2021, Historic District Commission, Town Agendas & Minutes|

 

AGENDA

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

JUNE 2, 2021

Ms. Mulligan stated that Mr. Coomer’s term had ended last month, and he had decided not to renew his membership.  Therefore, the Commission had to elect a new Chairman.  Ms. Brown moved to nominate Kurt Smith as Chair for the Commission, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Mr. Kurt Smith, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:06 p.m.  In attendance were Commission members Barbara Brown, Ed Minch, Alice Ritchie and Victoria Smith, 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.

Mr. Smith asked if there were additions or corrections to the minutes of the Historic District Commission Meeting of May 5, 2021. Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2021, meeting as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the application for Chesapeake Bank at 245 High Street had been withdrawn.

There were several items on the Consent Calendar as follows:

  1. BP2021-76 – William Burris/Keller Williams Realty, 306 Cannon Street – Sign;
  2. BP2021-77 – Ben & Darran Tilghman, 204 N. Queen Street – Shed and Pergola;
  3. BP2021-82 – Silcox, 519 High Street – Roof Replacement;
  4. BP2021-84 – Brown/Munson, 367 Calvert Street – Fence on Vacant Property;

Ms. Brown asked if the shed at 204 N. Queen Street would be painted.  Ms. Tilghman stated that the shed would be stained.

Mr. Smith stated that he would like to move BP2021-84 for a fence at 367 Calvert Street to new business.

Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:

  1. BP2021-76 – William Burris/Keller Williams Realty, 306 Cannon Street – Sign;
  2. BP2021-77 – Ben & Darran Tilghman, 204 N. Queen Street – Shed and Pergola;
  3. BP2021-82 – Silcox, 519 High Street – Roof Replacement;

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

Mr. Smith stated that BP2021-84 for a fence on the vacant lot at 367 Calvert asked what the fence was planned to contain.  Mr. Justin Munson stated that the fence is being erected to protect the property as it was a high traffic area with stray animals and littering is becoming an issue.  He said that he is having to pay for the litter to be removed that others are dumping on the lot.  Mr. Smith asked if other types of fences had been discussed for the area as this was a stockade fence.  Mr. Munson stated that he chose the fencing so that people would not be able to throw trash into the yard.  Mr. Munson stated that the fence he was proposing is the same idea of the fence he is attaching to in the back and is called a shadowbox fence.   Ms. Ritchie moved to approve BP2021-84 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Smith and carried with four in favor, Mr. Smith opposed. 

The next item on the agenda was BP2021-86 from Charlotte Zang for a window replacement at 515 High Street.  Ms. Zang was present for the application and stated that the windowpane in one window is broken.  She said that a lead paint inspector did a study, and she would like to have the lead removed altogether as she was planning to use the house as a rental.  All other windows are vinyl replacement windows.  Ms. Smith stated that she would like to see the same configuration of 2/1 muntins on the property.  Ms. Zang stated that she would see that was done.

Mr. Minch stated that if the windows were rebuilt with low E glass and had storm windows applied they would appear as original.  The Commission agreed that they would prefer to see the windows preserved.  Mr. de Mooy stated that if the replacement was approved, it would set a bad precedent for the rest of the District.

Mr. Minch moved to approve as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and the motion failed with 5 opposed.  The application was denied, and the applicant was instructed to investigate refinishing the existing windows.

The next item on the agenda was BP2021-83 from Chestertown Builders for new construction of a single-family home at 215 S. Queen Street.  Mr. Alden Yetman was present for the application.  Mr. Yetman stated that the owner of the property owns several adjoining lots and has a lot-line adjustment to go before the Planning Commission, combining properties to allow for a large back yard.

Mr. Yetman stated that the front elevation will look like other houses in the District but with all modern amenities.  The right side of the house will have a recessed entry with off-street parking giving an opportunity to exit a vehicle from the driveway.

Mr. Yetman stated that the sliver of property to the right was owned by another party but was not wide enough for anyone to build upon.

Mr. Yetman showed the proposed elevations of the house which would be in line with adjacent houses on the block.  The lot would be .4 acres in total and the house would be similar in size to the new construction next door.  The roof pitch on the front section is 12/12 and 18’ high with rafters on the second floor ceiling joists.  The porch roof will have a flat roof with crown detail to give it some additional mass to offset the space to the second floor windows.

Mr. Yetman stated that the house would have Hardiplank siding (smooth), boral exterior composite trim, asphalt shingles (charcoal black), brick foundation (2’ high), Andersen windows in black with trim and full divided lights and Therma True entry doors.  A material list was provided.

Mr. Minch moved to approve BP2021-93 as submitted, waiving the requirement for a second hearing, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously. 

The next item on the agenda was BP2021-85 from KIT Team and Hammond Wilson for a project at 341 High Street.  Mr. Christopher Frank of Hammond Wilson was present for the application.  Mr. Frank stated that this was a concept presentation.

Mr. Frank stated that 341 High Street is connected to 339 High Street (Bottle Shop).  Mr. Frank stated that 341 High Street is a contributing structure in the Historic District.  He said that the street falls approximately 10’ along High Street.  He said that this property was in terrible condition with very serious structural concerns.

Mr. Frank stated that strange property lines come into play running in between 337 and 341 where you can walk from addresses 337 through to 341 via the basement.

Mr. Frank stated that that there was mold throughout the building and the condition was deteriorated before the property was purchased with leaking roofs and shoddy construction.  He said that they would not go for Historic Tax Credits as there were life safety concerns and ADA provisions required to the point where they would not be able to bring the building back through restoration.  Mr. Frank stated that the roof is failing, and weeds are growing on the floor inside the building.

Mr. Frank stated that there are apartments on the second floor with access through an exterior stair via a sloped roof with entry doors to the second and third floors.  Structural columns are missing entirely in several key places and floor joists are completely rotten.

Mr. Frank stated that the applicant would like to demolish the building from the ridge to the top of the existing brick façade on the High Street side.  They thought it was important to save the streetscape view of the property, but they had to adjust floor heights and ingress and egress to make it habitable by Code.

Mr. Frank stated that they would remove and reinstall the tablature on the front entrance in the renovation.  The existing doors would likely not be permitted to stay by code, but he was going to speak with the inspector about it.

Mr. Frank stated that the building was originally run by the Robinson’s (an African American family) beginning in 1909 as an oyster and ice cream shop.  He said that he envisioned that space continuing as a café or offering some type of food service.  Mr. Frank stated that the rest of the building would be apartment space with 9’ ceilings where possible.  He said that the ridge of the building would be raised by 4.6’.

Mr. Frank showed details of the preservation of the first floor space and proposed new apartments if the demolition was permitted.  There was an opportunity to move exterior rear stairs leaving some breathing room between 339 and 341 High Street.  There was no ADA access existing from High Street and he proposed a platform lift from the back parking lot to the main level accessing two (2) apartments.  Mr. Frank stated that the third floor would also have two (2) apartments accessed by the main stair, which included a deck area and vegetative roof over a portion of the back.

Mr. Frank stated that he did not see the massing of the proposed area to be too significant that it was out of character and said that he thought it will blend nicely with the streetscape.  He said that he thought proposal would honor the original 341 High Street building.

Mr. Frank stated that he was looking for feedback on the proposal and if the Commission was on board with the demolition.

Mr. Frank stated that they were also looking at fiberglass shingles or standing seam metal on the roofs and showed details of the “green” roof as well.  He said that mechanical equipment would likely be put on the roof of 339 High Street.

Ms. Ritchie stated that demolition had a procedure for approval.  Mr. Smith stated that this was a general discussion for concept this evening and the applicant was not looking for a vote.

Mr. Smith stated that he would like the opinion of a structural engineer on file before any decision was made on demolition.  He asked if the Planning Commission will become involved.  Mr. de Mooy stated that there will be discussion with the Planning Commission on the site plan, including such issues as parking and lighting.

Mr. de Mooy stated that there was no way to have foreseen the scope of this project when the Guidelines were written and said that this property was interconnected to the adjacent properties in such a way that it was confusing to all.  He said that he has been inside the building and said that the third floor as it exists could not have an apartment as there was no second ingress and egress.  He said that the building inside was a nightmare and a candidate for demolition, in his opinion.

Mr. de Mooy stated that any approvals given in the future by the HDC could be conditional upon Planning Commission approval.

Ms. Ritchie stated that when this building comes down there would be questions and the Commission had to be able to back up their decision.  Mr. Frank stated that he would supply a structural report and historic report taking it to the point in history where the building no longer represents what was originally there.  He said that they have been working with Cherilyn Widell who was familiar with the history of the building.

Mr. Frank stated that there was honestly nothing in place that could be preserved at this point.  He said that the building was falling and may come down on its own before too much longer.  Mr. Minch asked if the brick wall was original.  Mr. Frank stated that the footprint of the building shows on a 1908 map so it could be part of the original structure, but he was not certain if the brick was original.  Mr. Smith stated that the Historical Society may have some documentation.

Mr. Frank thanked the Commission for their time and said that he will return when he has the reports and some additional information.

Ms. Brown stated that the current roof is unique and asked if that could be addressed in some way.  Mr. Frank stated that he was planning to use the stamped tin roof to cover the roof of the beer garden next door.

There being no further business, Ms. Ritchie moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:34 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Smith and carried unanimously.

 Submitted by:                                                             Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                                       Jeffrey Coomer

Town Clerk                                                                 Chair

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