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Historic Pres Comm Minutes 2009-05-19
City of Gardiner
Historic Preservation Commission

6 Church Street                                                 Phone:  207 582-6892
Gardiner, Maine 04345                                           Fax:      207 582-6895

Regular Meeting
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 @ 6:00pm
City Hall, Council Chambers

Present:                Clarence McKay, Chair   Kirk Mohney     Geri Robbins-Doyle      
                        Jean Parkin-Clunie              Paula Murphy    Gail Ham        
Also Present:   David Cichowski, Code Enforcement Officer
Dorothy Morang – Recording Secretary

                        Judy Lloyd              Hollis R. Curtis                Roger Beck

  • Call Meeting to Order
Chair Clarence McKay called the meeting to order at 6:00pm

  • Roll Call
  • Approval of April 21, 2009 Meeting Minutes
Jean and Kirk noted that their names were misspelled throughout the minutes.  Kirk also noted that in item #5, next to the last sentence in the next to the last paragraph, it should read: painted to match the wood surrounding the door.

Geri Doyle made a first motion to approve the minutes, Jean seconded the motion.  
Vote:  5 in favor. 0 opposed. 1 abstained (Gail Ham was not at that meeting).  Motion passed.
4.)     Consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness Application from Johnson Hall, Inc, Judy Lloyd, Executive Director, Applicant
        Proposal: to remove ramp and doorway, restore/repair masonry/joints and remove white paint.
Location:  280 Water St, City Tax Map 34, Lot 110, Central Business/Historic Zoning District
Land Use Ordinance Reference: Section 9, Article F

Chair McKay read the item to be reviewed.  He asked the Applicant, Judy Lloyd, to give an overview of the project.  

Judy introduced herself and Hollis R. Curtis from Stoneage Masonry, Inc., who will be doing the work.  Judy said that they plan to remove the ramp on the side of the building that was put there in the 1970’s and repair the hole in the wall to its original historical look.  Hollis will repair the masonry joints and loose bricks and remove the white paint.

Hollis said that the repair of the masonry meets the National Park Standards standards for both the profile of the joints and the color of the mortar.  

Geri asked what will be used to take off the paint.  Hollis said that a high pressure washer had been used previously and that is what caused some of the damage to the bricks.  He will try to do it manually.  

Kirk asked if there will be much repointing.  Hollis said mostly where the pressure washing did the damage.  Kirk asked if it will be the same process as on the back wall.  Hollis said that he will do samples of the mortar before he does the repair to ensure it matches.  Mike Johnson from the State Historic Preservation Commission oversaw the previous work and will do so again.

Kirk asked if they plan to infill some of the windows.  Judy said that they will not be addressing the second floor windows now.  Hollis said that some of the windows look original and some have wooden headers instead of granite, which looks to him like they were cut in after the building was built.    Kirk asked if the four windows in the upper group will be retained and rebuilt.  Judy said it depends whether or not they put an addition on the side of the building, if they don’t do the addition, the windows will be restored.  Jean suggested that it might be better to wait to decide what to do with the bottom windows until they know what they are doing with the upper ones – to ensure balance.  Paula asked about the addition.  Judy said that the master plan includes an addition.  Paula said since the addition isn’t being addressed at this time, the windows wouldn’t need to be either.  Judy agreed.

David asked if the Commission members might have some advice for something better looking than plywood to fit into the windows to better insulate them for now so the openings could be retained.  Kirk suggested a trompe l’oeil to give the illusion of a window where the plywood is.  Gail asked if the two back windows were half bricked.  Judy said yes.

Kirk Mohney made a motion to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness as presented.  Gail Ham seconded the motion.
Vote:  6 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.

5.)     Consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness Application from A-1 To Go, Roger Beck, Applicant
        Proposal: to install kitchen hood vent for stove with vent exiting out window in back of building
Location:  385 Water St, City Tax Map 37, Lot 108, Central Business/Historic Zoning District
Land Use Ordinance Reference: Section 9, Article F

Roger Beck, owner of the A1 to Go business explained that the vent that he is seeking approval for has already been installed.  He felt that there was some miscommunication and said that he didn’t know that he had to come before this Commission for the vent.  He had been directed to the State for specifications and for their approval, which he has received.

Roger said that the vent pipe does not touch the building at all.  The exhaust vent goes out the window and upwards toward the roof where it attaches.  The hood is inside the building.  He said that the vent pipe cannot be seen from Water St or Bridge St.  It can be seen from the back of the building and, if coming from Water St to Bridge St, it can be seen a little – the telephone pole hides most of it.

Kirk Mohney asked if the vent was stainless steel.  Roger said yes – Maine law requires it be stainless steel so it won’t weather.  Roger said he placed it this way so not to cut into any brick.  The fan is at the top of the vent to pull heat up and out.  Geri asked if he could have used a mushroom vent like the one at the bakery.  Roger said no.  Gail said that not only did he go out through the back of the building, but he is correct in saying that you don’t see it at the light or going down Water St.  She also noted that there is already a lot going on back there as far as distraction.  Geri said that she goes by there every day and has not seen the vent.  Clarence asked the size of the vent.  Roger said it is 18”.  Jean suggested that by coming out of the window, it isn’t permanent if the business changes.  Roger said that it was very expensive to purchase.  By being portable, if he moved, he could take it.

Geri asked, for the sake of other new business owners, was there something they could have done better to help prevent the miscommunication. She said she hopes we’re doing a good job in telling people that this is a historic district before they buy.  They want businesses to succeed.

Roger explained that he had talked with a number of people, including the then Fire Chief, Mark Kimball about the requirements before he decided on buying the business.  He was told he had to go to the State and he did it.  He thought everything was taken care of.  Nothing was bypassed intentionally.

Roger said that he looked at a number of areas to buy a business before choosing Gardiner.  Some of the areas he looked at were in Virginia, Brunswick, and Bangor.  The biggest reason he bought this business was the location – people are starting to do things here – the City has got it together.  He feels he can add to the Community.  It says a lot for the people in Gardiner.

Geri Robbins-Doyle made a motion that we approve the installed stove vent and conduit on the rear of the building.  Jean Parkin-Clunie seconded the motion.
Vote: 6 in favor. 0 opposed.  Motion passed.


David Cichowski, the CEO shared information about a situation that is currently happening in the Historic District at the corner of Water St and Church St, occupied by Farris Law.  Earlier in the week David noticed that a work crew was knocking down a chimney on the building and it appeared that another one had been demolished.  He intervened and asked the work crew to stop.  He contacted their supervisor and advised him of the requirement to bring this to the Historic Preservation Commission for approval before altering the building.  The building is owned by Aspire Corp.  The supervisor indicated that Attorney Farris told them to do this and gave his approval.  He said the chimneys are not safe – they have been losing bricks that have landed on their patio area.  They plan to take down both chimneys to about two feet above the roof and cap them to match the roof.

The Commission discussed the process at this point.  Clarence noted that this is not the first time that Mr. Farris has done something without approval from the Historic Preservation Commission.  Kirk said they would have to have proof that the chimneys are not safe.  David said he took pictures and it would appear, if they are not safe, the work crew would not be leaning a ladder up against the chimneys and pounding away at the bricks with a sledge hammer.

Geri noted that they could have a neutral mason go up on the roof and give a report as to the condition of the chimneys.

Kirk said we need to try to get them to comply.  It was suggested that David contact the owner and give him the appropriate application.  This should be put on the agenda for the next meeting, whether or not they submit an application.  David should document what he has done so far, including dates and times and continue to do so through the process.

Geri said that they are new downtown business owners and might not have known the process.  Paula said that this is important to follow through on for consistency.  

6.)     Adjourn
Geri Robbins-Doyle made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Gail Ham seconded the motion.  
Vote:  6 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 7:21 PM

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