Historic District Commission Minutes – January 3, 2018

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

JANUARY 3, 2018

Alexa Silver, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Ted Gallo, Barbara Jorgenson, Nancy McGuire, 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 nominations for Chair of the Historic District Commission for 2018. Ms. Ritchie nominated Ms. Silver as Chair for 2018, which was seconded by Ms. Jorgenson. Ms. Silver asked if there were any additional nominations for Chair.  There being none, the Commission was unanimous in its decision to name Ms. Silver as Chair for 2018.

Ms. Silver asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of December 6, 2017. Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve the minutes of December 6, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

The Consent Calendar read as follows:

    • BP2017-140 – Emmanuel Church, 101 N. Cross Street – Doors and Steps;
    • BP2017-141 – Bogden/Taylor, 219 Calvert Street – Retaining Wall and Native Plants
    • BP2017-147 – The Listening Room – 320 Cannon Street – Sign 
    • BP2018-01 – Mylander, 208 Washington Avenue – Gutters

Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve the consent calendar as follows, noting that all applications meet the criteria in the Historic District Design Guidelines as follows:

  • BP2017-140 from the Emmanuel Church at 101 N. Cross Street for Doors and steps in accordance with Section III.6.1 Doors and III.2.1 and III.2.24 Materials and Characteristics and Masonry Repairs;
  • BP2017-141 from Bogden/Taylor at 219 Calvert Street for a retaining wall and native plants in accordance with Section IV.3.10 Site Features and Landscape;
  • BP2017-147 from The Listening Room at 320 Cannon Street for a sign in accordance with III.13 Signs;
  • BP2018-01 from Carol Mylander at 208 Washington Avenue for gutters in accordance with III.3.2. Repair or Replacement.    

The next item on the agenda was BP2017-146 from Taylor Loughry Construction and Meghan Efland at 300 E. Campus Avenue for replacement of three (3) windows on a 1980s addition. There was nobody present for the application. Mr. de Mooy phoned the contractor to insure the Commission had a complete understanding the application.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve BP2017-146 to replace three (3) existing windows on the rear addition of the property with three (3) Andersen 400 Series windows on the rear addition to the property in keeping with III.6.3 Windows, was seconded by Mr. Gallo and carried unanimously.

Mr. Minch stated that his brother was president of a historic society in Saugerties, New York that allowed window replacements as long as the percentage of glass and framing are the same as the original windows. Mr. Minch stated that Andersen windows were typically submitted as replacement windows but there were many other window manufacturers that could be used. He said that he would like to have a discussion on what manufacturers the Commission would accept.

Mr. de Mooy stated that fiberglass doors have also been approved and those doors hold paint better and are more resilient than some other materials.

Ms. McGuire stated that the Commission was not supposed to indicate to an applicant what they could use on a building; their basis for an application was what was brought before them. She said that staff could suggest materials or perhaps the Commission could put out a circular indicating materials that may be considered.

Ms. McGuire stated that she would like to be truer to the Design Guidelines than the Commission is currently and there needed to be better education in the community on what was required from the applicants. Ms. Jorgenson suggested an update to the Guidelines since there were many new materials on the market since the 2012 Guidelines were adopted.

Ms. McGuire stated that the problem was that nobody on the Commission knew architectural styles or the elements that go into them. She said that until the styles and information on material was made available to the Commission she wanted to be careful in changing the Guidelines. Ms. McGuire stated that contacting other Historic District areas may be helpful.

Mr. de Mooy stated that unless there was a consensus from the group that there was something egregiously missing or wrong with the Guidelines, there was no reason to make changes at this time.

Ms. Jorgenson stated that she did not want to start over with new Design Guidelines; but look to adopting a list of materials acceptable to the Commission. Ms. McGuire stated that if the Commission was more educated on materials it would be better than suggesting new materials to applicants. Mr. Minch stated that an approved materials lists for materials that are not original fabric to begin with should not be an issue, using an application to replace vinyl windows that were installed in the 1980s as an example.

Ms. McGuire stated that some applicants come before them asking to replace windows that were 25 years old when originally they replaced windows that were over 125 years old which should have never been replaced to begin with. She said that original windows cannot be replaced and the Commission was not knowledgeable with the styles appropriate for the architectural style of different properties. Mr. de Mooy stated that he could ask the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions to see if someone was available to provide a workshop.

There being no further business, Ms. Jorgenson moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:30 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

There being no further business, Ms. Jorgenson moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:30 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Gallo and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                           Alexa Silver

Town Clerk                                                     Chair

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