2014, Historic District Commission, Minutes|

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
JUNE 4, 2014

Chairman Michael Lane called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Rob Busler, Lucy Maddox, Nancy McGuire and Ted Maris-Wolf, Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.

Mr. Lane 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.

Mr. Lane asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of May 7, 2014. Ms. McGuire moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Maris-Wolf and carried unanimously.

Items on the consent calendar were as follows:

a) BP2014-44 – Chesapeake Bank, 245 High Street – Signs;
b) BP2014-45 – Town of Chestertown, 113 Philosopher’s Terrace – Demolition;
c) BP2014-49 – Eleanor Altman, 210 N. Queen Street – Privacy fence;
d) BP2014-50 – Kalbfus/Play it Again Sam, 108 S. Cross Street – Screen doors;
e) BP2014-53 – GAR Building/Yerkes Construction, 206 S. Queen Street – Storm windows;
f) BP2014-54 – Joyce Poff/Edge Construction, 104 S. Kent Street – Roof.

Ms. McGuire asked to remove BP2014-44, BP2014-45 and BP2014-53 from the consent calendar.

Mr. Maris-Wolf stated that he wanted to encourage the Commission to ask for proper documentation of any building that was planned for demolition with photographs and sketches, regardless of whether or not the building was deemed to have historical significance.

Ms. Maddox moved to approve the following applications as submitted as they were in accordance with the Design Guidelines:
c) BP2014-49 – Eleanor Altman, 210 N. Queen Street – Privacy fence;
d) BP2014-50 – Kalbfus/Play it Again Sam, 108 S. Cross Street – Storm doors; and
f) BP2014-54 – Joyce Poff/Edge Construction, 104 S. Kent Street – Roof.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Maris-Wolf and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2014-53 from the GAR and Yerkes Construction at 206 S. Queen Street for storm windows. Mr. Jay Yerkes of Yerkes Construction was present for the application. Ms. McGuire stated that she wanted a notation on the permit that the muntins and dividers would be in alignment when the storm windows were installed. Ms. McGuire moved to approve BP2014-53 for storm windows on the GAR building at 206 S. Queen Street, noting that the muntins and dividers shall be in alignment with the existing windows, was seconded by Mr. Maris-Wolf and carried unanimously.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the grand opening of the GAR building would be held on Saturday, June 21st.

The next item on the agenda was BP2014-45 from the Town of Chestertown for demolition of the building at 113 Philosopher’s Terrace. Mr. Lane stated that normal procedure was to determine if the building was contributing or non-contributing and move forward based on those findings. Ms. McGuire stated that the Commission also should know what is being put in place of the building. Mr. de Mooy stated that at this point it was going to be green space.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the building has been used for storage for some time. He said that the property was a hodge-podge of concrete block construction and was moved there many years ago. The foundation was inadequate and it was full of mold.

Mr. de Mooy stated that there was no original material left in this building. Siding would be salvaged for use elsewhere. Mr. Maris-Wolf asked the age of the building. Mr. de Mooy stated that it was impossible to tell because there was really nothing original of the building to indicate its age, adding that it was a non-contributing building in the survey.

Ms. Maddox stated that there was an African American community in the vicinity of the house. Mr. de Mooy stated that this building had nothing to do with that. Mr. Maris-Wolf stated that he thought it was critical to find out where the structure came from and how old it was. Mr. de Mooy stated that he was going to go through the building and photograph it. He said that he would also speak with Mr. Vince Raimond to find out where the house was located originally.

Ms. McGuire stated that she was not opposed to the application, contingent that there be green space after demolition and the Town returned for approval if something was planned to be built in the future.

Mr.de Mooy stated that he did not see a problem gathering information on the building and returning with the documentation for action at a future meeting. He said that he had no opposition to tabling the application at this time.

Mr. Maris-Wolf stated that his concern over the building came out of concern for the demolition of the two (2) buildings at the end of South Queen Street a couple months ago. He said that all buildings should be thoroughly documented before demolition took place.

Ms. McGuire stated that archaeology should be considered. Mr. de Mooy stated that there were no footings under this building, but that could be something for the future.

The next item on the agenda was from Christian Havemeyer at 117 S. Cross Street for replacement of a door on the Cannon Street side of the building, and a new door opening and door on the rear of the building to allow access to the furnace room. Mr. Lane read the application to the record. Mr. Havemeyer was present for the application. Mr. Havemeyer stated that the new door to the furnace room would be painted to match the main color of the building and was being installed to enable the upstairs tenant access to the furnace and the circuit breaker.

Ms. Maddox moved to approve BP2014-51 for a door replacement and door addition as requested at 117 S. Cross Street, as it was in accordance with the Design Guidelines, was seconded by Ms. McGuire and carried unanimously.

Mr. Busler arrived at the meeting at 4:25 p.m.

Mr. Yerkes stated that he was with Mr. Bob Ingersoll earlier in the day at the GAR Building and the back metal emergency landing and stairs would not be complete by the grand opening. He suggested building pressure treated wood steps to match the front steps with the wheelchair lift next to it. He said that Mr. Ingersoll wanted the wooden steps permanently built if permissible instead of the metal stairs.

Mr. de Mooy stated that there could be no approvals without plans. He suggested building something temporarily and he would issue a permit for temporary stairs. The metal stairs could then be installed when they were completed. Mr. Yerkes stated that he would like to build the stairs temporarily with an option that they could be permanent and return with plans for approval. He said that if the plans were not approved, they would build the metal stairs as he thought it was wasteful to build something and tear it down.

Mr. Yerkes stated that it was Mr. Ingersoll’s recollection that the Commission wanted wood stairs at one time.

Mr. de Mooy asked if the wheelchair lift was independent of the back stairs. Mr. Yerkes stated that the lift let out on the decking of the porch. Mr. de Mooy stated that a metal stair and metal lift would be more complimentary.

Mr. Lane stated that he thought the Maryland Historic Trust would have to give the final approval and said that the change should be brought to them before the Commission made any decision.

The last item on the agenda was BP2014-44 from Chesapeake Bank at 245 High Street for signs for the bank. Mr. James Anthony, President of Chesapeake Bank was present for the application. Ms. McGuire recused herself from the application citing a conflict of interest. Mr. Lane read the application into the record.

Mr. Anthony stated that there were two bronze plaques at one time at the base of the pillars and there were still holes in place where the fasteners were located. He said that they would like to have new bronze plaques made.

Mr. Anthony stated that Chesapeake Investment Services entrance was on the Cross Street side of the building and he would like to install a sign again at that entrance. He also requested directional signage for the ATM, FedEx, and UPS drop boxes. Mr. Maris-Wolf stated that they would need a sketch of the direction signs and Chesapeake Investment Service sign.

Mr. Busler asked if there was photographic evidence of the bronze plaques. Mr. Anthony stated that he would look to see if there was.

Mr. Busler stated that he would like to see a color rendering of the bronze plaques including details on wording or illustration.

Mr. Lane stated that photographic evidence was used for the decision on the Prince Theater marquee, and the fact that there was evidence that a 3-sided sign existed. He said that he would like the same evidence for the Chesapeake Bank. Mr. Anthony asked if an attestation (testimony from someone old enough to remember and describe (the plaques)) would be allowed, if he could not find photos. Mr. Lane stated that an attestation may be considered.

Mr. Busler asked if it mattered if a sign existed previously. Mr. de Mooy stated that from a sign permitting standpoint, with the sign over the portico, the bronze plaques would equal 3 signs which are 2 more than other buildings are permitted. However, if there was historical evidence of those signs existing previously, the precedent was the basis for approving the bronze plaques.

Mr. Lane stated that he thought this application should be tabled for photographic evidence and a proof and dimensions of the plaque being proposed. Mr. de Mooy stated that there should be an historical precedent for the signs, or it will open the door to other property owners wanting additional signage. Mr. Anthony agreed.

Mr. Lane stated that 7-Eleven was finally underway on their project at Maple Avenue and Cross Street.

Mr. Lane thanked Mr. Maris-Wolf for serving on the Commission. Mr. Maris-Wolf was relocating to Virginia in July.

There being no further business, Ms. Maddox moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:55 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:
Jennifer Mulligan
Town Clerk

Approved by:
Michael Lane
Chairman

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