Tuesday, July 31, 2012

HDC Meeting Minutes 7-23-12

~  D R A F T  ~
Town of Winchester

Historic District Commission

Meeting Minutes
Monday, July 23, 2011

Attendance:  Mike Haman (Chairman), Gene Park, Matt Ambrogios, Sherman Tedford (Board of Selectman Ex Officio), Brian Moser (acting Planning Board alternate), Julia Ferrari; Alternates - Dennis Murphy III, Sheri Rowe. Absent:  Kim N. Gordon (Secretary & Planning Board); Public:  Mr. & Mrs. Joe Ewers, and Michael Willard.

Meeting opened at 7:00 pm. 

First order of business: Review of meeting minutes of 12-06-25.  Chair read the minutes.  M. Haman made the motion to accept the minutes as complete, but to include an excused absense for Julia Ferrari.  G. Park seconds.  3 Ayes, & 3 abstained.  Discussion about a full board and legally accepting the minutes.  

Second order of business:  BBR Bicycle Repair Shop & Skateboard Shop, Map 26/Lot 28 (144 Main Street, Winchester) sign application.  Mr. Burban is not present and it is noted that this is the second time.  He was contacted by the Land Use office regarding attend the meeting to discuss his signs.  The board discussed the Code Enforcement needs to enforce the signs violation.  B. Moser made a motion to have the Code Enforcement notify the owner that Ben Burman is in violation.  G. Parks seconds.  Discussion.  The Chairman will write a letter to the CEO.  All in favor.

Third order of business: Ken Cole, Map 28/Lot 44 (Main Street, Winchester).  The property owner has completely the proper application & submitted the fee.  The application includes drawings of siding and double hung vinyl windows.  B. Moser made a motion to approve the proposed changes.  No second.  S. Tedford recommended accepting the application as complete.  B. Moser withdrew his motion and amended his motion – to accept the application as complete. Discussion – about the lack of specificity in the application.  It is noted that the applicant is not in attendance at the meeting to answer questions.  G. Park second.  All in favor

B. Moser made a motion to accept the windows and the approval is contingent that the siding matches the original / matching siding.  S. Tedford seconded. Discussion.  M. Ambrogios said that it is the standard of the HDC to keep the original for historic integrity. J. Ferrari stated that this is correct and the board would like to see them keep the integrity of the historic value and the board continuing with the precedence of the board.  M Haman noted to the board that Mr. Cole has already started the replacement of the windows before getting an approval.  B. Moser & S. Tedford removed their motion.

G. Parks made the motion to keep the double hung windows as similar type & layout/size and the wood siding material as the original.  The information on the application is too vague.  The Chairman confirms that he visited the site before coming to the meeting and that the owner has begun replacing the original double hung windows with a new size and design.  J. Ferrari seconds the motion.  Discussion: S. Tedford feels that the motion is too vague and needs more specificity.  Questions about matching the existing siding.  G. Park amended his motion to include match existing wood siding.  J. Ferrari approved amendment.  Discussion:  Mr. Cole should come before the board to discuss and give clarification as to why he began construction on his home, before coming before the board for approval.  Energy efficiency in wood windows.  S. Tedford would like the owner to come before the board if he has any questions.  All in favor.  The Chairman will draft a letter to the owner for the board. 

Fourth order of business:  Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Ewers, Map 19 / Lot 16 (369 Back Ashuelot Road, Ashuelot)  The Chairman read a letter to the board that he wrote to the Building Inspector on Monday, July 16th berating the Inspector for issuing the permit before it came before the board, enlight of the fact that it does not match the original historic integrity.  The Land Use office issued the Ewers a building permit to renovate a barn within the historic district. 

J. Ewers came before the board to explain the construction project.  The original was a free standing structure (not attached to the house, but through the roof).  He presented a power point presentation to the board.  The roofline is now above the original roof line for water tightness.  The original roof line in not square / plumb nor the ability to join the new construction to the old structure.  The original was slate on top of wood shakes on the front of the building and asphalt on the back of the structure.  M. Haman states that he is in disagreement that the building cannot be built to match the existing roof line. 

J. Ewers stated that M. Willard received the permit from L. Austin.  The original building permits are vague.  The application is not the same as the building permit.  The owners did not know that they were in the historic district, but the Land Use office did not inform them.  Mr. Nigh checked off that it was in the HDC and Mr. Austin wrote a note stating that it was a renovation.  June 4th was the date when the building permit was issued.  Mr. Nigh was told that they were good to go on the start of their construction.

After a lengthy discussion with the owners, B. Moser notes that the board has a problem.  It is obvious from the documentation that the original permit issued to the homeowners/contractor is not the same as the document that was submitted to the HDC.  There are several notes that were not part of the original permit.  Clearly it was added after it was issued.  The problem appears that after the fact - the Land Use office doctored the permit.  The owner also pointed out that the LUO noted that there was to be one site inspection.  It was noted on the permit that he inspected the pouring of the foundation on June 5th.  No work had been completed at that time.

B. Moser has several issues that he is concerned about.  The owners should have known that they were in the historic district.  The bigger issue is the original building permit that was issued to the owners is clearly not the same as the permit being presented by town hall.  Several things were filled out at town hall that are highly questionable.  J. Ewers stated that Mr. Nigh was told that the Building Inspector was going to touch base with M. Haman with the HDC and was not given a letter of permission from the HDC. 

S. Tedford would like for the HDC to bring forth this issue to the Board of Selectman to deal with.  B. Moser made a motion that the HDC should defer to the BOS about the doctored documents.  S. Tedford seconds.  Discussion.  Does Mr. Austin know that this home is within the historic district commission?  Clearly.  Mr. Nigh was instruction about filling out the form, and informed that Mr. Austin would contact the Chairman of the HDC and was then given permission to begin construction.  M. Haman reiterates that Mr. Austin informed him that he had issued a building permit to the Ewers and that they planned to retain the historical integrity. 

The Chairman reminds the board that the LUO has issued a “cease and desist” order on the construction.  B. Moser would like to resolve the issue immediately.  S. Tedford reminds the board that the BOS can lift the order, but this is also an employee issue.  The board recommended that the Ewers put a tarp over the project until the Board of Selectman have had an opportunity to go before the board.  All in favor.   The Ewers were advised to attend the BOS meeting on Wednesday, June 25th.  L. Ewers asked if they should be proactive and have elevations drawn for the next HDC meeting.  The Chair advised that it was not necessary at this time.  The Chair will contact the Ewers if the BOS schedules their issue at the next meeting. 

Fifth order of business: Old or new business.  J. Ferrari updated on the signs – the signs are now made and ready to install.  The board discussed the locations to install the signs.  G. Park will confirm that the property owners will allow the installation of the signs.  J. Ferrari & G. Park will request the Town Hall will issue a standard letter to the D.O.T. that they will be responsible for the maintainence of the signs.  There are two signs for Ashuelot & two for Winchester.  There was a discussion about locations. 

B. Moser made a motion to adjourn.  S. Tedford seconded.  All in favor.   Meeting adjourned at 8:22 pm. The next board meeting will be held on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 7 pm. 

Minutes approved on:
Minutes respectfully submitted by: 

Kim N. Gordon, HDC Secretary

Michael Haman, HDC Chairman


Anonymous said...

This board is giving home owner/taxpaying people a hard time again? What gives? The HDC should be paying these people property tax if they want to control their property's.
I was assured someone was submitting a petitioned warrant article to disband this board, What happened?
We will have to make sure someone doesnt drop the ball this March.

Anonymous said...

What are you some kind of n idiot? This board follows rules established BEFORE they took office you moron, that's their job. Why don't you go play in traffic?

Anonymous said...

When March comes we need to disband this committee so that we may rebuild a correct one. These people have no experience and don't understand that there must be a balance between old and new. Most towns that have a HDC it is only a advisory panel to the zoning board this is what we need to make ours more fair and reasonable.

wise to you said...

You mean another BOS appointed/backed hand picked unit like the ZBA and Budget Committee to do whatever the talking heads in town tell them to do. Sure, just what we need to complete the frigging mess this town is. It's people like you who back these underhanded self centered leaches that are contributing to the problems we have here in Winchester, not honest folks who follow the rules and base their decisions on written and approved regulations. It's evident by your constant whining about the HDC that you have a personal stake in the outcome.