Historic District Commission Minutes – November 5, 2015

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

NOVEMBER 5, 2015

 

Chairwoman Alexa Silver called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.  In attendance were Commission members Susanne DeBerry Cole, Veronica Golden, Nancy McGuire and Ed Minch, Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, 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 October 7, 2015.  Ms. McGuire moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously.

 

Items on the Consent Agenda were as follows:

  1. BP2015-146 – Unity Landscape/Alice Ritchie, 116 N. Queen Street – Fence, Shed, Hardscape;
  2. BP2015-148 – Marybeth Daucher/Maura Ryan, 524 Cannon Street – Fence;
  3. BP2015-154 – Nancy McGuire/Maryland Heritage Properties, 306 Cannon Street – Sign;
  4. BP2015-160 – Fish Whistle/Jeffery Carroll, 98 Cannon Street – Sign;
  5. BP2015-161 – Michael Riggin/Skippy’s Riverside Gifts and More – Sign;
  6. BP2015-162 – Town of Chestertown, 200 High Street – Restore Clock.

 

There were questions for all of the Consent Agenda items, so it was decided to address each application separately.

 

Mr. Ames moved to approve BP2015-161 from Michael Riggin and Skippy’s Riverside Gifts and More for a sign as it was in keeping with the Design Guidelines, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-146 from Unity Landscape and Alice Ritchie at 116 N. Queen Street for a fence, shed and hardscape.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.  Ms. Ritchie was present for the application.  The Commission asked questions pertaining to the fence and the shed.  After discussion, Ms. Golden moved to approve BP2015-146 from Unity Landscape and Alice Ritchie at 116 N. Queen Street for a fence, shed and hardscape as the proposed work conforms to the Historic District Design Guidelines, was seconded by Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-148 from Marybeth Daucher and Maura Ryan at 524 Cannon Street for a fence.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.  Mr. Gene Stoltzfus was present for the application.  Ms. McGuire asked what the mesh gate would look like.  Mr. Stoltzfus presented a photo of the mesh gate which was made of black steel and included for the record.  Ms. McGuire moved to approve BP2015-148 for a fence at 524 Cannon Street as it was in accordance with the Historic District Guidelines for fences, was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously. 

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-154 from Nancy McGuire and Maryland Heritage Properties at 306 Cannon Street for a sign.  Ms. McGuire recused herself from the application.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.  Mr. Minch asked if the sign would be reinstalled in the same place.  Ms. McGuire stated that the sign was being repainted and would be reinstalled in the same location.  Ms. Golden asked if the other Maryland Heritage Property sign would be removed.  Ms. McGuire stated that she would likely move the sign indoors, noting that the signs as they exist balance each other nicely.  Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2015-154 as submitted as the sign is in accordance with the Historic District Guidelines, was seconded by Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-160 from the Fish Whistle and Jeffery Carroll at 98 Cannon Street for a sign.  The renderings had not been submitted for the sign to date.  Ms. McGuire moved to table application BP2015-160 for the December 2015 meeting due to lack of information on the proposed signage, was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-162 from the Town of Chestertown at 200 High Street to restore the Town Clock on Stam’s Hall.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.  Mr. W. S. Ingersoll was present for the application.  Mr. Ingersoll stated that presently the clock face was glass with wooden handles, which had degraded over time.  Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Robert Rodgers Company has been handling the clock since it was built.  He said that they now use translucent panels rather than glass and said that the owners of Stam’s Hall asked that the clock be restored.  Mr. Ingersoll stated that the project as proposed would cost approximately $7,500.00, but if the Commission allowed the replacement of the hands of the clock only, the cost would be approximately $1,800.00.

 

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Commission could take their time in making a decision, noting that he could arrange for a site visit if they were so inclined.  Ms. Golden asked if there was a cost for a total renovation (keeping the glass).  Mr. Ingersoll stated that he could get that information.  Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was more concerned with the framing that would hold the glass but said he would look into it.

 

Ms. McGuire moved to table BP2015-162 for the Clock tower for further information, was seconded by Ms. DeBerry Cole and carried unanimously.

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-118A from the Sultana Education Center at 200 South Cross Street for a modification to the solar installation approval.  Mr. Drew McMullen was present for the application.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.

Mr. McMullen stated that the previously approved version of the plans was to install all solar panels on the flat surface of the new addition to 200 S. Cross Street.  The firm installing the solar panels, who is responsible for generating a certain level of electricity to reach the LEED Platinum standard advised that there would not be enough production to achieve that title.  The only way to achieve LEED Platinum was to install solar panels on the south facing side of the new gable at 200 S. Cross as well as on the flat surface of the new addition.

 

Ms. Golden moved to approved BP2015-118A for the revision to the solar approval as it conforms to the Historic District Guidelines, was seconded by Ms. McGuire and carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Scott Johnson of Advanced Solar was present to discuss solar panels with the Commission, noting that his firm was chosen to install the solar panels through the co-op established in Kent County.  He had a sample panel which he showed to the Commission.  He said that it was his understanding that the Commission would like to see the panels be installed on the rear of the house or in an inconspicuous place on a property.

 

Mr. Johnson stated that the panel he had was a photovoltaic module and when installed there would be multiple panels which was called an array.  Mr. Johnson stated that photovoltaic shingles resembling asphalt shingles were once available, but the price point was not advantageous to homeowners.  He said that he was not aware that companies were supplying them anymore.

 

Mr. Johnson stated that the solar panels sat on 1¼” rail with a ¾” expansion that connected the rail to the roof.  Mr. Johnson stated that his company installed the solar panels and the panels he used were made by a company called Solar World out of Oregon.

 

Mr. Johnson stated that panels were standard sized at 3’3” wide and 5’5” tall or 6’5” tall.

 

Mr. Minch asked Chestertown’s requirement for clearances around the perimeter of panels on roofs for fire code.  Mr. Johnson stated that he did not know if Chestertown followed any rules for clearances.

 

Mr. Johnson showed cut sheets of the different style panels available, including black, silver and white frames with black or blue panels.  Copies of the cut sheets of the panels were left for the record.  He said that a typical single-family home would have between twenty (20) and thirty-five (35) panels.

 

Ms. Golden asked how the panels would be fastened to a roof and what type of damage would occur to roofing materials.  Mr. Johnson stated that there would be a fair impact on a slate roof as holes would be put in the slate to attach the panel to the structure.  He said that an asphalt tile had no impact as it can be flashed and caulked and good as new if the solar panels were removed.  Mr. Johnson stated that a metal roof would also have to be patched, noting that a 3/16” hole was left from the screws.  He said that he never applied solar panels to a wood shingle roof, but he would suggest an attachment system for this type of roof as it would not be a standard installation.

 

Mr. Johnson stated that a quality installation on a good roof would last approximately 25 years.  He said that the panels can withstand hailstorms and other types of severe weather.

 

Ms. McGuire asked if the panels aged over time or became worn looking.  Mr. Johnson stated that he thought the look of the panels would change less than that of an asphalt shingle roof.  He said that there was really no maintenance for the solar panels once they were installed.

 

Ms. Golden asked if the installation of panels voided roof warranties.  Mr. Johnson stated that he did not think that warranties would be voided.  Ms. Golden asked if there was any evidence of leaking with solar panels.  Mr. Johnson stated that a properly installed system would not leak and would actually extend the life of the roof under it.

 

Mr. Johnson stated that there were building codes that had to be adhered to but any installer of solar panels should be certified by North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

 

Ms. McGuire stated that in a historic district she thought education was important because it was understandable that people wanted to do what is best for the environment, but at the same time preservation of a building was important and there may be instances where placement of panels may be inappropriate.

 

Mr. Johnson stated that the largest hurdle to solar right now is the interconnection approval from Delmarva.  He said that customers should have this approval before any other permitting processes begin.

 

Mr. Minch stated that he has a solar array at his house and said that anyone on the Commission was welcome to come see it.

 

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-125 from Advanced Solar and Mr. Tony D’Elia for solar panel installation at 223 S. Queen Street.  Ms. Silver read the application into the record.  Mr. Scott Johnson of Advanced Solar was present for the application.  Ms. Silver stated that this was a non-contributing structure, having been built in 2007.  Mr. Johnson stated that due to the pitch of the roof, the panels would not be seen from the ground and if a structure was built next to the house, they would not be visible from the road.

 

Ms. McGuire asked if an energy audit was performed at 223 S. Queen Street.  Mr. Minch stated that this was a new house built to new standards and he did not think it should be required.  Mr. Johnson stated that an energy audit was not performed at the address.

 

Mr. Ames moved to approve BP2015-125 for a solar installation as shown in the rendering at 223 S. Queen Street as it is in conformance with the Historic District Design Guidelines, the property in question was non-contributing, the panels would not be on the primary roof and could not be seen from the public way, was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously.

 

Ms. Silver stated that she was working on the Historic District Commission Handbook and passed copies to each member.  She said that there were a couple additions from the presentation given at a previous meeting, including information on defensible decision-making.

 

Ms. McGuire stated that she would like to add verbiage on the history of the Commission.  She suggested that once the handbook was finalized, the Commission adopt it.

 

Mr. Ames stated that he was color-blind and suggested that instead of color-coding the maps they could be numbered.

 

Ms. DeBerry Cole introduced herself to the Commission.

 

There being no further business, Mr. Ames moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:52 p.m. was seconded by Ms. McGuire and carried unanimously.

 

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Alexa Silver

Town Clerk                                                     Chair

 

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