Historic District Commission Meeting Minutes – January 4, 2017

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HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

JANUARY 4, 2017

Alexa Silver, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Ted Gallo, Barbara Jorgenson, Nancy Maguire, 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 meetings of December 7, 2016. Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the minutes of December 7, 2016 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried with four (4) in favor, Ms. Jorgenson and Ms. Maguire abstained.

CONSENT CALENDAR

BP2017-01 – Duke Law Firm/Pamela L. Duke, 217 High Street – relocate existing signage. Ms. Duke was not present for the application but Ms. Silver stated that this sign has already been approved; it was just being relocated to another location in the Historic District. Mr. Minch moved to accept BP2017-01 as presented, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

BP2016-137 – PHILOSOPHERS TERRACE, LLC/HUGH WYBLE, 126 PHILOSOPHERS TERRACE – EXTERIOR LIGHTING

Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Mr. Hugh Wyble (owner) and Mr. Scott Burleson (Shore Medical Center) were present for the application.

Mr. Wyble stated that concerns have been expressed by staff that the lighting is not adequate at this location. He said that the company that manufactured the existing lights has gone out of business so they were proposing lighting that is installed at the former Royal Farms store on Maple Avenue.  There would be a total of nine (9) lights (2 on the front façade, 2 on the rear façade and 5 on the parking lot side).

Ms. Jorgenson asked how the lighting would compare in brightness to what exists and how the new lights would enhance safety. Mr. Wyble stated that the new lights were meant to illuminate the sidewalk.  He said some of the existing lights weren’t working and all of the lamps seem to have dulled.  Mr. Wyble stated that he did not know how bright the proposed lights would be but said that the literature indicates lights are “Night Sky” compliant.

Discussion ensued regarding lumens and foot candles on lighting. Mr. Wyble stated that the lighting would be on a timer and go on and off automatically.  The lights would turn on at approximately 4:30 p.m. and turn off at 10:00 p.m. in winter.  In spring, the lights would turn on later in the day but still be off at 10:00 p.m.

Mr. Bill Ingersoll stated that the lighting must comply with the Town’s Night Sky Ordinance and the Town would enforce those regulations. He said that the Historic District Commission’s job was to rule on the appearance of the lighting.  Mr. Ingersoll stated that the existing lighting on the building is not Night Sky compliant as there is no shielding provided on the fixtures.

Mr. Minch moved to approve the wall lights as proposed in BP2016-137 for replacement of nine (9) exterior lights as their appearance is in compliance with the Historic District Design Guidelines III.11: Lighting, which will be deemed Night Sky compliant by Town staff, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously. 

BP2016-138 – YERKES CONSTRUCTION/SARVIS/KEAVENEY, 102 S. WATER STREET – ADDITION

Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Mr. Jay Yerkes of Yerkes Construction was present for the application.  Mr. Yerkes stated that in 2004 the existing deck and pergola was built and the new owners have asked to remove it and build an addition in its place.

Mr. Yerkes stated that the addition will be in keeping with the existing house but even more authentic as the house has vinyl cedar impression and the siding proposed for the addition was cedar. Decking and steps are proposed in Ipe with a cedar railing.  The foundation structure would be masonry piers with wooden louvers matching the existing structure.  A fireplace was proposed with a fire-rated chimney pipe and enclosure.  The windows and doors would be Anderson Architectural Series 400 wooden vinyl-clad divided lights.

Ms. Maguire questioned the chimney stating that it looked too low on the renderings. Mr. Yerkes stated that the chimney is situated low but does meet code.  Ms. Maguire stated that the chimney pipe also appeared to be out of scale.

Mr. Yerkes stated that this proposal, if accepted by the Commission, is going to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance of the side yard setbacks. If changes were required, he would return to the Commission.

Ms. Maguire asked Mr. Yerkes to submit cut sheets of the windows and doors proposed to keep on record. Mr. Yerkes agreed to do so.

Mr. Yerkes stated that the Ipe wood proposed for the decking was 50 year old wood that does not hold paint or stain and was meant to be natural.

Ms. Maguire moved to approve BP2016-138 for the removal of a deck and pergola at 102 S. Water Street and to approve the addition proposed as it was in keeping with the Historic District Guidelines IV New Construction; IV3.6 Materials, Texture and Color; and IV.6 New Additions as presented, noting that the Ipe does not require staining and the project is contingent upon approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals for the variance of the side yard setback, was seconded by Mr. Gallo and carried unanimously.

BP2016-139 – PARK ROW PARTNERS, LLC, 302-304 PARK ROW – EXTERIOR RENOVATIONS

Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Mr. Peter Newlin (owner/architect) was present for the application.  Ms. Silver stated that this application was extensive and approved for tax credits through the Maryland Historical Trust.

Ms. Silver stated that she pulled out the portions of the application that relate to the Historic District and said that there were nine (9) issues, they being site; roof and rear dormer; chimney; first floor porch and steps; gutters, flashing and downspouts; windows; doors; foundation and basement, and; exterior walls.

Ms. Jorgenson asked for clarification on the railings. Mr. Newlin stated that they would be constructed of bronze piping.  Ms. Jorgenson stated that the detailed application submitted with the package and fact that Mr. Newlin would be following the Department of the Interior National Park Services’ recommendations on this project makes this a fascinating project and said that she was ready to make a motion.

Ms. Maguire stated that she wanted to know more about the evolution of the building, such as when it was built and the original configuration, the materials of the building and what has been added over the years.

Mr. Newlin stated that the first page of the drawings showed the current conditions of the property. He said that the structure was built in 1928 and has a sleeping porch on the second floor, which was not typical to Chestertown.  He said that this building was built for a medical office on the first floor with doctor’s living quarters on the second floor.  The Jim Crow features of the building are the fact that there are 3 doors on the front façade with no side or rear entries.  The center door has an opening into two-thirds of the building (residence quarters, exam rooms, waiting room) but no entrance to the other third of the structure.  In order to gain entry into that portion of the building one must go outside and back in through the separate front entry into what was a segregated set of medical offices.

Mr. Newlin stated that when applying for tax credits through the State of Maryland this was one of eight (8) buildings that was awarded the credits. Much of the renovation described is at the discretion of Maryland Park Service.  He said that there were several iterations of the front façade submitted and Maryland Park Service told him what they would permit, so if the Commission was going to make changes they would have to be approved by them before he could agree to make them.

Ms. Maguire asked what the concrete tiles would look like. Mr. Newlin stated that the concrete tile would likely be light brown in color to match the stucco, but the exact tile has not been chosen.  He said that the color scheme is based on the one side of the building that has never been painted.  He said that the Maryland Historical Trust would have to approve all materials.

Ms. Maguire stated that the Chestertown Historic District was a total separate body from the Maryland Historical Trust and the application presented before them today had a request for a permit for the porch floor and steps, shed dormer, and foundation.   She said that the Commission should only approve what was listed on the application.  Mr. Minch stated that the application was very complete and outlined every aspect of what was going to be done in this rehabilitation.

Ms. Maguire asked if the application could be divided into what approvals were required at this moment and then return for another phase of the building. Mr. Newlin stated that he needed all of the approvals in order to move forward.  Ms. Silver stated that the application was complete and there was no point in having the applicant return.  Ms. Silver stated that the applicant has addressed all issues with the Historic District Commission and the Maryland Historical Trust.  Ms. Jorgenson stated that the paperwork indicates that anything original must be replaced in kind, which is exactly what the Commission would ask for in any application.  Ms. Maguire stated that if the Commission had confidence in the Maryland Historical Trust and the Department of the Interior on the work then perhaps the entire application should just be approved.

Ms. Silver stated that she wanted to list the specific exterior changes if only to record that the Commission reviewed it.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve BP2016-139 for restoration/renovations at 302-304 Park Row as it is in keeping with the Historic District Design Guidelines including all aspects of the site; roof and rear dormer; chimney; first floor porch and steps; gutters, flashing and downspouts; windows; doors; foundation and basement, and; exterior walls as submitted in plans as it is exceedingly complete, has been approved by the Maryland Historical Trust and the National Park Service. The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

BP2016-140 – ANDERSON, 207 N. WATER STREET – SOLAR PANELS

Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson (owners) were present for the application.  Mr. Anderson stated that Solar City was proposing to install eight (8) solar panels on the rear roof lines which were visible from the bridge.

Ms. Jorgenson asked if an energy audit was performed for the property. Mr. Anderson stated that was one of the first things that he did have an energy audit through Solar City but did not have the paperwork with him, noting that he really was wondering mostly if the Commission would allow solar panels in said location.

Ms. Silver stated that the Design Guidelines indicate the solar panels should not be visible from the public way and the river and bridge were public ways, which was unfortunate because at this property all of the roofs were in the public view.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to deny BP2016-140 for solar panels at 207 N. Water Street as they fail to meet the criteria set forth in the Historic District Guidelines III.12.6, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.  

MARINA INTERPRETIVE CENTER

Mr. Walter Schamu and Mr. Zack Secor of SM+P Architects were present to review the designs of the proposed Marina Interpretive Center.

Mr. Schamu stated that the biggest change to date was the color of the building from a gray to a neutral white color and would have a low luster shine. He said it seemed to make the building fit much better with the streetscape.  A dormer was added to the back of the building on the second floor for the elevator mechanicals.  All other changes to the building were on the interior.

Ms. Jorgenson asked if the second floor windows were functional. Mr. Secor stated that the windows can open and are casements.

Ms. Maguire asked about the railings proposed for the building. Mr. Secor stated that the railings would be made of a heavy cable with wooden caps.

Mr. Secor stated that this evening they were seeking approval to proceed with construction documents. Ms. Jorgenson stated that the architects have been responsive to the Commission’s suggestions and said it was appreciated.

Ms. Maguire moved to approve the concept design package submitted by SM+P Architects dated January 4, 2017 for the conceptual drawings of the Chestertown Marina Interpretive Center, was seconded by Ms. Jorgenson and carried unanimously.

BP2017-02 – JORGENSON/BOWERING, 209 WASHINGTON AVENUE – RAILING

Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Ms. Jorgenson recused herself from the discussion.  Mr. Minch stated that it was important to note that the application was received this morning which was past the deadline and asked why it should not be tabled.

Ms. Jorgenson stated that she was not even certain she would need a permit as a railing would be required today if the stairs were going to be built and apologized for the lateness of the application. Mr. Minch stated that he wanted to point out that the Commission should be more lenient when applications are submitted past the deadline.

Ms. Maguire moved to hear the application, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Ms. Maguire asked where the railing would be installed. Ms. Jorgenson stated that it would be installed from the top step to the bottom step in the center of the stairs.  The railing would simply be a post at each step and the hand rail at the top as shown in the photo.

Ms. Maguire moved to approve the application BP2017-02 for a wrought-iron center railing at 209 Washington Avenue as proposed and as described in the supporting documentation. The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

There being no further business, Mr. Minch moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:35 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Gallo and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                           Alexa Silver

Town Clerk                                                     Chair

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