Print this page

HPC Minutes

February 20, 2014

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Brian Roche, Chair, began the meeting at approximately 7:05PM and took a roll call of members attending.

Commissioners Attending: Brian Roche, Will Dennehy-Vice Chair, Ron Berman, Patricia Weichmann.

Commissioners Absent: Mike Russo, Dormaim Bromwell Green.

Other representatives or staff attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II. Commissioner Jackie Vickers.

Mr. Roche provided the opening statement and swore in persons wishing to testify. Brian Roche noted there were no new agenda items and no consent or continuation items. Staff confirmed that all agenda items have been properly advertised.

Regular Agenda Items

HPC#35-FY 13-14, 104 Choptank Ave. Pete Doyle (owner) replace 21 existing windows (2 over 2) and exterior aluminum storm windows with vinyl replacement windows (2 over 2).

Mr. Brandewie provided an overview of the application and photographs of the house, the windows and examples of other homes and businesses that have been approved for replacement windows. It was noted that two HPC members accompanied staff to visit the property and examine the windows up close. The house is a contributing structure to the District and the windows appear original to the house. They appear from the outside in good condition. Options for the HPC could include retaining the windows on the front, showing some flexibility on non-primary elevation; asking the owner to further evaluate repairs to the windows and exploring other options such as interior storm windows.

Mr. Peter Doyle, owner, testified as to the need for new windows, noting that they are not tight in many areas, can't lock properly and are inconvenient to open in some cases. The storm windows are dysfunctional and are frozen or locked up. The outside of the windows will largely not be affected as the house already has aluminum siding and trim boards around the windows. The upper dormer windows have already been replaced in addition to one or two windows in the rear or back side of the elevations. It is matter of cost as more expensive windows are out of reach for many property owners.
Will Dennehy moved to table action on this application by mutual agreement with the owner, Mr. Doyle, with the recommendation that further options to replacement of the existing windows by explored including the use of window jamb liners, alternative replacement windows that may better match the dimensions of existing windows; the replacement of windows on a case by case basis for those windows that are in very bad or warped condition; the possible use of interior storm windows. Second by Patricia Weichmann. Motion Carried.

HPC#36-FY 13-14, 201 High Street, Anne and Terence Tiernan (owner), request to permanently remove or demolish 2nd story porch and stairs at rear of house.

Mr. Brandewie noted that the owners could not be present tonight but were available by cell phone to answer questions. He provided the staff report and pictures of the structure to be removed. The property is a contributing resource to the historic district. The request is to remove the porch structure and stairs off the rear corner of the house. As indicated in the application, they may want to rebuild it at a later date if they need to keep the upper floor as a rental unit. Discussion followed about the zoning of the property and whether the property could be used as for a two or three unit apartment again in the future. HPC members asked staff to further research this question.

Farrell McCoy, neighbor to the property testified that she believed there were three apartment units in the house at one time. She asked about the repair or restoration of the front door. Mr. Pete Doyle asked a question about the nature of repairs to the porch.

Staff noted that the porch structure has to come off to facilitate the lifting of the house from its foundation. The owners have prepared a new foundation plan but have not submitted it to HPC for approval. Discussion followed about whether it may be of benefit to tie all the work into one application. HPC members asked if there was any documentation submitted with the application as to the history of the house and or porch addition.

Jay Corvan noted that the porch structure may have acquired its own significance over time although it appears not original to the house. It is a contributing feature to the house. HPC members indicated that they would like to further research the history of the house and its original or modified foot print over time. It is possible the Sanborn maps can shed light on this structure and stairs as to when it was built.

HPC members expressed concern that if the upper door area is covered up upon removal of the porch and stairs, what materials will be used to enclose the door area; and what is there now as far as original siding or replacement siding. And would this work be considered a temporary patch job, so to speak, in light of applicant's request to re-install the porch at a later date. They expressed concern about why a green shutter would be used to patch this area?

Will Dennehy moved to table action on this application based on the above discussion points, second by Ron Berman. Motion Carried.

HPC#37-FY 13-14, 204 High Street. Tom Merriweather and Marjolane Merryweather Wooten, (owners), request to replace 3 tab shingles with architectural-dimensional shingles on an office building.

Mr. Brandewie provided the staff report with pictures. This building is a contributing structure to the Historic District with federal style (1780-1820) architecture. The application is to re-shingle the sloped areas of the structure, using an architectural-dimensional shingle. Staff noted a number of shingle types on the main structure, dormer, front porch and on the room additions in the rear that have a shed roof. The applicant would not be installing ridge vents and no new gutter or downspouts were to be installed.

Marjolane Merryweather Wooten, owner, offered additional clarification on the nature of the work. They bought the property in 1994 and have made no changes to the structure until now. She confirmed that gutters and downspouts would be re-installed. All roofing materials on the areas to be re-roofed would be stripped down to the purlins with new plywood and sheathing to be installed.

Farrell McCoy asked if the roof may have original slate material underneath the asphalt shingles and if so, could it be re-used. Jay Corvan asked about the flashing and if copper flashing would be more appropriate for this house. The structure is believed to have been built in 1803. The area around the chimney on the right front of the structure was also identified as a unique element that warranted careful preservation.

With no further public discussion, HPC members acted to close the public hearing. HPC members concurred that copper flashing would be more appropriate than aluminum flashing.

Patricia Weischmann moved to approve the application as submitted with the requirement that copper flashing be used around the chimney and other corners; and that the area around the chimney including the interior element next to the chimney be preserved. Second by Will Dennehy. Motion carried.

Conceptual-Informal Review

505/507 Race Street, HCI (owner/applicant) Jay Corvan (project architect).

Mr. Jay Corvan, architect, provided an overview of the project. Cambridge Historic Inc., now owner of 507 Race Street (the fire damaged structure), is also proposing to acquire the adjacent commercial building at 505 Race Street. He reviewed concept drawings showing the two properties being combined by a small connecting wing between the buildings. They have approval from the HPC to move forward with putting a new roof on 507 Race Street. This rehab work would tie into this overall redesign effort if funding can be achieved. HPC members discussed various aspects of the design and encouraged the project to move forward.

511 Poplar Street, Tom and Cheryl Hannan, "The Poplar Group" (owners) Jay Corvan (architect): informal review of scope of work for a second story refit, and exterior rehab.

Mr. Corvan presented a concept plan for the renovation of 511 Poplar Street. The property presently has a retail use on the ground floor. His plans would reconfigure the remaining space to include two additional apartments. Minor façade changes would be made to front of the commercial façade to mirror somewhat that adjacent façade. The plans for the rear of the building would remove a shed roof and replace it with a two story roof line. They are exploring adding another doorway in an alley way off Gay Street next to the barber shop. There were no major objections by HPC members to any of the concepts presented in the drawings. It was recommended by HPC members to thoroughly evaluate the alley or access easement to avoid any legal problems down the road.

Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance:

Mr. Roche noted the following items were approved administratively.

HPC-Adm. #23A_FY 13-14, 532 Race St., re-installation of a projection sign (barber pole), on side façade (formerly Crabi-Gras); replacement of panel on existing multiple tenant projection sign. Administratively approved January 13th, 2014.

HPC-Adm. #24A FY 13-14, 1112 Locust St., replace 3 tab shingles on front porch with like kind; replace damage fascia board and decorative molding where needed. Administratively approved, February 6th, 2014.

Approval of Minutes

January 23rd, 2014 Regular Meeting
February 13th, 2014 Workshop

Mr. Roche noted that there were two sets of minutes to approve.

A motion was made by Will Dennehy to approve the minutes for meetings conducted on January 23rd and February 13th, as submitted by staff; second by Patricia Weichmann. Motion carried.

Mr Brandewie reported on the following change in the meeting schedule.

1. The HPC Workshop scheduled for Thursday, March 6th will be changed to the following week of March 13th, with the regular meeting to be held on March 20th.

2. The April HPC Workshop will be held on April 3rd but the regular meeting date will be held on April 24th, the 4th Tuesday and not on April 17th.

Enforcement Update

Mr. Brandewie noted that a spreadsheet was being updated showing recent enforcement actions on properties within the Historic District.

It was noted by HPC members that the City Commission will be conducting a public hearing on the Monday, February 24th, at 7:00PM to review the proposed WWI monument at Long Wharf Park. City Commissioners are encouraging any Board or Commission members to attend and offer testimony. Mr. Roche noted that he cannot attend and requested Mr. Dennehy to convey any testimony to the City Commissioners.

The meeting concluded at approximately 9:45PM.

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 March 20th, 2014.