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LIBERTY HISTORIC DISTRICT REVIEW COMMISSION

MEETING SUMMARY

 

March 12, 2007                                                                                              5:30 p.m.

 

 

I.                    Call to Order

 

Chairman Matt Grundy called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

 

II.                  Roll Call

 

Matt Grundy, Clay Lozier; John Carr; Susan Goertz; Neita Geilker; and Amy Howard answered roll call. Jonna Wensel, Preservation Planner and Jackie Norton, Administrative Assistant, represented staff.

 

III.        HDRC Case No. 07-006LS: Consideration of a request by Tracy Ayala for a certificate of appropriateness for a new sign at 5 East Kansas Street,          Liberty Square Historic District.

 

Ms. Wensel said the old Hardware Café building at 5 East Kansas was built in 1895 and is one of the oldest and best preserved commercial buildings in Liberty. It is an excellent example of the Richardson Romanesque style, with its heavy rounded arches and pilasters dominating the second floor. The street level retail store front is in near original condition, with its recessed entry and full-height display windows. It was best known as the Boggess Hardware Store building until 1990, when it was sold and reopened as the Hardware Café. It is soon to be re-opened as Los Compas Mexican Restaurant.

 

The applicant proposes to replace the existing sign with a new sign. The sign will be 13 ½ inches high by 10 feet long and made of metal sign material. The lettering will be digitally transferred. The sign will be installed on the signboard, in the same location as the existing sign. The sign meets the standards for size and placement. It will not be lighted. The new sign will not obstruct or disguise any significant façade elements.

 

The sign that was initially proposed reads “Los Compas” in block lettering, with “Mexican Restaurant” in italics and the restaurant’s logo on both ends of the sign. It was the opinion of staff that the proposed design did not fit the scale or proportion of the signboard. It does not necessarily complement the style or color of the building, nor is it in keeping with the historic character of the building. Staff asked the applicant if she would be willing to consider some alternatives that would make better use of the space on the signboard. Ms. Ayala submitted four possible alternatives.

 

The application meets the UDO standards for signs and staff would recommend approval of one of the alternative signs such as No. 1 or No. 2 as illustrated here. Staff would recommend the logo be applied to the inside of the display window.

 

Chairman Grundy asked if there were questions of staff.

 

Ms. Geilker asked if the present sign would be removed and the new one placed in the same area. Ms. Wensel said it would.

 

Mr. John Carr said he thought either No. 1 or No. 2 would work well and Ms. Geilker agreed with Mr. Carr. She also said she thought the words “Mexican Restaurant” would be more readable if it were not done in all upper case lettering.

 

Chairman Grundy said his preference is example No. 2

 

Mr. Clay Lozier arrived.

 

Mr. Lozier apologized for being late and asked if the examples of the sign being displayed were the result of the applicant working with the sign company, and Ms. Wensel said they were.

 

Ms. Geilker asked the applicant’s representative, Mr. Ruben Angel, if Ms. Ayala was comfortable with using either No. 1 or No. 2 and he said they were.

 

Ms. Wensel stated example No. 2 would more closely reflect the existing sign considering the block text.

 

Chairman Grundy asked if there were additional questions or comments and hearing none asked for a motion.

 

Mr. Carr made a motion to approve HDRC Case No. 07-006LS as amended, indicating No.2 as the preferred sign, and Ms. Goertz seconded the motion. The vote was 6 – 0 in favor of the motion.

 

IV.        HDRC Case No. 07-003PH – Consideration of a request by Jeff Knold for a certificate of appropriateness for the exterior rehabilitation of 124 South Terrace Avenue, Prospect Heights Historic District.

 

Ms. Wensel reviewed the application by stating the two story duplex at 124 South Terrace was built in 1924 and shows an eclectic and bold use of styles, such as Dutch Colonial Revival, in the modified side gambrel roof and dormers, and six-over-one windows; and a Craftsman style porch, with a stone foundation and massive square columns. Currently, there are two front doors, appropriate for the multi-family use. The house has been severely neglected in recent years, and suffers from advanced deterioration of some exterior elements, such as the roof, soffits, and some windows.

 

The applicant proposes to rehabilitate the structure as a single family home. The substantial alterations will be:

 

1.      Replacement of the two existing front doors with a single wood door with sidelights, at the top of the front stairs;

2.      Installation of paired windows in place of the existing front door (on the left side of the front facade);

3.      Replacement of three front dormer windows with six-over-one double-sash windows;

4.      Removal of the center window on the second story bay of the north façade to allow for the construction of an interior wall.

5.      Possible removal, or reconfiguration, of the paired windows on the second story of the south façade to allow for the installation of a bath/shower. 

6.      Possible removal, or reconfiguration, of the single window on the ground floor of the south façade to allow for the installation a bath/shower.

7.      Repairs to the stucco will be in-kind;

8.      Repairs and replacement of the window and door casings will be made in-kind; 

9.      The chain-link fence will be removed and replaced with a 4 foot wood picket fence in the same footprint as the existing fence (subject to consent of abutting property owners).

 

Mr. Knold indicated that he had changed his plans regarding item number 5, and that the paired windows on the second floor of the south façade would remain. Ms. Wensel said that item would be stricken from the application.

 

Ms. Wensel, continued, stating the replacement windows will be Pella double-hung wood replacements to match the existing six-over-one windows. The two existing front doors will be removed, and a new front door with sidelights will be installed at the top of the front steps. The door is wood, with a three-light arch at the top and vertical panels below. The sidelights are full view.

 

Only those windows that are no longer serviceable will be replaced. The windows are wood and will fit into the existing openings. Replacement windows will match existing windows in the six-over-one configuration. It is the opinion of staff that the window on the north side of the second story could be removed in a sensitive manner if the horizontal belt course and the proportion of the openings are maintained.

 

The front doors will be moved to allow for a single front door. The two existing front doors will be repurposed elsewhere in the house. The replacement door and sidelights complement the Colonial Revival / Craftsman influences apparent in this house and are appropriate.

 

The proposed fence meets the UDO standards for fences in height and materials, and would be appropriate. Final approval of a front yard fence will be subject to written consent of neighboring property owners.

 

The application meets the standards for review and guidelines; therefore staff recommends approval of HDRC case #07-003PH.

 

Mr. Knold said one of the things he wants to do is to replace the window at the top of the stairs with one that matches the small window at the bottom of the stairs. This would result in a small window on both floors.

 

Mr. Carr complimented Ms. Wensel on showing what the one missing window would look like but no elevation drawings have been included in the packet and he is having difficulty determining all the changes the applicant is proposing.

 

Mr. Knold said that the other windows on the second story are fairly small and asked what Mr. Carr would think if all three windows were removed and replaced with windows that are similar in size to the other second story windows. Mr. Knold said a wall is to be installed at the top of the stairs, but he might be able to add three smaller windows.

 

Mr. Carr said he is having a very difficult time with the proposed changes without scaled drawings. He said Ms. Wensel has done a nice job of trying to help out with the photos. Mr. Carr also said he has the same issue with the front. He is looking at the floor plan and it doesn’t really correlate with what the applicant is going to do. He said it does not appear to be to scale.

 

Mr. Knold said the floor plan is accurate, although he does not claim to be an architect. Mr. Knold continued by saying he can see where elevation drawings would be helpful. Mr. Carr said, as he recalls, scaled elevation drawings are a requirement so that everything is clear.

 

Mr. Knold asked when the next meeting of the commission would be and Ms. Wensel said in two weeks.

 

Mr. Carr said that this renovation is long overdue and having been a resident next door for a number of years and had to watch the demise of the house, he is glad to see Mr. Knold take this project on. Mr. Carr said his last comment would be on the fence. Whereas a 4-foot fence is acceptable by UDO standards, he questions if it is a good application on this property for two reasons:

 

1.      A 4-foot fence is too high visually and takes away from the grandeur of the structure.

2.      The location of the fence, if it is located where the existing chain link fence is, it would not have the openness of the current fence. It would be a tremendous disservice to the upgrades the applicant is making.

 

Mr. Lozier said he agreed with Mr. Carr’s statements.

 

Mr. Knold said the justification for the fence is that there is no backyard on the property. He said he wanted to proceed as soon as possible with the front door.

 

Chairman Grundy asked if the commission wanted to table the application until scaled elevation drawings were submitted.

 

Ms. Geilker made a motion to split the application and Ms. Goertz seconded the motion. The motion carried with a 6 – 0 vote.

 

Mr. Carr moved to accept #3, #7 and #8 of the application. Mr. Lozier seconded the motion which carried with a 6 – 0 vote.

 

Chairman Grundy asked for a motion to table the remaining items on the application.

 

Ms. Goertz made a motion to table the remaining items until scaled drawings are submitted of the remaining changes and Mr. Carr seconded the motion. The motion carried with a 6 – 0 vote.

 

Mr. Knold asked how accurate the commission wanted the drawings and Ms. Wensel suggested that the Design Subcommittee could meet on site to review the drawings and make additional comments. Mr. Knold said he would call Ms. Wensel when he has the drawings.

 

 

V.         HDRC Case No. 07-004PH – Consideration of a request by Vern Drottz for a certificate of appropriateness for the exterior rehabilitation of 38 South Terrace Avenue, Prospect Heights Historic District.

 

Ms. Wensel began by stating this large two-story Free Classic Victorian sits at a prominent location at the corner of Sunset and Terrace Avenues. There is an alley to the west and a detached two-car garage. The house features a wrap-around porch with classical porch columns, two second-story porches, a bay window, and one-over-one windows. This house was not included in the original resources survey of the district, but it was probably built around the turn of the 20th century, when most Queen Anne style homes were built.

 

The applicant proposes to rehabilitate the house by:

 

·       replacing the roof with architectural style shingles, and new “K” style seamless hanging gutters;

·       removing the second story sunroom on the southwest corner;

·       replacing five windows on the south and west elevations with aluminum clad wood double hung windows to match the existing windows;

·        installing new porch railings around the two new second-story porches;

·       realigning the existing ground floor door and window on the west elevation with the existing windows above;

·       installing new aluminum clad wood double doors on the west elevation

·       replacing the garage doors (2) with steel clad painted overhead garage doors

 

The replacement lap siding will be cedar or fiber cement siding (such as Hardie board); the repairs to the porch floor will be pine, to match the existing; and cedar lattice will be installed around the foundation of the front porch. The existing porch railing will be repaired, where necessary. The proposed upper porch railings will be 28” high at the top rail, and 31” high at the newel posts. The top rail will measure 1 ½” by 7 ½” and the spindles will be 2 ¼” square.

 

The alterations to this property will be to restore the structure to a more original appearance. All significant exterior elements will be preserved.

 

The enclosed sun porch on the southwest corner appears to be a more recent addition, and does not appear to contribute historically or stylistically to the structure; therefore its removal would be appropriate.

 

Only windows that cannot be restored will be replaced. New windows are to be installed to add symmetry and balance to the building’s fenestration. New door openings will be aligned with other openings. All of the doors and windows to be moved or added are located in later additions, and are not original to the house.

 

Replacement windows will match the existing windows. The windows are aluminum clad wood and will fit into the existing windows in size and proportion, and are appropriate.

 

The application meets the standards for review and guidelines; therefore staff recommends approval of HDRC case #07-004PH.

 

Chairman Grundy asked if there were questions or comments for the applicant.

 

Ms. Goertz asked if all of the siding was to be replaced. Mr. Vern Drottz, the applicant, said no just replaced as needed.

 

Mr. Drottz indicated the atrium door will have one side fixed and one side will be operable, but it will look just like a double door.

 

Ms. Goertz asked if the corner post on the second story porch is going to dead-end into the window. Mr. Drottz said it actually will stop by the column.

 

Mr. Drottz showed a piece of trim work they found in the attic that they think was part of the original trim. They are planning to do research to find out how it was used.

 

Mr. Carr noted the application includes replacement garage doors but the doors have not been selected. He asked if the application should be split until the commission can see what they will look like. Mr. Carr asked if there was a sense of urgency to replace the garage doors within the next couple of weeks like the last applicant, and Mr. Drottz said there was not. Mr. Carr then suggested removing the garage doors from this application and having a new application submitted at a later date for their consideration.

 

Chairman Grundy asked for a motion.

 

Mr. Carr made a motion to accept the application as submitted with the exception of the garage doors and Mr. Lozier seconded the motion. The motion carried 6 – 0.

 

VI.        P&Z Case No. 07-010FP: [For HDRC Comment Only] A lot split has been requested for the property at 415 Wilson Street, in the Jewell Historic District. As this request will be heard by the Planning and Zoning            Commission on April 10, 2007, the HDRC is asked comment on its appropriateness.

 

Ms. Wensel said this case is for HDRC comment only. A lot split has been requested for the property at 415 Wilson Street, in the Jewell Historic District. The case will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, April 10 and the HDRC has been asked for comments.

 

Chairman Grundy asked if there were questions or comments.

 

Mr. Lozier said the lot split is a great idea. In-fill in the historic districts is very appropriate and this is such a prominent lot that hopefully something could be built to compliment this district. Mr. Carr said he agreed with Mr. Lozier and that splitting the lot is the way to make the house located at 415 Wilson cost efficient.

 

Chairman Grundy said he agreed, and Ms. Goertz said she thought another house being built would help 415 Wilson settle more into the streetscape. Ms. Geilker said they all agree the lot split is appropriate.

 

VII.       Request for Design Review: Consideration of a request by Richard Held and Matthew Wilson for design review of a replacement porch at 242 West Franklin Street, Dougherty Historic District.

 

Ms. Wensel said Richard Held and Matthew Wilson along with Dobbe Dobberstine are here for feedback on their ideas for the reconstruction of the front porch at 242 West Franklin Street.

 

Mr. Held said they have been working with Mr. Dobberstine on this project, and they wanted to share ideas with the commission and to get their comments.

 

Mr. Dobberstine said that they have old pictures that show a porch that was once part of this home, but that porch was more ornate than Mr. Held and Mr. Wilson have in mind. They would like to do something more simplistic that would look better with this style of house.

 

Mr. Dobberstine said they would begin by adding a front porch across the front entry.

Mr. Dobberstine said he and Mr. Held and Mr. Wilson want to use simple posts and a simple design; however, they have found some of the original wrought iron from the porch in the basement. This wrought iron could be used as part of the porch. He said Mr. Held, Mr. Wilson, and he are looking for guidance from the commission so they can take those ideas and estimate the costs before proceeding with plans.

 

Ms. Wensel asked if they were planning on only doing the porch across part of the house at this time or the entire front. Mr. Held said they would start with the entry porch and continue across the front as funds permit.

 

Mr. Dobberstine said the porch would be approximately 10 feet wide. They are not sure what material will be used. They are considering wood or some of the HB&G products. Mr. Carr said the products are good and he wouldn’t hesitate using them.

 

Mr. Dobberstine asked what the commission thought of the porch that is depicted in the photo. He doesn’t think this porch really goes with the house. Mr. Held said this picture is the earliest photo on record and it is the second porch to be part of the home.

 

Mr. Held said that after talking with Mr. Dobberstine, they would like the porch to be squarer and simpler than the one shown in the picture.

 

Mr. Carr said he rebuilt a porch in the 1980’s in Weston, Missouri. He said it was very simple. It was brick half columns, turned wood posts with a Corinthian capital. He suggested Mr. Dobberstine, Mr. Held and Mr. Wilson drive to Weston to look at porches in that area.

 

Ms. Goertz said she thought a simple porch, using eave brackets that matched those on the house, would be appropriate. Mr. Dobberstine said that matching eave brackets would be hard to find because they are more ornate than they appear to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIII.      Approval of Meeting Summary:      February 26, 2007

 

Ms. Goertz moved to accept the meeting summary as submitted and Mr. Lozier

seconded the motion which carried with a 5 – 0 – 1 vote. (Matt Grundy abstained, due to absence.)

 

IX.        Other Business

 

Mr. Carr asked if Ms. Wensel had any information about the shed that is being constructed by Mr. Doug Wilson. Ms. Wensel said she had not, but she would follow up.

 

Chairman Grundy asked about the comment in the minutes regarding the roof replacement on William Jewell College property that did not have a certificate of appropriateness. He asked Ms. Wensel to send a letter to the college about the necessary procedures required prior to work in the historic districts.

 

Mr. Lozier asked if 48” front yard fences are allowed in the districts. Ms. Wensel said they are allowed under the UDO, so staff cannot disallow front yard fences.

 

Chairman Grundy said the only way around the fence dilemma is to change the UDO and the commission does not have that authority. Ms. Wensel said the only thing the commission can do is treat each application separately. Chairman Grundy asked if the commission could deny a fence if they don’t think it is compatible. Ms. Wensel said they could, if it does not meet the Design Guidelines.

 

X.         Adjournment

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.