HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 3, 2016
Alexa Silver, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members John Turner Ames, Susanne DeBerry Cole, Veronica Golden and Ed Minch, 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 stated that she looked into the issue of Roberts Rules of Order and the vote that was taken for a roof at 300 S. Cross Street should be amended with a motion to rescind the vote disallowing asphalt shingles. Mr. Minch moved to rescind the original motion made at the December 2015 meeting denying asphalt shingles at 300 S. Cross Street, was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously.
Ms. Silver asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of January 6, 2016. Ms. Golden moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The first item on the agenda was BP2015-03 from the Sultana Education Center for exterior lighting at 200 S. Cross Street. Mr. Drew McMullen was present on behalf of Sultana. Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Mr. McMullen explained that the LED light fixture that was selected was bright, but focused and meets the standards to achieve light pollution and energy credits for LEED certification.
Mr. McMullen stated that the lighting fixture was modern, but he did see it at night and it was not blue in color when lit. Mr. McMullen stated that he would like to replace the existing light fixtures on the older section of the building and would return later to discuss that. He said that the lighting had to be distinct for each building in order to meet Chestertown Historic District and Maryland Historical Trust guidelines. Ms. Golden stated that she understood that lighting should be distinct but also thought the lighting should be compatible.
Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2016-03 for exterior lighting on the new portion of the building as submitted as it was in keeping with the Design Guidelines for lighting, was seconded by Ms. Cole and carried unanimously.
Mr. McMullen stated that on the existing section of the new building any fixture of that time period involved combustion with a flame at the bottom of the fixture and exhaust from the top. He said that a top could cap a fixture but he was having a problem finding a light fixture appropriate to the time period of the building that has the light spill downward. Mr. McMullen stated that an idea was to remove the existing lights at the front entrance, which were not in place until sometime after 1965, and install three pinhole LED lights in the soffit above the main entrance. He said that he would like to install the same light as earlier proposed for the new addition in a bronze color on the Cannon Street entrance, as there was nothing time period appropriate that would also be night sky compliant. The Commission agreed that Mr. McMullen should move forward with his proposal.
The next item on the agenda was BP2016-04 from the Sultana Education Center for signage at 200 S. Cross Street (on the Cannon Street façade). Mr. McMullen was present for the application. Ms. Silver read the application into the record.
Ms. Cole asked why the applicant chose aluminum rather than wood for the sign. Mr. McMullen stated that they Sultana was trying to tie the buildings together in a subtle way with a design in a newer style. He said that this would be the only sign for the structure and although it was aluminum it would be painted. There would also be lighting installed over the sign.
Mr. McMullen stated that the proposed sign is in the same location where the Kent Printing sign was previously located as he thought that location was the most visible for people trying to locate the building.
Ms. Silver stated that she was a little bothered by the aluminum because it would be on the older portion of the building, but did understand the applicant’s attempts at tying old in with new.
Mr. Ames moved to approve the signage as submitted for BP2016-04 for the Sultana Education Center as it was in keeping with the Historic District Guidelines for signage, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
Mr. McMullen stated that the marble stoop at the front entrance on South Cross Street was cracked and in disrepair. He said that he was hoping to be able to turn it over and reuse it as it was original to the building. Mr. de Mooy stated that this proposal would be considered maintenance but he would have to return to the Commission if for some reason the material could not be reused.
The next item on the agenda was BP2016-05 from Diane Reynolds at 416 High Street for a wooden front door. Ms. Silver read the application into the record. Ms. Golden moved to approve the wooden front door as proposed for BP2015-05 as it conformed to the Historic District Guidelines for a contributing building, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was from Richard Roy for a carriage house at 405 Cannon Street (Lot 4). Mr. Roy was present for the application along with Mr. Max Ruehrmund (architect), Mr. Alden Yetman and Mr. Peter Heller (owners).
Mr. Roy stated that after the meeting in December he contracted with Mr. Ruehrmund to help with drawings for a carriage house and set the building further back on the site as requested by the Commission.
Mr. Ruehrmund stated that this house was relatively compact with living quarters on the second floor and would not have a large presence on the street as it was set back on the property. He said that he thought the design was compatible with the neighborhood and showed perspective views of the building along Cannon Street.
Mr. Ruehrmund stated that the sample materials were part of the packet and that the windows would be Anderson 400 series wooden window with divided lights. Ms. Cole asked about the window orientation. Mr. Ruehrmund stated that paired wood windows are actually quite prevalent in the Historic District and were squat due to the fact that they were located in the roof.
Ms. Cole stated that the sides of the building seemed void of windows. Mr. Roy agreed, stating that he would like to add a window on the first floor of the building along the side as it would add more light.
Ms. Cole stated that the proposed gutters were aluminum but a copper roof was called out in the plans. Mr. Roy stated that he did not know if it made a difference if there was a standing seam roof or copper roof. Mr. Ruehrmund stated that copper worked well in a tight space as proposed on this drawing, but to use copper gutters was expensive adding that they tend to be stolen.
Mr. Minch asked about the driveway. Mr. Roy stated that a gravel drive was proposed with a paver border.
Ms. Cole stated that a carriage house was described as an accessory building to a primary structure and asked if an accessory building could be on its own without a primary structure. Mr. de Mooy stated that technically a primary building would be present for an accessory building, but the fact that this was a garage with an apartment above with the house in the adjoining parcel to be constructed later makes it an accessary structure.
Ms. Golden asked how the Commission would proceed if another applicant wanted to put a carriage house on one of the lots. Ms. Silver stated that another carriage house on one of the lots at 405 Cannon Street would likely not work.
Ms. Silver stated that the applicant was very thorough in this request. It was assigned building permit number BP2016-07 in order to proceed.
Ms. Cole moved to approve BP2016-07 for a carriage house on Lot 4 at 405 Cannon Street as it would be constructed in accordance with the application submitted and the proposed work is compatible with the character of the overall Historic District Commission Design Guidelines, with the understanding that one window will be added on the East elevation as discussed. The motion was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously.
Mr. de Mooy introduced Mr. Ted Gallo and said that he would be joining the Commission in March.
There being no further business, Ms. Cole moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:50 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Golden and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Alexa Silver
Town Clerk Chair