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Historic District Commission Meeting Minutes 06062017

Historic District Commission
Minutes
Landuse Meeting Room
June 6, 2017

Members present: Chair Ken Fowler, (KF) Jason Berger, (JB); Pat Jaouen), (PJ); Mark Smith (MS)
Absent without notification:  Elaine Steinert, (ES); Kameron Spaulding, (KS)
Staff present: Peggy Ammendola, Land Use Clerk, (PA)
AC Enterprise, 64 Walker St., Map 40 Parcel 24, Certificate of Appropriateness for a new sign.

Presenting the application and drawing was Anthony Allegrone.   The one sided sign will be centered between two 4x4 posts.  The lettering will be black, on a white and gray sign, the colors of the building. The posts will be black. The height of the sign will be 4.5 feet and will be placed 10 feet from property line.

JB made a motion to approve the sign as presented.  MS seconded the motion and the Commission voted to approve 4-0.

Blue Spark Capital Advisors, 93 Church St., Map 43 Parcel 186, Certificate of Appropriateness
for a new sign.

Note: Mark Smith, (MS), recused himself as he works with the applicants.

The applicants, Maura Griffin and Joseph Carry, presented their request for two signs for two businesses using the existing post and framing and placing one sign above the other.  The two businesses use the same entrance.  An apartment, not a rental, is in the rear of the building and will be used for clients from NY.  

JB pointed out that the current zoning states that a shared entrance requires that both signs be considered single, which means that the sign may be limited to six square feet.  The proposal shows that the signs are 30” X 17” which would be 7.0833 square feet.   

KF made a motion to approve the sign as presented with changes to overall sign size to be within 6 square feet requirement as per the bylaw. JB seconded the motion and the Commission voted to approve 4-0.

Town of Lenox, Library, 18 Main St., Map 43 Parcel 173, Certificate of Appropriateness for a new sign.

Presenting the application was Amy Lafave and Derrick Holt.

Mr. Holt described in detail how the “stand-off” would work whereby the seasonal hours the library is opened could be displayed and changed twice a year.  He said that the final style differs slightly from the existing sign, but the size, 40” by 35”, is the size of the existing sign.  The material is the same material that was used for the Academy building.  It will be carved, and painted hunter green with white lettering.  It is a simple look which is similar to other signs in the District.  The sign will be attached to existing wrought iron sign, and made from a material which carves like wood but doesn’t expand or contract with temperatures.

MS asked if the HDC could approve this sign as it exceeded the 6 square feet that is allowed.  He noted that the previous applicant was limited to a sign no larger than 6 square feet. JB responded that this sign is an existing sign and as such it falls under “pre-existing, non-conforming” and can be permitted.

JB made a motion to approve the proposal as presented. PJ seconded the motion and the Commission voted to approve 4-0.

Robert Romeo, 27 Church St., Map 43 Parcel 169, Certificate of Appropriateness for a new sign.

Presenting the application was Mr. Romeo who was representing his tenant, Peter Shoeffer, an artist.  The studio is on the 2nd floor in the yellow building in the rear. It is referred to as 29 Church.

The sign will have a smaller “open” or “closed” sign that will be affixed to the sign, not suspended from it.  Mr. Romeo said that he has another artist tenant who will be seeking a sign (hearing is June 20th) for the space on the first floor.  For the sake of looking aesthetically pleasing, Mr. Romeo wants the signs to be in alignment with each other and made the same way.  The signs will not be swinging.   The proposed sign will be wood.  

Following discussion, Mr. Romeo made changes to the sign.  

JB made a motion approve the application with the following changes:
  • Sign will be 2’ X 3’ total with the “open” sign within the body of the sign.
  • Sign will be stationary.
  • Sign will be within 4” of the building.
        PJ seconded the motion and the Commission voted to approve 4-0.

Rebecca Lilley, 33 Main St., Map 43 Parcel 21, Certificate of Appropriateness for a new sign.

Ms. Lilley presented the request for an internally lit sign that would be mounted on the front of the building and a second “parking” sign in the rear.

The building was formerly owned by Austen Riggs and is located at the corner of Main and Sunset.  

The Commission advised Ms. Lilley that that internally lit signs are not allowed in the District, but a light could be placed to illuminate the sign.  Ms. Lilley will determine the best way to light the sign and will file another application.  The sign would have the verbiage 33 Main and underneath there would be “vacancy” or “no vacancy”. The approximate size would be 24” by 31”.  JB reminded the applicant that to be incompliance, the sign could not be larger than 6 square feet.  

The parking sign at the small lot at the rear of the property, accessible via Sunset, was discussed.  JB wanted to be sure that such a sign would be permitted under the Zoning Bylaw.  Ms. Lilley said that Building Inspector told her that the sign would be allowable, but had to be approved by the HDC.  

JB made a motion to approve the application with the following conditions:
  • The front entrance sign, including “vacancy” and “no vacancy” would be no larger than 6 square feet and the “vacancy” and “no vacancy”  lettering will be in place of Annie Selke Luxury Lodging Experience sign currently on the application
  • The parking sign will be located directly behind building.
MS seconded the motion and the Commission voted to approve 4-0.

It was moved and agreed by consensus that the following agenda items be placed on the June 20, 2017 agenda.
        Enforcement and update on previous violations
        Re-organization

Public Hearing-HDC Guidelines-The hearing was opened at 6:15 PM.  Present were HDC property owners Susan Foulds and Paula Almgren. Ms. Almgren said that she had hoped to find a “red line” version of the changes being proposed.  Such a copy was not immediately available, but JB explained that the Commission stated that the purpose of the changes was to clarify the Bylaw which was amended at the Annual Town Meeting in May.  He went on to say that the previous bylaw was vague.

Discussion ensued, and MS read from his notes taken over the period of time the Commissioners met to work on amendments that would give some of the examples of changes.  A particular example was changing from “must be preserved” and changed to “should be preserved”.  This, he pointed out, would be less restrictive. JB pointed out that the changes were mostly “clean up”, not substantial, and not a legal change, i.e., the amendments to the Guidelines are not creating new regulations.   Ms. Almgren and Ms. Foulds were actively involved in the discussion and had no further questions.  

JB made a motion to amend the Lenox Historic District Guidelines by adding the cover page that indicates Historic District Guidelines and includes the pictures discussed; amend the date on page # 1 to June 6 2017; under Historic District bylaw review on page #1, letter “B”,  change to reflect current bylaw that changes not requiring review change to current  Historic District By Law language and then adding at the bottom of the footer on each page “Lenox Historic District Guidelines” and the page number.

JB made a motion approve the guidelines as amended.  KF seconded the motion and the Commission voted to approve 4-0.  

JB thanked everyone for the work Proposed changes to Section B on the Bylaw and Guidelines.  He apologized for not having a completed red-line version. He wanted to do so, but time did not allow. He didn’t want to do it in haste and possibly make a mistake.

Approve Minutes-May 16, 2017-JB made a motion to approve the minutes as amended.   MS seconded the motion and the Commission approved 4-0.

Other Business-
        Overlee-It was noted that a notice had been sent to abutters that a Public Hearing for Overlee Property Holdings, LLC, 65 Church St., Map 43 Parcel 179, Certificate of Appropriateness, remodeling, would be held this evening.  This was in error.  The actual date is June 20, 2017 at 5:45 PM. The applicants have been advised and a corrected notice will be posted. JB made a motion to give public notice of the correct hearing date of June 20, 2017. PJ seconded the motion and the Commission voted to agree 4-0.
        Charles Merritt, 94 Church St.-Mr. Merritt has purchased this property and he wanted clarity on what would require him to have to file with the HDC. He mentioned specific maintenance concerns, in particular replacing some pieces of trim and some support beams. The trim is visible, but the support beams are not.  The Commissioners told Mr. Merritt that if he was replacing something with the same material with no changes is aesthetics, he did not have to come before the HDC for approval.  Additionally he was told that any changes made which were not visible from a public way did not need HDC approval.

MS made a motion to adjourn.  JB seconded the motion and the Commission voted to adjourn at 7:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Peggy Ammendola



 
Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500