HDC reviews revised Gables site plan

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 6:45pm

Newport Collaborative Architects submitted a revised application to the Historic District Commission for the ongoing project The Grove on Thursday, Sept. 3. The application was previously approved, but the applicants approached the board due to the inclusion of a new shed dormer and new fence along the driveway.

The Grove, as the project involving the Gables Inn property is being called, is part of Lark Hotels’ development of its Block Island Beach House resort complex on Dodge Street. Representing the Gables were architect Glenn Gardiner, designer Joanna Grocott, and landscape architect Mark Butler.

HDC member Arlene Tunney asked the applicants “what happened to all the cottages” on the application. Originally, the application had called for other existing cottages on the property but have since been removed from the plans.

”They are gone… I think there was a zoning issue. We are disappointed but at the moment [we are] doing renovation to the barn and other existing cottage,” said Gardiner.

The board directed its attention to the shed dormer, with Chair Bill Penn stating “the shed dormer looks like a blank wall.”

Vice Chair Martha Ball stated she would prefer a two over two window structure on the exterior of the building. Penn and member Kay McManus agreed with the two over two windows as well.

Penn noted this session was a preliminary review, and “the final approval would show that upper sliding window being eliminated and being replaced into the dormer with the two over two,” adding the board will need to see the details of the construction materials.

Member Mike Ballard asked “why aren’t all the windows two over two?…I would suggest that we require they all be two over two.”

Gardiner said the owner of the building “wants to keep as much of the existing as possible.”

“If we are trying to put together something that looks appropriate… this is probably the time to do it while we’re in the construction phase,” said Ballard.

Gardiner said he could check with the owner on changing the windows to two over two.

“We’re only talking about three windows, for crying out loud,” said Ballard.

“We can get back to you on that,” said Gardiner.

Butler went on to address updates to the landscaping design of the property.

“Nothing has changed in the landscaping, all the smaller units are gone which reduces the density… we had to put in a wall to retain the roadway – that’s the big change. In order to secure the roadway, there is a retaining wall and it drops 2.5 to three feet in certain areas,” said Butler.

“The color of the fencing is black, with vegetation in front and behind it,” added Butler.

The board took no action on the application, and asked the applicants to come back with a detailed drawing for the proposed new window on the dormer, and a drawing of the building materials for the wall on the driveway. The plan is for the applicants to come back for the next meeting on Monday, Sept. 28.

Applications for solar installations

St. Andrew Parish. Plat 8, Lot 77. Spring Street.

The Nature Conservancy. Plat 7, Lot 39. High Street.

McQueeny, Michael and Alicia. Plat 7, Lot 67. High Street

Island resident Chris Warfel presented three applications for solar installations: installation of a micro inverter solar electric system at St. Andrew Parish on Spring Street; installation of a solar water heating system at The Nature Conservancy on High Street; and installation of a micro inverter solar electric system for Michael and Alicia McQueeny on High Street.

Warfel’s applications for TNC and McQueeny’s were approved unanimously, and the St. Andrew’s application did not need approval; the application was ruled void because it is not in the historic district.

Penn asked Warfel, for the future, to “have the site plan and location of the panels on the roof, and also the direction of the panels” available for the board.

Application for new signage at Koru Spa

Plat 7, Lot 19. Fire #30 Water Street

Representing the application for her business Koru Spa, Jill Seppa presented her application for new signage. The new sign will be placed on the Post Office building, where various other signs can be found for the businesses that reside there, such as Phillips Real Estate and Jessie Edwards Gallery.

The application was approved by Penn to “make a motion to approve the sign application,” with the board approving the motion unanimously.