HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
The Historic District Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at the Town Offices. Chair Doug Walker opened the meeting at 7:05 pm.
Members present: Doug Walker, Noel Greiner, Rex Baker, Kathy Scott, Scott Oliver, Anne Howe
Members of the public: Erin Hammerstedt, Nick Colony
Members moved, seconded and voted unanimously in favor to approve the agenda as distributed.
Meeting minutes of 4/27
Members moved, seconded and voted unanimously in favor to approve the minutes of April 27.
Representation by the HDC on Historic Harrisville’s Board of Trustees
Erin Hammerstedt spoke to the importance of having a liaison from the HDC serve on the HHI Board of Trustees. Doug Walker, HDC Chair, has served in this role for the past several years but has stepped down. HDC members discussed the time commitment and the fact that other town boards also have a member who serves as a liaison to HHI. Anne Howe has expressed interest and all agreed. Noel Greiner subsequently moved to nominate Anne Howe to this position. Rex Baker seconded, and all voted in favor. HHI will hold an orientation for new HHI board members imminently and will keep Ms. Howe posted.
Conceptual Review: HHI Photo Voltaic Project on Mill #6
Nick Colony presented preliminary information on a proposal for a 190-panel, roof-mounted, solar system on Mill Building #6. Harrisville Designs had been working with Revision Energy, which specializes in small business solar applications in NH. Harrisville Designs also is considering having battery back up on site for spinning mill operations.
Mr. Colony described the proposed design and noted a formal application will be filed once they get a more formal proposal from Revision Energy. He does not believe the solar array will be visible from public viewpoints, given the depth of the building’s parapet, or that it will affect the historic significance of the district. HDC members requested that visual images accompany the application, and that a visual impact test be conducted through a cross-section or mock-up of the proposed design from surrounding areas. The HDC’s concerns would focus on any visual impact to the public.
Erin Hammerstedt added that, from Historic Harrisville’s perspective, the proposal meets the recommended guidelines for solar installations in historic districts and that HHI considered solar as long ago as the 1980s. Technological designs are lower profile now and are offered at more reasonable cost. Mr. Colony explained that Harrisville Designs would still rely mostly on traditional electricity but would like to reduce this reliance as well as leverage the roof space and southern facing exposure to take this long-awaited opportunity.
HDC members noted the completed application would be due by June 4 in order to schedule a public hearing for the HDC’s next meeting on June 22.
HDC Rules of Procedure: Inspections, Conceptual Review, Enforcement
The subcommittee worked on draft regulations related to inspections and enforcement. Members debated the idea of having an HDC member visit locations where projects are under way to ensure work remains within the parameters of the approved application or whether this should be left to Code Enforcement. If a project is deviating from the design approved by the HDC, the HDC would then determine if action is required by the Code Enforcement Officer or Select Board.
Subsequently, members of the HDC moved to approve modification to the Rules of Procedure, including project inspection and completion, enforcement, and conceptual review. In the regulations, a section on exemptions will go into the HDC Regulations. Rex Baker seconded. All voted in favor. The regulations remain under continued review by the HDC.
As there was no new business, the meeting adjourned at 9:07 pm.