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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Historic Commission Regular Meeting

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Meeting Minutes

October 6, 2010


Community Development/Engineering Services Building – 51 Winburn Way – Siskiyou Room




Historic Commissioners Present:  Dale Shostrom, Alex Krach, Terry Skibby, Keith Swink, Sam Whitford, Allison Renwick, Henry Baker, Tom Giordano, Kerry Kencairn

Commission Members Absent: None

Council Liaison: Russ Sibilger, absent

High School Liaison: None Appointed
SOU Liaison: None Appointed
Staff Present: Planner: Derek Severson; Clerk: Billie Boswell




Mr. Whitford moved to approve the August 4, 2010 minutes as presented and the motion was seconded by Mr. Baker. The minutes were approved unanimously.  Mr. Krach abstained due to being absent.


Chairman Shostrom welcomed new commissioner, Kerry Kencairn.






OLD BUSINESS:   Pete Belcastro from the Elks Club was unable to attend.  Mr. Severson confirmed that Mr. Krach would be speaking at the Elks Anniversary dinner.  He said Mr. Belcastro asked that the Commissioners attending be there at 6 pm.




PLANNING ACTION:           2010-01191

SUBJECT PROPERTY:      90 Pioneer St N/110 Lithia Way

APPLICANT:                        Robert Seibert, agent for owner Sunny Singh

DESCRIPTION:  A request for Site Review approval to make an exterior change to a primary contributing property within the Ashland Downtown Historic District.  The exterior changes proposed involve the replacement of the doors on the Lithia Way entrance to the J.P. Dodge & Sons Funeral Home building to meet 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  The project also includes the replacement of a section of private sidewalk and the addition of stairs and handrails for ADA compliance.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Commercial Downtown ZONING: C-1-D; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 09BA; TAX LOT: 11400


Chairman Shostrom confirmed there were no conflicts of interest and no exparte contact.  Mr. Skibby disclosed that the applicant and their representative had come to a Historic Review Board meeting.  Mr. Severson reviewed what the Historic Commission had approved at the last meeting.  Since then, the neighboring tenant objected to the changes as proposed and the applicant is requesting to modify the plans and move the main entrance into the convenience store back to the Lithia Way entry.  The existing door would be replaced with a new, ADA compatible single door with side lights similar in style to the original.  The entry on Pioneer would not be changed.  Chairman Shostrom urged the owner to save the historic doors to be re-purposed.


There being no one in the audience to speak, the public hearing was closed.


Mr. Baker made a motion to recommend approval as presented and Mr. Swink seconded the motion.  It was approved unanimously.




PLANNING ACTIONS:      2010-00992          

SUBJECT PROPERTY:     400 Allison Street

APPLICANT:                      Heiland Hoff, Architect for owner Robin Biermann

DESCRIPTION:  A request for a Conditional Use Permit to exceed the Maximum Permitted Floor Area (MPFA) within a Historic District by 17 percent or 315 square feet.  The project consists of demolishing the existing 1,144 square foot non-historic/non-contributing duplex building and constructing a new two-story 2,183 square foot dwelling with a daylight basement and two-car garage.  (The Building Division has tentatively approved the demolition proposal subject to the applicant receiving land use approval for a replacement structure.)  The application also includes a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove eight trees six-inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) or greater.COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Low Density Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 09BD; TAX LOT: 14200


Chairman Shostrom asked if there were any conflicts of interest and Ms. Kencairn excused herself because she had worked on the project.  Mr. Severson described the project which had been modified a couple of times per suggestions from the Historic Review Board.  Architect Heiland Hoff did a PowerPoint presentation showing other homes in the area that are compatible in bulk and scale and the design features of the home.  There was discussion regarding the rear porch and the lack of presence on the Gresham Street entry.  On the Allison Street side, Chairman Shostrom had concerns over mass created because of the 24-feet ceilings over more than 1000 square feet of the interior space.  The concern also extended to the 12 foot high plate height in the kitchen turret area. He felt the contemporary layout of all the windows extending up into the gables added to the incompatibility.


Colin Swales, a property owner on Allison Street, was not supportive of the project.  He felt it was far too big and too modern and the historical details were minimal.


There being no one else in audience to speak, the public hearing was closed.


Mr. Giordano supported the house as viewed from Gresham Street with some design enhancements to make the entry more prominent, but felt the Allison Street side was too massive.  Mr. Skibby was not as concerned with the size but said the windows needed to be grouped.  Mr. Swink had issues with the kitchen roof shape pointing out that the 12 foot plate height adds significantly to the mass and scale. 


Chairman Shostrom made a motion to recommend that the application be continued to allow for design modifications to address the issues listed below and that the application come back to the Historic Commission and Planning Commission in November.


Commission Recommendations:


1.      In terms of its mass, bulk, scale and volume, the proposed home has roughly 1,000 square feet of floor area where the average ceiling height approaches 24 feet.  If the home were traditionally framed, with more standard ceiling heights, this would add an additional 1,000 square feet or more of floor area, meaning that the volume proposed is more akin to a 3,200 square foot home on a 4,900 square foot lot than that of a 2,200 square foot home.  In the kitchen, there is a 12-foot plate height which significantly enhances the perceived volume of the turret element. The Historic Commission is concerned that the overall design exaggerates the home’s volume beyond what is necessary to accommodate the proposed square footage in order to maximize views and provide large, high-ceilinged great rooms in a manner counter to the intent of the Maximum Permitted Floor Area ordinance and Historic District Design Standards.  The Commission recognizes that the prominence of the corner lot is accentuated by the topography and makes effectively concealing the home’s volume difficult, and noted that the architect has done a good job of incorporating Historic Commission input to date.  However, the Commission believes that design modifications are needed to dramatically reduce the volume of the home including lowering the plate height in the turret-element of the kitchen to no more than nine feet, simplifying the lines of the building, looking at the gable alignment and the use of dormers for some upper level windows, and generally diminishing the volume, bulk and scale of the home to a degree that renders it more compatible with the neighborhood and district.

2.      In addition to the larger issues raised in #1 above, the Commission also had a number of specific recommendations with regard to design details:

a)      The Gresham Street entrance needs a stronger sense of presence to give stronger cues for a sense of entry on Gresham.  The Commission would like to see side-lights added to the door at this entry.  In addition, the Commission has concerns that the clustering of utility meters on the most prominent wall and the lack of windows detracts from the home’s presence in the streetscape, and recommends that a consistent plate line and additional windows be included in the design.

b)      The windows on the Allison Street façade, over the garage, have too great a ratio of window area to wall surface and give a very contemporary feeling to this elevation.  This could be better addressed with a less gridded placement, more tightly grouping the windows in threes, with a more simplified style and less variation in type (i.e. simple double-hung sashes would be preferred).  The Commission noted that a window placement more like that noted on sheet A7.3 with a single casing and one crown over a tighter grouping of three windows would be more compatible.  The Commission emphasized that a continuity of window sizes and plate heights was important, and also noted concerns with the pinching of window crowns into the gable.

c)      In terms of trim, the corner boards and casings shown are too narrow to be historically compatible, and more detail of historically-compatible exterior trim is needed.

d)      The turret element that provides kitchen space is not cohesive with the rest of the design due to its plate height, shape and materials.  The plate height results in it dominating other elements of the design, and the Commission recommends that it be reduced to a more compatible nine-foot plate height.  The Commission noted that a more cohesive plate height might allow a simplification of roof lines on the Gresham Street façade.  


Mr. Whitford seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.




Mr. Severson said an application had come in for Standing Stone at 101 Oak St. to enclose an area under the staircase in the back of the restaurant.  He asked if the Commissioners were comfortable with moving the project forward and letting SHPO and the Historic Review Board review it in lieu of coming to the full Commission.  The Commissioners agreed.



A.  Review Board Schedule


October 7th

Terry, Keith, Henry

October 14th

Terry, Tom, Kerry

October 21st

Terry, Alex, Sam

October 28th

Terry, Allison, Dale

November 4th

Terry, Keith               


C.  Project Assignments for Planning Actions –


160 Helman (Batzer-Comm Bldgs) {Recession Extension approved)}




175 Lithia Wy (formerly 165 Lithia) Archerd & Dresner-Mixed Use Bldg – (Expired 7/25/10)



165 W Fork – New SFR on hillside (Ashley Jensen) (Permit approved-not issued; recession extension expires 2/26/12.)



568 E Main St (McKechnie) Cucina Biazzi enclosed dining area (Permit approved-not issued; expires 8/10/10.)



426 A St (Sidney Brown) Mixed Use Bldg  (No permit yet; recession extension expires 2/28/12)



255 E Main (Ashland Elks) Balcony on rear (No permit yet; expires 8/27/10.)



163 N Pioneer (Intatto Coffee) Coffee shop & roaster  (TCO issued 3-17-10)



175 N Pioneer (Deli) Terrell   (no permit)



550 E Main (Thomashefsky) Hotel/motel – potential window/door replacements (no permit)



820 C St (Ellison) Accessory Structure



300 Vista (DeBoer) Elevator



963 C St. (Holzshu) New SFR



90 Pioneer/110 Lithia Wy (Singh) Replace doors on Lithia






1.      Mr. Severson said an application had come in for Standing Stone at 101 Oak St. to enclose an area under the staircase in the back of the restaurant.  He asked if the Commissioners were comfortable with moving the project forward and letting SHPO and the Historic Review Board review it in lieu of coming to the full Commission.  The Commissioners agreed.


2.      Mr. Whitford made a motion to make Mr. Krach the Historic Commission’s official representative to the National Historic Preservation conference in Austin, Texas.  Mr. Henry seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.  Mr. Krach abstained.



It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m.

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