Take them down says Historic District Commission

Fri, 05/27/2022 - 2:30pm

“No redeeming architectural qualities,” was the quick conclusion of Mike Ballard at the Historic District Commission meeting on Monday, May 23.

The application before the Commission was from Tiger Fish owners Ross and Brenna Audino for approval of the construction of pergolas on the front deck of the restaurant on Corn Neck Road.
One problem was that the two pergolas had already been built. Ross Audino said he wanted to apologize to the commission, explaining that he did not think he was required to apply for the pergolas. He claimed they were not permanent installations, but Ballard disagreed, saying that they were bolted down.
Commissioner Arlene Tunney said she also wanted to comment on the “South Sea” items attached to a fence that were “not in character with the Historic District.”
“It doesn’t look quite true,” added Commissioner Martha Ball, who was chairing the meeting in Bill Penn’s absence.
“I would like to see it gone,” said Tunney.
Ball asked Ballard and Tunney if they would have voted against the application to build the pergolas if it had come in before, and both replied that they would have denied the design.
Audino said he had tried umbrellas, but it was too windy, and he wanted to provide diners with some shade.
“You can tell from the photographs that there’s no shade” cast by the pergolas, said Tunney. She made a motion to deny the application as the pergolas were “not in keeping with the Historic District.” She added: “It’s not an historic building, but it’s built to look like an historic building,” and she did not feel the pergolas were “compatible” with the architecture.
“A great deal of effort” was put into the design of the building, added Ball.
The application was denied unanimously, and the commissioners stressed that they wanted the pergolas removed immediately.
Others fared better before the commission. Alicja McQueeny’s application to replace a window was approved. The new window is for a 1940s addition to a house on High Street (Plat 7, Lot 48). She hoped it would make the building look nicer by mimicking the other windows on the building.
Joseph and Linda Buda obtained approval for the addition of a bluestone patio
set with pea stone at their home on Calico Hill. There would be “no view of it from any location around,” Joseph Buda told the commission.
Josh Redd, representing Matthew O’Hayer and Catherine Stewart, owners of the Hygeia House on Beach Avenue drew a few questions. The Hygeia is currently under renovation and the owners want to replace a second-floor window that has already been approved by the HDC with a French door for access to the second-floor balcony.
Redd explained that under the current design, there is no access to the balcony save through bedrooms and they would like access from a hallway.
“I would like to see it moved over six inches to line up with the window above,” said Tunney.
“It will line up,” said Redd.
With no other issues, Ballard made a motion to approve the application, which was seconded, and the vote to approve was unanimous. After the vote he complimented Redd on the cupola that has recently been erected as part of the renovation.
Three other agenda items were tabled as either the applicants were not prepared or did not show up. But before the meeting ended, Mark Emmanuelle rose from the audience to complain about what he thought were violations, particularly when it came to signage.
“Why are these [violations] that are in clear sight not being addressed?” asked Emmanuelle.
There is a process, but it relies on people actually filing complaints with the zoning official.
“We’re talking about zoning enforcement,” said Ball. “We’re a review board.”