Geneva Historic Preservation Commission reviews development concepts, building permits
Geneva Historic Preservation Commission met Tuesday, Feb. 21.
City of Geneva Historic Preservation Commission is located at 22 S 1st St, Geneva.
Here are the minutes as provided by Geneva:
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION MINUTES Geneva Fire Department Lower Level Training Room 200 East Side Drive, Geneva, Illinois
February 21, 2017
1. Call to Order
Chairman Roy called the Historic Preservation Commission meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Geneva Fire Station, Lower Level Training Room, 200 East Side Drive, Geneva, Illinois.
2. Roll Call
Present HPC: Chairman Roy, Commissioners, Hamilton, Hiller, Salomon Zellmer,
Absent: Commissioner Collins, Zinke
Staff Present: Historic Preservation Planner Michael Lambert; Recording Secretary Celeste Weilandt
Others Present: Sean Gallagher, 427 Anderson Blvd., Geneva; Don and Lori Kwasniewski, 316 S. 6th St.; Geneva; Don and Lori Hartman, 322 N. 4th St., Frank Amore, 10 N. Greenwich, Geneva; Mike and Lynn Fehr, 621 South St., Geneva ; Craig A. Shodeen, 621 James St., Geneva
3. Approval of Meeting Minutes – January 17, 2017
Motion by Commissioner Hiller, seconded by Commissioner Zellmer to approve the January 17, 2017 minutes. Motion carried by voice vote of 5-0.
4. Review of Proposed Development Concepts:
A. 22 Campbell Street (Case No. 2016-139). Applicant: Katie & Mark Francis, Owners; Sean Gallagher, Gallagher Architects; Application for Roof Reconstruction. Preservation Planner Lambert recalled this case was before the commission about two moths ago and there were concerns about the reconstruction of the roof. The proposed project was to install a gable front roof over the original ridge line. However, there were commission concerns and the applicant was asked to explore a hipped roof design. Diagrams of the gable roof option were shown as well as the hipped roof version, as requested by the commission.
Mr. Sean Gallagher, with Gallagher Associates, reviewed the hipped roof option, mentioning it recedes somewhat and the height is one foot less than the gable version and the chimney remains but will get slightly taller. He recalled the gable option was the option that came before the commission and it was the option his client preferred, pointing out the gable proposal respected the original roof line. He then presented the hipped roof version, noting how well it also worked. He asked commissioners for their feedback.
Comments from the commissioners were as follows: Hiller said that he could chose either one, stating the hip addresses the gable issue but did not necessarily keep with the character of the house. Zellmer preferred the hipped roof because it had the same character of the original home. Chairman Roy also could go either way but preferred the gable. Salomon could go either way noting the hipped roof looked cleaner. Hamilton also agreed either option could work but noted the gable version almost differentiates itself more from the original home. Mr. Gallagher stated he would convey to his client that the commissioners’ comments were supportive of the gable option but again, he said two commissioners were not present to weigh in.
B. 127 Ford Street (Case No. 2017-00); Applicant: Frank & Stephanie Amore, Owners; Application for Exterior Modifications including Partial Demolition and Additions. Per Lambert this was another small house that was trying to apply for the tax assessment freeze. The home, believed to be constructed around 1854, was a one and one-half story Greek Revival at the corner of Second and Ford Street that was associated with the Julius Alexander family and was with the local Brown family for over 100 years. Mr. Lambert walked through the home’s many changes starting with the earliest Sandborn map and continuing through its remodel in the 1980s. At the time, synthetic siding was on the exterior of the home, all of the windows were replaced with a window insert, and the interior was completely remodeled. Elevations of the home were displayed on the overhead. Mr. Lambert reported that around 1854 to 1869 is when the addition was built.
Proposed is a fairly large addition to the home. Elevations, floor plans, roof plans and site coverage were displayed on the overhead. Lambert reported that the lean-to will have to be underpinned but a portion of it will have to be demolished, along with the garage. Demolition of the garage is a concern for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (“IHPA”). Details of the IHPA’s concerns with the garage were explained by Lambert. Three dimensional drawings of the home were also depicted.
Owner/applicant, Mr. Frank Amore, shared some of his personal history living in the Fox Valley area. He stated his family has basically outgrown his current home in Pepper Valley and upon meeting with city staff, discussed the tax assessment freeze and eventually found the subject home. Mr. Amore plans to rehab and restore the existing home but add the space he needs.
Mr. Gallagher with Gallagher Associates thanked Mr. Lambert for his assistance with the IHPA and the tax freeze process. He proceeded to read the letter he sent to the IHPA explaining the home’s existing conditions and the proposed changes/additions. All new work is proposed to have roof lines that are in keeping with the existing ridge height or are below what is existing. The height of the home is 21 feet 8 inches and, per Gallagher, that height will not be exceeded. Roofing will be laminated dimensional shingles on existing and new wood. The bump-out of the kitchen will be roofed with standing seam metal roofing. New clapboard siding will be smooth finish Hardi-board (horizontal), and Hardi-board and batten installed on second floor addition. All existing residence siding will not be altered, removed, or replaced because it is currently vinyl. All existing windows will not be replaced. To respect the existing home the proposed addition is set back 21 feet 5-1/2 inches from the front of the house and 10 feet 7 inches from the front of the home facing Second Street. Only 14 feet 3 inches of the proposed addition will touch the 36 feet 8 inches of the east elevation. The goal is to have the addition pushed back from the main structure.
Mr. Gallagher proceeded to read the IHPC’s response letter, noting a majority of the concerns pertained to the home’s interior. The only request IHPC had was to remove the door on the west elevation. Mr. Gallagher felt the west door was not the original entry to the home but that it may be required to be kept in place. The owners were fine with that because it would be sealed.
Chairman Roy inquired about the size of the home next-door as compared to what was being proposed. Commissioner Zellmer had no issues with the massing, but was concerned about the kitchen bump-out since it appeared too close to the mass of the existing house and began to compete with it. He suggested to have the scale of that element brought down to be less prominent in the elevation. Mr. Gallagher offered to review different roof treatments or shifting it slightly. Hiller initially thought the proposed size of the home was quite large, but given the size of the lot and the setbacks, said it worked well and was differentiated from the original home; Chairman Roy concurred. Regarding the vinyl section of the home, Mr. Gallagher explained that if it was removed, whatever was underneath would have to be restored. Mr. Lambert filled in additional details on how the state reviewed exterior restorations. Mr. Gallagher confirmed he would try to maintain the tree that was on-site.
C. 322 N. Fourth Street (Case No. 2017-012); Applicant: Don Hartman/Lori Armstrong- Hartman, Owners; Application for Rear Addition with Exterior Siding. Mr. Lambert summarized that the owners would like to add a rear addition to the 1905 home, which will not be seen from the south of the home due to the projecting bay window, however, it will be seen slightly from the driveway. The owners do not wish to remove the aluminum siding. The north wall of the addition will be set back to define the break. Mr. Lambert proceeded to reference the city’s current siding policy and the question was whether they were fine with allowing the owners to use aluminum siding on the rear addition because they were not removing the siding on the main structure.
Owner, Mr. Don Hartman described the offset from the wall would be four to six inches and he stated he would like to use aluminum siding on the addition since it was existing on the home, which would be have an embossed wood grain finish with “double five exposure” to match existing.
Hiller thought it was a reasonable request but questioned its precedence and how it affected the city’s siding policy. However, Mr. Lambert pointed out that the city’s policy “was moot” in this case. Other comments followed that the addition would not really be seen from the road and it was a reasonable request. Lambert supported Hiller’s suggestion that when the case returned and a motion was made, that the motion address the city’s siding policy.
5. Review of Building Permit Applications
A. 316 S. Sixth Street (Case No. 2016-140); Applicant: Don & Lori Kwasniewski, Owners; Application for Exterior Modifications including Partial Demolition and Additions. Staff reported this small house project had been in discussion since November 2016. Current photos of the home were depicted with Mr. Lambert stating the 1840’s home was part of Kastnerville which were five homes owned by the Kastner family (early pioneer family in Geneva). This home was one of the original Kastner buildings but may have been relocated to its current site. The home had been added onto several times. The garage and breezeway were issues for the IHPA. Historical facts of the home followed. The siding was also an issue. Reviewing the south elevation, Mr. Lambert pointed out the rear portion started out as a one-story portion in 1920s and then expanded upwards in the 1940s. Dormers on both sides were added sometime in the 1920s to the 1940s. On the north elevation, a very small dormer was pointed out.
Regarding the breezeway, and for purposes of the tax assessment freeze, Mr. Lambert said the IHPC had asked that the breezeway form be respected from the front of the building and that the small dormers be retained. The owners intend to restore the front door which is an 1880s original door; the center panel will be returned to glass with the doorway moved over closer to its original location. Per Lambert, the siding has been damaged and has been patched in various locations. Termite damage exists on the south elevation affecting structural members and windows. Mr. Lambert reported that the wood windows have been replaced at least once and were in poor condition. The front picture window was added sometime after World War II but the IHPA has indicated that it can be replaced to match the paired windows found on the rest of the home. Photos of the interior were depicted. Continuing, Mr. Lambert reported that an early Dutch door would be retained and an interesting stair balustrade existed which seemed to be made from the home’s original front porch parts.
Proposed elevations included an addition over the garage, the breezeway massing being retained and retaining the general configuration of the garage. Additions/renovations over the years were reviewed as well. Mr. Lambert walked through some of the issues that needed to be addressed by the owners before the project moved forward: the conflict between the drawings and the windows and whether they were to be one over one or two over one and some railing replication. Per Lambert, the IHPA agreed that the original portion of the home could be resided and trimmed in a sympathetic 19th Century style with corner boards, rake boards, etc. and the other details should reflect more of the mid-20th century remodeling from the 1940s/1960s, including the narrow siding exposure on the 19th Century while using a wide 8” inch siding exposure on all of the other portions of the home. The state also wanted a 20th Century garage door.
Owners Don and Lori Kwasniewski addressed the commissioners locating where the new bathroom and master bedroom would be located upstairs. (Mr. Kwasniewski shows his plans to the commissioners.)
Questions/comments from the commissioners included that the proposed garage door would be steel material and include the windows up top. Commissioner Hiller suggested that where the owners were loosing some windows in the master bedroom (at the gable end) that they install some smaller windows, located higher up to provide some light yet keep privacy from the neighbor. Per Lambert, based on the style of the door, stick style porches were reviewed with elements being copied from it and IHPA was fine with it. Commissioner Zellmer, however, questioned whether it could be interpreted as fake history. Mr. Lambert proceeded to share the discussion he had with the IHPC on the ornate front door and the fact that the porch was removable without losing the historical form of the house.
As for the windows, the owners confirmed they would be 2 over 1 panes on the front elevation and sides. The front upstairs windows will be salvaged. Lambert clarified the window openings were original but the window sashes were replaced at least twice. The sashes were being replaced on the upper front elevation, as confirmed by the owners. Siding would be cedar with a six-inch reveal for the entire house, which the IHPA was fine with.
Motion by Commissioner Salomon, seconded by Commissioner Hamilton to recommend approval, as presented and approved by the IHPA. Roll call:
Ayes: Hamilton, Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Roy Nay: None MOTION CARRIED. VOTE: 5-0
B. 621 James Street (Case No. 2017-011); Applicant: Craig A. Shodeen, Tri-City Land Management Company, LLC; Application for Window and Door Replacement. Preservation Planner Lambert recalled this home was discussed prior and was before the commission for a window replacement and door replacement visible from the street. The current windows in the house were all replacement windows except for the front original transom window. The owner was asking to replace it with a more historic looking clad unit with a heavier bottom rail on the lower sash. Windows on the visible side would be replaced with double-hung windows. The rear widows of the home would be replaced with less expensive widows. The rear kitchen window will be replaced with a sympathetic window and the four-panel door will be replaced with a steel painted four-panel door.
Applicant, Mr. Craig Shodeen, stated he would be using the Pella Architectural Series windows on the exposed sides and Pella Pro on the rear. The historic window located on the front facade will be retained, per Mr. Shodeen.
Motion by Commission Hiller, seconded by Commission Hiller to approve the window request, as presented. Roll call:
Ayes: Hamilton, Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Roy Nay: None MOTION CARRIED. VOTE: 5-0
C. 621 South Street (Case No. 2017-013); Applicant: Michael & Lynn Fehr, Owners; Application for Railing Replacement. This case was before the commission in July 2016 regarding a low railing that had to be brought up to code per the building department. Per Lambert, the current rail is rotted and the owner was now requesting approval for a 36” inch composite railing. Mr. Lambert stated the request had changed slightly from what was approved and there was a change in the material and aesthetics which was why the owners were before the commission. Mr. Lambert pointed out the home sits back from the road and had been altered significantly.
Owner, Mr. Mike Fehr, presented a sample of the Trex composite railing material since the current railing has rotted along with the roof which caused the entire replacement of it. The railing will have a six-inch post with simple baluster which he feels will fit the character of the home (sample shown to commissioners). Commissioner Hiller inquired about an ornate railing being depicted in the packet that had an 8-inch diameter, wherein Mr. Fehr confirmed the railings were previously on both sides of the roof (from the 1980s) but said they would now be six inches with the square, straight balusters (not turned balusters). Lambert recalled the HPC’s July discussion was whether the turned balusters were appropriate or not and the consensus was to leave them since they were there. However some commissioners thought a simpler baluster was appropriate, which was what was being proposed. Per a question, Mr. Fehr said an industrial grade roof (no exposed decking) was being proposed.
Commissioner Hiller recalled the commission previously approved and not approved composite material. It was noted there was no sheen to the composite and it was far enough where it would not be seen. Mr. Fehr said he did not plan to paint the posts. Commissioners were fine with the material noting it was far enough away and it was on a second floor.
Motion by Commissioner Zellmer, seconded by Commissioner Salomon to approve the railing project, as presented. Roll call:
Ayes: Hamilton, Hiller, Salomon, Zellmer, Roy Nay: None MOTION CARRIED. VOTE: 5-0
6. Secretary’s Report (Staff Updates)
Lambert reported the survey for the National Register of Historical District was returned to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency by the National Park Service because the surveyor had to address some housekeeping issues which were currently underway. He also reported he was creating the survey forms in-house and which would now include surveying for garages, out- buildings and certain landscape features. Turning to the city’s window policy, Lambert stated he needed direction on spacer bars noting that the term “bronze-colored spacer bars” in the policy will have to be revised to “non-specular and non-deformable spacer bars” because bronze cannot meet energy code requirements for an aluminum spacer. Consensus was met.
Staff continues to work on the permitting process brochures and the update to the HPC’s bylaws. Per Lambert, questions have been raised by the public regarding the Geneva Public Library building in the historic district. He suggested the commissioners visit www.gpldnewbuilding.org to review the library’s plans. He expects the commission to see the plans if the library is approved at the April 4, 2017 election. Commissioner Zellmer commented on some of the limited information he has received regarding the proposed library. Lastly, Lambert reminded the commissioners that this Saturday was the panel discussion on “Our Past and Future Cities,” sponsored by Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley.
7. New Business
A. From the Commission: Chairman Roy observed that the HPC was reviewing many applications requesting the tax freeze assessment and asked whether anyone else at the city was aware of such requests, wherein Mr. Lambert stated he reports the information in his annual report but believes the HPC’s activities are updated to the city administration. He also shared that the state has been very complimentary on how this commission/staff assists applicants with the tax freeze process, where other commissions do not. Mr. Lambert stated there has been significant staff time spent on the small home projects and since garages are now becoming an issue, he is including them in the revised survey. If that was a concern, Chairman Roy suggested that the city administration be made aware of it. In response, Mr. Lambert commented that at last month’s budget meeting the community development director did seek to have the historic preservation planner position returned to full-time due the amount of time spent in reviewing the projects, the historical research involved, and educating the public on the design guidelines.
B. From the Public: None.