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21 June 2005 | Approved: 19 July 2005

HPC members present: Chris Kirtz, Bruce Rothrock and David Neumann. David Stopak attended as Town Council liaison. Bruce Rothrock chaired the meeting as Bob Booher was on vacation. David Neumann volunteered to take the minutes.

The June 21st meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission began at 7:30 p.m. The agenda was approved with 4 items: (a) Discussion with Carolyn Sanford of her and her husband’s plans to either replace or renovate her residence at 115 Chestnut Ave. (b) Modifications of plans submitted to the Planning Commission by Kathy Higdon and Chuck Kershaw for construction at 103 Brown St. (c) Minutes of the previous meeting and (d) the status of a questionnaire drafted by the HPC to determine current ideas and feelings of the Town’s residents with respect to historic preservation.

Review Session

Project Discussion: Mrs. Carolyn Sanford presented her and her husband’s ideas to either replace or renovate their residence at 115 Chestnut Ave. The basic problem she conveyed is relatively unchanged from her earlier discussion with the HPC. The Sanfords would like to preserve as much of the old house as is possible, but the setback requirements are such that if they did so, they would be severely limited in the size and kind of house they could construct. As many of the other lots in their block were conveyed to the owners in groups of two or three lots, Mrs. Sanford explained that they are at a disadvantage in renovation or replacing her residence. They believe in the sturdiness of premanufactured homes and therefore would prefer to build a pre-manufactured home. She is willing to preserve a portion of the old home with the new construction adjacent. The problem is that the side-lot setback requirements would prevent a pre-manufactured structure adjacent to the preserved portion of the house. Mrs. Sanford proposed that the Town ease the setback requirements so that a significant portion of the old building can be preserved. She has only a single lot to build upon, whereas others in her block have combined lots, hence they are at a disadvantage. It was explained that such an exception or special rule would have to be proposed to the Town Council, not the HPC.

Members proposed that a historic preservation consultant or architect review Mrs. Sanford’s ideas and requirements to determine if there were solutions that would preserve a significant portion of the house and would at the same time be acceptable to the Sanfords and comply with setback and other requirements of the Planning Commission. Possibly a consultant could make such recommendations. It was stated that there are funds in the budget to permit such a study. A vote was not taken, but should Mrs. Sanford want to make use of the funds the HPC would be willing to consider it.

Project Reviews: Plans submitted to the Planning Commission (PC) by Kathy Higdon and Chuck Kershaw for construction at 103 Brown St. were on the table. The members felt that since a review of the plans had already been presented to the PC and the decision of the PC had been reviewed by the Town’s Appeal Board, a second review for the Planning Commission would not be warranted. A second review had not been requested by the Planning Commission. There had been no written communication from the Planning Commission or indication to the HPC asking the HPC to re-examine the changes to the plans. The HPC members voted not to review the plans without further instruction from the PC.

Work Session

Minutes of previous Meeting: The minutes of the May meeting were not available for review.

HPC Questionnaire: David Stopak presented the status of the draft HPC questionnaire for Town residents. The purpose was to hear from Town residents as to how they felt about the current level of preservation efforts and what ideas residents have about problems of mansionization and the extent to which the Town is concerned with historic preservation. David Stopak reported on the considerable efforts of members of the HPC in drafting the questionnaire and of the numerous comments the drafts have had from members of the PC as well as members of the Town Council. Many of the suggestions have been very helpful, but due to the extensive discussion, it was not possible to have the questionnaire ready for the annual Town meeting. Question 14 was discussed. Without extensive explanation it was unclear. The concepts behind it were too complex to present as part of the questionnaire. It was decided to delete it. Since so many people are on vacation in August, it was decided that we should wait until September to distribute it.

Next Meeting: The next meeting was scheduled for July 19, 2005.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

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