Historic District Commission
Wednesday, December 14, 2021
Meeting Minutes

The Historic District Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

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

Noel Greiner moved to approve the agenda as written.  All voted in favor.

Minutes of previous meeting 11/23/2021
Mr. Greiner moved to approve the minutes as submitted. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.

Historic District Regulations – continued Public Hearing and discussion
The Chair reopened the hearing to continue discussion of the draft regulations.

Article IX – Fences and Guardrails – There were no issues or questions about the provisions on fences. The comment was offered that two new (within the past 20 years) fences had appeared in front of homes on Island Street and Prospect Street.

On language pertaining to Guardrail and Handrail, Chairman Walker explained the example of the state’s potential interest in installing a guardrail along Main Street. This would be a state initiative, given Main Street is a state road.  The suggestion was made, regarding pedestrian rails, to change “three horizontal rail sections” to “two”. These provisions are adapted from DOT regulations.

Article X – Renewable Energy Systems
Members and attendees discussed the phrase “should be sited in the least visible location possible” and discussed the board’s role in regulating and affirming the criteria. HDC members feel the proposed language gives the board both the jurisdiction to turn down an application, and also gives homeowners the option to find workable alternatives to protect the historic district. Attendees encouraged the board to be more stringent and cited 3 Main Street as an example of an unfortunate decision.

Article XI – Definitions
There were no new comments about the definitions section. Attendees expressed hope that the HDC holds all property owners accountable to prevent the chipping away of the historic district.

Attendees also complimented and thanked those who worked to update the regulations.

The board then discussed the process for adoption of the regulations and procedural issues, now that the public hearing requirements have been fulfilled. The board intends to have the regulations finalized by its January meeting, with the subcommittee meeting again, as needed, to consider the suggested revisions and comments.

The Chair then closed the Public Hearing.  A plea was made for the board to recruit new HDC members who live in the district.

15 Main Street – discussion regarding updating HDC application
In response to questions from the board about rehabilitation work on windows and heating that differed from the approved plans, Erin Hammerstedt explained to the board why the heating system and chimney pipes were necessary; installation had to be coordinated while the roofers were on site.

The previous chimney had a sheet metal box around it but Ms. Hammerstedt expressed concern that, while this could be replaced, it would be larger than the previous box and would require added maintenance. She looked to the board for a recommendation.  During discussion of options, the existence of other metal pipe chimneys in the village (six are now known) was cited.  Ms. Hammerstedt hoped these homeowners received, or will receive, approval. To assist board members, Anne Howe offered for their review additional research on the aesthetics of double chimneys.

Regarding the changes in window design, Ms. Hammerstedt noted it was her understanding from the application hearing that the HDC did not regulate windows in the rear of the building.

Members then discussed the definition of ‘public view” under HDC guidelines with Rex Baker noting, depending on the location of structures within the district, the public view may not necessarily correspond to a street-facing orientation.  The Chair had a different opinion of the definition. Chick Colony raised the difference between public view and primary public view.

The board then considered, window by window, how the approved modifications differed from the completed work. They also looked at the minutes of the public hearing. Members focused on the west-facing façade and lake-facing window designs.

Board members addressed the process for this situation, given the agreement between the board and the applicant that, as the project advanced, the property owner would return to the board with additional information. Members felt it was a new application for new items, with a new 45-day clock and new notification of abutters.  The property owner will submit a new application with the anticipation of meeting the deadline for a January 2022 hearing.

2022 Budget
HDC members reviewed their existing budget, in the amount of $800, and considered whether any changes should be requested. Anne Howe raised the subject of HDC projects, suggesting the HDC should consider hiring someone to help with the property inventory. She offered to document for the board existing inventory resources, and will contact the state survey coordinator to obtain an example of written documentation of a historic property.

Ms. Howe also asked if the budget should include a line for professional assistance, as is available to the Planning Board? Following discussion, members agreed they will propose to the Select Board $1,500 for professional services. Rex Baker then moved to submit a proposed HDC Budget for 2022 in the amount of $2,300.00. All voted in favor.

Certified Local Government (CLG) Application
Anne Howe is collecting resumes as part of the application paperwork, after which the completed application will be sent to the State Division of Historical Resources.

The HDC Regulation subcommittee will meet Tuesday, January 4, at 2:00 pm.

The meeting adjourned at 9:13 pm.