HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DECEMBER 2, 2020
Chairman Jeffrey Coomer called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Ed Minch, Alice Ritchie, Kurt Smith and Victoria Smith, Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mr. Coomer 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. Coomer asked if there were additions or corrections to the minutes of the Historic District Commission Meeting of November 4, 2020. Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the minutes of the November 4, 2020 meeting as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
Items on the Consent Calendar were as follows:
- BP2020-131 – Nearly New Shop, 320 High Street – Tie Rod installation and brick pointing;
Mr. Minch moved to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:
- 2020-131 – Nearly New Shop, 320 High Street – Tie Rod installation and brick pointing.
The motion was seconded by Ms. Smith and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-13 from KIT Team, LLC. for modifications to the beer garden at the rear of 337½ High Street. Mr. Christopher Frank of Hammond Wilson Architects was present for the application. Mr. Frank stated that this building was not a historic structure or eligible for historic tax credits. He said that the Commission approved a beer garden with a pergola and gabion walls at the rear of the building with the original renovation plans. He said that what was built in place was different than approved. A wood pergola with mortice and tenon joinery was built along with retaining walls using brick veneer in the Chestertown red brick with bluestone caps. He showed photos of the existing conditions, noting that they would install landscaping in the future. He said that the roof over the bar area had not been built to date, but he intended to use the red metal roofing from 339 High Street as they move along with that renovation. Mr. Coomer stated that he thought that the renovations were more in keeping with the area, especially with the fence resembling livery stables. Mr. Frank showed renderings of the original approval and what was built in its place.
Ms. Ritchie asked if the fence was going to be painted. Mr. Frank stated that the intent was to allow the fence to weather. Ms. Ritchie stated that if the applicant does not want to paint the fence, she thought that the Guidelines need to be revised as fences needed to be painted or stained in the Historic District. Mr. Smith stated that a fence needs to dry out before it could be painted. Mr. Coomer stated that the general guidance is to leave the fence weather for a year at least. Mr. Minch stated that there was an allowance for higher quality natural materials like cedar being permitted to naturally age, it was the salt-treated lumber that had to be painted or stained.
Ms. Ritchie moved for retroactive approval of the revisions for BP2019-13 as outlined, with the understanding that the fence would not need to be painted or stained as it is kiln-dried and meant to be open to the weather, was seconded by Mr. Smith and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-29 from KIT Team, LLC for modifications to exterior approvals previously granted at 339 High Street. Mr. Christopher Frank of Hammond Wilson Architects was present for the application. Mr. Hammond stated that this application also received approval through the Maryland Historical Trust and said that there were a few changes to the plan that he wanted to run by the Commission, noting that the owner has decided not to use the historic tax credits.
Mr. Frank stated that 339 High Street shares a roof with 341 High Street. He said that an archtop dormer over 339 High Street was approved by the Historic District Commission at a previous meeting, with the condition that the National Park Service and Maryland Historic Trust must also approve the design. He said that the National Park Service and Maryland Historic Trust have given conditional approval for the project with significant restrictions on what can be done to the interior apartments. These restrictions led him to redesign the interior, but the owner has decided not to use the tax credits. He said that they were seeking to replace the metal shingle roof with a standing seam metal roof or 50-year fiberglass architectural shingle, include the eyebrow dormer on the 339 High portion of the roof if the Commission agreed to remove the contingency, and to replace all windows with Marvin Architectural wood clad windows leaving the shutters, siding and casings intact.
Mr. Frank stated that they are proposing a vegetative “green” roof over the entryway of 339 High Street to be planted with drought tolerant sedum. There would be an 8” to 10” parapet wall built around the existing roof to allow for the plantings. Mr. Smith asked what maintenance was required on a vegetative roof. Mr. Frank stated that the plants were drought resistant and there would be access to water when required from the second story windows. He said that vegetative roofs are designed to be hardy and not require much maintenance and aided in stormwater runoff. Mr. Smith stated that he thought this was unnecessary as it would not be visible from the street and it seemed like it was something that could become shabby over time if it was not maintained. Mr. Frank stated that he thought the owner would take very good care of the roof and could provide a maintenance plan.
Ms. Ritchie asked if the vegetative roof would be planted over a regular roof. Mr. Frank stated that the roofing for a vegetative roof is a rubberized membrane material with drainage to the gutters and a self-contained module with a root barrier to house the plants. He said that the parapet will remain intact and if the plants were ever removed, you would not know it from the street. Mr. de Mooy stated that there is a garage with a vegetative roof on the rear of Kent Street and it was worth looking at as they were practically zero maintenance and a good way to incorporate green building methods into historic architecture. Mr. Frank stated that this was a small opportunity to use green methods on this building and would be on most of the flat portions of the roof sections of the 339 High Street roof; the other sections of flat roof will house the mechanicals. Mr. Frank stated that roofing of either standing seam metal or architectural shingle will carry over to 341 High Street when that building came forward for renovations.
Mr. Frank stated that he was seeking approval to add a third double hung 3-over-1 window to the masonry wall overlooking 337½ High Street which will match the existing patterns of the other windows. He said that the existing transite roof (made of asbestos panels) would be replaced. Windows proposed are the wood clad windows approved on 337 High Street and the dormers on 337½ High Street.
Mr. Frank stated that the rear elevation would be slightly changed to allow for a higher pitched roof and three 3-over-1 windows that stairstep down the roof in the gable end would be added. Transoms would be retained. Mr. Frank stated that there was an existing window that did not work in the kitchen area of the building and he asked permission to fill that in and relocate the window to another area on the kitchen side of the building.
Mr. Frank showed the shingle samples for the roof, adding that the metal roofing that was being removed from 339 High Street would be used over the exterior bar area at 337½ High Street. Mr. Frank stated that he would like to remove the Dutch lap siding on the 341 High Street side of the building and replace it in kind.
Mr. Minch asked if the small divided-lights were the original configuration on the front of the building. Mr. Frank stated that he did not believe the windows were original. Mr. Minch stated the Historic Society may have pictures where the muntin windows could be duplicated as they may have been 3-over-1 noting that he thought that was the original style window on the sides of the building. Mr. Frank said that the small-divided lights were more of a Colonial look.
Mr. Coomer stated that he did not have any problem with architectural shingles or standing seam metal roofing being chosen for the roof material of the building. He said that cost-considerations are coming into play and the owner should be permitted to decide which product to use.
Mr. Coomer moved to approve BP2020-29 for modifications to 339 High Street as submitted, using either a standing seam metal or architectural shingle type roof, and removing the contingency placed by the Commission allowing the eyebrow dormer, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-93 from KRM Construction for new construction of a single-family dwelling at 422 Cannon Street (Lot 6). Mr. John Hutchison (architect) presented. He said that revisions to the plan were mainly to help with cost considerations of his client. He said that the length of the building was shortened 3’ east to west, changing to 8¼” horizontal Hardie plank siding (in place of the vertical board and batten) on the lower half of the building, and the house was moved 3’ further away from the drainage ditch on the site plan. He said that a concrete-stamped patio was shown on the original plan but had been changed to composite decking (under the screened porch area). A window was moved from the garage to where a laundry room will be located. A glass block window was changed to a transom window with muntins by the master bath and shower and the window by the kitchen sink changed from large double hung windows to sliding windows. The kitchen leads to the screened porch area. The space over the garage will be unfinished.
Mr. Coomer stated that he thought the new combination of the siding will be attractive. Mr. Hutchison stated that a landscaping plan will be forthcoming.
Mr. Minch moved to approve the modifications to the proposed single-family dwelling for BP2020-93 at 422 Cannon Street (Lot 6) as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-128 for exterior changes to the rear of the building, including turning a window to a door and the addition of a balcony and stairs for a second story tenant at 241-D High Street. Mr. de Mooy stated that Mr. Christophel was not able to make the meeting, but this was a simple change to the rear of the building, and he had no issue with the project moving forward as submitted. Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2020-128 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-137 from David Holman at 526 High Street for a modification of the roof style and new roofing material. Mr. Holman, owner, was present for the application. He said that the roof had a severe leak and his insurance company told him that they will not warranty the roof in its current formation, as there was an 8’ x 8’ flat section at the top of the hipped roof. Mr. Holman stated that he was proposing to keep the pitch of the roof the same but changing from a hip roof to single gable roofline with a 2.5/12 pitch using architectural shingle. He said that corbels and trim work remain in place. Mr. Holman stated that he did not mind keeping a hip roof, but the insurance did not want the flat section in the middle as there was no drainage.
Mr. Coomer stated that the roof pitch was low. Mr. Holman stated that the hip extends 4’. Mr. Minch asked if architectural shingles could be applied to such a low pitch. Mr. Holman stated that he could take it up to a 4/12 pitch. Mr. Minch stated that a small gable would show on each end of the building if they did go to 4/12 pitch. Mr. Holman stated that they would match the wood siding on the house if they did go to a 4/12 pitch as it would add 4’ to the sides of the house.
Mr. de Mooy suggested keeping the same pitch of the roof and extending the hip sides to a peak, thereby eliminating the flat section. Mr. de Mooy agreed that the same pitch of the roof should be retained with a standing seam metal roof. Mr. Holman stated that standing seam roofing was too expensive for his budget. Mr. de Mooy stated that reframing an entire roof would be much more expensive than framing the top flat section with a small hip. Mr. Holman stated that that he worried he was going to have to replace the entire roof due to rot. After discussion, Mr. Coomer moved to approve BP2020-137 for a new hip roof coming to a peak while keeping the existing pitch and eliminating the flat section of the roof, roofing with architectural shingles, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The last item on the agenda was BP2020-130 from Chestertown Builders for new construction of a single family dwelling at 405-D Cannon Street. Mr. Alden Yetman of Chestertown Builders was present for the application. Mr. Coomer stated that he was the immediate, adjacent property owner and recused himself from the application, adding that Mr. Smith would serve as Chair for the application.
Mr. Yetman stated that the proposed house would use many of the same elements of the neighboring house. There would be off-street parking and a garage located in the back of the property. He said all materials have been approved in other applications for new construction.
Ms. Ritchie asked if this house would be closer to Cannon Street than the neighboring house. Mr. Yetman stated that the house was set back by 1’ but the porch extended 1’ further toward Cannon Street. Mr. Smith stated that the house sits well with other houses along the block. Mr. Yetman stated that although this house would be a bit wider than the neighboring house it was the same height.
Mr. Yetman stated that materials included smooth hardiplank cement board siding, asphalt roofing shingles, composite trim, Andersen 400 windows with a simple grid pattern, and a brick foundation to match the neighboring house. A driveway will lead to the detached garage in the rear.
Mr. Minch asked if the tree on the lot would be removed as part of the build. Mr. Yetman stated that he did think one tree would have to be removed to allow the build as the tree would be too close to the house. Ms. Ritchie asked if Town approval was necessary for the tree removal. Mr. de Mooy stated that was not necessary. Mr. Yetman stated that he was planning to discuss the tree removal with the adjacent neighbors as a courtesy.
Mr. Minch asked if Mr. Yetman would consider brick for the entryway to the house instead of cement as was shown on the plans. Mr. Yetman stated that he would prefer to use a brick walkway and would add that to the plan. Mr. Minch stated that brick was used all along this block leading up to the house.
Mr. Minch stated that he was unfamiliar with the aluminum casing around the windows. Mr. Yetman stated that this material was on the neighboring property and he has found it to be a good product.
Mr. Minch stated that a landscaping plan was missing from the application. Mr. Yetman stated that he would return with a landscaping plan in the future, adding that he prefers to visualize the landscaping once the house was constructed. Mr. de Mooy showed a rendering of the proposed 24’ x 24’ garage that was submitted before the meeting. Mr. Yetman stated that materials for the garage would be board and batten Hardie plank siding and all other materials would match those proposed for the house.
Ms. Smith asked what would be used for the driveway. Mr. Yetman stated that the driveway would be stone.
Ms. Brown moved to approve BP2020-130 be approved as submitted with a brick entryway to the front door, and a landscaping plan to be submitted later, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, Mr. Minch moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:33 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Smith and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Jeffrey Coomer
Town Clerk Chair