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HPC Minutes

June 19, 2014

The Historic Preservation Commission met on Thursday, June 19th, at the Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Brian Roche, Chair, began the meeting at approximately 7:00PM and took a roll call of members attending.

Commissioners Attending: Brian Roche, Will Dennehy, Ron Berman,

Commissioners Absent: Dormaim Bromwell Green, Mike Russo, Patricia Weischmann.

Other representatives or staff attending: Dan Brandewie.

Brian Roche noted that a quorum is present and other members may be arriving late. He asked if there were any changes to the agenda and if all items were property advertised. Mr. Brandewie recommended that the action item to approve minutes from the July 12th HPC Workshop be deleted from the agenda as they were not complete. He confirmed that all items have been properly advertised.

Mr. Roche administered the oath to all persons desiring to testify.

Approval of Minutes:

Will Dennehy moved to approve the following minutes; second by Ron Berman. Motion carried.

May 15th, 2014, Regular Meeting
May 22nd, 2014 HPC Workshop
May 29th, 2014 HPC Workshop
June 5th, 2014 HPC Training Workshop

Consent Agenda:

HPC#53, FY 13-14, 7 Choptank Ave., Cheryl and Tom Hannan (owners): replace 3 tab shingles with arch. dimensional shingles; rebuild existing chimney.

Mr. Roche asked if there were any members of the Commission or public that had any question on this case or if there were any objections to approving this application as part of the consent agenda. Hearing none, Will Denney moved to approve Case No. 53 as a Consent Agenda item. Second by Ron Berman. Motion carried.

Regular Agenda

HPC#52, FY 13-14, 201 High St., Anna Tiernan (owner): replace front door.

Dan Brandewie, staff provided some introductory remarks. This is the owner's third or fourth application before the HPC for work at 201 High Street. They are now proposing to replace the front door to the property. The current front entrance has two double doors that serve as two separate access ways; the unit had been configured as two separate living apartments at one time. She is now proposing to use a replacement door that she has found at a second hand store. Staff has suggested that she develop a plan and drawing to scale, showing how this proposed door would fit in. She is willing to do that and she is here tonight to introduce the door to HPC to get any preliminary comments back from you and then move forward with more detailed drawings.
There is a transom above the existing two doors. He proceeded to show HPC members pictures of the front porch.

Ms. Tiernan stated that she has found side lights.

Mr. Brandewie: This is the proposed door. We don't know, for example, if it is going to be necessary to resize the opening to make it fit; and do we have the added dimensions to do so? The question is will the new door fit and is the style of that door appropriate for this particular style of architecture. The District's nomination report classifies it as colonial revival. That seems to be the dominate pattern along High Street, although there somewhat of a mixture of architecture styles along that street. He showed additional pictures of other doors from houses along High Street.

Ms. Tiernan: I have been along High Street and have taken pictures of other double doors that were similar to the ones that were referred by you. This picture is the one that we would like to put onto the house. Next picture is a drawing with transoms. I did not bring a picture of transoms. They are the exact same size as the transom that goes along the top and measures 8 ¾ inches; which are shown without molding and there are six lights on the sides of each one. The one across the top has three lights and the side has six. One of the reasons that I am introducing the door tonight is because I wanted to go over the porch spindles and -------. Again, the plan from the structural engineer, as to height, they would certainly meet the size of the side rails and guard rails. We did put together a picture, it is in the packet also, a front view and side view. We thought that the doors would help complete the view. There are two pictures of houses that are similar to ours with the same spindles and set up the same way that we would like to. In order to apply for the façade improvements program we have to have this plan approved, so if there is a way...we are open to; if there is a way of approving the materials and we will still...overview whatever is causing the discomfort in the way we are setting it up. The configuration will come back. The materials are suitable.

Brian Roche: It is not just us, MHT will have to have to approve it too.

Ms. Tiernan: But in order to apply for program we have to have your approval.
Dan Brandewie: Mr. Chairman, if I may, at the last meeting we talked about and the HPC acted upon the foundation plan where she is proposing to elevate the entire house, pour an entire the foundation. Then the question became how high was the porch to be set, a reconfigured porch, where they will be using the existing columns and existing roof; and there was some uncertainty at that point, exactly how high that porch would be, and if the porch was going to be at a height then the railings would have to meet current building code requirements, which I believe are 36 inches. Her proposed railings are at a shorter height, so there was question about whether they would meet the current proposed building code requirements and whether they were style appropriate. I think that the HPC said, as I recall, that they would defer action on the porch railings until the porch is built and then reevaluate the porch railings at that point. That was my recollection.

Brian Roche: It should be in the minutes. Was that the last meeting or last month?

Ms. Tiernan: We did get the drawing from the structural engineer to show what the porch height would be, once our foundation is completed. That does indicate that it does need railings.

Dan Brandewie: But the railings are to be 36 inches height requirement.

Ms. Tiernan: They will be at 36 inches.

Dan Brandewie: The ones that you are proposing right now are 24 or 26 inches.

Ms. Tiernan: No, they are 27 inches high and then with the hand railing on top, there is a reset (I did not bring the pictures from last week.) There is one piece that goes underneath that is about 1 ¾ inch and then the hand railing itself was about 2 or 2 ½ inches, then there is a bottom piece that is shown in the drawing. All together it comes up, then I believe with the gap underneath is about 6 inches.
Dan Brandewie: It can't be more than 4 inches.

Ms. Tiernan: If we have to put a skirt on it. I have spoken to Mark Adams and I though he said 6 inches.

Will Dennehy: The code requirement on railings is less 4 inches from the bottom and between the rails.

Ms. Tiernan: We can either put a thicker piece under the handrail or a thicker piece on the bottom or both. We could put a skirt along the bottom. So it will be up to code.

Will Dennehy: I know that this is a sketch, but you have fairly wide spaces which will not pass code. You will need to bring them closer together.

Brian Roche: To clarify from the minutes that it indicates that the drawings were to be provided to staff. I think for those reasons, it is a code issue. So we have approved the design, we are deferring to staff for when you get to those details, to be worked out.

Ms. Tiernan: I remember being asked for drawings. To draw it out and we have done that. I was not clear as to what the components were approved or not. I have just provided pictures as to how they will fit together.

Brian Roche: The rough section elevated drawings of the front porch will be provided to staff once the foundation height has been re-established. The brick to being used will be submitted for review. There is nothing...the four columns will be saved or reused and a professional contractor that is experienced in doing that type of work. That was the motion that was passed.

Ms. Tiernan: So I can submit that and then that is also part of the approval.

Will Dennehy: You should also have the administrative approval through staff.

Brian Roche: Yes, that is a clarity issue.

Ms. Tiernan: As in the architectural drawings?

Will Dennehy: You will have to submit something to the building department to get your permit. Whatever those drawings are you must submit to Dan at the same time.

Ms. Tiernan: So as long as they pass through the code and --------process.

Brian Roche: You must provide a COA with that.

Will Dennehy: Are you requesting approval of these doors, is that what this is?

Ms. Tiernan: Yes.

Dan Brandewie: If I may add, additional staff comments are that this door looks like a very large substantial door. Looking through some other community guidelines, I actually found one in Hagerstown that looks similar to it. It is hard to say, if is the same thickness as a standard door, but it looks like a more substantial door than what you would see on a colonial revival type house.

Ms. Tiernan: It is actually the same as every other door in the neighborhood on High Street. They are about 1 ½ inch to 1 ¾ inch...between the...., they are 84 inches high. They are 52 inches across, were taken off of a residential dwelling.

Dan Brandewie: Staff is basically deferring to the HPC's judgment on this one, but in my opinion I don't think it's a great fit. I hear a lot of complaints about double doors not being energy efficient, a lot of people want to take them down; if I had the opportunity to put a door back up, I would not put up a double door. But they are certainly prevalent on High Street, so essentially, if approved, I do request that she furnish detailed scale drawings, showing how that door will fit in that opening. If she is proposing to put transoms in there, what they would look like and how everything fits altogether before HPC acts on it.

Ron Berman: Is it standard to have an 80 inch tall door?

Ms. Tiernan: It is 84 inches

Unknown Commission Member: What size is the door in there now? The two doors in there now?

Ms. Tiernan: They are 30 inches across and they are 84 inches high. There is also a wide molding.

Unknown Commission Member: The transoms are going to be pretty much as you have it now.

Ms. Tiernan: We would like to leave that transom and we think that it is original.

Unknown Commission Member: This door will fit into the same space that this door does, in terms of height?

Ms. Tiernan: No, as in the sketch, I found the transom, I did not print out a picture of the transom, but it is the same width that is along the top, except that there are six lights down the side. I have purchased them at a second hand store in Baltimore. He took them right out of the frame for me.

Brian Roche: Are there any more questions?

Unknown Commission Member: You're applying for a (inaudible); you want to...and what would that cover?

Ms. Tiernan: The doors, the front porch and then we will apply for the windows. Because we are re-glazing the windows and repainting them.

Unknown Commission Member: And the railing for the porch and all that? So do we need to approve the fact that the railings and the porch itself, in order for her to get the approval she needs for the façade program or...?

Brian Roche: We have to approve for her to submit it, then MHT actually has to approve it as well. Just like with the porch on Glenburn Avenue, we actually allowed composite decking and MHT did not allow it. So they are going to have final say.

Unknown Commission Member: But they won't, the fact that we approved...we are still working out the details, is that going to be an issue.

Brian Roche: We have approved the porch and tonight she was bringing back, just for our consideration a sketch drawing that had been requested for staff; now the new application is for the doors.

Unknown Commission Member: So it can be done piece meal, like that, as far as you know for the Façade program. She doesn't have to do it all in one package.

Brian Roach: The requirement is that we review what she is submitting and that we approve it; COA and all the stuff prior to this.
Will Dennehy:...the pictures that show the two doors...the front of their house, you have one picture that shows the doors, but I want to see the house itself.

Brian Roche: Does anyone from the public have any comments regarding this case?

Nanette Speer: I think the doors are great.

Unknown Commission Member: Do you know by any chance what kind of house this door came off of? The style?

Will Dennehy: I am going to approve this; that clearly, this was a single family house and that was turned into a duplex and the doors that are there are not original and were added. I would agree with Mr. Brandewie that these are probably not the doors of the style that would be on this house, but it is a great improvement over what is there now. Those other examples on High Street, with the side lights with transoms and the double doors are there, so these are at least historic doors, they are the same height and relative size of what was probably there. We do not know what was there originally? So, I am going to approve.

Brian Roche: William, to your opinion, these are the kinds of doors that would have been installed on this type of house.

Mr. Dennehy: I do not know; that is why I wanted to look at that house. I think they are more ornate that would have been on that house. (Question directed to Ms. Tiernan) You are going to paint these?

Ms. Tiernan: We would like to stain them, they were just stripped and they need to be sanded and new glazing. They need to be prettied up. We would like to leave them at a wood color for now, because we have just have not picked out paint colors and the spindles will be white.

Unknown Commission Member: To answer your question, the pictures that you provided, similar doors right? (This one has got a little German like-----) I am very supportive of the improvements that you are making, generally I like what you have presented. The door, giving us the reason to pause, I have never seen a door quite like that I can quite picture how it is going to look on that house.

Ms. Tiernan: It is difficult, I tried to blow up the picture for more details, and it does look overwhelming in the picture, but was trying to zoom in on some of the pictures. One home across the street from us, you have to really look closely at the detail in between the two and then there are the gables over the glass. So there is a maroon one just down the street, you really have to look closely, with a lot of details. I think that these other doors, when you are just driving by and you are at a distance and not having it just right in front of you, it would be enough details that you will see it from the street, but not overwhelming.

Unknown Commission Member: You just referenced, that is a pretty good example, because you have the side lights, transoms and the two doors in the middle of it and it will fade away with so much else going on. I think you're re-acting the same as I did; that the heavy carving at the bottom of this door and the extra shapes at the top, are a little more fuss for a house of this period. Again, a big improvement to what is there.

Unknown Commission Member: Do we need to specify the hardware that needs to be put onto these doors. The appropriate ones for the doors.

Ms. Tiernan: That is not on my application, but I can reapply for that if need too.

Brian Roche: Are you having to reapply every time you have come through for various pieces? Have there been five different applications.

Dan Brandewie: We have offered to allow her to amend her application and bring things back to the board to save her a $50 filing fee every time, but she has chosen to file separately.

Unknown Commission Member: Unknown: I hear that we can approve this, but I would like to see the hardware before. We would like to see it before it is installed, I think. Dan can approve that as long as it is period appropriate.

Ms. Tiernan: I will also purchase that at a salvage shop. There is actually hardware on there; there were a couple of dead bolts put on top that will be taken off, also the knob.

Unknown Commission Member: Are you planning on replacing those? And we have nothing to say about the color of the doors, but if you are staining the doors you will see the dead bolt areas.
Ms. Tiernan: Taking the dead bolts off and filling them will be left to the professional whom will restore the door for me.

Unknown Commission Member: If we are finished, I move to close the discussion.

Brian Roche: Dan or anyone in the public have anything else before we close the discussion?

Will Dennehy: I moved to close this section; second by Mr. Berman,

Brian Roche: all in favor to close the discussion. Motion carried.

Unknown Commission Member: All the original hardware is still on the door? This should just have staff confirm her lights and knobs that they are similar as what she has presented.

Will Dennehy moved to approve the application for HPC#52, FY 13-14, 201 High St as submitted with the following conditions. (1) the owner submit to staff a sample of the hardware to be used on the door and staff confirm that the hardware is appropriate to this door and is similar to other hardware found on High Street. Staff asked to confirm if the two side window transoms were included in the motion. Mr. Denney affirmed that it did include it as it was in drawing. Mr. Dennehy stated they just wanted to confirm the hardware. They do not have to come back to the Commission. Ron Berman seconded the motion. Motion carried.

HPC#54, FY 13-14, 112 Oakley St., Nanette Spear (owner): rebuild deck in rear of house and replace two windows. Mr. Brandewie present an overview of the case and showed photographs of the rear yard area and the façade where two windows would be replace with new vinyl replacement windows.

HPC#55, FY 13-14, 116 High St., Kathleen and Brian Manicke (owners): repair rear porch; install new front storm door, repair or replace wood shutters with like-kind.

HPC#56, FY 13-14, 400 Race St., Epicurean II, Doug Kyle (owner), Arcus Design Group, (architect): general exterior repairs-replacement of windows, installation of metal roof, façade repairs.

HPC#57, FY 13-14, 511 Poplar St., Poplar LLC (owner) Jay Corvan, Architect (applicant): renovation of existing apartment over existing retail store, modifications to rear of structure and roof line, new rear entry door off side alley/parking lot, replacement windows. Mr. Corvan reviewed the plans for the property. The commercial storefront is requested to be modified with the installation of two replacement windows (Marvin with 2 over 2 grid patterns-simulated divided lights); two new wall sconces (gooseneck type lights); replace sign board; install new canvas awning; repair and restore wood cornice details, repoint brick façade; restore-repair copping edging on storefront window; re-use existing entrance door but removed jalousie windows on door. The upper 2nd story currently has an apartment but a new floor plan is being proposed. These changes will modify the side are rear elevations. These changes include seven new windows and an extension of the footprint angling off the rear of the building. The electric panels will be consolidated and moved; the painted sign on the wall will not be saved. A double door is proposed on the side elevations. New siding consisting of wood or composite board is being proposed for the side and rear facades. Handicapped access is from the rear with a new doorway.

Cheryl Hannan, owner, addressed the Commission and noted that they also own a house in the Historic District.

Will Dennehy offered the following motion: to approve the application as submitted with following stipulations: 1) either wood or fiber cement siding can be used for siding material 2); applicant will submit additional information to staff regarding windows details and to approve the patterns and size of muntins; and; (3) staff be consulted on the removal and replacement of the front sign panels. Rob Berman second. Motion carried.

Conceptual-Informal Review

Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance:

HPC_Adm35A, 221 West End, Terry McCallister (owner) request to install 2nd satellite dish in rear yard area. Administratively approved. Owner called to verify that other satellite dish has been removed.

HPC_Admin36A, 221 West End, Terry McCallister (owner) replace 3 tab shingle on front porch with 3 tab shingles. Administratively approved, May 30th, 2014.

HPC_Admin37A, 117 Willis St., Astrid Hogan (owner), Ruark Builders, Inc. (applicant): replace roofing with like kind- arch. hd shingles on side room addition. Shingles to match existing. Administratively approved. June 10th, 2014.

Enforcement Update

Staff Report to be provided at meeting.

Other Business
1. Discussion-Review of Guidelines
2. Meeting Schedule:

Next Meetings:

HPC Workshop: June 26th, 7:00PM
HPC Workshop: July 3rd, 7:00PM (cancellation?)
HPC Workshop: July 10th, 7:00PM

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:00PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie, City Planner II

Signature: Brian Roche, Chairman Date: July 24th, 2014.


Note: These minutes were approved at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on July 24th, 2014.