Historic District Commission
Tuesday, September 28, 202I
The Historic District Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, September 28, 202I at town offices and via zoom. Prior to the meeting, the board held a site visit at I6 Kadakit Street, subject property of the application being heard.
Members present: Noel Greiner Vice Chair, Scott Oliver, Kathy Scott, Rex Baker, Anne Howe
Members absent: Doug Walker, Chair
Members of the public: Ron Trudelle, Becky Trudelle, Jason Luoma, and Erin Hammerstedt
Noel Greiner opened the meeting at 7:00 pm.
Members moved and voted in favor to approve the agenda.
Minutes of previous meeting
Rex Baker moved to approve the minutes of the August meeting. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.
HDC #202I-3, Jason Luoma, I6 Kadakit Street (Map 32 – Lot 37)
Mr. Greiner opened the public hearing on the application to install shutters on the front and sides of the historic residence at I6 Kadakit Street. Contractor Ron Trudelle and homeowner Jason Luoma described for the board the proposal to install non-operating shutters, I2” in width and 58” in length. The shutters would be screwed into the house and would almost touch. Though wider shutter widths would be more in keeping with others on the street, the applicant explained that wider widths would cover 2” of the window casing which he did not wish.
Mr. Luoma explained that his first choice of material was vinyl; the second was wood. The vinyl product he finds as close to traditional wood shutters as available, at a much lower cost and requiring very little maintenance. It was noted that the shutters on one abutting home are aluminum and on another vinyl. Mr. Luoma later added that this preference for vinyl also was due to the costs he has incurred to date for repairs to the interior and to the exterior clapboards.
Members of the HDC subsequently viewed numerous historic and current photographs obtained through the Historic Harrisville archives as well as the applicant. Homes on either side of I6 Kadakit appeared with shutters. It was noted that the applicant’s home, along with one other on the street, has not historically had shutters, though this couldn’t be stated definitively due to a lack of photos available between roughly I930-I980. Mr. Luoma stated he likes the look of shutters and hopes to achieve a similar look to the neighboring homes.
Erin Hammerstedt spoke on behalf of Historic Harrisville. While acknowledging lack of documentation from several decades, she pointed to the photos on hand and to the fact that I6 Kadakit Street retains the highest degree of historical integrity in that it hasn’t experienced changes made to others homes of this period. In addition, she quoted Standard #3 of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, citing that “Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.” Historic Harrisville’s own guidelines on shutters, not directly enforceable given HHI’s lack of covenants on this property, states that shutters “may not be appropriate or necessary to every architectural style.”
Conversation turned to the dimensions of the front-facing windows, which are too narrow to allow for working shutters as they would overlap. Windows on the gable ends are further apart. Ms. Hammerstedt added that, historically, none of the millworkers cottages along School Street, Peanut Row and Kadakit had shutters, but that possibly later on it was fashionable to add them.
With no additional comments or questions from the board or members of the public, Noel Greiner moved to accept the application to install shutters on I6 Kadakit Street, in keeping with what the board saw at the site visit and in the neighborhood. Rex Baker seconded.
During the roll call, Mr. Greiner voted in favor. Rex Baker, Scott Oliver, Kathy Scott and Anne Howe all opposed. Mr. Baker pointed to the house as a beautiful example of the architecture of the period and supported keeping it intact. Mr. Oliver, Ms. Scott and Ms. Howe agreed with Mr. Baker, pointing to the historical integrity and applauding the repairs done on the home to date. Applying the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, #2 and #3, they believe by not adding shutters, the home it retains its recognition as a physical representation of its time and place. Mr. Greiner disagreed, believing the addition of shutters to the adjacent houses does not detract from their historical value. By a vote of 4-I against, the motion to approve did not carry.
CLG (Certified Local Government) Program
Returning to a discussion from the spring on the Certified Local Government program, the HDC once again will consider applying for this designation. Anne Howe reminded members that CLG status offers the town access to a wealth of historical data and information, as well as the possibility of grant money for restoration and upkeep of town owned historic buildings. Ms. Howe has been in touch with the NH Division of Historical Resources regarding the application process. Mr. Greiner requested that discuss continue at next month’s meeting to allow time for all members to review the information.
Public Hearing on Draft Regulations Tuesday, November 2, 7:00 pm, in the Granite Mill
This will be a chance for the public to offer feedback on the HDC’s updated regulations, which are posted on the town website and available at town offices. Members discussed the logistics of the meeting and ways to get as many people as possible to participate in the process. Kathy Scott will look into preparing a map of the historic district for presentation on screen during the hearing.
Scott Oliver asked about the new speed radar sign on Main Street in the village and why the HDC wasn’t notified prior to installation. Though the project stemmed from the Transportation Committee and was discussed and approved by the Planning and Select Boards over many months, HDC members believe that, though not mandatory, they should have been contacted for input.
At 8:20 pm, members moved to adjourn. The HDC will not meet in October and will hold their Public Hearing on Draft Regulations on Tuesday, November 2 at 7:00 pm.