2020, Historic District Commission, Minutes|

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

                                                              JANUARY 8, 2020

Acting Chair Ed Minch called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. along with Commission members Owen Bailey, Jeffrey Coomer, Alice Ritchie and Kurt Smith, Kees de Mooy, and Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.

Mr. Minch 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. Minch asked if there were any additions or corrections the minutes of the Historic District Commission meeting of December 4, 2019. Mr. Coomer moved to approve the December 4, 2019 minutes as amended, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

The Consent Calendar consisted of the following items:

  • BP2020-02 – Drenning, 301 Washington Avenue – Close in rear door to allow for kitchen remodel.

 

Mr. Smith moved to approve the following applications as submitted as they are in keeping with the Historic District Commission Guidelines:

  • BP2020-02 – Drenning, 301 Washington Avenue – Close in rear door to allow for kitchen remodel.

 

The motion was seconded by Mr. Coomer and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was for the Ramunno Townhouse project at 226, 228 and 230 South Water Street for minor modifications to a previously approved plan. Mr. John Hutchison, Architect, presented. Mr. Hutchison stated that the floorplan was basically unchanged but there were small changes in design to the exterior. He said that the changes were that the dormer design had a steeper roof, smaller windows, and there was a transom over the front door. The windows that were previously grouped together on the middle unit are now spread apart. Changes to the elevation along the corner were to the orientation of windows, removing one window entirely. The other side façade (closest to the neighboring house) was deleted due to the proximity of the neighboring home in order to meet fire code. Window sizes have changed in some areas of the house.

Mr. Hutchison stated that overall he thought the changes were improvements as they moved toward final construction drawings. The color scheme of the houses is not finalized.

Mr. Bailey moved to approve the modifications to the plan as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Smith and carried unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was BP2019-40 for the Watershed Restaurant at 337 High Street for exterior modifications to the building as required by the National Park Service. Mr. Christopher Frank of Hammond Wilson Architects, architect, and Mr. Press Harding, contractor, were present for the application.

Mr. Frank showed the application as approved by the Historic District Commission before it was sent along to the National Park Service and Maryland Historical Trust for tax credit approvals. He said that there were requests for changes from the National Park Service that he was bringing to the Commission today.

Mr. Frank stated that the existing second and third floor window layout on the front facade must be retained. The glass courtyard elevation as approved by the Historic District Commission was not approved by the Maryland National Park Service and the solid wall with one window must remain intact. Only 3-tab shingle roof shingles are allowed on the areas where architectural fiberglass roof shingles had been requested. Mr. Frank showed the elevations as presented and with changes as outlined by the National Park Service. Mr. Frank stated that he was personally disappointed with the outcome, but the tax credits were important to the building’s owner.

Mr. Frank stated that the rear portion of the building originally showed a balcony portico but it was determined that the slope of the stairs had to change and the area at the landing will now be walled in using materials as approved on other portions of the building which provides for 70 additional feet in the rear of the building.

Mr. de Mooy asked the age of the front façade. Mr. Frank stated that it was difficult to tell when the front changed and there are no records dating the building, although it was his opinion that the front porches were originally designed as open and used as sleeping porches.

Mr. Coomer moved to approve modifications to BP2019-40 at 337 High Street for the Watershed Restaurant in the front and rear of the building, including the small back addition, as required by the National Park Service, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

The last application on the agenda was BP2020-01 for renovations to the residential apartment, including shed dormers with clad windows on the exterior, above the Retriever Bottle Shop at 339 High Street. Mr. Chris Frank and Mr. Press Harding were present for the application. Mr. Frank stated that the main floor of the apartment can be seen from the Cannon Street side of the building and a third story loft is proposed to be added.

Mr. Frank stated that any other exterior changes aside from the dormers are to be in kind. The front façade will have no real changes to the storefront but may be presented to Main Street for a façade grant at some point in the future.

Mr. Frank stated that there will be dormers on each side of the building with 3-over-1 windows. They would use cementitious stucco siding and cedar shingle roofing. Other wall materials will remain or be replaced in kind. Wood siding and shingles will also be used in the renovation.

Mr. Frank showed the existing apartment floor plan which had an exterior door in place that led to nothing but a framed-in wall. He said that they may relocate this door to the side of the apartment and return it to the original stair which exited to High Street and had been removed many years ago (abandoned doorway next to the Retriever entrance). Mr. Frank stated that the photo of the interior loft area showed the need for the dormers as there was little headroom. There will be mini-split units with condensers placed on the roof.

Mr. Coomer moved to approve BP2020-01 as submitted with the understanding that Mr. Frank may return for modifications after comments are received from the National Park Service, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

The last item on the agenda was the nomination and election of a Chairperson for 2020. Mr. Coomer moved to nominate and elect Alexa Silver as Chair for the Historic District Commission, was seconded by Mr. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

Mr. Minch stated that the last update of the Historic District Commission Design Guidelines took place in 2012 and it was time to begin another update. In particular, he thought that changes and updates were due for fences, signage, solar, replacement materials and windows. Mr. Coomer asked for Mr. de Mooy’s suggestions for potential updates.

After discussion, it was decided that the February meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. to review the Design Guidelines section by section. Mr. Smith suggested a review of the entire document by the Commission to see where the areas of focus were necessary for discussion in February. The Commission agreed.

There being no further business, Mr. Bailey moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:56 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                             Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                                       Alexa Silver

Town Clerk                                                                 Chair

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