Historic District Commission
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Historic District Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at town offices, 705 Chesham Road, and via zoom.

Members present: Doug Walker, Noel Greiner, Scott Oliver, Rex Baker, Kathy Scott, Anne Howe

Members of the public: Erin Hammerstedt, Linda MacGillvary, Rick Lewis, Afton Rodriguez

Chairman Doug Walker opened the meeting opened at 7:04 pm.

HDC members moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve the agenda.

Meeting Minutes of 10/27/2020
Members moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

Rex Baker then recused himself for the public hearing on the following matter:

HDC #2020-8 Harrisville Children’s Center, 66 Main Street (Map 32 – Lot 19) – Linda MacGillvary explained that the purpose of the proposal is to expand outdoor recreation and curriculum space for Children’s Center attendees. The proposal is for an 8’ x 8’ expansion of an existing sandbox with cedar deck, and expanding and waterproofing the existing slat-roof covering. The sandbox is located between the Children’s Center building and the Church Street residence owned by Afton Rodriguez. Ms. MacGillvary also explained that they hope to move the sandbox several feet to the east. It is not considered, or intended to be, a permanent structure and is at ground level on solid blocks.

Abutter Afton Rodriguez raised concerns about exacerbating already problematic drainage issues, issues which were echoed by Ms. McGillvary. Discussion ensued as to the cause and timing of the drainage problem, believed by Ms. McGillvary to be related to the septic work conducted for the General Store building around 2010, and by Ms. Rodriguez to stem from previous work at the Children’s Center playground. Ms. Rodriguez described water cascading through the stone wall between the two properties and water freezing and shifting the stone wall during extremely cold temperatures.

Rick Lewis, designer of the project, explained that the expansion of the sandbox and addition of the roof won’t change the soil structure or affect the slope or drainage conditions. Discussion then turned to the proposed roofing material. While the applicant was open to input from the HDC, the board requested that the applicant specify what it was applying for, as it is not the commission’s area of responsibility to design, but rather to consider, what is proposed.

Regarding the proposal as a whole, and speaking for property owner Historic Harrisville, Erin Hammerstedt stated that HHI has no issues with the design because of its small scale and temporary nature; however, HHI hasn’t looked at setbacks, which it believes are the purview of the Zoning Board and Building Inspector. She did note that it would be of interest to HHI for the proposed roof to match the architectural shingle roof on the carriage barn shed adjacent, on Church Street, which HHI recently reroofed. Mr. Lewis recommended a metal roof as this is more temporary and able to be disassembled in a couple of hours. With the board’s request that the applicant decide which roof it proposes, the applicant selected a green grand rib metal roof. Upon debate over different preferences for roofing material, the board asked the applicant to work this out with historic Harrisville as they own the building.

Discussion then returned to drainage issues, which commission members also recommended that the applicant and Historical Harrisville take up, as drainage is not the jurisdiction of the HDC.

With the application having been filed 18 days ago, and the 45-day review period well underway, the Chair advised the applicant of their need to agree to an extension until the details of the proposal were fully presented to the board. The applicant agreed to the extension and will get back to the HDC with the requested information.

Rex Baker subsequently rejoined the board for the second matter.

HDC #2020-7 Erin Hammerstedt, 15 Main Street (Map – Lot   ) – The board continued its hearing of rehabilitation work proposed by Ms. Hammerstedt for the historic home. The applicant presented options she further researched for roof replacement. Since the initial application, which included a proposal for architectural shingle, Ms. Hammerstedt is now considering the possibility of saving and/or replacing portions of the original slate roof, if financially feasible. If this can’t be done, she seeks approval for an alternative, called Ecostar Majestic slate, a rubberized roof made from 80% recycled material.

Separately, Ms Hammerstedt requested the board consider separate roofing material for the west side of the ell, in order to match the barn, while the roof on the east side of the ell would match the house. The applicant shared samples of the rubberized slates, with board members remarking on the similar appearance to real slate. This is what is proposed for the main portion of the house and the front-facing portion of the ell. For the barn, a metal or composite shingle is proposed. New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, who consulted with Ms. Hammerstedt on the project, recommends metal as water damage has occurred with the existing asphalt shingle because of the flat surface. Ms. Hammerstedt also will price out a fake slate made of a fiberglass composite, recommended by the roofer for the barn.

The board and applicant discussed the longevity of different options with members asking to see the material before approving. In the meantime, the HDC expressed willingness for the applicant to proceed with stripping the existing, damaged roof and installing paper or roof guard. In its formal motion, the HDC moved to approve the applicant’s use of Ecostar majestic mountain plumb imitation slate; the HDC also moved to approve the stripping and prepping of the existing roof with watertight material with applicant required to return to the board with a final decision on proposed material. All voted in favor.

 As with the previous applicant, Ms. Hammerstedt agreed to extend the 45-day application review time.

Update on HDC regulation review
Rex Baker, Kathy Scott, Scott Oliver and Doug Walker met again to work on revising the HDC Regulations. They will reconvene in December. Based on when the revisions are complete, the HDC can then plan a public hearing and post proposed regulations on the website for a period of public comment/feedback.

Election of Officers
The board moved and voted unanimously in favor to name Rex Baker as Application Reviewer to determine completeness of applicants’ submissions. Subsequently, members moved and voted unanimously in favor to nominate Noel Greiner to continue as Vice Chair.

Finally, Kathy Scott moved to name Doug Walker to continue as Chairman. Scott Oliver seconded. All voted in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm. The next HDC meeting is Tuesday, December 22, at 7:00 pm.