Present: First Selectman Julia Pemberton, Secretary Anda Cumings, Matt Lecher, alternate Sherry Karraker seated for resigned member Robert Dean, and Jean Taylor. Also present are Charles Couch, Consultant to the Committee, Chris Kerin, property owner of 214 Black Rock Turnpike and former Committee Chairman Robert Dean (attending as a member of the public).
- Call to Order by Julia Pemberton, First Selectman.
- Discussion of Historic Review Committee Processes and Procedures
Julia Pemberton leads a general discussion about various concerns shared by committee members. Topics include the necessity for a budget for the use of professional consultants, and the need to improve the administrative process for passing to the Committee demolition applications which fall under the purview of the Demolition Delay Ordinance. Julia indicates that in August, circuit rider Greg Farmer of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation will be visiting Redding and going over the language of our Ordinance and recommend changes. She also announces that she has seated Ray D’Angelo on the Committee, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Robert Dean. The Committee is to meet and elect a new Chairman once Ray is sworn in.
- Discussion of 214 Black Rock Turnpike
This property is believed to be the original Meeker house, built around 1731-1733. It has a rich history, including a time at which it served as Sanford’s Redding Institute, a private boys’ school. Neighbor Robert Dean brought it to the attention of the Land Use Office that there is ongoing construction activity at the house, and that this possibly falls under the purview of the Historical Review Committee. A permit had been issued to the owner Chris Kerin for minor repairs. Visits to the house by Shaun Donnelly led to the concern that the construction may be in the realm of demolition, and not merely repairs. (In the absence of a Committee Chairman, Selectman Julia Pemberton called the current meeting.)
Property owner Chris Kerin presents a report with photographs to the Committee detailing the train of events at this address which led to what is essentially a partial demolition of the interior of the home. Mr. Kerin had obtained a permit from the Town to do minor rennovations, but encountered major structural deterioration of the support beams and flooring, which led to an expansion of the originally intended project. Mr. Kerin has subsequently applied for a demolition application, and has also obtained an engineering report defining the nature and scope of remaining work to be done. He summarizes his plan for future work on the property on the first page of his report to the Committee. The list states replacement of the kitchen, baths, flooring, HVAC and windows on the sides and rear of the house. Discussion with the Committee ensues.
Anda Cumings motions that the HRC finds that the house at 214 Black Rock Turnpike is historically sensitive, but will not impose the 180 day Demolition Delay Ordinance, subject to the following: 1) Pursuant to the engineering report submitted to the Building Department and which the Committee has reviewed, selective interior and structural demolition has been identified. That work, along with the checklist of work items submitted by the applicant, define the current scope of the remaining demolition to be done. This work does not influence the public face of this structure. 2) Any further work that involves demolition or partial demolition of the building or exterior features must be brought back to this Committee for review. Work to repair or restore historical features may be considered to be partial demolition. Sherry Karraker seconds the motion. There is no further discussion. All present vote in favor.
Matt Lecher motions to adjourn. Meeting adjourns at approximately 8:45 PM.
Anda E. Cumings, Secretary
Historic Review Committee Minutes of Special Meeting, July 29, 2015