Present: Members Robert Dean, Ted Ogonek, Anda Cumings and Alternates Jean Taylor, Sherry Karraker
Also present: Consultants Charley Couch, Stuart Reeve, property owner Ed Kilian
Chairman Rob Dean called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.
I. Approval of Minutes
A. On a motion by Ted Ogonek and seconded by Anda Cumings, the Minutes of the Meeting of January 23, 2014 are accepted unanimously.
B. On a motion by Anda Cumings and seconded by Ted Ogonek, the Minutes of the Site Walk of January 26, 2014 are accepted unanimously.
II. Discussion of Demolition Applications
A. 163 Umpawaug Road Barn
Consultant Stuart Reeve submitted a report for this property to the Committee via email, and has been studied by Committee members prior to the meeting. Consultant Charley Couch submits his report at this meeting. The Chairman provides time for Members to read his submission before continuing the discussion of the property. The Chairman then requests that Stuart Reeve present the highlights and conclusion of his report for the record to the Committee. Mr. Reeve describes the property, and provides various details concerning its historic significance. He states that in his professional opinion the barn is a historically sensitive structure associated with a historically sensitive lot. The Chairman invites Consultant Charley Couch to present the highlights of his report. Mr. Couch provides additional details of the barn’s history. The structure was built by former Redding Selectman, state senator and state representative Cortes Marchant circa 1850. Charley feels he needs more time to study what he feels is a strong historical significance of this barn and its former owner.
Applicant/owner Ed Kilian then speaks to what his plans are for the property and the purpose of demolishing it. He is an expert in rehabilitation of older buildings, and wishes to reconstruct the barn using some of the reclaimed materials from the original. He has not been able to insure the barn in its current state. He has looked into a grant for its restoration, but the funds available through that avenue are inadequate.
Committee Members continue the discussion, bringing up various questions, issues and concerns. Ted Ogonek expresses concern about delaying the demolition of the structure, citing what he sees as potential Zoning problems and other disadvantages to delay. He also objects to the length and depth of the consultant reports, citing the possibility of excessive costs to the Town. The Chairman reminds all present that issues to be heard at a later time by the Zoning Board or to be addressed by other Town officials are not permitted to be a part of the Committee discussion. The issue of consultant costs is not on the Agenda, and this line of commentary is called out of order by the Chairman.
Chariman Dean motions Members to vote that the barn located at 163 Umpawaug Road is of historical significance, and that its demolition be therefore delayed by 180 days as prescribed by the Demolition Delay Ordinance. Anda Cumings seconds the motion. The motion passes with two votes aye, one vote nay.
B. 6 Long Ridge Road Garage
Stuart Reeve submitted his report concerning this structure to the Committee via email, and it has been studied by the members previously. Charley Couch’s report was read by the Members at an earlier point in the meeting. Chairman Dean invites each consultant in turn to comment on their reports. Both offer similar findings. The garage appears to have been built from a kit in the 1930s and is in a current state of complete disrepair. Stuart Reeve adds that it has no connection to the historical structures in the Long Ridge Road area, or ties to the historic Long Ridge Road community. The Members discuss these findings.
Anda Cumings motions Members to vote that the garage located at 6 Long Ridge Road lacks historical sensitivity, and is not subject to an extended waiting period under the Demolition Delay Ordinance. Ted Ogonek seconds. The motion passes unanimously.
III. Committee Procedures
Chairman Dean discusses recommended procedures and decorum for the Committee, so as to maintain independence from applicants under consideration, and to arrive at decisions in a professional and substantive manner. Rob will request that Jo An Brooks provide copies of Committee Minutes and leave them on the table in the Old Town House. It is possible that this Committee will also be able to borrow the digital voice recorder used by the Planning Commission to record meetings as a back up to the minutes. Rob also states that he is looking into expanding the Committee expanded to five members, as the current three seems inadequate. He asks Members to re-read the current Demolition Delay Ordinance in order to refine and edit it, and to make known to him proposed improvements. A new meeting time is not set, as there are no new demolition applications.
Anda Cumings motions to adjourn the meeting. Ted Ogonek seconds. The meeting is adjourned at 9:30PM.
Anda E. Cumings
Minutes of the Historic Review Committee January 30, 2014