HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
MAY 1, 2019
Chairwoman, Alexa Silver called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Owen Bailey, Jeffrey Coomer, Barbara Jorgenson, Ed Minch and Alice Ritchie, Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Ms. Silver stated that the Chestertown Historic District Commission takes its authority from Chapter 93 of the Code of the Town of Chestertown and operates under the Historic District Design Guidelines that were adopted by the Mayor and Council of Chestertown on October 7, 2002 and revised March 7, 2012.
Ms. Silver asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of April 3, 2019. Mr. Coomer moved to approve the minutes of April 3, 2019 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The Consent Calendar for April 2019 was as follows:
- BP2019-50 – Janes Church, 120 S. Cross Street – Roof replacement;
- BP2019-56 – Edge/Smith-Singer, 111 N. Queen Street – Roof;
- BP2019-57 – Edge/Herold, 226 Cannon Street – Porch roof replacement;
- BP2019-61 – Angela’s Cottage, 335-C High Street – Sign;
- BP2019-62 – Delmarva Power – Relocate transformer.
Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve the Consent Calendar as follows as the applications were in accordance with the Historic District Commission Guidelines:
- BP2019-50 – Janes Church, 120 S. Cross Street – Roof replacement;
- BP2019-56 – Edge/Smith-Singer, 111 N. Queen Street – roof;
- BP2019-57 – Edge/Herold, 226 Cannon Street – Porch roof replacement:
- BP2019-61 – Angela’s Cottage, 335-C High Street – Sign:
- BP2019-62 – Delmarva Power – Relocate transformer.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-30 from Verizon at 119 Washington Avenue for placement of fuel tank and a fence. There was not a representative for the application. Ms. Jorgenson moved to deny the application as submitted with an invitation to reapply and a letter to the applicant that vinyl fencing is not permitted in the Historic District, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-40 from KIT Team, LLC at 337 High Street (The Watershed). Representing the application was Mr. Christopher Frank of Hammond Wilson Architects and Mr. Jay Yerkes of Yerkes Construction. Mr. Hammond presented renderings that showed the difference in drawings from last month to now. The rendering for the elevation in the courtyard showed a glazed glass fenestration like Sultana’s entry on South Cross Street (set back approximately 60’ from the sidewalk).
Mr. Frank showed the vestibule addition in detail with renderings of the soffits and gutters, a parapet roof and transom. Brick veneer will make the buildings appear as though they are connected on either side of the vestibule. Mr. Frank stated that the windows would be opaque in appearance and lit internally with no light projecting toward the street. He said that there would be a false wall on the interior and the area would be used as a window box for displays. Anodized aluminum energy efficient windows were proposed. A color scheme for the building was still under discussion.
Mr. Frank stated that after the positive comments from the Commission in April, they decided to use a modern cable rail system with post and beam construction at the rear of the building. A minor change was that the steel entry door to the kitchen and a window were flipped, moving the door closer to the center of the building. Storefront doors will be installed to the right of the back entrance by the staircase. All doors on the rear façade will have a metal frame cased in wood on the first floor. Mr. Frank stated that the second floor will be framed metal for a clean look as the windows seem to be well-spaced. Standing seam metal roofing will be used. Mr. Frank stated that one change was to the rooftop equipment, which will now be a bit smaller than it was first proposed. The outer cover of the elevator will have v-groove horizontal Doral boards with corner boards (like the material used at the Marina). Mr. Frank stated that they were still questioning whether the infill wall will remain block or be changed to wood.
Ms. Silver asked what material would be used for the decking. Mr. Yerkes stated that it would likely be wood as they were having trouble finding another material that will withstand the heat intensity from the sun in that area. Ms. Jorgenson stated that she was comfortable approving wood for the decking.
Ms. Ritchie wanted to clarify if the glass wall in the front of the building will have a false wall where the dining room area will not be visible. Mr. Frank stated that was correct. He said that the horizontal lines run with the rooftop equipment so at night it will not be noticeable. In the day, it will appear as one glass wall. He said that they discussed expanding lighting to the top portion within but was concerned with bugs, etc. This area will basically be for decorative displays. If signage was to be placed in that area they would return for permission.
Mr. Coomer moved to approve the proposed modifications to the front façade at 337 High Street as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Jorgenson and carried unanimously.
Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve the back section of 337 High Street for a stair revision with stipulation that visible structures will be wood with metal stanchions for the rails, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-47 from Charles Barton at 223 Philosophers Terrace for a fence. There was nobody present to represent the application. Ms. Jorgenson moved to table application BP2019-47 for the June 2019 meeting, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-54 at 317 S. Queen Street for window replacement. Mr. Peter Paige (owner) was present along with Mr. Darrell Craig (contractor) for the application. Mr. Paige explained that the existing windows are plexiglass and they were in place when he purchased the house. Ms. Jorgenson stated that she looked to purchase that house in 2007 and was wondered how a screen porch became a semi-complete room. Mr. Paige stated that the request before the Commission was to replace the plexiglass with Anderson 400 series casement windows. Mr. Craig stated that all other modifications would only be on the interior and not visible on the exterior. There will be a split air and heating unit which faced the neighbors on Front Street below the windows on the house.
Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve application BP2019-54 as submitted as it was in keeping with the Historic District Design Guidelines, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-51 from Kathleen Holden at 209 N. Mill Street for vinyl porch railings which were installed without a permit. Ms. Holden was present for the application. Ms. Silver stated that vinyl porch railings are not approved from the public way in the Historic District. Ms. Holden stated that she bought the house at auction and was unaware that it was in an Historic District. The house was vacant for 12 years and bought at auction. She did not meet the listing agent and the local realtor she worked with never mentioned the house was in an historic district but did suggest that her son install the railing for her.
Ms. Holden stated that on this street there were 2 abandoned houses and her immediate neighbor has vinyl siding with ill-fitting shutters, windows and doors. She said that there were historic street lamps with lights that were on 24-hours a day and shining in her house. There was not enough parking for the residents. Her welcome to Chestertown was over St. Patrick’s Day where the college kids were sunbathing on the roof and music was blaring through the streets.
Ms. Holden stated that before choosing the railing she walked through Town and came upon a house on Cannon Street and another on Queen Street with vinyl railings. Ms. Holden stated that the Planning Commission presented an award for “Best Building” to the house on Cannon Street the year it was built and although the building is 13 years old the railings look brand new. Mr. Minch stated that the vinyl railing had been replaced within in the last 6 months. The house on Queen Street was new construction and was just completed 2 years ago.
Ms. Holden stated that historically there was no railing on the property, but she wanted one for safety and insurance purposes and said that she would like to continue using the vinyl railings that are in place and asked if she could keep the railing for up to 6 months. The original posts are still in place and will be exposed again. She said that she was not living in Chestertown full-time and she wanted to make sure that the property was safe in her absence. Ms. Jorgenson stated that she agreed with a small timeframe to correct the mistake and said that a wood railing would be accepted. Ms. Holden stated that a railing was not required at this property, but she wanted one for her piece of mind.
With permission of the owner, Mr. Bailey moved to amend the application include the removal of the vinyl railing and installation of a wooden railing within 6-months (November 2019) with the understanding that the applicant will return with proof that the vinyl railing has been removed and a wooden railing is in place or if the owner decided not to have a railing at all. The motion was seconded by Mr. Coomer and carried unanimously.
Ms. Holden stated that she would like to volunteer to be a welcoming committee for the Town because nobody sent her a letter of welcome or welcomed her to Town at the beginning of the meeting. Ms. Jorgenson suggested that Ms. Holden contact the DCA as they have long wanted to have a committee to welcome new residents to Chestertown.
Mr. Coomer stated that this was an unfortunate situation where the realtor should have advised the applicant that she was in the Historic District.
Ms. Holden stated that before the meeting started there was conversation between 2 members of the Commission that she did not feel was appropriate as they were discussing the outcome of a case before the meeting began. She said that it made her feel defeated before the meeting even started.
Ms. Holden asked if the situation with the College students will improve. Mr. Bailey suggested that she call the Dean of Students and report the student’s behavior if she was unhappy. She said that there was a State Trooper who lived on the street and he did nothing to cure the situation. Ms. Jorgenson stated that students can’t live off campus without permission from Washington College.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-58 from Robert Busler at 407 High Street for a solar array. Ms. Mulligan stated that Mr. Busler called right before the meeting and asked that the application be tabled for the June meeting. Ms. Jorgenson moved to table BP2019-58 for the June 2019 meeting was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was from BP2019-60 from Ms. Christine Tilghman at 321 High Street for a 4’ high vinyl picket fence in the back of “She-She” to allow her pig, Gus, to use the lawn while she is at work. Ms. Tilghman stated that a friend gave her the fence and she would like to install it in the back yard and plant some shrubbery in front of it. She said that she does not have the funds right now to buy a fence as she was just starting her business. The fence would be in a back corner which was normally blocked by cars in the parking lot. Ms. Silver stated that there was a lot of sunlight in that parking lot and the vinyl may not fare too well. Ms. Ritchie stated that there was nothing pretty about the entire area where the fence was requested. Mr. Bailey stated that he did not think it would be too visible from the public way. Ms. Jorgenson stated that renovations are taking place to the exterior of other buildings on the 300 block of High Street which will make dramatic changes to the appearance of the rear of the buildings. Ms. Jorgenson stated that she liked She-She and she liked Gus, but she couldn’t vote for a vinyl fence. Ms. Jorgenson moved to deny BP2019-60, was seconded by Mr. Minch and passed with 3 in favor, Mr. Bailey and Ms. Ritchie opposed.
The next items on the agenda were BP2019-63 and BP2019-64 from Eugenia Wootton for window and siding replacement at 217 Court Street and window replacement at 207 Court Street.
Ms. Genie Wootton and Ms. Kathleen Hurd (Rasin, Wootton and Hurd) and Mr. Ray Strong (contractor) were present for the applications. Ms. Wootton stated that the buildings have a brick façade and face the back of the courthouse parking lot. There is currently aluminum siding in place, which they would like to replace with vinyl (sample provided). The buildings are also surrounded by a parking lot. Both buildings are non-contributing, having been built in 1973 and 1974.
Ms. Wootton stated that according to the Historic District Guidelines, applications to replace windows that are less than 50 to 70 years old are more likely to be approved by the Historic District Commission than the replacement of older windows as these normally deteriorate more quickly than their older counterparts. Ms. Jorgenson asked if the grilles for the windows can be placed on the exterior of the window rather than in between the glass. Mr. Strong stated that the grilles will be installed on the exterior of the window. Ms. Wootton stated that she was also planning to add a window to the rear of 217 Court Street as her office will be in that location and currently no window exists.
Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve BP2019-63 for Viwinco 6/6 S-Series windows (with SDL grid on the exterior of the window) and Georgia Pacific vinyl siding with an 8” reveal, along with the addition of a window on the rear of the building at 217 Court Street and BP2019-64 for window replacement with Viwinco 6/6 S-Series Vinyl windows (with SDL grid on the exterior of the window) at 207 Court Street, as both buildings were non-contributing allowing the Commission to be lenient, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
The last item on the agenda was BP2019-65 from Julie Santobini at 120 Washington Avenue to replace the standing seam metal roof in kind and to remove the sheds on the property. Ms. Mulligan stated that she visited the property earlier in the day and took pictures of the metal roof and the shed buildings. Ms. Mulligan stated that the shed buildings were built without a permit and constructed of old telephone poles and pressed wood for siding. After explanation of the shed buildings, Mr. Coomer moved to approve the application for a new standing seam metal roof and demolition of the shed buildings as submitted, was seconded, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
Ms. Silver stated that she will be out of Town for the June and July meeting.
There being no further business, Mr. Minch moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:15 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Alexa Silver
Town Clerk Chair