Historic District Commission, Minutes|

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 4, 2015

Chairman Michael Lane called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Robert Busler, Alexa Cawley, Lucy Maddox, Nancy Maguire 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 January 7, 2015. Mr. Busler moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

The Consent Calendar was as follows:
a. BP2015-07 – Laucik/Baker, 117 S. Cross Street – Lighting;
b. BP2015-08 – Robert Tacher, 209 Philosopher’s Terrace – Garage Doors
c. BP2015-11 – Bradley Lake, 320 High Street – Sign;
d. BP2015-12 – Saw Mill Construction/Flanagan, 238 Cannon Street – Roof.

Ms. Maguire asked that BP2015-07 be removed from the consent agenda citing a conflict of interest. The Commission agreed.

Mr. Busler moved to approve the following Consent Calendar items:
b. BP2015-08 from Robert Tacher at 209 Philosopher’s Terrace for garage doors;
c. BP2015-11 from Bradley Lake at 320 High Street for a sign, and;
d. BP2015-12 from Saw Mill Construction/Flanagan at 238 Cannon Street for a roof, as they were in keeping with the Design Guidelines for the Historic District in Chestertown, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Mr. Lane stated that the next item on the agenda was BP2015-07 from Laucik/Baker and 117 S. Cross Street for exterior lighting. Ms. Maguire recused herself from the application citing a conflict of interest. Ms. Maddox moved to approve the application as presented for exterior lighting, was seconded by Ms. Cawley and carried with five (5) in favor, Ms. Maguire recused.

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-09 from Stephen Meehan of the Imperial Hotel at 208 High Street for a sign. Mr. Lane read the application into the record. Mr. Minch asked if the date of the original photograph in the file was known. Mr. Meehan stated that the photo was not dated, but thought it was pre-WWII. He said that “The Kitchen” sign (which was on sign board) would be about the same size, although the “Imperial Hotel” sign would be made of wooden letters painted black and installed to the porch façade, identical to what was shown in the photograph. Mr. de Mooy stated that the second sign was permitted as it was a restoration of a former historic sign with evidence in the form of a historic photograph. Mr. Minch moved to approve the application as submitted, as it conforms with the sign ordinance as it relates to historic signs, was seconded by Ms. Maddox and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2014-138 from Wendy A. Cronin at 504 Cannon Street. Mr. Lane read the application to change the roof from 6’ to 10’ in height and add two dormers into the record. Ms. Wendy Cronin and Mr. Andrew Wasserman were present for the application.

Mr. Busler asked if this building was a contributing structure. Ms. Maddox stated that according to the Historic District Survey it was a contributing building. Ms. Cronin stated that the house was pretty much in original condition, with the exception of window replacement which was done in the 1940’s.

Ms. McGuire stated that she did not want to set a precedent for future applications, but that what was being proposed was not out of character for an Arts & Crafts style building, as they were either built with roof pitches ranging from 6/12 to 10/12.

Mr. Wasserman stated that there was an attachment in the application showing that this style of Arts & Crafts building was built with both a 6/12 and a 10/12 roof pitch, noting that a similar house with a 10/12 roof pitch and dormers was located at 520 Cannon Street.

Mr. Wasserman stated that they wanted to change to a 10/12 roof pitch in order to create additional living space and replace undersized roof rafters.

Mr. Lane stated that Article 3.7 page 39 discusses roofs and says “Roofs are an essential element in defining building styles and for these reasons it is not appropriate to alter or obscure them. Much of a building’s historic character is derived from its roof shape…The original roof design should be preserved and the original roofing materials retained, unless deteriorated to the point where it cannot be repaired…Alterations or modifications that substantially change, damage or destroy roofs defining characteristics are not appropriate.”

Ms. Maguire stated that this application did not alter the fact that this particular house was an Arts & Crafts style house, as the roofline proposed would be appropriate for this type of house. Ms. Cawley noted that the fact that there was a similar house just a few doors down was proof that it was appropriate. Mr. de Mooy stated that although the proposal to alter the roof might technically not be permitted, the larger question was whether changing the pitch will harm the Historic District.

Ms. Maguire moved to approve BP2014-138 for the alteration of a roof, including dormers as it is an appropriate roof style for this Arts & Crafts house and is in accordance with the Design Guidelines as it does not destroy the defining character of the house and is appropriate to the streetscape, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried with five (5) in favor, Mr. Lane opposed.

The last item on the agenda was BP2015-03 from Al Cassinelli at 313 Cannon Street (aka 323/327 High Street) for exterior renovations. Mr. Joe Skinner, architect, and Mr. Al Cassinelli, owner, were present for the application. Mr. Lane read the application into the record.

Mr. Lane stated that items 1 and 2 on the application are maintenance and therefore, do not need approval, although he said that the Commission was appreciative of the information.

Mr. Skinner stated that this was a 1920’s building and the storefront did not match the stucco building. He said that there was a 1960’s aluminum storefront in place. He said that Mr. Cassinelli would like to remove the existing windows and replace them with divided lights window to imitate the fenestration on the other buildings on the street. They would not extend the façade beyond the face of the building, noting that they would be working within the existing masonry opening and leaving the brick in place. He said that the exterior wall finish was original terra cotta and stucco.

Mr. Skinner stated that they were proposing Pella fixed glass aluminum clad wood windows with double pane insulated glass and fixed grills. He said that the proposed windows were approved for use on buildings located at Washington College.

Mr. Cassinelli stated that because of the distilling that would take place in the building he was trying to get approvals for the changes because the floors had to be leveled. He said that if they were not approved he would leave the front façade as is and move forward in order to open for business.

Mr. Cassinelli stated that this building began as a garage and the reason for the large openings in the front was because they repaired buses at the location.

Ms. Maguire stated that she thought a simpler window design would be better for this building. Mr. de Mooy stated that this building was not of a particular style and this was a commercial district where other buildings have been modified over the years, so it might be more in keeping to do away with the muntins and install plate glass windows.

Mr. Cassinelli stated that he thought the divided lights were more historically correct, but he said he would be just as happy changing to plate glass windows (similar to Dunkin Donuts). Mr. de Mooy stated that a plate glass window would also draw attention to what was occurring on the inside of the building. Mr. Minch suggested moving the doors under the bay windows to add symmetry.

Mr. Lane stated that the consensus was that the Commission would like to see renovations to the building but required more detail relative to the window and door replacement on the front façade. Mr. Skinner asked to withdraw the application and said he would return with a simpler design at a future meeting.

There being no further business, Ms. Maddox moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:28 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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