19 October 2004 | Approved: 16 December 2004
HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Ed Mroczka, Bruce Rothrock, and David Neumann. David Stopak attended as liaison to the Town Council.
The meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission began at 7:40 p.m. with a discussion of the agenda and some modifications. The agenda was approved unanimously. An item was added regarding the possible finding of some evidence of stone artifacts ca. 3000 years old in stone pits in the tree line area of the Ridge Road field. The Chair asked David Neumann to take minutes. Chris Kirtz arrived but had to leave before the meeting began.
Public Work Session
Approval of Minutes. After some discussion the Commission approved the September minutes with minor changes which were agreed upon unanimously. David Neumann agreed to make the changes as Chris Kirtz was not present.
Public Review Session
- Plans were submitted by Jim Snyder and Jean Moyer for renovations to their garage/car-port structure at 206 Chestnut Ave. Their plan is to remove a rather flat roof structure used as a carport and replace the roof with a higher angled shed roof of the garage or shed structure. There would be wood siding facing Switch road (Hickory). Ed Mroczka agreed to write up the HPC review for the Planning Commission.
- Bruce Rothrock and Judy Banachowski submitted plans for remodeling at 407 Acorn Lane. They submitted architectural drawings and elevations as well as photographs of the existing house. The photos and elevations simplified and greatly assisted the subsequent discussion. Their plans consist of removing a greenhouse and the structure to its rear which are attached to the house. These would be replaced by a two-story addition whose design reflects the style of the existing house and its roof structure. Bruce Rothrock presented his plans, but recused himself from the discussion as a member of the HPC. We discussed the question whether it would not be better for the owner and the Town if the new structure could be built at a perpendicular angle from the house rather than at the arbitrary angle which pushes very close to Acorn Lane, but the owners plan to use an existing foundation which precludes changing the angle.
Trucks already have difficulty getting down the alley, thus it might be better if the Town encouraged the owners to build a bit back from the alley right-of-way. The HPC recognized the great effort made by the owners and the architect, Ralph Hurst, to design a structure that would blend in with the existing building and which also reflects the old cottage roof lines. More specifically, the chair and HPC members expressed their appreciation for the work of the owners and architect in breaking up the forms and roof planes and for having kept the dominant eave lines of the new roof at the first floor level. These efforts cause "the addition to appear less tall and massive looking while at the same time integrating well with the existing structure."
The exterior materials were discussed. The owners are considering stone and stucco as well as a cedar shingle surface. The cedar shingles would be identical with the exterior of the existing building. A stone base with stucco above is also being considered. During the discussion it was suggested that the appearance of stone and stucco is heavy and massive while the cedar gives a lighter appearance. The possibility of a 3-4 foot stucco base with cedar above was suggested as compatible with the existing building, but would still make the new addition distinguishable from the old. Mr. Rothrock said that since there still were a number of further changes planned for the design of the roof, he would resubmit when the plans are revised. The review was tabled.
The property formerly owned by the late Mr. Rynex at 112 Chestnut Avenue was discussed. Here there are plans to tear down the existing structure and build a new residence. Mr. Appleby has been contacted and he has agreed to allow the Town to examine the existing building to review its history and significance to the historic district. The HPC has contracted with Mr. Trescott, an expert to perform the assessment. Mr. Appleby has said that he will try to preserve the foundation and incorporate it into the new structure as the old foundation seems to have historic significance. There will be further discussion of this matter after Mr. Trescott makes his report to the HPC.
A document explaining the building permit application process was put together some time ago by the Town Clerk, the Planning commission and the HPC. This document presently titled "Application for Building Permit" was reviewed at the present meeting by the HPC chair and members. This instruction form is to be given to individuals who are considering construction projects in the Town or request a building permit. The goal is to make the building permit application process or subdivision application process, etc. as transparent as possible to applicants. Several changes in the form were recommended. One of these was to NOT include the specific names of Town officials in the form as these change periodically. Instead, the form should say that "Questions regarding the status of applications should be directed to the Town Clerk" at the phone number and e-mail address of the Town Clerk. A revised form is attached to these minutes. The three changes are indicated on attachment A.
On July 22, 2003 the HPC adopted an information form "Building Permit Application, Historic Preservation Commission Information" to be provided to building permit applicants and subdivision applicants. This form was discussed again. It was moved and voted unanimously to update the names and addresses of the HPC members. The HPC decided to ask that Bill Saar include this form on the Town Web site. A copy of the form is attached as attachment B. Thus, the only change is in the names at the end of the form. It was resolved that this form should also be placed on the Town web site. David Neumann agreed to transmit the form to Bill Saar. To keep the frequency of Web page revisions lower, names of members would be included via a link to a page with member names.
Bruce Rothrock gave a short status report on his discussions with others, e.g. Mary Challstrom and Missy Yachup, on the plans for the Town archives. Bruce has not yet met with them. The HPC members still agreed that some survey should be done of what material in the archives is most important to the HPC. The question arose with regard to the planned purchase of software – who in the Town needed to have an index to the documents and materials in the archive. As the cost of this process is high in money and labor, additional though should be given to a priority list. It seemed that the price of the software would be approximately $800. A demo disk exists which Bruce Rothrock has tried out. He will look at it some more and meet with the Town Archivist before our next meeting.
Photos of the Town were discussed. It seems that Clare Cavicchi has copies of the photos in the collection of Phillip Winter. It was not clear whether these were photos or Xerox copies of photos. It was not entirely clear if Clare has copies of all of the photos in Mr. Winter’s collection. It was agreed that someone would e-mail Clare Cavicchi to ask a few more questions.
A note to the minutes was made to remind the HPC that they should include an attribution to Clare Cavicchi in the House Histories that are now up on the Town Web site. It was noted that copies of the photos would be helpful for the HPC review process and that the Town archive should have and keep copies of photos submitted with building permit applications as well as the other material submitted with such applications. There is a need for these photos at the present time, especially to obtain a more complete current set of photos now, before the many renovations in the Grove, obviate the chance. Also, it was agreed that Ed Mroczka would contact the architect, Ralph Hurst, to see if he has photos or copies of before photos which could be placed in the archive.
The list of Reviews done by the HPC over the years put together by David Neumann was examined. There are two missing. Larry French’s write up of the review of 410 Oak Street and of the renovation of Maggie Range’s house on the Circle. Also Jerry Trescott’s evaluation of the fire-damaged house was discussed. That evaluation should be included in the review when it is put on the TWG web site. Also, the chair asked that the definitions of contributing structure, etc. should be included on the Town’s Web. Neumann said he would include them on the CD for Bill Saar, the Web Master for the Town.
The chair stated that the list of contributing structures should also be on the Town Web site. The list should be augmented with any arguments for inclusion of other structures and also add in arguments used to delete structures (one structure was deleted).
A motion was made to adopt the definition of contributing structures, period of significance, etc. The definitions are attached in the form that they will be posted on the Web. The motion was passed unanimously.
Open items from the last meeting
Oral History: Trescott has agreed to evaluations of the historic significance of the Appleby (Rynex) and Luxford residences. The budget was discussed. David Stopak said he was looking into the real purposes of the money already in the budget. Design Guidelines. Ed Mroczka discussed his draft of the design guidelines. He has a table of contents and will work from that. He will send out a draft to the other members of the commission. It was decided that a sample version should be put together first.
Procedures. David Neumann said he has not progressed on this and proposed that he bring in a new draft at our next meeting.
Heritage Committee: David Stopak reported that the Council had agreed that the Heritage Committee should be run under the auspices of the HPC. It was proposed that an announcement of the need for people to volunteer for the Heritage Committee should be put in the Town Bulletin. Bruce Rothrock volunteered to be liaison to the Heritage Committee and would link up with Carole Huberman and discuss plans with Mary Challstrom and Missy Yachup for the archives.
The meeting with the Town Attorney was discussed. The minutes for that meeting were taken by the Town Clerk and are available.
Mansionization conference. Bob Booher will talk to persons involved. The HPC will do what it can to assist.
In an effort to avoid full demolition of Carolyn Luxford’s residence, Chris Kirtz will look into the possible State tax credits which might be available for a renovation of all or part of her residence.
David Neumann and Bob Booher are volunteering to study the possible FAR zoning regulations as they might affect historic preservation.
David Stopak submitted material regarding the discoveries of one or two pits in the wooded area of the field on Ridge Road. These pits seem to contain material that is quite ancient and may have significant historic value. Clearly there is evidence that the archeological study of the field is not complete. A letter should be written to MNCPPC to ask that the new material and the discovered pits be studied more carefully. A letter to the staff at MNCPPC would be advisable.
A copy of the material submitted regarding the historic artifacts in the Ridge Road Field is attached.
The next meeting was set for December 21 at 7:30 pm.