HDC denies houses 'fix-up' as inappropriate to style

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Two property owners wanting to "fix up" their houses were disappointed last week when the Historic District Commission (HDC) said the proposed work wasn't appropriate to the buildings or neighborhoods.

Frankie Gill brought an application for a two-car garage and an 8-foot addition to her house to connect the garage at 5 Linwood.

The house was built in 1959, but making such changes would drastically alter the appearance of the house, commissioners decided.

A cupola would be changed to a dormer, the roof-line changed and the front of the garage would be even with the house.

Chairman Debbie Frisbie said the Jim Walter-style homes built in town in the 1950s were distinctive in their own right and should be preserved as such.

Reviewing the city's historic district guidelines as well as those from the Secretary of the Interior, commissioners agreed Gill's proposal could not meet either set of standards.

They suggested she visit with her architect and try to redesign the structures to fit within the guidelines.

Visibly shaken and disappointed, Gill said she had "visited all she wanted to with her architect."

Commissioners encouraged her to take a few days away from the project then look at it again.

To give Gill the opportunity to bring another plan to the HDC, commissioners denied the application on the basis of "not meeting the guidelines."

Penny Carroll was equally surprised to be told she could not put a deck on the back of the house at 21 Vaughn St. or add French doors to the driveway side.

The house, built in 1950 around a portion of a house which may date to 1909, is also a Jim Walter-style house.

Before Carroll got into the details of her application, Commissioner Frank Green, looking at the plans, said "You are trying to make this into a Craftsman-style house and we can't let you do that to this house."

"But it is a plain, box house and I want to fix it up, make it look pretty," Carroll said.

"That's the way it was built," Green answered. "That's the way it has to stay."

Carroll asked if there is an appeal process for HDC decisions.

"Court is the next step," said Chairman Frisbie. "The city council doesn't have any say in these applications."

Carroll did ask for guidance in planning an entrance to a subdivision off of Pivot Rock Road. The driveway will be in the city limits and historic district, but the subdivision will be outside the city.

Phil Krebbs got permission to make exterior changes to the house at 266 N. Main, but they are changes which will restore the original appearance of the house.

He wants to open the original back door to the house so it can be used. It has been covered with sheet rock inside and siding outside.

He will close up the existing back door the same way.

The new door will be a 15-lite wooden door.

He wants to add two seven-foot-tall windows to the back side for more interior light.

He wants to replace five wood-framed, double hung windows with new windows of the same style. He said the old wood frames are beyond repair.

He wants to re-roof with asphalt shingles in rustic green and paint the house Arcadia White.

Kathy Harris got permission to build low garden walls behind the house at 184 N. Main, the old Painted Pony.

She said the recent deluge of rain brought a large portion of the hillside into the building.

The walls will be on terraces and placed to hold back the hillside.

Mark Jipp got permission to place four antique-styled lanterns at the corners of the second floor of the Veranda Inn at 38 Prospect. He said there is no exterior lighting on the second floor and it becomes a safety issue if emergency exits are needed.

He said the lanterns would be painted flat black to compliment other iron work details on the house.

He also got permission to have the chimney caps painted black instead of copper.

Signs were approved for 65 Center and 65 Spring for an antique store; 171 W. Van Buren; and 174 Spring St. for lodgings.

Paint colors and/or roofing materials were approved for 8 Singleton; the library annex at 192 Spring St.; 68 Vaughn; and 39 Vaughn.

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