HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
JULY 1, 2015
In the absence of a Chairman, Ms. Mulligan opened the meeting at 4:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members John Ames, Rob Busler, Alexa Cawley, Ed Minch and Nancy McGuire Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Ms. Mulligan 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. Mulligan stated that the first order of business was to nominate and elect a new Chairman as Mr. Michael Lane resigned from the Commission. Ms. McGuire nominated Ms. Cawley as Chair, was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.
Ms. Cawley asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of June 3, 2015. Mr. Ames moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Ms. McGuire and carried unanimously.
Items on the Consent Calendar were as follows:
a. BP2015-72 – Black, 304 N. Kent Street – ratify roof approval;
b. BP2015-73 – Nightingale, 204 ½ N. Queen Street – fence;
c. BP2015-75 – Vickers Row Condominiums, 543-549 High Street – fence;
d. BP2015-76 – Frank Anaya, 201 Washington Avenue – rebuild addition;
e. BP2015-78 – Kent County Courthouse, 103 S. Cross Street – door;
f. BP2015-87 – Drew McMullen, 211 N. Water Street – roof
g. BP2015-88 – Thomas Herz – 202 S. Queen Street – roof
Ms. Cawley stated that she would like to remove BP2015-73 for a fence at North Queen Street and BP2015-78 for a door at the Kent County Courthouse from the Consent Calendar. Ms. McGuire stated that she would like to pull BP2015-76 from the Consent Calendar for a rebuild of an addition at 201 Washington Avenue.
Mr. Ames moved to approve the following application as submitted as they were in keeping with the Historic District Commission Guidelines:
a. BP2015-72 – Black, 204 N. Kent Street to ratify a roof approval;
c. BP2015-75 – Vickers Row Condominiums at 543 to 549 High Street for a fence;
f. BP2015-87 – Drew McMullen at 211 N. Water Street for a roof, and;
g. BP2015-88 – Thomas Herz at 202 S. Queen Street for a roof.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2015-73 from Mr. and Mrs. Nightingale at 204½
N. Queen Street for a fence. Mr. and Mrs. Nightingale were present for the application. Ms. Cawley asked how far forward the fence would be located on the property. Ms. Nightingale stated that the fence would run from the beginning of the house back, which was set far back on the property, and along the side of the property. Mr. Busler moved to approve the fence as submitted as it was in keeping with the Historic District Commission Guidelines, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2015-76 from Mr. Frank Anaya at 201 Washington Avenue to remove and rebuild an enclosed porch. Mr. Anaya was present for the application and said that the drawing showed the existing enclosed porch on piers. The rafters, floor joists and sill plates were rotten. He said in order to properly fix the problems the porch had to be removed and rebuilt, noting that he would like to extend it by 3’ on the front and 6’ along the side. He said that a proper footing would be poured and then the area would be rebuilt using the same wood siding, windows, etc. and would look identical to what existed, only larger. The roof pitch may have a 2.5 inch in 12 slope rather than a 2 inch in 12 slope.
Mr. de Mooy stated that if the wall of the new addition was going to be flush with the house the roof would project past the wall. He said that when building additions in the Historic District, the footprint was typically offset so it did not appear to be part of the original house. He suggested stopping short of the wall so the roof would not project past the wall.
Ms. McGuire asked if Mr. Anaya had given any thought to using a standing seam metal roof to create a different profile. Mr. Anaya stated that he had not given any thought to using standing seam as he was trying to stay on a budget.
Mr. Busler moved to approve BP2015-76 for the selective demolition and rebuild of the former side porch, now enclosed porch, at 201 Washington Avenue, providing that the addition is not flush with the main part of the house and providing for an appropriate setback to allow the new construction to be offset from the existing older house, the slope of the roof to be maintained, and approval contingent on Mr. de Mooy approving the offsets, was seconded by Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2015-78 from the Kent County Courthouse at 103 N. Cross Street for a new door. Ms. Cawley read the application into the record and said that her only concern with the application was that the original application did not have a signature. Ms. Mulligan stated that she was with the Town Manager when the application was presented by Mr. Bob Merritt, who works for the Kent County Commissioners. Mr. de Mooy stated that he would see that the application was signed. Ms. Cawley stated that this was on the back end of the building and not visible as it faced the oil tanks. Ms. McGuire stated that the existing door was wood with a transom above. Ms. Cawley stated that this was a 1950’s addition to the building. Ms. McGuire moved to table the application for the August 2015 meeting as there were unanswered questions and nobody present on behalf of the Kent County Commissioners, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2014-129 from Robert Dean at 541 High Street for a fence. Mr. Dean was present for the application. Mr. de Mooy stated that there was a concern expressed at the last meeting about the property lines and said that the Historic District has never asked for evidence of property lines as that is a zoning matter. Mr. de Mooy went on to say that the property line in this case was, in fact, against the adjoining house. He said that the street side fence was installed to shield the deck from being viewed from the front façade.
Ms. McGuire asked how the fire department would get to the back of the property in the instance of a fire. Mr. de Mooy stated that there was an easement to a parking for area at 541 High Street behind the Vickers Row Condominiums.
Mr. Minch stated that the fencing on the side of the property was taller than the fencing in the front and said that it would be much better if that side fencing matched. Mr. Dean stated that the neighboring house was dilapidated and he was trying to hide it, noting that he had done some repairs to that house for free. Mr. Dean stated that the side fencing was 7½’ high. Ms. McGuire stated that there was a 7’ limit to fence heights in Town.
Mr. Dean stated that he would cut the fence down in order to make it flush with the fence in the front of the house.
Ms. McGuire stated that there was a process to follow in the Historic District and guidelines that are to be followed. She said that she did not think that this project was well done as the owner was installing decks and fences without approval. She said that the Commission was being forced to redesign a project after the fact.
Ms. McGuire stated that page 32 of the Historic District Design Guidelines called for all wood structures to be finished with either paint or stain.
Ms. McGuire moved to approve the front façade fencing at 541 High Street with the side fencing along the deck to be reduced to the level of the front fence; all raw materials must be painted or stained. The motion was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2015-84 from John Laucik for an awning on the Cannon Street side of Chester River Wine & Cheese located at 117 S. Cross Street. Ms. McGuire moved to approve BP2015-84 for an awning on the Cannon Street side of 117 S. Cross Street as the material was high quality with a 10-year guarantee and it was not a permanent structure and it would be retracted from time to time, noting that the clearance for the awning from the sidewalk must be 7’ high, was seconded by Mr. Ames and carried unanimously.
Mr. Drew McMullen of 211 N. Water Street stated that he wanted to question the Historic District Commission as to whether or not he needed approval for work that was taking place on the back deck. After discussion, it was decided that the work on the back porch was considered maintenance and did not need approval from the Historic District Commission.
There being no further business, Ms. McGuire moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:15 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Busler and carried unanimously.