MINUTES OF MOUNT VERNON HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION
November 5, 2022
The Historic Preservation Commission met at Mount Vernon City Hall, and also via Zoom on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. Commissioners present at City Hall were J. West, Duane Eash, Mary Evans, Suzette Astley, Mike Guerber and Guy Booth. Attending via telephone conference were Janet Budack and Wade Squiers. Guests at the meeting were Shane Amundson and Christian Andrews, both present for design review, and Nathan Countryman, present for the Mount Vernon/Lisbon Sun.
Minutes of the October 19, 2022 meeting were approved. To begin the design review portion of the meeting, Suzette gave an excellent summary of the purpose of Mount Vernon’s Historic Preservation Commission, and the function we serve in the design review process. She tied this together with the obligation of a person to obtain a building permit through the City that is then presented to HPC for a certificate of appropriateness or certificate of no material effect. Although we do not have enforcement authority, the Commission is able to work with owners of property in the historic districts to ensure that the proposed changes in the buildings fit within the guidelines of the Secretary of Interior, as well as the guidelines of the Mount Vernon Historic Preservation ordinance.
Christian Andrews was present to discuss the change of a window in his home at 610 5th Ave NW, which is in the Ash Park Historic District. There was some confusion regarding the application for a building permit, which had not been submitted prior to the initiation of work on the changing of a window. Christian gave an excellent history of the house, as well as the project. It was noted the window that he chose, although not a double hung window, still appears to fit within the style of the house. The placement of the window also coincides with the other second-story windows. The new window is smaller than the previous window. A new window was needed because of the deterioration of the former window. The real issue that was before the Commission was how to make sure that property owners know the procedure to follow if there is going to be a change in the structure that affects the exterior of the building.
The Commission discussed ways in which notice can be given to property owners to help them better understand the procedures that need to be followed if there is going to be a change that affects the exterior of the building. Upon motion by West, seconded by Eash, the Commission approved the application as having no material effect.
Shane Amundson was present to discuss window replacement plans on his home at 724 5th Ave. NW. This property is in the Ash Park Historic District. Because of deterioration of windows, some of the windows in the residence will need to be replaced. Mr. Amundson indicated that there are numerous windows, especially the historic windows and the stained-glass windows will not be replaced. The Commission discussed various options for types of material that would be appropriate for new windows in the house. Mr. Amundson will provide specifics as to the type of window he will be using when he files an application for the certificate of appropriateness. The Commission appreciated Mr. Amundson requesting a pre-review of his need for some changes to the windows.
Suzette stated that there are two people who have expressed interest in becoming members of Historic Preservation. Sherry Brayton, who is the owner of the Right Frame of
Mind building which is located in the downtown historic commercial district. Sherry is not a resident of Mount Vernon, but is a property owner and as such, would be eligible to be on the Commission. Secondly, Matt Ruff has indicated an interest in becoming a Commissioner. He has excellent background qualifications, as he is a building inspector for Linn County. He also has experience in the construction trades, and has interest in historic construction methods. Both proposed candidates would be good additions to the Commission. Upon motion by Janet Budack, seconded by Mike Guerber, the names of both interested parties will be submitted to the City Council for appointment to the Commission.
Suzette announced that the Maurice Foundation has sent the Commission a check in the amount of $750. We will need to decide how these funds should be used by the Commission. It is hoped that if we earmark the funds for a certain project, that the City will not consider them to be funds that are part of the City’s general fund, but will allow the Commission to use them for one of the needed projects on the Commission’s agenda. The Commission showed a preference for using the funds in the preparation of the new map of the Ash Park Historic District.
Mary Evans indicated that the videos from the two workshops that have been held are now on the HPC website. This is the windows workshop and the porch columns workshop presented by Duane Eash.
There was some discussion regarding the Commission’s previous publication of a periodic newsletter. This had previously been done by Machele Pelkey. West indicated that she has experience in newsletter preparation, as an editor/publisher and she has volunteered to work on the future newsletters from the Commission to the public.
Under old business, Scott Ladwig has indicated that King Chapel is still in the phase of attempting to determine the extent of the derecho damage. Until the extent of the damage is known, it has been difficult to get a commitment, either from the insurance carrier for the building, or from FEMA. Scott Ladwig does a great job in keeping the Commission informed, and in working to see that King Chapel will be preserved. The college has decided to protect the stained glass windows by building a protective structure around the windows, rather than having the windows removed from the building. There is less likelihood of damage if the windows do not have to be removed.
Further discussion regarding the proposal to have a new map and resource list for the Ash Park Historic District determined that Jennifer price is the only person who has made a proposal to prepare this document. Her costs will be in the area of $1,000. As previously discussed, the Maurice Foundation may be available to defray these expenses. Upon motion by West, seconded by Eash, the Commission has authorized Suzette to have the Commission enter into a contract with Jennifer Price for the project.
Mary Evans indicates she is working to complete the cemetery field survey request.
Mary is quite familiar with what the eligibility requirements are for a cemetery to be listed on the national register of historic places. She feels there is a possibility of acceptance. Mary has put together a very accurate and compelling argument why the Mount Vernon Cemetery is unique and should be on the historic register.
Mary also gave a report on the archives and indicated that there has been interest regarding information about a house in Mount Vernon. Mary also indicated that there has been a
thank you note from the daughter of Judy Lass. Judy Lass was recognized for the significant contribution she made in compiling information and history about the Mount Vernon Cemetery.
Suzette indicates that we will begin a more detailed study of the statement of principal for the Commission. She will forward to each member a copy of a proposed statement of principal and we are each requested to review and submit our comments regarding the proposal. Suzette would like to have responses within the next two weeks. She will want to keep this project on the upcoming agendas of the Commission.
No further business being brought before the Commission, the meeting adjourned. The next meeting of the Commission, if needed, will be the mid-month meeting. Suzette will give notice if a meeting is necessary.
Respectfully Submitted, Guy Booth, Secretary