HDC Minutes 03-14-16
Minutes Historic District Commission Public Hearing March 14, 2016
Called to order 7:05 pm
Present: Dan Boyle, George Muller, and Mary Vaughn
PUBLIC HEARING: To discuss and take action on the application for a Certificate of
Appropriateness for the home construction located at 34 Liberty St. There will be a re-vote on
items approved on Feb. 1, 2016, as the abutters were not notified about the meeting.
Marc Alterio, 6 Vine Street
Virginia Alterio, 6 Vine Street
Michelle Kareckas, 15 Parent Street
Allan Breed, 13 Liberty Street
Elaine Mifflin, 21 Liberty Street
Doug DeGrappo, 24 Evergreen Lane, Eliot
Keith, DeGrappo Builders, 24 Evergreen Lane, Eliot
George Carpinone, 28 Liberty Street
Pat Haas, 24 Liberty Street
Clyde Haas, 24 Liberty Street
Nina Maurer, 80 Academy Street
Perry Ellsworth, Town Manager
Rick Stevens, Emerys Bridge Rd.
Darlene Ferguson, 36 Liberty Street
Mr. Alterio submitted a packet of letters addressing the issues of concern. He read an opening
statement regarding the heritage & visual character that is personified in the homes on Liberty
Street. (A copy of his full statement has been included in the document packet.) Mr. Alterio
feels that the vinyl windows diminish the historical integrity of Liberty St.
Ms. Alterio said the eli of their barn was renovated approx. 22 years ago and no vinyl was
allowed. It was also not allowed for use in one of the neighbor’s home.
Mr. Boyle said that street face facade refers to directly facing the front of the house. The street
face view of the front of the house should be in compliance with the HDC by-laws.
Ms. Kareckas commented that when she was on the HDC, they looked at the front of the house
that faced the road.
Mr. Breed commented that when he was on the HDC he thought street view was from all sides of
Mr. Muller commented that there are some things that are not within the control of the HDC such
as placement of the building on the site. The HDC by-laws for some architectural elements may
be superseded by building & fire codes.
Mr. Alterio commented that better windows could be placed on the side of the building than are
Elaine Mifflin commented that whether you drive on Liberty St. from 236 or from the area in
front of the Counting House, you mostly view the sides of the house, not the front.
Mr. DeGrappo feels they built a nice house in keeping with the energy code and architectural
details of the Historic District and the period look. He said on other houses he sees triple track
storm windows over wood windows that look more like 1972, rather than the original facade.
They have been trying to balance having an energy efficiency house rather than placing wood
frames that will not be efficient. Mr. DeGrappo feels they’ve approached the process carefully
every step of the way to stay in compliance.
Mr. Alterio felt that Pella or Andersen windows could have been more appropriate to the period
look of the house and wants the windows changed as well as the door on the driveway side.
Mr. Carpinone said the he had lived in Boston in a condo in the Historic District. When the
windows needed changing they put in Pella windows, which saved money on heat.
Ms. Haas commented that when their house was built the HDC was very strict. They used Pella
windows on the side of their house. The side view was considered to be important in 1995.
Windows made to pass energy codes are readily available with true divided lights that are more
Mr. DeGrappo said they couldn’t get the greatest insulation with the requested choice. This has
to be balanced with Harvey’s windows on the side, vinyl on the back and wood windows on the
Ms. Maurer wondered if there could be a change in cost for the windows by waiving the charge
for the Certificates. There is no charge for the Certificates that are part of the application.
Mr. Ellsworth noted that there are a total of 7 windows that need to be changed. He suggested
possibly having exterior grids made for the windows to give an antique look.
Rick Stevens asked if the property is under contract. Is it unreasonable to exchange the windows
for use in anotherjob and replace with a more appropriate window?
Mr. DeGrappo said that pulling out the windows would be expensive to do. Swapping sashes
would be a better choice. They have to keep the U-factor of .25 in mind.
Keith of DeGrappo Builders stated that they have followed all the rules, applied for Certificates
of Appropriateness as needed and have worked hard to adhere to the Historic District Guidelines
to built an attractive house that meets the code. He doesn’t feel they should change the windows
that are in place.
Mr. Breed mentioned that when he was on the HDC they used a different interpretation for the
street view as it applied to the Haas residence. He suggested that in the future the by-laws be
adjusted to cover street view on all sides rather than the face. The language to accomplish this
could read “visible from the street” rather than street view.
Mr. Haas wanted to know how many more driveways would be allowed on Liberty St. Mr.
Boyle responded that we did not have that information.
Darlene Ferguson inquired as to what the material would be for the deck planned for 34 Liberty
St. They were not allowed pressure treated wood for their deck, which was made of cedar. Mr.
DeGrappo replied that the 34 Liberty St. deck would be made of cedar.
Mr. Ellsworth said that the rules that are ambiguous should be changed. A rewrite of the
wording bringing them up to code should be done to avoid confusion. He suggested by working
together, perhaps in August, we could tighten up the codes.
Ms. Alterio suggested a task force be formed to help with the effort (which Mr. Ellsworth agreed
was an excellent idea).
Mr. DeGrappo has agreed to look at some of the alternatives suggested that will keep the
windows in code but change the look of the windows to be more in keeping with the period of
the neighborhood. Throughout the meeting, there were a number of comments from the
audience complementing Mr. DeGrappo on how nice the front of the house looks.
The HDC will schedule a Public Hearing and notify the abutters when the information from Mr.
DeGrappo is available.
REVOTE ON ITEMS FROM THE FEBRUARY 1,2016 MEETING:
Certificate of Appropriateness Doug DeGrappo, property located at 34 Liberty Street.
a.) Motion to approve the 6 panel wooden front door (a wooden storm door will be added at a
later time and will require a certificate)- APPROVED
b.) Motion to approve the change of siding on the gables to cedar shingles color Benjamin
Moore Stonington Grey as submitted APPROVED
c.) Motion to approve 8’ x 10’ cedar deck on the gable side of the house facing 80 Liberty St. APPROVED
Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm
Next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 4, 2016
Minutes taken by Mary Vaughn