HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
APRIL 1, 2020
Chair Alexa Silver called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. along with Commission members Charles Barton, Owen Bailey, Jeff Coomer, Ed Minch, Alice Ritchie and Kurt Smith, Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Ms. Silver 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. Silver asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Historic District Commission meeting of March 4, 2020. Mr. Coomer moved to approve the March 4, 2020 minutes as amended, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The Consent Calendar consisted of the following items:
- BP2020-38 – Kent County Courthouse, 103 N. Cross Street – Sign;
- BP2020-40 – Les Poissons, 210 S. Cross Street – Sign;
- BP2020-41 – Edge Construction/Butterworth, 110 High Street – Standing seam metal roof on front porch;
- BP2020-43 – Edge Construction/Verbeek, 309 Washington Avenue – Roof replacement.
Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the applications on the consent calendar as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-09 from the Kent Cultural Alliance at 101 Spring Avenue for modifications to approved plans. Mr. Barton Ross was present for the application. He stated that some of the rooflines were modified and they were seeking a change from wood windows to wood-clad windows, a longer ramp to meet ADA requirements, and fiberglass columns.
Mr. Ross stated that Norwood was a line of windows and doors which they were proposing to use on the building. The windows would be aluminum on the exterior and wooden on the interior. Mr. de Mooy stated that these windows are comparable to the Anderson wood clad windows which have been approved many times by the HDC in other applications. Mr. Ross said that the they were going to try to salvage the uppermost windows because there was so much detail in them.
Mr. Ross stated that the proposed fiberglass columns would be field painted, and he used them in many other projects with good results as they appeared to anyone to be wood, were loadbearing and maintenance free, and came with a lifetime warranty. The columns would have the detail shown in the photos presented with the application. Mr. Coomer stated that he has seen the columns in person, and they were virtually indistinguishable from wood and do not rot, which so often happens at the bottom of wood columns.
Mr. Ross showed the updated drawings to the Commission. There would be brick and lattice work under the IPE deck. Mr. Ross stated that they would like to use the same standing seam metal porch roofing on the new roof toward in the middle of the building. The gutters would be half-round.
Ms. Ritchie asked if anyone thought more applications for the columns would come forward in other applications throughout the district. Mr. Coomer stated that he thought fiberglass columns were a good substitute for wood. Mr. Bailey stated that rot at the bottom of columns is always a problem and allowing a substitute material that gave the appearance of wood should be permitted. Mr. Barton stated that he was in favor of using the columns as he has seen them approved on historic buildings in other areas.
Mr. Ross showed the handicamp ramp in detail and how it was modified in order to meet code.
Mr. Coomer moved to approve BP2019-09 for modifications to approved plans at 101 Spring Street as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2019-40 from KIT Team, LLC at 337 High Street for a revised canopy entrance. Mr. Christopher Frank of Hammond Wilson Architects was present and stated that the Watershed Restaurant was last before the Commission after changes were made to the facades by the National Park Service. He said that the entrance to the restaurant would be along the side entrance through the courtyard and they were trying to find a way to emphasize that in the build. He said that they would like to widen the door to the side and install a canopy which would be applied to the face of the brick around the doorway. Water would spill down the concrete wall panels when it rains providing a water feature. Mr. Frank stated that this was a bit of a modern feel made of slate and steel. He showed photos of existing conditions on side of the building.
Mr. Frank stated that the sanitary sewer pipe will be removed and replaced elsewhere as it does not meet code but would be hidden from sight.
Mr. Coomer asked how the front façade existing entrance would be used. Mr. Frank stated that the front would remain as it but only used as an emergency exit.
Mr. Bailey asked how much volume the overflow canopy could hold. Mr. Frank stated that he did not know but it was all going to drain into the courtyard through a trench drain along the building. He said that this was an aesthetic feature only and did not see it spilling over because it would drain immediately to the trench.
Mr. Bailey moved to approve BP2019-09 for modifications as submitted for the Watershed Restaurant at 337 High Street, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-29 from KIT Team, LLC for modifications to approved plans at 339 High Street. Mr. Christopher Frank was present for the application. He said that the only change in this application was to install a custom wood archway window with standing seam roofing over the third-floor front façade of High Street. He said that this was an attempt to allow natural light into the apartment under renovation. Other changes mentioned for the exterior would be repair or replacement in kind to the existing Bottle Shop.
Ms. Ritchie asked why the arch shape was chosen. Mr. Frank stated that he thought a rectangular dormer looked out of place on this building. He said the window had to be small because the pitch break was at 5’ high. Mr. Frank stated that he thought any other design would look too heavy on the roof.
Mr. Coomer stated that he thought this was a good approach to address the light issue and that the arch was a nice architectural feature. Ms. Silver stated that she liked the low-key approach but was not certain about the arch shape. Mr. Frank stated that the arch would tie into a future proposal for 341 High Street.
Mr. Frank stated that any other changes on the front façade would be replacement in kind if he uncovered areas where work would be required.
Mr. Coomer asked about approvals from MHT for the arch. Mr. Frank stated that the application was submitted but they have not heard any word either way of the answer. He said that if MHT disapproves the application he would remove it from the plan.
Mr. Coomer moved to approve BP2020-20 for modifications to approved plans at 339 High Street as submitted, contingent upon approval of the National Park Service and Maryland Historic Trust, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-30 from Craig Damon at 233 N. Kent Street for a solarium. Mr. Craig Damon was present for the application. Mr. Damon described the drawings submitted with the application. He said that the roof matches the existing roofs and the ridges meet at the center of the existing roof over the annex.
Ms. Silver stated that this was a non-contributing structure and she saw no problem with the application. Mr. Minch stated that the solarium was not visible from the street. Mr. Damon stated that it was 67’ from the walk.
Mr. Barton moved to approve BP2020-30 for a solarium at 233 N. Kent Street as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-39 from Clem Gaskill at 621 Cannon Street for a demolition. Mr. de Mooy stated that this application was pulled from the agenda as it was incomplete.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-42 from Paul Heckles and Twigs & Teacups at 111 S. Cross Street for an exterior renovation. Mr. Barton Ross, architect, and Paul Heckles, owner, were present for the application. Mr. Ross stated that Mr. Heckles was planning and interior and exterior renovation which would allow for second floor retail.
Mr. Ross stated that he provided historic photos of the original building as part of the application. He said that cornice and bump-out windows would be removed, and they would move the entry door to the center of the front façade. The area in the back of the building will be cleaned up and a door for deliveries will be installed.
Mr. Ross stated that originally the building was the Gill Bros. Ice Cream Factory and had an industrial appearance without fine finishes or trim details. There were two garage entries for trucks to load and unload on the front façade.
Mr. Ross stated that Norwood wood doors and windows would be used in the renovation. He said that the existing windows are deteriorated, but the configurations of the new windows would not change. There will be a new Therma-Tru fiberglass rear door (3’6”) installed for deliveries. He said that the rear would be field painted and look like wood but would never rust. The standing seam metal roof will be replaced in kind. New half-round gutters will be installed.
Mr. Ross stated that solar panels were proposed on the south side (Cannon Street side) that will only be visible from the White Swan Tavern, if they were visible at all. He said that he has not met with a solar company to go over the details and would return for final approval of the panels as they moved along in the process if the location of the panels had to change.
Mr. Ross showed existing conditions of the interior. Windows on the side have been bricked over and they were going to restore some of them. All windows on the front façade will be replaced with wood windows. Some windows would remain closed in with the brick to allow space for merchandise.
Mr. Ross showed the approximate location of the solar panels on the roof and the three (3) masonry window openings that would be reopened.
Mr. Ross showed the new proposed frontage for the building with the doorway in the center. A stone base would be restored along the bottom of the building. A metal and glass canopy similar to the canopy presented in the application for 337 High Street would be constructed for this building.
Mr. Ross stated that one additional window would be added on the north elevation to mirror the existing window on the first-floor elevation. This would allow additional lighting in the office space.
Ms. Silver asked if both doors would remain on the east elevation. Mr. Ross stated that both doors would remain, noting that the existing door would become a fire exit from the second floor. Ms. Ritchie asked if the changes allowed for ADA access. Mr. Ross stated that the building would be ADA accessible.
Mr. Minch stated that it would be nice to have something representing the Gill Bros. at the front entrance. Mr. Heckles stated that they have some original tins and were looking for a way to incorporate Gill Bros. in some way to the overall design.
Mr. Bailey moved to approve BP2020-42 for exterior renovations at 111 S. Cross Street as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
Mr. Barton stated that he would return later to discuss the solar panels and signage.
The last item on the agenda was BP2020-44 from Wilson Taylor Builders for a deck and door at 110 Cannon Street. Mr. de Mooy stated that this was an existing garage with a small apartment. He said that the dormer on the left would be converted to a door and a small deck was being added for additional space. Trex decking is proposed for the project, noting that the garage was built in the 1980s or 1990s.
Mr. Coomer moved to approve BP2020-44 for a deck, stair and door at 110 Cannon Street as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, Mr. Bailey moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:21 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Alexa Silver
Town Clerk Chair