MINUTES

OF THE

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

 

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

The regular meeting of the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission was held at the Town Hall, Cranbury, New Jersey, on October 18, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.

 

STATEMENT OF ADEQUATE NOTICE

Pursuant of the Sunshine Law, adequate notice in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-5) was provided on January 4, 2005 of this meeting’s date, time, place and agenda was mailed to the news media, posted on the Township bulletin board, mailed to those requesting personal notice and filed with the Municipal Clerk.

 

CALL TO ORDER

With a quorum present, Chairperson Bobbie Marlowe called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairperson thereof, and, Linda M. Scott, Secretary for the Commission, performed as Secretary.

 

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

Kate McConnell, Diane Stasi, Don Jo Swanagan, Harry Williams and Chairperson Bobbie Marlowe, were present. 

 

MINUTES

The minutes of September 20, 2005 meeting were reviewed and amended.  Secretary will make the amendments to the minutes and place them on the November 1 agenda.  The October 4, 2005 minutes were not present.

 

APPLICATIONS

            29 Station Road, (B36, L9) In Surround Zone. Conceptual drawing.   Mr. Klein, father of homeowner, was present to take notes.   The HPAC commented that the overall streetscape design on Station Rd are made of colonial two story homes, unlike this post WWII ranch.  The foot print plot plan will not change.  The conceptual drawing proposes a second floor and attic addition. The steep slope of the roof accentuates the height, existing chimney should not be vinyl coated, proportions do not reflect a harmonious relationship, façade is forced, the two story columns are not compatible, window arrangements and dormer is not complimentary.   The conceptual shows a variety of styles with windows in several varying sizes of long and narrow.  Overall, the design principal is busy.  Mr. Klein will relay discussion to his daughter Tara.   The design does not necessarily have to reflect a colonial house but if principals of symmetry were used throughout, the modern windows may work.  The discussed will be relayed to homeowner and architect for revisions.  HPAC realizes that the homeowner is residing in Arizona and their architect is located in Wall, NJ.   When updated drawings are received for review, the application will be placed on the November 1 agenda.

            30 Liedtke Drive, (B21, L4.10) In Surround Zone; Homeowner Sudhakar Venkatesh was present for the return of his solar panel application.  Four members of HPAC went to visit the installed solar panel site in South Brunswick.  HPAC realizes the environmental advantages of the solar panels.  The proposed solar panels would be installed with a southern exposure on the front of the house. The panels on this site will not cover the entire roof, falling short of roof perimeter and elevated 3 to 4 inches above the roof angle and does not parallel the roof angles of the front gable.  The street front of 30 Liedtke Drive faces south and HPAC feels this will have a negative visual

 

 

impact.  Don Jo offered insight regarding other installation applications that exist for solar panels that he noted while visiting the public library.   Harry stated that there are a number of public buildings throughout Mercer County NJ with solar energy.  He stated the panels for this application are not architecturally acceptable but on the energy side it is acceptable.   Mr. Ventkatesh states the panels “will not stick out like a sore thumb.  (He) sees a 25’ tower out his back yard everyday.  This is not an historic house.” Several residents were present to express their displeasure of having the panels installed and exposed on the streetscape.  They acknowledge that living near the Historic District (HD) is a trade off and the look of neighborhood should be retained.  One resident submitted a letter stating she and her husband are not in favor of the panels installed on the front of the applicant’s home, noting that the panels would be detrimental to the historic character and aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood. Another resident applauds the homeowner for being economically conscience, but this should not be a reason to have a visual affect on the HD and neighborhood.  According to the Master Declaration, prepared by Frank J. Petrino, Esq., for the Liedtke Drive Homeowners Association, solar panels are not mentioned.  This document does declare HPAC review for any changes to the structures on Liedtke Dr.   Bobbie included that due to the close proximity of this neighborhood to the HD, HPAC worked with Mr. Tom Troy of Sharbell Development in 2003, to design compatible structures to be in keeping with the Historic District.  After much discussion, a motion was made to approve or disapprove this application.  Application was denied, all members voted nay for this application.  

            22 Maplewood Avenue, (B33, L21) In Historic District (C).  Owner Brian Deverin returned with his findings of window solutions for the structure.  He returned with photos to show HPAC that with a wooden muntin installed on the exterior of the temporarily installed vinyl frame window, it can look historically pleasing.  HPAC was discouraged that the solution to this window dilemma was found with a non-contributing replacement vinyl window with a wooden snap-in insert.  After the previous meeting, the street front and north side windows were still to be determined.  A discussion ensued of other window requirements from different applicants and their windows.  HPAC has allowed vinyl replacement windows in other structures.  Diane has a concern that the two materials will not wear the same way.  A motion was taken to approve or disapprove the replacement vinyl window with a wooden insert.  Ms. McConnell, Mr. Swanagan and Ms. Marlowe 3 ayes, Ms. Stasi 1 nay, Mr. Williams abstained.  Don Jo informed Brian Deverin that the original windows from this structure can be placed in a depository for other owners in town who may be able to utilize them.

            57 South Main Street, (B18, L1) In Historic District (C); Homeowner Frank Brennan was present for this fence application.   The impact of the proposed fence will not be seen from South Main Street.  The proposed fence will block the neighboring family vehicles from view in the rear of this property.  HPAC reviewed, discussed and approved this application with all in favor.

            14 Evans Drive, (B33,L46) In Surround Zone.  Architect Bill Gittings and homeowner Lee Nissen were present for the greenhouse, rail and pergola application.  The greenhouse structure will be centrally located and attached to the garage structure facing Evans Drive.  The framing will be made of stained cedar.  The proposed pergola will be located to the right (looking from street).  Tempered glass will be used for a see thru effect on the second floor railing above pergola.  The decking will be grating.  HPAC reviewed, discussed and approved this application.  Four ayes and Bobbie Marlow recused herself.

            Cranbury South River Road, (B6, L5) PB097-05 Comfort Suites;  Young Wright Architectural submitted drawings for proposed Comfort Suites signage.   HPAC reviewed the submitted drawings and recommend that the applicant observe the limitations of the signage ordinance within the area.   There was a question regarding the height allowed for the monument, but this is not an HPAC issue.  One comment refers to the base and that it should be constructed of brick or stucco, similar or compatible with the materials on the building.

 

 

 

DISCUSSION

            Frank Brennan expressed his thoughts of the upcoming ordinance.  He states that this is an opportunity for HPAC to start a new slate and that there should be no backtracking.  The town should have a preservationist and an attorney attend the meetings.  This will give HPAC the opportunity to have a zoning and a preservationists report on the discussed properties prior to the meeting. 

            There is an update regarding the comments submitted by Mark Berkowsky at the October 4 HPAC meeting.  The following morning, Betty Wagner was in the Planning Office to submit the comment sheet to Josette Kratz.  The upcoming ordinance will be on the Planning Board agenda October 27 and on the Township Committee agenda November 14.  There will be another meeting of the Review Committee.  Two new members have been added to the regular committee that includes Harvey Moskowitz, Tom Harvey, Joe Stonaker, Trishka Waterbury, Bobbie Marlowe, Gene Speer, and Dale Smith will address Mr. Berkowsky’s comments.  Michele Donato and Trishka Waterbury worked on the ordinance so it would be in accordance with the MLUL.  The ordinance should also be CLG compliant.  The trio felt that the ordinance as written is too strict and the public will react negatively.

The update regarding 99 North Main Street (B28, L.1.01 & 1.02) is that on October 4 Mrs. Corr submitted a letter to Kathy Cunningham stating that they would like to appeal the denial of the pergola. September 21, Trishka replied to the email from John Corr detailing the deadline dates and criteria of the appeal process required by law and the role of Township Committee.  As of this date, the appeal process has not begun.  He has 35 days from October 4, which is Nov.8 that he may no longer appeal.   Diane feels that whenever denial dates are mention regarding previous applications in the minutes, they be elaborated upon.   This may help those who have not attended the meeting have a clearer understanding when they read the minutes.  Also, there have been several applications for 99 North Main Street and the dates would help with understanding the timeline.

The December 6 meeting may have a substitute-recording secretary for this meeting.  Secretary will be returning on this date and may not be prepared, if so, an appointed substitute will fill in.  There is a possibility that the meeting may be cancelled, due to the workload for this meeting.

Kate stated that several individuals approached her regarding the 8 Westminster Drive demolition.  She informed them that HPAC could not allow the existing structure be converted to a garage, due to the appropriateness for the HD.  HPAC felt it would be inappropriate to change the use in its original historic form.   A letter was received stating that the building is unsound and could not withstand the new workload.   Bobbie spoke with the Zoning Officer and he confirmed that because this property is located next to the owners’ property; a garage was an allowed use. 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

There being no further business, on motion duly made by Bobbie Marlowe, seconded by Harry Williams, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned at 9:50 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY

I, Undersigned, do hereby certify;

That I am duly acting secretary of the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission and,

That the foregoing minutes, of the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, held on October 18, 2005, consisting of 4 pages, constitutes a true and correct copy of the minutes of the said meeting.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto do subscribe, my name of said Historic Preservation Advisory Commission this December 6, 2005.

 

 

 

__________________________________________

Linda M. Scott, Secretary