Present: Chairman Robert Dean, Alternate Jean Taylor, Alternate Sherry Karraker seated for Matt Lecher, Secretary Anda Cumings
Also present: Consultants Stuart Reeve, Kathleen Von Jena and Charlie Couch.
Chairman Rob Dean called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.
I. Approval of Minutes of Meeting of April 14, 2014
It is noted that in the Minutes of the Meeting of April 14, 2014, the motion put to vote regarding 216 Poverty Hollow was incorrectly worded. The motion should read as follows: “In view of the Committee’s findings that portions of this house constructed prior to 1915, including the Hoggson renovation, are historically sensitive, the Demolition Delay Ordinance (180 day delay) is not waived. On a motion by Sherry Karraker and seconded by Rob Dean, the Minutes of the Meeting of April 14, 2014 are accepted unanimously as amended.
II. Discussion of meeting with owners of 216 Poverty Hollow Road House
Chairman Rob Dean presents a draft report to brief the Committee regarding an April 30th visit with property owners Frank Doelger and Bruce Harmon, at which he discussed with them preservation options. The owners apparently had originally purchased the property with the intent to preserve the house. Later it became apparent to them that the condition of the house had deteriorated over the years to a far greater degree than anticipated, and that demolition seemed to be a practical option. They are open to the idea of mitigating the effects of the demolition by documenting and preserving a detailed historical record. Although it does not appear at this moment that they can be dissuaded from demolition, Rob indicates that they did express mild interest in the possibility of a preservation plan which would require that the house be dismantled in a way as to leave the original, much older and smaller 1840s structure (the pre-Hoggson renovation house). This remaining historic structure could then buffer the planned new construction from the streetscape. It is not known if this is possible, or what it could cost, given the other changes to the house over the years. All present agree that it is imperative that mitigation/preservation plans be explored and presented to the owners as soon as possible. If the owners agree to a plan, the delay imposed by the ordinance can be lifted. To this end, Consultant Kathleen Von Jena agrees to contact Wes Hanes, the Fairfield County circuit rider for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, to arrange a site visit as soon as possible. Rob Dean indicates that he will finalize his draft report of his meeting with the owners and make it publicly available.
III. 163 Umpawaug Road Barn
A. On a motion by Sherry Karraker and seconded by Anda Cumings, all present vote to place on the Agenda discussion of a letter sent to the Committee from Redding resident Ted Augustine. Rob Dean reads the letter out loud (also previously emailed to the Committee). Mr. Augustine appears to be under the impression that the Committee ordered Umpawaug Road Barn owner Ed. Kilian to demolish the structure, now currently under a 180 demolition delay. Mr. Augustine is also under the impression that Mr. Kilian had presented to the Town a preservation inspired rebuilding plan for the barn, as opposed to the January 16, 2014 demolition application received. Rob Dean is to respond to Mr. Augustine with a clarification.
B. Kathleen Von Jena is still seeking a qualified expert to complete a documentation of the barn, which appears to be slated for demolition at the conclusion of the delay period.
IV. Demolition Delay Ordinance- Reviewing the Ordinance
Use of the Ordinance has now revealed where procedural adjustments and editing of the ordinance language is needed. Committee members discuss increasing the committee size to five members. There is also a need to add language to the ordinance to clarify committee responsibilities after a delay is imposed. Rob Dean sees the need to establish a way in which the Land Use Office in conjunction with the Consultants could rapidly triage incoming demolition applications, to better use the 21 day time period allotted for deliberation. Committee member submissions on all of these points are to be brought to the next meeting for discussion.
Rob Dean motions to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Anda Cumings. The meeting is adjourned at 10PM.
Secretary Anda E. Cumings
Minutes of the Historic Review Committee May 8, 2014