Minutes 2023-8-5

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August 5, 2023

The Historic Preservation Commission met at Mount Vernon City Hall on Saturday, August 5, 2023. Commissioners present at City Hall were Suzette Astley, Sherry Brayton, Matt Ruff, Wade Squiers, Michael Guerber, and Duane Eash. Guy Booth participated via Zoom.

Guests present were Greg Raupp, Chris Nosbisch, and Nathan Countryman.

Minutes of the meeting of the July 1, 2023 were approved.

The first item of business was design review for 101 ½ 1st St. SE. This is the property that is being renovated and was previously known as the Sing-a-long building. A new gate is being put in at the entryway to upstairs. A permit for the gate has been approved by Linn County. Upon motion by Squiers, seconded by Ruff, a certificate of appropriateness was approved.

The second design review request comes from Cornell College. They are going to be putting in new signage at several sites on the campus. This would include the wellness center, McQuethy Hall, and the Lytle house. The signs will be similar to previous signs on the Cornell Campus. Upon motion by Matt Ruff, seconded by Mike Guerber, a certificate of appropriateness was approved.

A third design review request comes from Jim Engelbrecht for the house at 418 3rd St SW, Mount Vernon. The request is for repair and replacement of windows on the sun porch of the house. This is not an original portion of the house, but the windows replicate other windows in the house. Upon motion by Matt Ruff, seconded by Duane Eash, a certificate of no material effect will be issued.

Sue gave a couple of announcements. Scott Cannon has placed the painting workshop on the website. Next, the Lisbon Historic Commission will be having a tour of the downtown area on August 16 at 7:00 p.m. Finally, the Jordan Smith house, which was destroyed by fire, has now been demolished pursuant to the permit previously issued.

The major portion of the meeting was led by a discussion from Chris Nosbisch regarding what he feels are appropriate changes to the application for a certificate of appropriateness that needs to be submitted by the owner of properties within the historic districts. He pointed out some areas of ambiguity and pointed to specific information that could be requested. The Commission also discussed the need for updating the guideline booklet, and also discussed the need for professional guidance in preparing changes to the guideline booklet. Chris indicated that we should prepare a request for proposal, even before a grant or city council approval on funds is requested. In this way, we will know what it will cost to have professional help on the project. Sue will make changes to the current application for design review and will forward it to the members of the Commission so this can be reviewed at the next commission meeting. The Commission desires to get this process completed so there is less misunderstanding as to the information that is needed when a request is made for design review. Duane pointed out several specific areas that may need attention. This would include discussion of hardware, shutters, and other specific items that may come before the Commission.

The next meeting of the Commission will be August 16 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting adjourned at 9:45 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted, Guy Booth, Secretary