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March 13, 2006                                                                                                 5:15 p.m.


I.          CALL TO ORDER


Chairperson Linda Armstrong called the meeting to order at 5:20 p.m.


II.         ROLL CALL


Chairperson Linda Armstrong, John Carr, Susan Goertz, Matt Grundy and Clay Lozier answered roll call.  Jonna Wensel, Preservation Planner, and Jackie Norton, Secretary, represented City Staff.  Several members of the public were present.


Without objection, Chairperson Armstrong moved consideration of the cases on the agenda ahead of the meeting summary review and called the first case.


III.        CASE NO. 06-003D – Consideration of a request by Tom Adams for a certificate of appropriateness for the installation of a metal awning at 131 North Morse, Dougherty Historic District.


Preservation Planner Jonna Wensel reviewed the application for the installation of an awning at 131 North Morse. The structure is a late 19th century Queen Anne style residence characterized by a steeply pitched hipped roof with several cross gables. There is a right bay and some leaded glass; however, all other remaining details are covered by siding. There are two rear additions and the windows are double hung sash windows. Although the structure has been somewhat altered by the siding, the house nonetheless retains its integrity in setting, mass, and association with the rest of the historic neighborhood.


The applicant proposes to install an awning over the paired windows at the back of the house. As the awning meets all standards for review and guidelines, staff recommended approval.


Ms. Armstrong asked the applicant, Mr. Adams if he had comments. Mr. Adams said the family is requesting to install the awning due to a problem with the sun during the morning hours.


Mr. John Carr said he is in agreement with staff for installation of the awning and the awning will hide the upper sashes.


Mr. Clay Lozier moved to approve the certificate of appropriateness, as recommended by staff.  Mr. Carr seconded the motion, which carried 5-0.


IV.        Case No. 06-004D - Consideration of a request by Richard Held and Matthew Wilson for a certificate of appropriateness for a free standing sign at 242 West Franklin Street, Dougherty Historic District.


Ms. Wensel reviewed the application for a new sign at 242 West Franklin Street.  The home at the corner of Franklin and Morse is known as the Ringo-Dougherty-Baird house and is a fine example of a fine Italianate style.


The applicants, Mr. Held and Mr. Wilson propose to install a free standing sign at the corner of the front yard. The sign will be12” high and 24” wide, and will display the name, phone number and website of the bed and breakfast business. The finish of the sign will be matte. It will be made of aluminum, framed in wood and suspended from a wrought iron bracket and post.


The proposed sign is in compliance with the provisions for size and location, and is appropriate. The sign meets the standards for review and guidelines; therefore staff recommended approval of HDRC Case #06-004D.


Mr. Lozier said the sign is very discreet and will be legible only from a short distance.


Ms. Armstrong asked the applicant to include a picture of the wrought iron once it has been designed. Mr. Held, said they are working on the post and at present they know the post will be black; the post and cross beam will be wrought iron and the top beam will include some minor scroll work.


Mr. Carr said he was pleased with the design of the sign and that it is free standing. Mr. Grundy asked the height of the sign and Mr. Held said it will be approximately five feet tall.


Mr. Armstrong asked if there were any other questions or comments. Hearing none she asked for a motion.


Mr. Matt Grundy asked if the pole needed to be approved during this meeting. Ms. Armstrong said the commission could request the information be provided to staff for staff approval or a stipulation could be made to consider the post as a separate submission. Mr. Lozier and Mr. Carr stated they were comfortable with staff making an administrative approval on design of the pole.


Mr. Grundy moved to approve the applications submitted with the stipulation that the post not exceed six feet and approval of the post be made by staff. The motion was seconded by Ms. Susan Goertz and passed unanimously.


V.         Case No. 06-004J - Consideration of a request by the Liberty Christian Church for a certificate of appropriateness for a new retaining wall and canvas awning at 427 East Kansas, Jewell Historic District.


Ms. Wensel reviewed the application, stating the Liberty Christian Church occupies the Victorian Gothic Revival structure on the corner of Kansas and Lincoln Streets and was built around 1907. Constructed of brick, the church features a complex gabled roof, large gothic-arched stained-glass windows, and a two- story steeple oriented over an angled front door. A modern two-story brick addition is connected to the south façade of the church via a two story glass walkway.  The church property spans the large corner lot that spans Kansas to Mill Street, the south half of which is parking.


Ms. Wensel stated this application consists of two parts; part one proposes to replace the low existing retaining wall along the west side of the property. The new wall will be of rusticated stone blocks, to match the foundation of the church building and will be 72-feet long and 3-feet high. The lawn will be back-filled and leveled. Part two of the application proposes to install a welded frame entry canopy with a Sunbrella canvas awning in a color to match the color of the church building. The canopy will be 13-feet deep by 9-feet wide, with a height of 3-feet 8-inches above the door opening. The canopy will be installed at the rear entrance of the church, towards the parking lot to the south.


Staff recommended approval of HDRC CASE No. 06-004J as it meets the standards for review and guidelines.


Ms. Goertz asked if the wall would change the plane of the sidewalk. Mr. Brock said it would not. Mr. Carr said the termination point of the retaining wall will be Lincoln and Kansas with a gradual slope to the sidewalk.


Mr. Carr asked if the block being considered is Pavestone. Mr. Brock said yes. He further commented the stone is made in 6, 12 and 18-inch lengths and will be staggered to duplicate the foundation of the church. Mr. Carr asked if the retaining wall will be a dry stack sloping towards the church. Mr. Carr continued by saying the awning is a very nice addition to the back of the church.


Ms. Armstrong noted for the record that 3 members of the commission are members of the congregation but they have no financial interest in this project or financial gain riding on this vote so they can continue to participate in this process. She then asked for a motion.


Mr. Carr made a motion to accept the application as submitted and Ms. Goertz seconded the motion. The vote was 5 – 0.


VI.        Case No. 06-005J – Consideration of a request by Creative Interiors and Exteriors for a certificate of appropriateness for the installation of a new front porch railing system at 456 East Mississippi, Jewell Historic District.


Ms. Armstrong noted that the applicant, John Carr, will participate in discussion of this application but will not vote.


Ms. Wensel began by stating this residence, known as the Cardinal House, was constructed around 1912 and was originally call the Belleview House. The site is adjacent to the William Jewell College campus and served a variety of functions for the college over the years, most recently as a sorority house. The building was considered for demolition in 2001, but within the past year the residence has gone through a complete renovation and is once again a single family home. The most distinctive feature is a Palladian window over a projecting bay. The wrap around porch is open with square posts and simple capitals.


The applicant, John Carr, proposed to install a new front porch railing system. The porch railing will be 32 inches high at the handrail, which is beveled, and 36 inches high at the newel posts, which will have squared caps. It will be constructed primarily of cedar with pine bed molding. The proposed porch railing is compatible in scale, design and materials with the existing façade and is appropriate. The application meets the standards for review and guidelines; therefore staff recommended approval of HDRC Case No. 06-005J.


Mr. Carr discussed the sample he brought to the meeting explaining it is to scale, however; the materials are not what will be used. He explained surfaced cedar will be used.


Mr. Grundy noted this is an improvement to the residence. Mr. Carr said he could find no evidence of a porch railing in the past but the property owner’s insurance company had asked for one. Ms. Goertz said the handrail complements the style of the house.


Ms. Armstrong asked if there were additional questions from the Commission. Hearing none she asked for a motion. Mr. Lozier moved to approve the application as submitted and Mr. Grundy seconded the motion. The motion carried 4 – 0 – 1 (John Carr abstained).


VII.       P&Z Case No. 06-003SUP [For HDRC Comment Only]


A.         Ms. Armstrong stated the HDRC has been asked to comment on the appropriateness of multi-        family use of the structure at 438 East Franklin Street and will be heard by the Planning and            Zoning Commission on March 14, 2006.


Ms. Wensel began her review of the application stating the applicant, Mike Mundy is proposing to rehabilitate 438 East Franklin to include three residential units with three parking spaces and to construct a three car detached garage behind the primary structure. A special use permit is necessary for any attached single-family dwelling or low density multi-family structures in neighborhoods zoned as Neighborhood Conservation Residential Districts (RNC). The three car garage will require a variance from the accessory structures requirement of the Unified Development Ordinance which allows for a garage of 800 sq. ft. on less than one-half acre. This lot is just under one-half acre and the proposed garage is 988 sq. ft., which is 24% larger than the permitted size.


Ms. Wensel noted the HDRC has commented on two previous P&Z applications regarding this property. The first in 2004 was to construct a three-unit wing to the rear of the property. This was denied by City Council in December 2004; the second in 2005 was for a special use permit to construct a five-unit structure on the property following the demolition of the existing building. This request was tabled by Planning and Zoning in March 2005 and the City Council denied the request to demolish the structure. She further stated the SUP for the structures use as an eight-unit apartment building has expired pursuant to the City’s Sunset Provision. Therefore, the HDRC is asked to comment on the appropriateness of the proposed use as a three-family residence for the Special Use Permit application and on the scale of the garage for the variance request before this case is presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission tomorrow.


Mr. Lozier said he loves the idea of three nice condos in this neighborhood as the current trend is for people to return to college towns for retirement. He also said that the density is less with this proposal than with previous applications.


Ms. Armstrong asked how the neighbors feel about this proposal. Mr. Mike Mundy said in the past the neighbors had objected to more than six units in the structure and if the home were torn down, the neighbors wanted it replaced with a single family structure. He said there was a neighborhood meeting on November 12 and people who were in attendance signed a petition stating they were in agreement with the three-unit proposal.


Ms. Armstrong said there had been opposition to all the parking along the alleyway and provision of the enclosed parking will be attractive to prospective owners of the condos. Mr. Lozier said the garage will allow for guest parking too.


Ms. Goertz asked if the stairway on the rear of the structure is the access to the second and third floor condos and Mr. Mundy said an elevator will be installed. The old stairway will be torn off and replaced.


Mr. Grundy asked how large each condo will be and Mr. Mundy said approximately 1400 sq. ft. Mr. Grundy said this project should attract very good occupants.


Mr. Carr said this structure has never been an asset and this project is long overdue. The three units will work well with the neighborhood.


Mr. Lozier said this project will be the crown jewel of the Historic District. Ms. Armstrong said the project addresses the previous concerns of the neighbors. Ms. Goertz said the garage will eliminate some of the street parking issues.


B.                HDRC Case No. 06-006J – Consideration of a request by Mike Mundy for a certificate of appropriateness for the restoration of the exterior and construction of a new garage at 438 East Franklin, Jewell Historic District.


Ms. Wensel began by stating this large vernacular brick building was constructed as the Liberty Female College in about 1855. It has three stories with a flat-topped, hipped roof. It is rectangular in plan and features regularly spaced, sash-type windows on all three levels and a symmetrical façade with a prominent front door. Stucco cladding was added in the 1930s and the original window openings were reduced in size. The original three-story, full-width wood frame porch was removed from the front façade, and a one-story wood frame addition was constructed at the rear of the building. The building has been multi-family housing for much of its existence, and in 2004 was considered for demolition.


This application contains two proposals. Part 1 proposes to restore the exterior of the building to its original appearance by removing the stucco cladding, replacing the roof and gutters, reconstructing the three-story front porch, and restoring the window and front door openings to their original size. A three-story entry stairway and full-width landings will be constructed of wood on the back of the building.


The exterior will be re-clad with hand-made bricks, which will be similar in color and size to the existing brick veneer. Windows will be double-hung aluminum-clad wood, and fit to the original openings. The roof will be replaced with composition shingles and new gutters. On the west façade, hardieboard siding will replace existing siding on the one-story projection, with a new decorative wood railing surrounding the roof.


The front porches will be Victorian-inspired, taking design elements from the original, with a decorative balustrade of turned spindles and cut-work ornamentation. There will be no railing on the ground floor porch, but a balustrade will enclose the widow’s walk on top of the roof.


Ms. Wensel continued stating part two of the proposal is for construction of a three-car detached garage to the north of the property, facing the alley. The garage will be clad in wood or hardieboard lap siding, trimmed with cedar. The roof will be composition shingles, to match the house. The garage will be 988 square feet, with three bays, facing the alley. It will have a hipped roof, to reflect that on the main house. The drive up to the garage doors, and three paring pads to the garage, will be paved with brick. The proposed garage will complement the setbacks, scale, parking, building and garage orientation of the neighborhood. The garage will not impede any of the surrounding residences. The garage meets the required setbacks for accessory structures and is appropriate.


This application meets the standards for review and guidelines; therefore, staff recommends approval of HDRC Case No. 06-006J.


Mr. Grundy stated he is impressed with the plans for the building and the addition of the garage. This is one of the most impressive applications that he has seen.


Ms. Armstrong said that in scale and scope this will be one of the most dramatic transformations that has occurred in the historic district. There have been some dramatic saves the past ten years but this will surpass anything to date.


Mr. Mundy stated part of the reason for the size of the garage is the storage area at the front of each garage bay.


Mr. Armstrong said the variance request for the garage is warranted because a multi-family structure could not be accommodated as gracefully without the variance.


Mr. Lozier said this does not set precedence for multi-family housing in the historic district because of the uniqueness of the structure and the historic significance.


Mr. Grundy said the square footage of living space will not be matched in the historic district.


Mr. Carr agrees with all previous comments and said the project is long overdue. This is a unique structure and Planning and Zoning should grant the variance for the garage. He then asked about details of the proposed front door. Mr. Mundy said they are not sure of the design at this time. Mr. Vern Drottz, architect, said he is considering a simple door with simple carving in the lower panels and a large window. Mr. Carr asked if the roof balustrade was a simple 2” x 2” and Mr. Drottz said it is. Mr. Carr then asked about the decorative molding on the top of the porch post. He next inquired about the fret work on the porch rail; whether it is spindles or cut work. Mr. Drottz confirmed that it is cut work.


Ms. Armstrong said she thought the Commission could proceed with the information as it has been presented but if there are any changes they could be submitted for the file. Mr. Drottz said after all pricing and materials have been compiled he will submit a final packet for the Commission.


Mr. Lozier asked what the next step would be for the Commission. Ms. Armstrong said a motion should be made on the Certificate of Appropriateness as submitted by staff with the stipulation that design details be provided when available.

Mr. Grundy stated he believed the application should be tabled until all details are submitted. Ms. Armstrong suggested the application could be approved with the stipulation that exterior details will be submitted later. Mr. Drottz asked if the questions from the Commission are about materials that will be used for the front and back porch. Mr. Carr said the specific question is about the fret work on the front porch. Mr. Grundy said it does not make sense to approve something that isn’t complete.


Ms. Armstrong said in past cases like this, the builder has been held accountable to follow what is shown on the blueprint.


Mr. Grundy made a motion to approve the application as submitted with the stipulation that materials be provided as they become available and that the door is approved with the ornamentation as represented in the blueprint. Mr. Lozier seconded the motion which passed 5 – 0.


VIII. Case No. 06-005LS – Consideration of a request by Kevin Graham for a certificate of appropriateness for a sign at 11 East Kansas, Liberty Square Historic District.


Ms. Armstrong noted the sign has been installed and this is an after-the-fact application.


Ms. Wensel began her review of the application by stating this two-story retail building dates from about 1884 and has been occupied by several different businesses including a grocery store, fabric shop, and most recently Sherlock’s Home book store and tearoom. It is now the legal offices of Tim Flook and Kevin Graham. The entrance to this building is recessed and is flanked by large plate glass display windows. A large transom spans the width of the building, and is divided by a grid of muntins. The first and second stories are divided by a metal fascia. The second story features tall arched windows topped with triangular pediments, and a decorative cornice with brackets at the roof line.


The applicant proposed to install a new façade sign on the fascia, replacing the existing sign. The proposed sign is 2 feet high by 16 feet wide and is made of medium density overlay plywood signboard. The sign displays the names of the legal offices “Floor & Graham, P.C.” in block letters and is painted to match the color scheme of the building. The proposed sign conforms to current UDO standards but does not meet Design Guidelines because it obscures an architectural element. There is no appropriate place to install a sign of this size on this building façade without obstructing design elements, except above the second story windows. A perpendicular sign or a window sign would also be appropriate.


Ms. Wensel continued by saying because the sign conforms to UDO standards but does not conform to Design Guidelines, and because the new sign replaces an existing sign that was approved by the HDRC in 2002, it is the position of staff to remain neutral on HDRC Case No. 06-005LS.


Mr. Lozier stated the Commission made a mistake approving the Sherlock’s Home sign and because the Commission made one mistake he does not believe they need to repeat the mistake.


Ms. Armstrong said if she remembered correctly the Sherlock’s Home sign was also presented as an after the fact application. The sign has been purchased and was awaiting installation. Ms. Wensel stated that the records from the previous HDRC meetings were included in the packet and the sign was in place on the previous location of the book store.


Mr. Carr said it was an effort by the Commission to accommodate Mr. Hooper and this was another retail business on the square and the Commission was compromising. Mr. Carr further commented this was an opportunity to correct a poor precedent. Mr. Lozier agreed. Mr. Carr said a smaller sign above the transom windows or a window sign would be the best alternative.


Ms. Goertz said the sign cuts the center line and that she had read the previous minutes. Their argument was that the sign represented the name of a pub in London that was Sherlock’s Home pub, thus the importance. The law firm has no such connection to history. This is a chance to improve the sign.


Mr. Lozier stated if the applicants had presented this sign to the Commission prior to installation of the sign, it would have been denied. Mr. Grundy, Mr.  Carr and Ms. Armstrong concurred. Ms. Armstrong further commented that if the applicant had been in attendance a better solution could have been discussed. She is concerned that some people and businesses think signage on the square can be installed without approval.


Mr. Lozier said occasionally the Commission takes economic hardship into account and he doesn’t think that is an issue in this case. He thinks, pure and simple, it does not meet the Design Guidelines and the application should be denied. The sign should come down and perhaps the Design Subcommittee can work with the applicant for an alternative.


Mr. Grundy said this is a different situation. Sherlock’s Home moved from another location and had an existing sign. The sign for Flook and Graham is a new sign and has not been in another location.


Mr. Carr said this is a great opportunity to make this building even better.


Ms. Armstrong says the policy in the Guidelines states when a non-conforming element is up for replacement the Commission has the opportunity to render a new decision and are not forced to repeat a past mistake.


Mr. Lozier said he believes the Commission should treat this like a new application and make a decision based on the Design Guidelines.


Ms. Armstrong asked if the members of the Commission were comfortable making a decision without the applicant present. The Commissioners agreed that they were.


Mr. Grundy said he was unsure of the Commission’s ability to enforce their decisions. Ms. Armstrong said they could not let that fact determine their decision.


Ms. Armstrong asked for a motion. Mr. Lozier made a motion to deny the application and Mr. Carr seconded the motion. It passed 5 – 0.


IX.        Case No. 06-006LS – Consideration of a request by Lisa Hemphill for a certificate of             appropriateness for the installation of a sign at 5 East Kansas, Liberty Square Historic     District.


Ms. Wensel began her review by stating this Romanesque Revival commercial building has retained much of its historic integrity since its construction in 1895. Bell Hardware operated from this location until the business was purchased in 1902 by Sterling Price Boggess. The Boggess Hardware store closed in 1990, and was replaced by the Hardware Café. The main entrance is recessed between symmetrical display windows, flanked by decorative metal pilasters. The second story features three round arched windows separated by decorative colonettes. The roof line is punctuated by a rectangular pediment and cone finials.


Ms. Wensel said the applicant, Lisa Hemphill, proposes to install a perpendicular sign on the façade of 5 East Kansas for a new women’s clothing store that will open on the second floor of the building. The proposed sign is 48 inches wide by 18 inches high, and features the name of the business “Zabedo” within a stylized logo. The sign will be constructed of urethane foam board and installed on a wrought iron bracket on the metal pilaster to the right of the main entrance. The sign meets to UDO requirements for signs and is appropriate. It will not detract from the building or obstruct any architectural elements. Staff encourages the applicant to take care when installing the bracket to avoid damage to the metal pilaster.


Ms. Wensel noted the application meets the standards for review and guidelines; therefore, staff recommends approval of HDRC Case No. 06-006LS.


Mr. Lozier asked how the sign will be mounted and Ms. Wensel stated it will be mounted on a wrought iron bracket and the metal pilaster that is painted red is indented and the white is in relief. Ms. Wensel commented she would suggest to the applicant that the sign be mounted on one of the red indented areas. It is old metal and that is a concern because drilling holes could cause rusting.


Mr. Carr asked if the area is a tin type metal or cast iron. Ms. Wensel said tin. She also stated there is no other location on the building to place the sign. Mr. Carr asked what is on either side of the tin area. Ms. Wensel said there is nothing; it is recessed to the window frame. Mr. Carr shares staff’s concern about the metal and would like to see bracket that could wrap around the area.


Mr. Grundy asked what part of this building is metal and Ms. Armstrong said the entire area is metal; the red stripes are just indented.


Mr. Carr stated he thought the sign company would be schooled in proper applications. Ms. Wensel said the applicant is using the same sign company as Quotations on Water Street and Roger Burnett’s law office.


Ms. Armstrong asked if the sign could be approved but stipulate the mounting would not be approved. Mr. Grundy suggested the sign be approved and notify the applicant that they have not provided any design for the bracket. Ms. Wensel said the bracket has been approved by the Commission before.


Mr. Lozier said the sign is fine and the brackets are fine the only problem is the mounting. Mr. Grundy said the sign company would either not be given that information or they would ignore it and the damage would be done. He suggested tabling the application and requiring information about the actual way the sign will be mounted.


Mr. Lozier asked if the sign company could meet with the Design Subcommittee to discuss proper installation. The sign could be approved by the Commission at this time.


Ms. Armstrong asked if the Commission would consider approving the sign with the stipulation the applicant meet with staff for approval on mounting of the sign. She then asked if there were additional comments and if not, asked for a motion.


Mr. Grundy made a motion to approve HDRC Case No. 06-006LS as presented by staff, with the stipulation that the mounting of the sign be approved by staff. Mr. Lozier seconded the motion which carried 5 – 0.


X.         Approval of Meeting Summary:           February 13, 2006


Ms. Armstrong asked for a show of hands from everyone in favor of accepting the summary as presented. The vote was 5 – 0


XI.        Miscellaneous matters from the Commission.


Mr. Carr asked why the foundation on Mr. Dobberstine’s new construction on East Kansas is at least six feet above grade. Ms. Wensel stated she has spoken with Mr. Dobberstine at least twice and that it is exactly what was approved. She went on to say that Mr. Dobberstine said once it is back filled and the stairs go on and the brick detailing goes on the basement, it will be fine. She further said Mr. Dobberstine will accept calls from anyone to discuss their concerns. She also said she had asked the building inspectors to check the foundation and it is accurate. One of the reasons for the height is the rear-entry garage.


Mr. Carr asked if the back fill will create a slope from the foundation to the street. Ms. Wensel said no. At this time the foundation is below grade. Mr. Carr said he disagrees. He further commented that it was his understanding the porch would be the same level as the other porch. As he reads the blueprint that was submitted with the application, he doesn’t see that. He said he is trying to trust the integrity of the builder and that everything will be in accordance with what was approved.


Ms. Wensel asked if the Commission would like to invite Mr. Dobberstine back for additional conversation or meet with him on site. Ms. Armstrong asked for an on sight tour to discuss the construction with Mr. Dobberstine.  Ms. Wensel said she would set up a meeting. Mr. Grundy asked that it be scheduled later in the evening or on a weekend. Ms. Wensel asked if 5:30 would be agreeable and Mr. Grundy said 6:00 would be better.


Ms. Wensel asked if any of the Commissioners planned to attend the Commissioner training that is being held in Lee’s Summit, Monday, March 20. Mr. Grundy, Ms. Goertz and Ms. Geilker have previously stated they would attend. Mr. Carr said he would contact Ms. Wensel on Tuesday, March 14.


Ms. Wensel then displayed the certificate that Joann Radetic from the State Historic Preservation office had presented to Liberty. The certificate is for Liberty’s participation in the CLG program for the past twenty years. Everyone was thankful for the certificate.


Ms. Wensel handed out nomination forms for the Preservation Awards that will be presented again this year. The deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m., April 14, 2006.


Ms. Armstrong asked if previous non-award winners were eligible again this year. Mr. Wensel said they are, and that fewer supporting materials would need to be submitted because they are still on file from 2005.


Mr. Grundy asked how many Commissioners are involved in Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. because he has been asked to become a member. There are no Commissioners involved at this time.




The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.