Geneva Historic Preservation Commission reviews development concepts
The Geneva Historic Preservation Commission met Sept. 20 to review proposed development concepts.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the commission:
City of Geneva Historic Preservation Commission is located at 22 S 1st St, Geneva
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION MINUTES
109 James Street Geneva, Illinois 60134
September 20, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
1. Call to Order Chairman Roy called to order the September 20, 2016 meeting of the Geneva Historic Preservation Commission at 7:00 p.m.
2. Roll Call Present HPC: Chairman Roy, Commissioners Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Zinke Absent: Commissioners Collins Staff Present: Historic Preservation Planner Michael Lambert Others Present: Al and Lorraine Oshsner, 627 Campbell St.; Art Jackson, 8S606 Marie St., Big Rock; Colin and Glorianne, Campell, 18 S. Sixth St.; Tim Feeney, 516 Campbell St.; Greg Miller, MH Development Group, 120 N. 2nd St.; Jason Talaue, 416 Stevens St.; Josh Burton, 416 Stevens St.; Mike Dixon, 22 N. Third St.
3. Approval of Meeting Minutes – August 16, 2016 Motion by Commissioner Zellmer, seconded by Commissioner Salomon to approve the August 16, 2016 minutes. Motion carried by voice vote of 4-0-1 (Hiller abstains)
4. HPC Review of Proposed Development Concepts A. 202 Campbell Street (Case No. 2016-097); Applicant: Jim Vanderveen; Expansion of Parking Lot; New Screen Walls at Property Corners. (Applicant was not present.) Preservation Planner Lambert reviewed the petitioner’s proposal which is a proposal to provide additional parking in the street yard of the property. As part of the proposal, there will be 15-inch high screen wall (no details provided) to screen the parking. Per the Historic Preservation Ordinance, the HPC is to comment on improvements affecting zoning requests. Commissioner Hiller appreciated the applicant leaving some of the front greenspace. Regarding the fencing being proposed, Mr. Lambert had no information on what material would be used for the 15- inch screen walls. Chairman Roy and commissioners appeared to be fine with the parking but did want to see the details of the screen wall at the next meeting. B. 627 Campbell Street (Case No. 2016-105); Applicant: Al and Lorraine Ochsner, Owners: Application for Proposed Demolition. Mr. Lambert reported that this request was to investigate any concerns the commissioners may have regarding a proposal to demolish the onsite building. Lambert reviewed the history of the site dating it back to the early 1900s. He, along with other local historians believe the home was mid-19th century and probably was relocated from another site to the current location between 1911 and 1916. Many of the lots located in this area at that time were not developed and would have been located along the industrial spur towards Batavia. Other historical facts about the property over the past 50 years were shared, in brief, by Mr. Lambert.
Owners Al and Lorraine Ochsner were present. Mr. Ochsner explained he and his wife were getting older and much maintenance of the house and yard was required by the two of them. The neighborhood was being developed with various townhomes project, which they both viewed as a positive direction for Seventh Street. Mr. Ochsner said that only four single-family homes existed between State Street and South Street along Seventh Street. He described the options that he and his wife were considering: keep the home and sell it as is or sell the property to a contractor to demolish the current home and develop it with townhomes, possibly. He was not sure if the lot could support a townhome development.
Per Mr. Lambert, in discussing this matter with the owners, it was determined that only three units could be constructed on the property, per the options available through the zoning code. Per Commissioner Zellmer’s question about the possibility of rotating the main part of the home on the lot and whether it would still be considered contributing, Mr. Lambert explained it probably would depend on how the remainder of the lot was developed. If 75% of the exterior was exposed, the project may qualify for a tax credit. Also, he stated that since the house was already moved once prior, it would play into the evaluation as to whether or not the relocation was damaging to the historic significance of the property. Mr. Lambert pointed out that the structure’s orientation was visually stronger on the Campbell Street block than on the Seventh Street face. He noted the regular rhythm of street-facing residences on Campbell versus those on Seventh Street.
Commissioner Hiller shared that most of Seventh Street was “townhouse row” already which he believed was due to developers seeing the value of the historic district and constructing on the fringes of the district. Referring to the project on Campbell Street, he recalled that the commissioners kept the main home on the site but the developer constructed around the historic building. He believed that given the constraints by the Secretary of Interior Standards, the Commission would probably deny a demolition permit but said the petitioners could follow-up with the City Council, who could override the HPC’s recommendation. Additionally, he added that the commissioners would want to see the details of any proposed project prior to demolition. Hiller stated that structures were not usually demolished unless under extenuating circumstances.
Mr. Lambert asked the commissioners to consider determining whether the entire building would stay or whether the pre-1945 portions should remain. He suggested a compromise by incorporating the original historic two-story portion but removing the remaining portions, thereby giving the petitioners another option to consider. Commissioner Zellmer mentioned this was why he was interested in seeing if the historic portion of house could be rotated and allow for a more viable lot coverage for another two units. Lambert stated that if the Ochsners were interested in that option, setbacks would have to be considered by the developer and, there was the chance that if the building was rotated, the petitioners would have to sacrifice a non-conforming setback on Seventh Street and would have to develop the site to new setback requirements in accordance with current zoning requirements.
Commissioners appeared to be in agreement to remove the post-1945 structures. Chairman Roy discussed that the commission had seen a number of good solutions to renovating older homes and one option would be to keep the older home and have the ability to add two more units, thereby maximizing the value of the lot. Adding to that, Commissioner Zellmer pointed out to the applicants that keeping the historic structure with any new development probably would make it easier for the project to go through the commission again.
5. HPC Review of Building Permit Applications
A. 217 S. Second Street, (Case No. 2016-095); Applicant: Marcel Demarteau, Owner; Application for Front Porch Modifications. Mr. Lambert reviewed the proposal on the overhead and indicated the terrace looked original to the home. The existing porch wall was concrete and appeared to be failing with the front spalling and cracking. The concrete steps also appeared to be breaking down, etc. Lambert explained that the owner wanted to replace the brick, concrete/ mortar-washed wall in front of the main slab with a stone veneer to update the appearance of the home. Concept sketches were provided. Per Lambert, the basic form was not changing; only the material was changing. He could not find any examples of terraces with stone walls in front of them because none were located in the historic district.
Mr. Arthur Jackson, with Jackson Masonry, was present for the petitioner. Mr. Jackson explained that the deteriorating wall was supporting a floor porch which he envisioned would fail in the near future. He explained how the improvements would be constructed for the new porch. The patio, he confirmed, was fine. Mr. Jackson stated he could repair the steps to a certain point; however, looking to the right of the home where the steps were located, he explained that the wall would be extended out and the stairs fixed because currently it was a “fall risk.” Commissioner Zinke inquired about the height of the wall, wherein Mr. Jackson said the new wall would match the existing height. As to having a railing, Lambert summarized that the code officer would have to review that matter, but he would not support a railing since they were not historically appropriate for this type of house. Commissioner Hiller and the other commissioners preferred the owner to use a brick veneer for the wall versus a stone veneer, since Hiller believed it worked better with the character of the house, and should include a limestone cap. Mr. Jackson would speak to the owners about that detail.
Staff then asked for guidance on a color range for the brick. Commissioners suggested antique or a dark red brick.
Motion by Commissioner Hiller, seconded by Commissioner Zellmer, to accept the proposal for 217 S. Second, as presented, with the following conditions: 1) that the face veneer stone be replaced with veneer brick, 2) that the brick be dark or antique in color, and 3) the cap stone will be limestone. Roll call:
Aye: Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Zinke, Roy Nay: None MOTION PASSED. VOTE: 5-0
B. 522 Fulton Street (Case No. 2016-098); Applicant: Mike Bruno, Owner; Application for Front Walkway Paving Change. Mr. Lambert explained that the owner’s existing flagstone walkway was not original or historic. It was being replaced with a slightly wider brick paver walkway approximately 30” inches in width and would not affect the lot coverage. The owner, Mr. Bruno, was not present.
Mr. Colin Campbell, 18 S Sixth Street, on behalf of the owner, discussed that the owners were replacing a temporary flagstone walkway with a more appropriate walkway that was in keeping with the era of the building. The brick being used was an antique brick which was found on the property and was more appropriate for the home. The owner wanted to move the flagstone walkway closer to the house to allow for more garden space as well as shield the electrical boxes/air conditioner from the street and to extend it under the wood shed.
Commissioner Hiller pointed out that the project could not be seen from the street and, in fact, the bricks being used were dug up from the property and were used on the property at some prior time. Commissioners were fine with the proposed project.
Commissioner Zinke moved, Commissioner Salomon seconded, to approve the walkway project, as presented. Roll call:
Aye: Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Zinke, Roy Nay: None MOTION PASSED. VOTE: 5-0
C. 120 N. Second Street (Case No. 2016-099); Applicant: Greg Miller, MH Development Group, Eric & Amy Allen, Owner; Application for Rear Addition Gable Modifications. Mr. Lambert described this proposal as a combination of two projects, one of which was beyond the purview of this commission – the rear two-story addition – and the modification of some of the gables in the 1931 Tudor-Revival style home. Lambert referenced the modest addition and stated the roof line met all of the design guidelines and the SOI standards. Submitted architectural drawings were referenced, but Mr. Lambert pointed out that as the drawings were being submitted there was a last minute request to alter the gable details from the half timbering shown in the drawings to be a wavy shingle, which he said was found in some Tudor Revivals. Having difficulty locating an example of the wavy shingles, he did state it was common to use wavy edge clapboard material as well. Two examples were shown – one from the Randolph pre-built kit home and one from the blueprints of the Cotswold (phonetic spelling) cottage.
Mr. Lambert indicated he did not know what the original material was under the aluminum siding but said it sounded like the petitioner wanted some direction as to whether or not the wavy shingle siding would be appropriate for the gable. He also stated he did speak to Mr. Miller if he would be open to restoring the original siding if it was in good shape.
Mr. Greg Miller, with MH Development Group, and contractor for the owners, stated it was the second time for the owners to own this home. He noted the siding that would be removed and replaced, which included all of the gables on the house, the east and west gables on the garage, and the gable on the new addition. Mr. Miller was not sure what type of material was under the aluminum siding but said the owners were amenable to seeing what was under it and would restore it if possible.
Chairman Roy believed the commissioners preferred to see the material restored ideally, followed by replacement in kind, or lastly, either replace with a wavy shingle or wavy clapboard.
Mr. Miller briefly explained the siding was a last minute change by the owner who sent him a Pinterest picture with “scalloped” shingles, which the commissioners did not prefer. Lambert tried to explain the difference between wavy shingles and what is found on the East Coast.
Motion by Commissioner Zellmer, seconded by Commissioner Zinke to approve the plans submitted for 120 N. Second Street as drawn, with the gables having three (3) options in order of preference: 1) remove the aluminum siding and restore the existing material; 2) replace the material in kind or 3) either replace with a wavy shingle or wavy clapboard siding. Roll call:
Aye: Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Zinke, Roy Nay: None MOTION PASSED. VOTE: 5-0
D. 416 Stevens Street (Case No. 2016-104); Applicant: Jason Talaue, Legend Exteriors & Construction; Application for Siding Rehabilitation or Replacement. Mr. Lambert reported this home (circa 1900 - 1915) came in to the City with a permit for a roof and a replacement of aluminum siding. The roofing was administratively approved but the commissioners needed to review the siding to comply with the commissioner’s siding policy. Lambert reviewed the options under the policy. Providing some background, Mr. Lambert discussed that the siding was damaged in a hail storm which led to why it was being removed. He felt the home might be a bit earlier than 1915 due to the gables being stripped of siding and it was probably a shingle gable which was closer to 1905 to 1910. Pictures of the home, as of today, followed with Lambert pointing out the rotting siding and water infiltration. The east side of the home had narrow clapboard siding. The aluminum contract installers removed the window trim around most of the windows or either built it out. Additional photos portraying the existing conditions after the siding was removed, followed.
Lambert also explained that some of the original siding was damaged from the removal of the aluminum siding and not necessarily from old damage. Most of the severe damage was noted on the rear (south) elevation of the home, which the commissioners did not regulate. Details followed. Per staff, the non-contributing garage still had aluminum siding intact. Further clapboard rot and water damage on the south side of the home were pointed out in photographs\.
Mr. Lambert reported that when the aluminum rake edge was installed it pierced rake molding at the gable ends, causing some rot and additional damage. He did not know if that was a correctable item or if a new rake would have to be installed. Lastly, he said the applicant had requested to use an LP siding in place of the old siding.
For the owner, Mr. Jason Talaue, with Legend Exteriors & Construction, described that when they originally removed the aluminum siding they wanted to restore the architectural features. However, after discussing the matter among his own staff, it was determined the wood was in an advanced state of deterioration using an asphalt-based underlayment for the siding. Mr. Talaue shared the details on how the siding removal took place, noting that some wood splintering took place as a result of the asphalt being stuck to the aluminum siding during the removal process. Therefore, he felt restoration would be costly but he intended to match existing features of the home including the 3-inch reveal clapboard, using LP Smart Side (smooth side) and replacing the exterior wood features with composite material and matching the profile.
Asked if that would include returning the shingles to the gables, Mr. Talaue wanted to discuss that with the commissioners since he removed the siding but found nothing underneath it. He asked for the commission’s direction regarding that detail.
Discussing the Azek trim board (composite) material, Lambert reminded the Commission that the Commission had approved the use of the material in smaller details but had not allowed it on the front facade of a historic building. (Mr. Talaue provides an Azek trim sample to the commissioners.) Mr. Lambert estimated about 20% or less of the siding on each of the three sides of the house, visible from the public right-of-way, was beyond salvage.
Commissioners appeared to be fine with the applicant using the Azek material as long as the original details were being matched. As for the gable material, Mr. Lambert said given the age of the structure, the gable material could have included saw-tooth or a straight shingle. Should Mr. Talaue receive the approval for the siding replacement, Commissioner Zinke asked whether he would remove the original clapboard before the new siding went up or would he cover the house with the new siding, wherein Mr. Talaue stated it would depend on the lead paint mitigation, which was not factored in. However, he stated he would attempt to remove the wood first so as not to have a rotting substrate underneath and then replace it with the new clapboard.
Costs to side the home, were provided to Commissioner Zinke by Mr. Talaue. When asked what it would cost to paint the house, Lambert and Mr. Talaue agreed it was probably less money to paint the home, but mitigating the lead paint had not been factored in nor some of the labor. Commissioner Zinke stated she would not support the removal of the siding and preferred that the structure be repaired and painted.
While they were reluctant to approve the Azek material, Hiller and Chairman Roy were of the agreement that not much of the original trim remained and for this case they would support using the Azek material. Zinke, elaborated on the positives of the Azek material since the trim on her back porch was made of Azek. Lambert, however, cautioned the commission stating that since the Azek was a PVC material, darker colors tended to make the material expand significantly. He reminded the applicant that the use of Azek would limit color choices made by owners in the future.
Mr. Talaue responded that the owners wanted the home to remain white and as close to the original as possible. The Azek material would be used mainly in the soffit and fascia areas close to the roof line. The window sills and trim would be the LP Smart Side trim package (he distributes sample of the “cedar siding” trim to commissioners). Lambert inquired whether the window sills would be a “picture frame” type or a traditional sill, wherein Mr. Talaue and his supervisor, Josh Burton, believed LP Smart Side (?) did not make a traditional sill and the sills would have to be “emulated through a picture-frame detail” or “through other direction by the commission.” Zellmer discussed some options that could be used because he preferred the sill looking more historically appropriate and did not support “picture-framing” the historic windows.
Mr. Lambert voiced concern about this matter and wanted to ensure that the commissioners were giving good direction and he did not want the commission to agree to several materials and then have Mr. Talaue return to the insurance company with a figure that was beyond the owner’s budget. Mr. Talaue believed the project was meeting budget. Lambert said another option, should the costs increase significantly, and if all of the main trim was salvageable, the contractor could repair/replace, in-kind, the field with the proposed siding and restore the historic trim and trim details.
Mr. Talaue’s supervisor, Josh Burton, came forward and stated that he spoke with the owner, Bridgett Lescher, about what she wanted out of the project. He stated the maintenance of the wood siding would be labor intensive, the LP siding had a life-time warranty, and the profile cold be matched exactly. Around the windows would be the LP Smart Trim. The sills would be picture-frame since there was no example to go from or, he stated, the commission could provide an example which could be replicated. Zinke then asked Josh Burton, the project supervisor, to provide the costs associated with re-siding the house versus repair/painting it. (As an aside, Mr. Lambert clarified that term “restoration” for this project was not accurate since the request was consistent with remodeling and, in fact, was a replication [i.e., creating a new facade to mimic the original structure] and—if approved—the Commission was setting a precedent.) Josh Burton, the project supervisor, also believed that he would probably use the Azek material, in standard profiles, for the missing crown molding/bed moldings.
Referring to the Secretary of Interior Standards, Commissioner Zinke stated that there were issues with Standards 2 and 6.
Motion by Commissioner Zellmer, seconded by Commissioner Salomon to approve the exterior siding replacement proposal for 416 Stevens Street and allow the use of the LP Smart Siding and the removal of the existing wood siding, as presented. Also allowed is the use of the Azek PVC trim for the soffits and fascias. The window trim can be either LP Smart siding material or Azek material with the profiles to be approved by staff. Picture framing the windows will be avoided. In addition, the front and side gable ends are to be shingled with a historically appropriate period style. Corner boards are to be Azek or LP Smart siding. Roll call:
Aye: Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Roy Nay: Zinke MOTION CARRIED. VOTE 4-1
6. Secretary’s Report/Staff Update
Mr. Lambert apologized for accidentally leaving off a concept review (proposed renovation) for 22 N. Third Street. The applicant is proposing to purchase the building which will include two tenants. Renovations will include a large expanse of glass along Third Street as well as on the south elevation with a contemporary look to it. Lambert explained that this building was coming before the commissioners because in the 1999 survey it was listed as a non-contributing building due to it not meeting the age criteria; however, in the updated National Register District, the building came back as a contributing building because it did meet the age criteria and not necessarily for the architecture. The proposal will include a redesign of the parking lot. Elevations from the northeast and south facades were shown with Lambert stating the petitioner was preserving the five square windows of the original building. Mr. Lambert summarized that the question before the commissioners was whether the architecture was significant enough that it should be respected in greater detail to what was being proposed or was the building not that significant of a building architecturally.
Petitioner, Mr. Mike Dixon, clarified that two business will exist in the building – the Nosh Restaurant and a hair salon. He elaborated on the extensive work that would take place inside and outside the building and believed the proposal would anchor the northern part of the downtown very well and the area overall. The rear half of the building will be expanded to match more of the eastern half and a 1200 sq. foot garage will be removed. Originally, Mr. Dixon said there was a home on the site with the garage, but then the house was razed and the garage remained. A commercial space was added on top of that. Mr. Dixon discussed that some of the front parking spaces located on the southeast corner of the site will be removed to allow for an outdoor seating area -- one that is fully open and another, towards the rear, where the windows can be opened during three seasons. The parking will be reconfigured.
Positive comments followed by the commissioners. Mr. Dixon stated the material on the base of the building will be the same as the building, but with a painted brick. Because the budget is tight, he said the focus is to reuse what is there. There will be some panels added on the east facade with the focus on Third Street. Mr. Dixon shared the quick timeline for the project and hoped to return with plans in a few weeks. Commissioners had no concerns.
Returning to his staff report, Mr. Lambert confirmed he received two Open Meetings Act compliance certificates. This year he processed 106 permits as compared to last year’s 96 permits. He has begun contacting people regarding the October 17th presentation of the preservation awards in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Preservation Act. Next week he will begin the field work to update the survey work that was not completed on the National Register. Lambert also expects the commission’s first landmark designation will occur next month, along with a demolition request. Brief updates followed on the courthouse improvements which improvements, he said, appeared to be running behind schedule.
A. From the Commission – None
B. From the Public – None
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m. on motion by Commissioner Zellmer seconded by Commissioner Salomon. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote of 5-0.
Organizations in this Story
22 S 1st St
Geneva, IL - 60134