Historic District Commission Minutes – June 7, 2017

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

JUNE 7, 2017

Alexa Silver, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Ted Gallo, Barbara Jorgenson, Nancy McGuire and Ed Minch, 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 May 3, 2017. Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the minutes of May 3, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

The Consent Agenda was as follows:

BP2017-58 – Laureen Free, 110 Cannon Street – Demolition of pergola at rear of property.

Ms. McGuire asked if the pergola would be replaced. Mr. Yerkes stated that at this time there was no plan to rebuild a pergola.  Mr. Yerkes stated that the wood on the pergola was rotting in areas where the wood was bolted together even though the pergola was only 10 years old.  Mr. Yerkes stated that any type of wood will rot if not maintained, noting that cedar and white oak are his choice of wood for outdoor projects.

Ms. McGuire moved to approve BP2017-58 for a demolition of the pergola at the rear of the property at 110 Cannon Street, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2017-52 from Solar City/Sharon Somers for a solar array at 509 High Street. Ms. Tracy Marroquin of Solar City and Ms. Sharon Somers were present for the application.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.

Ms. Silver asked if an energy audit was performed on the property. Ms. Marroquin stated that there was an energy audit performed and would supply a copy of the report for the record.  Ms. Marroquin stated that the roof color was not properly reflected on the plans, noting that the roof was black matching the color of the solar panels.  Ms. Silver stated that it did not appear as though the solar panels would be visible from the public way.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve BP2017-58 subject to receiving a confirmation of energy audit as it was in keeping with the Historic District Design Guidelines III.12.6 Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy Systems, and that because this is a 2-story house with a shallow pitch to the black roof shielding the view of the black solar panels from the street, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2017-54 from Kirk and Maryann Christophel for exterior renovations at 636 High Street. Ms. Silver read the application into the record.  Mr. Kirk Christophel was present for the application.

Mr. Christophel described the project in detail, most notably where here was going to replace two (2) rotted windows with Anderson 400 windows and where he would replace another window with a fiberglass door in the rear to better the flow of the kitchen. Most of the other renovations are repair and restoration of original materials.  He said that there was also a request for aluminum storm windows on all windows as he intended to retain the original windows in the structure.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve BP2017-54 for exterior renovations at 635 High Street as it was in keeping with Historic District Guidelines III.5.2: Repair Siding; III.6.1: Doors; III.6.3 Window; III.6.6: Storm windows; III.7 Roofs.  The exterior renovations consist of removing cedar shingles and repainting the original lap siding, repair and repaint all but 2 windows toward the rear of the property replacing those 2 windows as shown on the plans with Anderson 400 series windows; A third rear window will be removed and replaced with a fiber glass door (sample shown); architectural roof shingles will be on the main roof and the back addition will remain a metal shed roof, the center rail of the storm windows are to align with the center rail of the original windows was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2017-57 from Washington College and Yerkes Construction at 101 S. Water Street to install a wooden rack in order to raise new HVAC units above the floodplain. Mr. Yerkes was present for the application.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.

Mr. Yerkes stated that the engineer specified the wooden racks and said that it was a simple structure with posts and bracing. The only thing that he thought would appear different from what exists is that the view of the units would be more pronounced, approximately 40” above grade. The photo showed the existing units and neighboring property where the neighbor already has an elevated platform for their HVAC units.

Mr. Yerkes stated that he thought screening the platform may soften the look amending his application to include a lattice shield to cover the units which he sketched and added it to the file, noting that Washington College’s CES garden was in the rear so the students could plant something to grow on the lattice further shielding it from view.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to accept the amendment to BP2017-57, was seconded by Mr. Gallo and carried unanimously.

Ms. Jorgenson moved to approve BP2017-57 for a wood rack for elevation of HVAC units as amended to include a lattice privacy screen as it was in keeping with Historic District Commission Guidelines III.12.1 Heating and Cooling Equipment, was seconded by Mr. Gallo and carried unanimously.

Ms. Mulligan stated that the last item on the agenda was meant for the July 5th meeting.  Ms. Silver stated that she would like more detail on the window manufacturer.

Ms. Silver asked if the Commission wished to discuss the fence issue that was raised at the last meeting. Mr. Minch stated that the fence issue was complicated.  Ms. McGuire stated that she has been accumulating information on different wood types as she thought suggested wood species may be helpful to applicants to decide which type of fencing to install.  She said that the guidelines could then be updated to include which types of wood must be stained or painted.

Mr. Minch stated that there are over 49 different woods that have the word “mahogany” in them, grown on 4 continents, and vastly different in their longevity and appearance. There were also different ways wood was sold, such as kiln-dried and pressure-treated, and different maintenance suggestions for each.  Ms. McGuire stated that she found discrepancies in the time period for when wood should be painted or stained and a large difference in pricing according to wood type.  Mr. Minch stated that cut sheets from the wood supplier may make sense for each application including their recommendation for treatment.

Ms. Silver stated that perhaps in the future the Commission could ask for more detailed information of the manufacturer on how to care for the wood once it was installed.

Ms. Jorgenson stated that the discussion on fences started as the fact that people were not following through with painting the fences once they were installed and seems to have changed gears to what should be done in the future. She asked if the original issue was going to be addressed.  Ms. McGuire stated that the homeowners who have not complied with their permits would be receiving a letter indicating their need to paint or stain the fencing.

Ms. Jorgenson stated that the reason the solar guidelines were valuable was because they were simple. She said that she thought the guidelines on fencing should be just as simple.

There being no further business, Ms. Ritchie moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:50 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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