HDC approves multiple applications

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 7:00pm
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A number of applications were considered at the most recent Historic District Commission meeting on Monday, Jan. 27:

Hotel Manisses constructing three-story addition

Blake Filippi, co-owner of the Hotel Manisses, was present for an application to construct a three-story addition on the existing basement at the Hotel Manisses, located on High Street.

The application was tabled for discussion until the next session, with the board citing the absence of both Chair Bill Penn and Vice Chair Martha Ball from the meeting. The other members wanted their presence during the discussion.

Filippi asked if there were any comments or feedback he could receive from the board on the application.

“It’s a huge project, therefore it deserves discussion,” said member Mike Ballard.

Replacing an outhouse with a garden shed

Resident John Spier presented his application to replace an outhouse with a garden shed and to add fencing at a single-family dwelling located at Calico Hill.

Spier brought in a letter from Marc Tillson, which detailed what structures currently exist on the property.

Spier discussed putting up a fence, to which solar panels would be attached. “My fence would not obstruct their view at all,” said Spier, referencing his neighbors’ concerns.

“You can’t say no to solar panels,” said member Mark Vaillancourt.

The board motioned the approval to replace an outhouse building with a small garden shed, and install a fence with solar panels against the fence.

Modified application presented for housing at The Grove

Newport Collaborative Architects principal Michael Abbott, designer Joanna Grocott and Matunuck Design Group landscape architect Mark Butler presented their modified application for the construction of a new structure for employee housing and the relocation of a cottage on Lot 123, which is behind the newly-named The Grove, formerly The Gables inn.

Butler stated they incorporated the board’s previous comments about adding vegetation, which will include birch and cedar trees.

“We are doing our best to make sure this (construction) is all actively screened,” said Butler. At a previous HDC meeting, the board had asked for changes in the vegetation to help shield the new building.

Grocott stated the changes on the building include cedar shingling, a brick veneer chimney and skylights moved to provide better lighting.

“Looks good to me,” said member Dennis Riordan.

Discussion transitioned to the air conditioning units to be constructed on the side of the building.

“Did we address the air conditioning units last time around?” asked Ballard.

The air conditioning units are designed to be placed on the building, but not all board members agreed with the look of air conditioning units on the building.

“Is there a way that we can get rid of those air conditioning units?” asked Ballard.

Riordan asked if it was possible to hide the AC units from public eye. “The National is putting in air conditioning... and you don’t see it. All of the structure of the air conditioning is inside.”

“We can look at that... It’s just a grill. That’s all it is. The unit itself is inside the building,” said Abbott. Abbott went on to say the air conditioning units will be the same color as the building itself.

“I would like to look at them going away, personally,” said Ballard.

“Do you have a magic wand?” chimed in Riordan.

“I can combine a couple of rooms with air conditioning,” said Abbott, adding he could hide the air conditioning with vegetation against the building.

“I’m for all that,” said Vaillancourt.

Riordan made a motion to approve the application “as illustrated by the presentation, with the exception that the air conditioning units will be taken out and replaced with a mini-split system, with appropriate vegetation to cover the mini-split system.”

Abbott, Grocott and landscape architect Mark Butler also spoke on behalf of an application to install two windows on the new building, which was approved.

New door at The Surf Bath House

Abbott, Grocott and Butler were not done yet.

They presented an application for a new door on an accessory building at The Surf Bath House on Lot 142.

“This building is used for guests?” asked Riordan.

“Yes,” answered Abbott. The building was currently for staff housing. The first floor of the building will be designated for bathrooms and outside showers. The second floor will be living space and rooms for the hotel’s chefs.

“Looks pretty simple to me,” said Riordan.

The board approved the new door on an accessory building as the final application of the night.

Installing signs at The Cracked Mug

Alicia Miro’s application to install three signs and an A-frame at The Cracked Mug Café was continued.