Historic District Commission, Minutes|

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
JUNE 3, 2015

Chairman Michael Lane called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members John Ames, Alexa Cawley, Ed Minch and Nancy McGuire 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 6, 2015. Mr. Ames moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Cawley and carried unanimously.

The Consent Calendar was as follows:
a. BP2015-56 – Al Cassinelli/Cassinelli Distilling, 323 High Street – sign;
b. BP2015-57 – Al Cassinelli/High and Vine Wine Bar, 327 High Street – sign;
c. BP2015-63 – Michael Lawrence, 531 Cannon Street – fence and shed;
d. BP2015-65 – Ruth Brice-Wilson, 102 E. Campus Avenue – fence;
e. BP2015-66 – Susan Tessem, 100 S. Water Street – roof.

Ms. Cawley asked to remove BP2015-56 and BP2015-57 for clarifications on which streets the Cassinelli signs will be placed.

Ms. McGuire moved to approve the following applications as she was familiar with the properties and the applications were in keeping with the Design Guidelines:
c. BP2015-63 – Michael Lawrence, 531 Cannon Street – fence and shed;
d. BP2015-65 – Ruth Brice-Wilson, 102 E. Campus Avenue – fence;
e. BP2015-66 – Susan Tessem, 100 S. Water Street – roof.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Mr. Lane stated that BP2015-56 and BP2015-57, the building has a 313 Cannon Street address, but the signs would be on the High Street facades also known as 323 High Street and 327 High Street. This was one building with three addresses and three separate businesses.

Mr. Ames moved to approve the following applications as they were in accordance with the Design Guidelines:
a. BP2015-56 – Al Cassinelli/Cassinelli Distilling, 323 High Street – sign; and
b. BP2015-57 – Al Cassinelli/High and Vine Wine Bar, 327 High Street – sign.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2014-129 from Robert Dean at 541 for a side yard deck. Mr. Lane read the application into the record. Mr. Dean was present for the application.

Mr. Lane stated that there was a problem with this application because a fence was installed without approval. The fence and the deck were tabled at the last meeting Mr. Dean attended. He said that there are two issues to deal with; a fence that was not approved and a deck on the side yard.

Mr. Dean stated that at the original meeting, before construction, there was question about how a deck would look on the side of the house. Mr. Dean stated that he thought the fence had been approved and wanted to show that the deck would not be visible from the street with the fencing in place. He said that there was nothing that could be done with that area and said there was a 2½ foot drop-off from the sidewalk to the ground.

Ms. McGuire asked how far the property line was from the neighboring building. Mr. Dean stated that he thought it was two feet but the original porch and addition were attached to that property. He said that the pent roof from the addition is still in place and the fence was attached to the corner of the neighbor’s house with their approval.

Mr. Ames asked why the fencing was not even. Mr. Dean stated that the gate was purposely arched.

Ms. McGuire stated that it was not under the Commission’s purview to say where the fence could go but the answer to that question affects the design of the fence, as to whether the posts should be 2’ out from the property. She asked if the Commission could approve the deck and Mr. Dean could return to explain the fencing.

Mr. Lane asked if the deck could go to the property line or if it had to be setback from it. Mr. de Mooy said that the addition had been attached to the neighboring house and the placement of the fence was not a significant point. He said that the issue should be the fence design.

Ms. McGuire stated that the fence was not on the application and the Historic District Commission would be approving a fence on a neighbor’s property. Mr. de Mooy stated that the Commission never rules on the placement of fences; the Commission decided on their design.

Mr. Dean stated that the neighbors did not mind that the fence was attached to their property and the fence followed the edge of the porch which had been in place for over a hundred years. Ms. McGuire stated that the approval should be in writing from the neighbors.

Mr. Lane stated that there was no application for the fence and the fence was an after the fact situation. What was presented to the Commission was an application for the deck.

Mr. Ames stated that he did not think the deck could be approved without the fence because the fence was required if he was going have a deck. He said that he would rather just approve the application with the fence.

Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2014-129 for the construction of a deck to stay within the property lines, contingent upon approval of the fence and written approval from the neighbor, was seconded by Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.

Mr. Dean stated that he was uncertain whether the property the Commission wanted him to get permission from the neighbor because it could be his property. He said that it was his porch, roof and support posts.

Mr. Lane stated that the fence type that Mr. Dean had in place had been approved previously, but the Commission would need an application before it was approved for 541 High Street.

The Commission then discussed the status of an application from the previous month.

Mr. Lane stated that he was resigning from the Commission effective immediately. Ms. Maddox had tendered her resignation from the Commission.

Mr. Lane stated that it was important to remember when voting that a majority of the seven (7) member commission (4 members) must be in agreement for a motion to pass.

There being no further business, Mr. Ames moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:40 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:
Jennifer Mulligan
Town Clerk

Approved by:
Michael Lane
Chairman

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