HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
MAY 6, 2020
Chair Alexa Silver called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. along with Commission members Charles Barton, 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 April 1, 2020. Mr. Smith moved to approve the April 1, 2020 minutes as amended, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The Consent Calendar consisted of the following items:
- BP2020-50 – Kent, 416 Cannon Street – Fence;
- BP2020-53 – Ellie Bell Events & Floral, 314 Park Row – Sign.
Ms. Ritchie moved to approve the consent calendar as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Barton and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-25 from Mr. and Mrs. Lombardini at 221 S. Queen Street for a new dwelling. The demolition of the existing house was approved in January. Mr. Lombardini stated that the house would have to be 3-4’ off the ground to meet flood plain levels and keep in the same scale of the neighboring house.
Mr. Smith stated that he was concerned about the wooden chimneys on both sides of the house as it reminded him of a tract house. He suggested that other materials may be better suited for the chimneys. Mr. Lombardini stated that the chimneys could be masonry or stucco, noting that one would be a working chimney and the other was for design purposes. Mr. Lombardini stated that the house would be masonry at the base.
Ms. Silver stated that the orientation of the house concerned her in that the house feels too large for the street. Ms. Ritchie stated that that she agreed in the sense that a characteristic of the neighborhood was front doors and porches and this design was not oriented toward the street. Mr. Lombardini stated that the house was designed to be able to enter from the driveway without using stairs because of the flood plain level and their need to not have stairs. He said that this house was designed in the interest of aging in place with a minimal number of corridors and stairs. Mr. Lombardini stated that an elevator was planned for the interior to access the second floor.
Ms. Ritchie stated that the porches in Chestertown were heavily used and the guidelines called for harmony towards the other houses along the street and she did not think that this proposal reflected that. Mr. Lombardini stated that there was only one other house to compare with on this block and the peak of the roof was different. Ms. Silver stated that the chimney was too wide and too tall. He said that the bump out on the front was to accommodate a piece of furniture, but it was not an essential feature.
Ms. Silver stated that she would like to see another design, noting that the design reminds her more of a commercial building and she was concerned about the bulk. She said that the massing of the chimney was too large. Mr. Lombardini stated that they could remove the front chimney and leave the one on the garden side. Ms. Silver stated that the only chimney she had issues with was the one on the front façade.
Mr. Minch asked for the dimension from the sidewalk to the face of the house. Mr. Lombardini stated that the house would line up with the house next door but there would not be a covered porch, rather a front seating area which would be more of a raised patio.
Mr. Minch stated that he did not have a problem with the side entrance, but he thought that this contemporary design was too European in style for Chestertown. He said that the combination of the chimney and inset windows was out of place. Mr. Lombardini stated that he could rework the front façade of the house.
Mr. Lombardini stated that he would return with a reworked front façade, removing the chimney, noting that some of the other versions he drafted did not seem right to him. Ms. Silver stated that she would look forward to Mr. and Mrs. Lombardini resubmitting the application reworking the front façade. The Commission agreed.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-46 from Wilson Taylor Builders for exterior renovations at 602 Cannon Street. Mr. Mike Taylor was present for the application. Mr. Taylor stated that he found the storm windows to be in good shape, so he is removing that portion of the application. Mr. Taylor stated that he would like to change the posts on the front of the house to a simple rounded column. Mr. Barton moved to approve BP2020-46 for 602 Cannon Street as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was BP2020-45 from Turley/First Bridge Apartments at 117 N. Water Street to relocate the back porch staircase. Ms. Virginia Turley was present for the application, noting the staircase is from the 1950s and would be moved to the side so it would not be such a prominent feature from the river. Ms. Silver asked what was in the first floor of the house. Ms. Turley stated that the area on the bottom was tenant space. Ms. Turley stated that the stair would not be visible from the street. Mr. Smith moved to approve BP2020-45 for rear stair relocation at 117 N. Water Street, was seconded by Mr. Minch and carried unanimously.
The last item on the agenda was BP2020-54 from Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell at 112 N. Water Street for a screened-in porch at the rear of the house. Steven and Lynn Mitchell were present for the application and said that only the stairs of the porch would be visible from Water Street. Mr. Barton moved to approve BP2020-54 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
Ms. Silver stated that she was sorry to hear that Mr. Bailey was leaving the Historic District Commission but the Planning Commission was lucky to have him join them.
There being no further business, Mr. Minch moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:52 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Ritchie and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Alexa Silver
Town Clerk Chair