Historic District Commission
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Meeting Minutes

The Historic District Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at town offices, 705 Chesham Road.

Members present: Noel Greiner, Chair; Sarah Tibbetts, Vice Chair; Kathy Scott, Select Board Representative; Doug Walker; Rex Baker; Michael Price
Members absent: Kully Mindemann, Alternate
Members of the public: Andrea Hodson

Noel Greiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

Agenda – Kathy Scott moved to approve the agenda. Doug Walker seconded. All voted in favor.

Minutes of May meeting – Kathy Scott moved to approve the minutes of May 23. Michael Price seconded. All voted in favor.

HDC #2022-3, Andrea Hodson and Leslie LaMois, 10 Main Street (Map 32 – Lot 1) – The chair opened the public hearing to address the property owner’s two-part proposal: first, to replace the asphalt shingle roof with Landmark Pro Certainteed shingles in silver birch; and, second, to install three interior mini-split heating/air conditioning units connecting to one exterior compressor. The compressor will be located along the southwest facade side of the house.

Doug Walker, application reviewer, informed the board that the application as submitted is complete. Andrea Hodson opened by noting that discovery of a leak has prompted the need for roof replacement. The quote she and her husband received for the roof work had risen due to need for re-sheathing and plywood, and the proposed asphalt shingle roof is not one that they want. For cost, durability and environmental reasons, the property owners would prefer to install a standing seam metal roof, but understand that the historic district regulations prohibit this.

Ms. Hodson wondered if the board anticipated any change in this regulation in the future, before they proceed with investment in a roof they prefer not to have. She noted that little remains of the original structure and further asked, if the existing asphalt roof is not the home’s original roof, why replacement with metal would not be permitted.

The board explained that there is no precedent for metal roofs in the historic district, though they understand the desirability of the durability and lower maintenance of this material. Members and Ms. Hodson also discussed the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s position in support of standing seam metal roofs, though the organization understands that none exist in Harrisville’s historic district. Mr. Walker stated he’d further research NHPA’s recommendations.

In further discussion of the property owner’s preference for a metal roof, Kathy Scott recommended she submit an application with specifications for such construction so the board could consider its specific merits.  Without an application to review, the board can only speculate.  Members also were curious about the cost estimate, noting metal roofs have been estimated at far higher costs than the applicant cited.

Given the current leaking the owners are dealing with, Ms. Hodson requested approval from the HDC for the asphalt shingle roof as described in the application.  Michael Price subsequently moved to grant approval for the roof replacement with Landmark asphalt shingles in silver birch. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.

Moving on to the mini-split units to offset the use of oil heat, the board requested, as it encourages with all utilities, that the exterior compressor be shielded from public view, either through vegetative buffering or a wood fence. The applicant noted that they intend to do this to buffer visual impact as well as to protect the top of the unit from moisture. Other than the compressor unit, she added, no infrastructure would be visible on the home’s exterior.

The board then moved to grant approval for installation of interior mini split units with one external compressor with a shed roof and planted buffer. The applicant further agreed to return to the board with any substantial visual changes.  All voted in favor.

A Certificate of Approval stating the conditions was then presented to the property owner.

New business
Website – Mr. Walker requested that the HDC page on the website be updated to reflect current membership. The recording secretary will take care of this.

HHI utility equipment follow-up – Members shared comments on the lack of review by the HDC for electrical infrastructure work associated with Historic Harrisville’s upgrades for the rooftop solar project. Following discussion, members agreed the board should send a letter to Historic Harrisville about the importance of the review process and their need to obtain board review under such circumstances. The chair will draft the letter for members to sign.

Historic District Property Owner Welcome Packet – The subcommittee is drafting an information packet for new residents of the district. It will include an explanation of the district, an overview of the town, a welcome letter from the HDC Chair, a Q/A sheet and general historic information on the individual property.

The meeting adjourned at 8:12 pm.