HDC approves proposed fencing for livestock

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 5:15pm

Windows were a common feature among applications the Historic District Commission considered at its Feb. 22 virtual meeting. New fencing for open areas at the Manisses Hotel was a separate concern.

Paul Filippi, co-owner of the hotel, presented preliminary plans to rebuild an existing split-rail fence and to install new fencing on the hotel property (Plat 7, Lot 26 and 27).

“The purpose of the fencing is to put some animals [behind the hotel], and we want to prevent the deer from coming over High Street into the property,” said Filippi.

Fences now mark the rear of the hotel property from homes on High Street, and separate the hotel from the Abrams Farm field on the south side. Filippi’s plans proposed new fencing for the triangular lot at the corner of Spring and High Streets, continuing behind the hotel and the lower parking area towards the farm field.

“We would like to install new split-rail fencing in the areas that are new,” said Filippi. “We would like to eventually replace the existing fence to match. I would like to get HDC approval to make all the fencing uniform, but I would rather build [the] new fence this season, and replace [the old] fencing later.” Filippi added he would be interested in meeting with Highways Supervisor Mike Shea to discuss the proposed fence along High Street.

Member Arlene Tunney asked Filippi about the height of the new fences.

“Four-and-a-half feet tall to the top rail,” replied Filippi. “We prefer the split rail fencing [because it] is strong enough to keep the livestock from breaking [through].”

“That’s not going to keep the deer out,” said member Mike Ballard.

“This height will prevent some of them from coming across,” responded Filippi.

Member Mark Vaillancourt made a motion to approve the preliminary plans as presented by Filippi for final approval. He also asked Filippi to reach out to Shea to discuss the fencing by High Street. The motion was unanimously approved by the commission.

“The main [goal] is ultimately, all the fences will be the same” on the hotel property, added Vice-Chair Martha Ball.

Window replacements at Sheffield House

Ed and Diane Hayde presented a preliminary application to replace windows in the Sheffield House bed and breakfast on High Street (Plat 7, Lot 67). 

“Essentially we are going to break this down into two separate parts,” said Ed Hayde. On the east side of the house facing High Street, Hayde listed plans for the addition of a double-hung window, an exterior door, and a decorative oval window. On the south side of the house facing Sunset Lane, the plans included eliminating one window and replacing two others with awning-style windows, as well as adding stairs and a porch handrail.

The majority of the commissioners objected to the awning windows.

“[They’re] totally inconsistent with the nature of the architecture of the house,” said Tunney.

“My reaction was the same as Arlene. This is one of the gems of the historic district. I don’t want this happening on my watch,” said Ball. Members Ballard and Kay McManus also agreed.

Vaillancourt pointed out that “but the house next door – the McQueeny house – has the same type” of windows.

Diane Hayde stated they had sought inspiration in their application from the McQueeny’s house and other surrounding houses, which she said have similarly styled windows and porches.

Emphasizing the need for guests’ privacy, she continued: “With awning windows, this will in effect block people from looking downward into the house.”

Ball proposed to table the discussion until the next monthly meeting, asking the Haydes to return with revisions and other suggestions for the windows. “I would love to have more alternatives. I don’t think people like what is presented in context of the house,” she said.

Windows and siding replacements at Champlin’s

The new owners of Champlin’s Marina and Resort, Great Salt Pond Marina Property, LLC, off West Side Road (Plat 19, Lot 5 and 6) proposed to replace windows and portions of siding “on several structures on the property,” according to the agenda, focusing on two dockside buildings in their presentation.

Project Executive Mark Banfield said that existing windows on the north and south sides of the buildings are “failing” and must be replaced.

“We are talking about the buildings next to the docks and face the turnaround, and the other side of that building – the north and south side. We have already stripped off the shingles for the majority of the building, but have not replaced the windows yet,” said Banfield.

The commissioners asked to see a sample of the new siding before moving forward on the application. Several members also expressed interest in a site visit.

“I think everyone ought to look at the situation before deciding on [the windows],” said Ballard.

“And the sample,” added McManus.

The HDC decided to continue the application to a special meeting, to be arranged once the members have reviewed the siding sample and visited the site.

Final decision for Empire Theatre

The board gave final approval to Gary Pollard’s application to install new front doors and remove an existing window at the Empire Theatre on Water Street (Plat 6, Lot 98). Tunney’s motion to approve the modifications as proposed passed unanimously.