver. Both believed it would be further improvement to the property and is barely visible from the street. There were no additional comments from the public and the Chair acted to close the discussion.

After further discussion and reference to the guidelines, members requested additional information as to the specifications of this particular fence product. Ron Berman moved to approve the request contingent upon the applicant providing additional specifications on the proposed fence material; second by Mike Russo. Motion carried, 5-0 in favor.

HPC#32-FY 13-14, 602 Williams St., Bonnie M. Malkus (owner), Eric Willey Builders (applicant-contractor): install replacement fiberglass columns on front porch, composite t/g flooring to match existing; install replacement composite porch railing. Mr. Brandewie provided a staff overview of the project. This request is to use composite replacement columns and composite porch flooring and porch railings. Pictures were shown of the property. This house was also recently approved for replacement windows in a previous request before the HPC. Eric Willey, and Chris Turner, contractors also reviewed the proposed work items. Due to the step down from the entrance door on to the porch, they would be lifting the entire porch floor 4-6 inches to match the height of the front door threshold to address safety concerns. Work also would include repairing the brick skirting and pier supports with like-kind brick material, repointing where possible. Staff noted some problems with connecting the lower horizontal rail to the round column base. In some cases, vinyl rails have been attached higher and in a manner inconsistent with the existing wood railings which typically had a profile cut to match the lower circular elements of the column. This problem appears to be solved with a special bracket associated with this fence product as shown in the specifications. Discussion followed. There were no additional comments from the public and Mr. Roche acted to close this portion of the public hearing.

HPC members reviewed the guidelines and the proposed work elements noting that substitute materials could be considered upon review. Concern was also expressed about the railings. Will Dennehy moved to approve the application as submitted with the recommendation that concerns by staff over the porch railing be addressed; that any base material at the columns be of the same composite material and not foam; second by Dormaim Bromwell Green. Motion carried, 5-0 in favor.


Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance

Mr. Roche asked if HPC members had any questions or concerns over items approved administratively. There were none.

Members discussed the schedule for the zoning code update and expressed concern about the proposed language of the draft code as it relates to the Historic Preservation Commission. Mr. Berman noted that he had called to discuss this issue with Mr. Chris Jakubiak, the consultant for the project. He also noted that in the Planning and Zoning Commission workshop last week, the summary of zoning issues to be addressed did not address this topic.
Mr. Dennehy pointed out that HPC members would still like to see a spreadsheet of enforcement issues.

HPC members acted to adjourn the meeting at approximately 9:45PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie, City Planner II


Signature: ____________________________________ Date: _______________________
Chairmen

 


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