HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
JULY 2, 2014
Chairman Michael Lane called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Rob Busler, Alexa Cawley, Lucy Maddox, Nancy McGuire and Ed Minch, 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 June 4, 2014. Mr. Busler moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Cawley and carried unanimously.
Items on the consent calendar were as follows:
a. BP2014-19 – Majestic Garden, 335A High Street – sign;
b. BP2014-63 – Joshua Roberts, 205 Washington Avenue – replace rear roof;
c. BP2014-65 – Gil Watson, 206 Philosopher’s Terrace –fence.
Mr. Lane stated that he would like to remove BP2014-19 from the consent calendar for clarification of the application.
Mr. Busler moved to approve the following applications as they were in accordance with the Design Guidelines:
b. BP2014-63 – Joshua Roberts, 205 Washington Avenue – replace rear roof; and
c. BP2014-65 – Gil Watson, 206 Philosopher’s Terrace – fence.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2014-19 from Majestic Garden at 335A High Street for a sign. Mr. Lane stated that he wanted to know where the sign would actually be placed on the building and what material would be used to make the sign. Ms. Jennifer MacPherson was present for the application. She said that the sign would be mounted directly over the door on the fascia of the overhang, the same as the pharmacy next door. She said that the sign would be made of wood with a border and that the lettering would be carved. Ms. MacPherson stated that the door was at least 7’, so the sign would be mounted about 8’ from the ground. Ms. Maddox moved to approve the permit for the sign as submitted, as it was in keeping with the Design Guidelines for signs, was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2013-29 from Sultana Projects, Inc. for a new building. Mr. Drew McMullen was present for the application. He said that he came before the Commission last month to explain how the building may have to be changed to satisfy the Maryland Historical Trust. He said that the view he was presenting today is identical to what was shown at the last meeting, which meets LEED Platinum certification status. He said that there may be minor “tweaking” to the rear of the building with windows possibly being moved a few feet in one direction or the other.
Mr. McMullen stated that all of the materials have been approved by the Historic District Commission at a prior meeting. He said that the footprint of the building was the same, and the front of the large gable is the same as in previous plans. The front façade would be broken up by a 4’ step back on the east side and a 3’ step back on the other (next to the bike shop).
Mr. McMullen stated that the rear of the building has changed slightly in window placement and the addition of a greenhouse window. He said that the elevations shown today do not show the solar panels, which will only be minimally visible from the rear of the property.
Ms. Cawley moved to approve BP2013-29 as it was in keeping with the massing, materials and fenestration as put forth in the Design Guidelines, for a new building at 200-204 S. Cross Street, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2014-62 from the Imperial Hotel at 208 High Street for a new HVAC system. Mr. Stephen Meehan was present for the application. Mr. Meehan stated that currently the Imperial Hotel was heated and cooled by window units. He said that there was an elaborate duct system installed in the 1980’s which failed. He said that he was proposing a ductless system that would have brown colored conduits that will be installed on the sides of the building to air compressors on the ground. He said that the north and south side of the building would each have a 3-phase system. He said that he would like to eventually restore the windows and then install exterior storms under a separate application.
Mr. Meehan stated that the compressors will be hidden by a gate and all that would be visible were the brown conduits, but he thought they would look better than the existing window units. Mr. Busler recommended moving the conduits back from the face of the building if the units would still function properly.
Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2014-62 be approved as submitted for HVAC improvements at the Imperial Hotel, was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.
Mr. de Mooy stated that Mr. James Anthony from Chesapeake Bank and Trust was present at this meeting as he was able to find one of the original cast bronze signs that previously existed on the pillars of the bank building on the corner of High Street and Cross Street.
Ms. McGuire recused herself from the application.
Mr. Anthony stated that the bank was not certain whether the new cast bronze sign would have the bank’s logo or “Chesapeake Bank and Trust”. He said that there was a company in Erie, Pennsylvania that still did these castings, which would be installed at the base of each pillar on High Street in the same size, bolted into the existing holes.
Mr. Busler asked if the roof would be finished anytime soon on the newly installed ATM machine. Mr. Anthony stated that the roofing contractor failed to show so they were looking for a new contractor.
Mr. Anthony stated that he was resigning from the bank on July 11th and was moving into a different position with another company.
Mr. de Mooy stated that he would have to give a zoning opinion on the requested signs, as this was a non-conforming sign that was removed. He said that this was a request for new signage and it would have to be decided whether he was entitled to more signage than other businesses.
Mr. Anthony stated that this was similar to the marquee signage. Mr. de Mooy stated that the marquee still existed when renovations began on the building and it was restored and re-installed.
Mr. Anthony stated that this was a continuation of an application from a June 2014 meeting, where he was directed to find photos or some other evidence that the signs existed, and he brought the sign to show the Commission. He said that the Commission could see the size of the sign and the material. Mr. Lane stated that the Commission had to see what the sign was going to say, or if there was going to be a logo added.
Mr. de Mooy stated that the Commission needed to see an illustration of what the sign would look like in width, height, and material. He said that the sign itself was excellent, but the Commission did not know how the text would be formatted, how big the logo was going to be, etc. Mr. Anthony stated that the sign would likely use the Chesapeake Bank & Trust logo and font.
Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2014-44 from Chesapeake Bank and Trust for signs to be installed on the pillars, conditional upon exact dimensions of the sign submitted for the record, was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously. Mr. de Mooy stated that this motion also presumes a positive opinion in the zoning ordinance that permits the signage. Mr. Anthony agreed.
Mr. Lane stated that the Mayor and Council will be looking at the zoning ordinance, specific to signs. He said that the Planning Commission will take the lead, but the Historic District Commission will have input for signage in the Historic District.
Mr. Lane stated that he asked Mr. de Mooy to look at the new Big Mixx that has relocated to the Allstate Building on Philosopher’s Terrace. Mr. de Mooy stated that the signs do conform and were installed in the same spot as the former business owner had them, but the owner did fail to get a sign permit.
Ms. Maddox and Ms. Cawley stated that they would not be present for the meeting on August 6th.
There being no further business, Mr. Busler moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:50 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Cawley and carried unanimously.