Members present: Doug Walker, Noel Greiner, Scott Oliver, Kathy Scott, Tom Weller
Members of the public: Charles Owusu, Kully Mindemann, Rex Baker, Anne Howe, Don Scott
Prior to the public hearing at town offices, HDC members conducted site visits from 6:30-7:00 pm at the two subject properties, where the applicants described in detail their proposed work and members’ questions were answered. The discussions below include information presented at these site visits.
Meeting called to order at 7:02 pm.
Noel Greiner moved to approve the agenda. All voted in favor.
Minutes of previous meetings 5/9and 4/24
On the May 9 meeting minutes, Tom Weller moved to approve. The vote was 3-0 in favor with members who did not attend abstaining. Subsequently, all voted in favor to approve the minutes of April 24.
HDC 2019-2 Charles Owusu, 20 Kadakit Street, Map 32-Lot 36
During the site visit, Mr. Owusu described the proposed dimensions and layout of a trex deck, extending from the rear of his house to the existing retaining wall. The deck will be one step up, or no higher than 10 inches off the ground, and roughly 14-feet wide by 22-feet 9-inches long. Mr. Owusu also proposes to extend the height of the retaining wall by 18”. Following discussion, including questions about drainage from stormwater runoff, members moved on to the next site visit and then to town hall for the public hearing portion of Mr. Owusu’s application.
At the public hearing, with no further questions from the board or abutters, Kathy Scott moved to approve Mr. Owusu’s application as submitted. Noel Greiner seconded. Members voted unanimously in favor, 5-0. Doug Walker signed the application and provided the applicant with a copy. The board also informed Mr. Owusu that the Building Inspector would be notified by the next morning of the board’s decision.
HDC 2019-3 Brian Ewing and Chip McMaster, 19 Church Street, Map 32-Lot 20
Kully Mindemann, representing the applicants, described for the board the property owners’ wish to replace the clapboards on three sides of their home and to repair as needed the clapboards on the fourth, west-gable, façade with primed hemlock clapboards. In addition, the applicants proposed to repair the existing trim using Lifespan wood trim, retaining the existing dimensions and proportions, and to replace the rear wooden doors in the same material and painted the same color.
For windows, Mr. Mindemann stated that the existing six/six, double hung windows, which are not original to the structure, would be replaced with Marvin energy efficient clad wood insert windows, also a 6/6 configuration with 5/8” muntins with the putty profile and simulated divided lights. The existing aluminum storm windows would be removed.
Mr. Mindemann submitted to the board, along with his materials, copies of Historic Harrisville’s review and approval of the entire proposal. According to the letter from Historic Harrisville to the applicants, the project “meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Historic Harrisville’s guidelines for windows and siding.”
Mr. Owusu raised a concern that repair of the window sills was not included in the original application and that abutters who may object to this aspect would not have been made aware of this detail. During discussion, the board generally agreed that enough detail was included in the application to encourage any concerned abutters either to attend the hearing or to ask for additional information from the publicly available file. Mr. Mindemann noted that detail on repair of the sills was included in additional application material sent to Mr. Walker. HDC members noted that Historic Harrisville, which has a covenant on the property, had thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the proposed rehabilitation, including repair of the sills. The applicant was asked, however, to amend the application to include the following: “Repair existing replacement window sills with either treated wood or wood composite product.” Mr. Mindemann then stated he would submit a separate application to repair the clapboard woodshed, replacing deteriorated clapboards as needed with primed hemlock clapboards, as planned for the house.
Subsequently, Kathy Scott moved to approve the application for 19 Church Street as amended. Scott Oliver seconded. All voted in favor. Mr. Mindemann was provided with a signed copy.
New member recruitment process
Doug Walker updated members on the protocol for bringing new members onto the board, noting he met with the Select Board to discuss the procedure further. In the past the SB identified candidates and named them to the board. Now, while the SB reviews the preliminary list of suggested candidates, the HDC talks to prospective members and asks them to attend a couple of meetings, before making a final recommendation to the SB.
Rules of Procedure
Kathy Scott raised discussion of the 45-day timetable for application review, outlined in RSA 676:9, which requires a decision by the HDC 45 days following the filing of the application. Members offered various suggestions for streamlining the process and possibly requiring applicants to file on a specific date of the month to offer the HDC adequate time for noticing and for a hearing.
Noel Greiner reviewed the timetable as described in the existing application form. Mr. Greiner suggested that a formal meeting does not have to occur for a board member or two to determine if an application is complete. Mr. Walker replied that the board could return to this format or else could require that applicants file on a particular date. Kathy Scott then raised the idea of tracking applications along minor and major tracks. “Minor” applications could be expedited, and “major“ applications would require lengthier review.
Members discussed potential scenarios for different timelines, and hearing or meeting requirements, and the information necessary for a completed application (checklist). Also raised was the determination about site visits and potential opportunities for granting a waiver of a formal hearing, when the required criteria are met.
Scott Oliver recommended reviewing the guidelines used by other, comparably-sized, towns – for example, Hancock and Antrim. Members agreed and will discuss this and suggestions regarding timelines and window regulations at the next meeting. Anne Howe again offered to help research.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.