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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Adopted December 10, 2009
Historical Commission Members
Present: Russo, Melone, Steele,
Loukas, Berg, Roach
Staff Present: Hayward, Collins
Public Present: See attached Sign-In Form
Russo chaired. The meeting opened at 7:00p.m.
Public Hearing ?Application
for a Demolition Permit - 77 Fayette Street ?to demolish a single-family and
replace it with a new two-family structure, Leonard T. Holt, applicant
Leonard T. Holt, developer,
proposed the request to demolish 77 Fayette Street, a single family to be
replaced by a two-family structure. He reported that the health department had
found the property to be unsafe for habitation due to structural issues. He
informed that the property is over 9000 square feet in a two-family zone. He
was unable to identify the date of construction of the original home. He
believed it was 1921. He described the ownership lineage of the property.
Holt is proposing a two family, 1900 square feet per unit with setbacks from
10? to 15?, for replacement.
Russo noted that though
Thompson condemned the property for structural purposes it was not officially condemned.
He questioned how much it would cost to safeguard the house. Holt responded
that it would cost more that the property was worth. He noted it was very
costly to raise the structure from the foundation.
Berg inquired about the
foundation. Holt noted that it was both of dirt and cement. He informed that
the cement floor was not done for support and that the house sags approximately
a foot in the middle. Berg inquired if the foundation was sound. Holt said it
Russo noted that the property
was built in 1856. Berg informed that the front porch was installed in 1922.
And that the footprint of the house appeared in maps of Watertown going back to
Melone inquired if the
property was vacated of furniture. Michael Delaney, attorney for the owner,
responded that some of the belongings had been removed and that the resident
was moved in April of 2009.
Debra Gelinas, 85 Fayette Street, lives next to property in a house built in 1840. She felt the present
property added to the neighborhood.
Roach thought it was a shame
to loose a property built before the Civil War.
Russo noted that the
structure was old and in a neighborhood of structures from the same period. He
felt it was Preferably Preserved. It thought it was simple with integrity.
Melone identified the street
as mixed, composed of two-families. He noted that there was not a great deal
of harmony in structural styles. He identified the original structure as
simple of one and half stories, with period capitals. He thought that if it
were in better condition, it should be preserved.
Russo thought the property
was compromised, though it had the corner capitals. If house had not been
sided the integrity would be there.
Berg thought that without the
porch the structure would be better. He agreed that it was preferably
Melone provided photos of the
back of the building.
Steele agreed with Russo ?
preferably preserved without a delay.
Vote: Berg moved to identify 77 Fayette Street as
preferably preserved. Steele seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously
Russo thought the building to
be compromised, and did not know the cost to preserve it.
Vote: Berg moved that no delay be imposed on 77 Fayette Street. Melone seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Loukas inquired if
information on the cost of shoring the home would be more that the value of the
house of $326,000.
The HC requested that photos
of the interior be taken for the record.
Continuation Invitation to
Comment ? 111 Mt. Auburn Street - Proposed
Telecommunications Facility Installation
Carmen DeMarco, Bill Daniels,
John Costi, and Kathryn Emmitt, represented the project. DeMarco noted that
the drawings had been revised and information on Duro Fiber was provided as
Costi and Daniels noted that
the antenna would be located on the south side and be the size of a coffee cup
A sample panel was provided.
Russo inquired if the paint
will weather at the same rate and will it be noticeable over time. Daniels
responded that the Duro Fiber will be painted in latex. It will weather similarly
as the painted steeple surface. He noted that a panel was installed in 1999 in
Nantucket and it was repainted last year. It was not noticeable.
Russo inquired if the church
had been painted. Hayward responded that the lower section was painted this
summer by volunteer church members. Costi said the steeple will be painted as
part of the antenna installation.
Loukas inquired if there was
experience with panels cracking. Daniels responded that if there is any
failure in the panels they will replace them. Daniels informed that the
steeple is not structural, it is supported by a steel interior frame. The
antenna panel will be made from a rubber mold of the panel.
Russo inquired what happens
when the agreement with the church ends. When not longer necessary, Russo
requested that the antenna panels be replaced by the original wood panels. Daniels
noted that a condition of the HDC was to store the existing wood panels at the
church for future replacement.
Russo noted that the HC will
have ?no comment? in their ITC to the MHC on the project.
Ridgelawn Cemetery Discussion
Vincent Piccirilli, member Town Council, informed that the Town will be running out of burial spaces in ten
years and that consideration for above ground burial structures has been
considered by the DPW. Abutters are upset and an ordinance preventing the
above ground burial structures is being proposed before the Town Council
Subcommittee on Rules and Ordinances. Piccirilli wondered if the Ridgelawn?s
historic and cultural character was being affected by the above proposed above
ground burial structures. He questioned whether Ridgelawn was a historic
Russo inquired about the size
and scale of the proposed structure. Piccirilli noted that it would be
approximately 6? to 8? high. Piccirilli informed that there is presently a one
story concrete block maintenance building on the grounds.
Piccirilli noted that the
contours of the cemetery could be terraced into the existing hill. The
proposed two units of 6 to 15? high would be terraced. The DPW?s consultant
thought it could provide up to 7000 additional spots. Berg requested to see
the plans and scale. Piccirilli noted that schematic designs could be made
Steele inquired how the
consultant was selected. Was it an opened process? Piccirilli responded that
Traffic Solutions was selected and that the bid was under $25,000.
Melone inquired who was upset
about the proposal ? abutters or relatives of the interred. Piccirilli
responded that both were. Piccirilli wondered if Ridgelawn was of historic
Steele responded that it was
historically valid. However, a structure and wall could be designed sensitively
similar to the structures at Mt. Auburn, which is a national landmark.
Russo suggested doing a site
visit to identify the historic elements involved ? people, topography and plan.
Piccirilli noted that the
consultant?s plan was not design driven. He informed that the concrete block
structure is planned for demolition for the installation of a smaller
maintenance building. Joyce Kelly noted that the cemetery was established in
1902. Piccirilli informed that a public hearing will take place on November 19
on the proposed ordinance. Russo noted that the some members Brigham family was
buried there. Loukas suggested that research be done on the merits of the
project and facts about the cemetery.
Russo didn?t know how a
mausoleum would be detrimental or compromise Ridgelawn.
Russo requested that the item
be placed on the agenda for next month.
October Minutes ? Approved.
Watertown Historic Landmark Ordinance
Russo informed that ordinance
was moving forward. The ordinance was amended to limit a landmarking to
properties with owner consent.
Barns and Outbuildings
Informational ? Donation of
the original 1630 -1930 Watertown Historical Map by the family of Mary B. Hotz
and supporting historic documents.
The map is at Hagop Framing
to be framed as requested by the HC. Collins to call for the status of the
project and for pick-up by Mr. Loukas
26 Sawin Street
Berg to take photos of Sawin Street
Hayward reported that Perkins School held it?s groundbreaking
and that he had been handling abutters concerns.
10) Historic Tour of the Administration Building
Tour is scheduled for
November 14 at 10am.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.