Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, 4/7/2005
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
31 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
MINUTES OF THE
HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
APRIL 7, 2005
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. Members present: Richard Arkin, Chairperson; Cathy Drzyzgula, First Vice Chair; and Committee Members Deanna Lyter, Jim Cannistra, and Erin Moyer. Absent: Joe Coratola. Staff present: Patricia Patula, Planner, Jacqueline Marsh, Associate Planner, Greg Dennison, Senior Plans Examiner, and Karen Jordan, Recording Secretary.
I. WELCOME NEW MEMBER
Chairperson Richard Arkin introduced and welcomed newest committee member Erin Moyer who was recently appointed to the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.
II. PUBLIC HEARINGS
- HAWP-95 Applicant: Irfan Khan
112 Meem Avenue
Request: Rear addition and enclosure of front patio into sunroom
Associate Planner Jacqueline Marsh stated that the public hearing was advertised in the March 30, 2005, issue of the Gaithersburg Gazette, the property posted, and 21 exhibits were in the record file. The property is a non-contributing resource in the Chestnut/Meem Historic District. A revised Exhibit #5 was distributed indicating the correct record plat for the subject lot. Planner Pat Patula reminded committee members that staff was working with the applicant regarding the front room addition because it extends three feet into the front yard setback. She noted that it is not an existing hardship which is criteria needed to get a variance and that staff is also considering using the traditional neighborhood development (TND) option which has never been used for this type of situation.
Mr. Irfan Kahn, applicant, stated he is proposing to convert the existing front patio into a sunroom and expand it to a total of 12 feet which will extend three feet into the front yard setback. After the preliminary review with HPAC, he has proposed a minor change in the front elevation which will be the use of brick on the front and side to the bottom of the fascia and then vinyl siding. He also noted that two gables would be added rather than the one originally proposed for the front of the house.
Ms. Patula said that Mr. Kahn has agreed that if the Planning Commission could not use the TND option, then he would ensure that the size of the room will remain within the setback and that the elevation would remain the same as proposed.
Member Deanna Lyter inquired if the chimney had been increased in height to which Mr. Kahn explained that it will meet code. Member Jim Cannistra noted that at the previous meeting it had been recommended that the vertical vinyl siding pattern on the gable end on the front match the side gables to which Mr. Kahn agreed that he would use that pattern.
Chairperson Arkin stated that the applicant has addressed all the issues proposed from the previous meeting.
There was no other testimony presented in favor of or in opposition to the application.
- Motion was made by Member Drzyzgula, seconded by Member Lyter, to close the record on HAWP-95.
Motion was made by Member Cannistra, seconded by Member Lyter, that HAWP-95 be recommended for approval finding that it meets the Guidelines for the Chestnut/Meem Historic District and with the following conditions:
- that a vertical siding pattern on the front gable be used to match the side gables; and
- that the applicant provide staff with corrected drawings; and
- that if the applicant does not receive Planning Commission approval for the setback then the applicant be allowed to construct the addition but within the setback.
- VOTE: 5-0
- HAWP-50G Applicants: Charles and Terri Kirtz
104 Russell Avenue
Request: Driveway and front walkway replacement, gazebo, and sign
Associate Planner Jacqueline Marsh stated that the public hearing was advertised in the March 30, 2005, issue of the Gaithersburg Gazette, the property posted, and 17 exhibits were in the record file. The property is a contributing resource to the Brookes/Russell/Walker Historic District. In addition, the applicant will be applying for a home-based business to open a bed and breakfast and will have to provide adequate space for parking.
Mrs. Terri Kirtz, applicant, proposed to replace the driveway and walkway in front of the house with stamped concrete to provide off-street parking. A cedar gazebo, proposed for the rear yard, would be left natural and a small wooden sign identifying the business would be painted a beige background with green lettering. The sign would be displayed on a metal post and lighted from the ground.
Chairperson Arkin inquired if the proposed sign meets the guidelines for the Brookes/Russell/Walker Historic District to which Ms. Patula said that the sign does meet the size requirements and Member Drzyzgula added that a three-foot square sign is an appropriate size for a bed and breakfast as per City code.
Member Drzyzgula was concerned about the proposed material and driveway size noting that the neighborhood guidelines state that driveway surfaces should harmonize and blend-in to the overall neighborhood landscape. In response to questioning, Mr. Charles Kirtz, applicant, explained that the driveway would enhance the appearance of the property, would be at least two inches of concrete placed over gravel, and that Care of Trees has been consulted to ensure that the roots would remain safe. Ms. Drzyzgula stated that through her personal calculations sixty-five percent of the surface is imperviable which includes the house. Also five of the trees are within five feet of the proposed driveway and two trees in front of the house will be close to the proposed paving. She suggested the applicant consider moving the parking further back on the property to protect the trees, or that the guests of the bed and breakfast utilize off-street parking. Associate Planner Marsh explained that staff discussed off-street parking but decided against it as the house is located on a dangerous curve.
Member Drzyzgula suggested that asphalt in combination with tar and chip might have less impact on the trees. Mr. Kirtz noted that the purpose of the stamped concrete is to make it more aesthetically pleasing and Mrs. Kirtz added that it is also a level surface that would be easier to walk on if the rooms were utilized by the elderly. Planner Patula suggested that a meeting be scheduled with the City’s traffic engineer and environmental specialist to solicit suggestions and/or solutions for the project.
Chairperson Arkin suggested other materials be considered prior to approval of the driveway and that the applicants continue to work with Care of Trees. The applicants were advised to compile additional information regarding a tree root zone and parking plans. Planner Patula also asked that the new plans include the proposed lighting for the sign.
Member Drzyzgula said that the sign and gazebo meet the historic guidelines and Member Cannistra agreed that the sign and gazebo are a good fit for the property.
Mr. Andrew Frost, 107 Chestnut Street, said that he liked the proposal of a bed and breakfast. He suggested the applicants consider the use of half gravel and half concrete as a material for the driveway.
Ms. Mary Jo LaFrance, 105 Chestnut Street, noted that the current black asphalt does not have matting underneath and that the stamped concrete might provide a better chance for the trees to survive. She was concerned about a large portion of the driveway being surfaced.
There was no other testimony presented in favor of or in opposition to the application.
- Motion was made by Member Drzyzgula, seconded by Member Moyer, to hold the record open indefinitely.
In summary, the applicants were asked to provide a proposed parking plan with dimensions; a tree protection plan along with documentation of what the plan entails; and proposed alternate driveway material.
- HAWP-43E Applicants: Christoph and Elizabeth Witzgall
Continued 20 Walker Avenue
Request: Roof modifications
Planner Patula advised that the applicant has submitted a revised drawing (entered into the record as Exhibit 31) and was seeking additional guidance.
Mr. Christoph Witzgall, applicant, provided a roof modification drawing with both symmetrical and a-symmetrical dormer views. The drawings include possible dormer positions of which he preferred that the dormers be setback and not visible from the street. Chairperson Arkin noted that on Exhibit 31, Alternative C, it seems to be the least objectionable from the front and side yard but that he has a problem with the window treatment and height as seen from the rear. Member Drzyzgula added that it would be more acceptable if the new roof could be differentiated from the old and that different roof types be used.
It was suggested that a work session be scheduled to discuss and work out options and issues with regard to the roof.
III. COURTESY REVIEW/RECOMMENDATION TO PLANNING COMMISSION
Applicant: Michael Bucheimer
116 James Street
Request: New garage
Planner Patula stated that the applicant, whose home is located within Observatory Heights, is requesting to build a garage higher than the 15-feet allowed by City Code. He will need to go before the Planning Commission for approval and is therefore seeking assistance with the design. Staff has already recommended that stairs be placed inside the garage.
Mr. Michael Bucheimer, applicant, said he has considered a Dutch roof so as to not tower over the house or a steeper barn-style roof. Chairperson Arkin asked the intended use for the garage to which Mr. Bucheimer explained it would be entirely for storage. Ms. Christine Denotti, friend of the applicant, reiterated that the space would be used for storage as the small house does not provide for sufficient storage.
In response to questioning, Senior Plans Examiner Greg Dennison suggested that the stairs could be placed on the interior of the space and that a Dutch roof would possibly give the building the appearance of not looking as high. Member Lyter also suggested that the building could be extended deeper and the stairs could be added to the interior rear wall of the building. Member Drzyzgula said that with a Dutch roof or steeper roof, the ceiling height would be less along the sides but the center height should provide sufficient space.
Member Lyter expressed concern that without the use of windows there would be a large amount of siding or large wall without any elements to break it up. She suggested that the applicant consider a decorative or barn-style type door that would add a nice visual effect. Member Drzyzgula also suggested windows be used on the first floor rather than the second to help break up the solid wall mass.
Mr. Warren Johnson, 104 Chestnut Street, suggested the applicant widen the building to allow for pull down steps in the interior of the building.
IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Member Drzyzgula made several minor changes to the minutes.
Motion was made by Member Drzyzgula, seconded by Member Lyter, that the minutes of the March 3, 2005, Historic Preservation Advisory Committee meeting be approved, as corrected.
VOTE: 3-0-2 (Abstained: Cannistra and Moyer)
THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
TOOK A SHORT RECESS AT 9:25 P.M.
IT RECONVENED AT 9:34 P.M.
V. RECOMMENDATION TO MAYOR AND COUNCIL: OLDE TOWNE MASTER PLAN
Fred Felton, Assistant City Manager, Greg Ossont, Planning and Code Administration Director, and Mark Depoe, Long Range Planning Director, reviewed the Olde Towne Master Plan and asked for recommendations from the committee as to which properties should be retained, redeveloped and which properties are historic in nature. Staff will prepare a separate report with detailed information regarding this review.
There being no further business to come before this meeting of the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned at 11:00 p.m.