Historic District Commission
Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Members present: Doug Walker; Scott Oliver; Kathy Scott, Select Board Representative
Members absent: Tom Weller; Noel Greiner; Anne Howe
Members of the public: Kate and Gabe Washburn, applicants

Doug Walker opened the meeting at 7:18 pm at town offices, following a site visit at the applicants’ property.  Members considered the following:

HDC 2019-9  – Kate and Gabe Washburn, 11 Church Street (Map 32 – Lot 15)
As part of an attic renovation, the applicants propose a dormer-with-window on the south-facing façade and an additional window on the east-facing gable, such that the existing window becomes a double. HDC members reviewed the detailed drawings submitted, and expressed their wish that the new Andersen windows have simulated sills to match the existing profile on the house. Members also confirmed with applicants that crown moldings and soffits installed will match the existing. The clapboard and pine materials proposed were determined to be appropriate.

The applicants confirmed that the existing chimney will remain in place, as is.  They also noted that the HVAC unit will reside in the outside rear of the house, tucked between two existing bump-outs.

Members then reviewed the Ten Standards outlined in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, guidelines the HDC uses to assess applications. Doug Walker read each aloud, as follows:

1-Every reasonable effort shall be made to provide a compatible use for a property which requires minimal alteration of the building, structure, or site and its environment, or to use a property for its originally intended purpose. Members agreed the condition was met.

2- The distinguishing original qualities or character of a building, structure, or site and its environment shall not be destroyed. The removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features should be avoided when possible. Members agreed this condition was being met.

3- All buildings, structures, and sites shall be recognized as products of their own time. Alterations that have no historical basis and which seek to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged.  Members agreed there was no issue.

4- Changes which may have taken place in the course of time are evidence of the history and development of a building, structure, or site and its environment. These changes may have acquired significance in their own right, and this significance shall be recognized and respected.  No problem seen here. The group discussed the diamond-paned windows which were added in 1896, but which are not affected by proposed work.

5- Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship which characterize a building, structure, or site shall be treated with sensitivity.  Members agreed this was the case.

6-Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced, wherever possible. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture, and other visual qualities. Repairs or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplications of features, substantiated by historic, physical, or pictorial evidence, rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures. Members agreed this was not relevant for this particular application.

7- The surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other cleaning methods that will damage the historic building materials shall not be undertaken. No concerns here.

8- Every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and preserve archaeological resources affected by, or adjacent to any project.  No concerns here.

9- Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties shall not be discouraged when such alterations and additions do not destroy significant historical, architectural or cultural material, and such design is compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, neighborhood or environment. The HDC agreed the application was compatible with the character of the home and neighborhood, that the proposal remained sensitive to existing features, character and design and that no significant material was being destroyed. Again, new clapboards, trim detail, window surrounds and soffits would match existing.

10-Whenever possible, new additions or alterations to structures should be done in a manner that, if such additions or alterations were to be removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the structure would be unimpaired. HDC members determined this condition was being met.

With no further discussion, Kathy Scott moved to approve the Washburns’ application with the condition that the new Andersen Windows will contain simulated sills to match the existing profile. Scott Oliver seconded. All voted in favor.

Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation
Members noted the HDC’s need to adopt the updated Standards for Rehabilitationput forth by the Secretary of the Interior, which, though not substantively different from the 1969 version the HDC has historically relied upon, nevertheless are the more current and appropriate standards. In doing so, the HDC also needs to work in the coming year with the Ordinance Review Committee of the Planning Board to ensure the Town’s Zoning Ordinances are updated to reflect the adoption of the more current guidelines, and to consider any other recommended modifications.

Minutes of October 23, 2019
Members moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve the minutes of its October meeting.

2020 Budget and Draft of Annual Report for Town Meeting
Members agreed they would propose an overall budget flat to 2019 but perhaps with line item amounts adjusted.  They noted the HDC report, to be prepared by the Chair, is due January 10.

Members moved to adjourn at 8:25 pm.