Historic District Commission, Minutes|

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
AUGUST 5, 2015

Chairwoman Alexa Cawley called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members John Ames, Rob Busler, Veronica Golden, Ed Minch and Nancy McGuire Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.

Ms. Cawley 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. Cawley asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of July 1, 2015. Mr. Ames moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Items on the Consent Agenda were as follows:
a. BP2015-92 – Jones, Lang, LaSalle Americas, Inc/Nations Roof Mid-Atlantic, 119 Washington Avenue (Verizon Building – roof
b. BP2015-95 – Iola Wells/Patrick Waller, 508 Cannon Street – shed
c. BP2015-100 – Washington College/Yerkes Construction, 103 N. Queen Street – structural renovation
d. BP2015-101 – Edge Construction/Swope, 110 Riverside Terrace – roof

Mr. Ames asked if BP2015-100 from Washington College and Yerkes Construction at 103 N. Queen Street for a structural renovation could be pulled from the Consent Agenda for clarifications.

Mr. Minch moved to approve the following application as submitted as they were in keeping with the Historic District Commission Guidelines:
a. BP2015-92 – Jones, Lang, LaSalle Americas, Inc/Nations Roof Mid-Atlantic, 119 Washington Avenue (Verizon Building – roof
b. BP2015-95 – Iola Wells/Patrick Waller, 508 Cannon Street – shed
d. BP2015-101 – Edge Construction/Swope, 110 Riverside Terrace – roof
The motion was seconded by Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.

The Consent Calendar item pulled from the agenda was BP2015-100 from Washington College and Yerkes Construction at 103 N. Queen Street for a structural renovation. Mr. Pres Harding of Yerkes Construction was present for the application. Mr. Ames asked if the renovation would change the look of the house. Mr. Harding stated that the metal diamond-shaped wall washers proposed would be the only thing visible and would be located in the alleyway on the side of the house, noting that the same wall washers were already in place on the front façade of the house. Mr. Ames moved to approve the application as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried with five (5) in favor, Ms. Golden recused as she was an employee of Washington College.

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-78 from the Kent County Commissioners for a replacement door at the Kent County Courthouse located at 103 N. Cross Street. Mr. Bob Merritt, employee of Kent County was present for the application. Photos of the existing door at the courthouse had been added to the file. The proposed door would be fiberglass with a window insert on the top half that had mini-blinds situated between the glass. Mr. Merritt explained that the wooden door was showing rot and the Court Commissioners requested that a window be added for security purposes, as currently there was no way to tell who was at the door when someone knocked. The mini-blinds would provide privacy. Mr. de Mooy explained that although the existing door is wood, it was installed on an addition to the building, which was not contributing as it did not meet the 50-year threshold. Mr. Busler moved to approve the application for a fiberglass door with a window containing mini-blinds between the glass as proposed, as the entry was located on a non-contributing portion of the courthouse, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Ms. McGuire arrived to the meeting.

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-96 from Ms. Joyce Poff at 104 S. Kent Street for an overhang on the front façade and a change in the design of the front steps. Mr. Martin Carrigan was present for the application. Ms. Cawley read the application into the record. Mr. Carrigan stated that most of the houses on South Kent Street have porches and said that brick would be added under the overhang all the way across the front façade of the house. Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2015-96 as submitted as it was in keeping with the Historic District Commission Guidelines, was seconded Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2015-103 from High Street Investments/Ray Davis at 335 High Street for exterior renovations. Mr. Ray Davis and Mr. Tom Burns, owners, were present for the application. Ms. Cawley read the application into the record.

Mr. Burns stated that as part of an ongoing restoration they were looking wanted to make improvements to the side façade of the building to improve the alleyway. He said that a fence would be added in the rear of the building, noting that the Planning Commission had approved minor site plan changes in the fall of 2014. Mr. Burns stated that both areas of the building that were proposed for work were currently covered with vinyl siding. The first section, which was in the middle of the building, was at one time a porch. The back end of the building was a much later addition. He said that cedar was uncovered under the rear portion of the building, but the old porch area had no original materials.

Mr. Burns stated that adding a bank of three (3) windows and a door matching the scale of the existing windows, properly cased in wood, with cedar wood shingle siding was proposed for the area that was at one time a porch. He said in the future they were hoping to return with an application to install working shutters on the upper floors as they found shutter clips on the bricks. The windows on this façade were not original and at some point he would like to remove them and replace them with 2-over-2 windows, which would make the windows uniform on the building.

Mr. Burns stated that he was proposing to use a fiberglass door, properly molded and glazed. Siding on the porch area will be Grade 1 cedar shingles. Mr. Burns stated that he proposed two (2) fence styles, but would prefer to use fence style “A”.

Ms. McGuire moved to approve BP2015-103 from High Street Investments in full, as depicted in the drawings submitted with the application along with Option “A” for fencing, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Mr. Burns asked if there have been any rooftop decks approved in Chestertown. Ms. McGuire stated that there was a rooftop deck on 413 High Street, noting that it can be seen from Cannon Street. Mr. Burns stated that he was planning to move into one of the units in the building and would love to gain access to the view from the roof and would return at a later date with plans.

Mr. Dennis Hogans was in the audience and said that he was moving into 425 High Street and could not use the steps and would like some guidance and assistance on how to proceed for a handicap entry at the back entrance. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would be happy to help Mr. Hogans with design and he could return to the Historic District Commission, if necessary, for approval.

Mr. Hogans asked if there were any programs that would pay for the work at 425 High Street. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Rebuilding Together Kent County was a program that helped people in need, but he would have to go to Kent County Commissioners Building at 400 High Street to find out about how it worked and if he met the criteria.

The last item on the agenda was BP2015-98 from Diane Russell at 416 High Street for exterior renovations. Mr. Ingersoll was present to discuss the application as the owner had returned to her home in Texas. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Mulligan received a request for an electrical upgrade at 416 High Street and when the inspector entered the home, it was apparent that substantial work had taken place that required a permit.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he went to the property and found the house has been gutted. Windows had been removed and were replaced on the sides and rear of the property.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Russell did come in and fill out a permit and provided drawings for the building inspector. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he did not know how the Commission would want to proceed because the windows were gone. He said that the wood in the back of the house had been repainted. He said that the front of the building was not proposed to change but the applicant was looking to replace the metal roof and repair the porch using replacement wood where necessary.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the replacement windows, although vinyl, were not inexpensive and looked to be of high quality.

Ms. McGuire stated that she found this application to be incomplete. She said that the foundation was repaired but the Commission did not know what was original or how it was done. There was no indication of the material for the porch floor and the metal porch roof proposed was for a commercial building.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that this permit had been separated out with exterior work for the Historic District Commission review and then for interior work if the building inspector approved the drawings she submitted. The Commission stated that there should be no further exterior work to the building until Ms. Russell came to a meeting to fully explain the application and approvals were granted.

The Commission discussed whether the application should be tabled or if action should be taken to give the applicant some direction to what was expected at the next meeting.

The Historic District Commission decided to move forward as follows with BP2015-98.

Ms. McGuire moved deny the following portions of the application as they were not in keeping with the Historic District Guidelines:
1. Front door – Denied as submitted. The submission for a craftsman style door is not appropriate for a Georgian style home;
2. Porch roof – Denied as submitted. The standing seam metal roof proposed in the application is for commercial buildings. A standing seam metal roof made for residential installation should be used on a residence.
3. Vinyl window replacement – Denied as submitted. The removal of the original windows on the side and rear facades (14 in total – 9 on the first floor and 5 on the second floor) is a serious problem that is not being addressed at this time, but must be addressed at a future meeting.
The following portions of the application are incomplete:
1. Porch floor – The Commission needs information as to what type wood exists on the porch floor and how much of the floor will be replaced.
Until which time permission is granted by the Historic District Commission and permits have been issued, no other materials is to be altered or removed from this building. The motion was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.

Ms. Cawley stated that at the September 2nd meeting, she would like to spend some time at the end of the meeting to discuss procedures and other housekeeping items. She said that she would also like to discuss the possibility of splitting up the Design Guidelines so that each member could become an expert in certain areas. The Commission agreed.

Ms. Cawley asked if the Commission had given any thought to moving the meetings to 5:00 p.m. rather than 4:00 p.m. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Commission decided at which time they would meet on a monthly basis. Ms. Cawley stated that the September meeting would begin at 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Busler stated that the community solar project was moving forward and a contractor was selected who will represent between 30 and 35 homeowners in and around Chestertown for installation of solar panels on their buildings. He said about a fourth of the applications will be coming before the Historic District Commission for review.

There being no further business, Mr. Ames moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:25 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:
Jennifer Mulligan
Town Clerk

Approved by:
Alexa Cawley
Chair

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