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 February 7, 2006 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 3, 2006 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, Chairwoman Bobbie Marlowe called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairman thereof, and, Linda M. Scott, Secretary for the Commission, performed as Secretary.

 

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

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

 

MINUTES

The minutes of January 17, 2006 meeting were reviewed and amended.  They will be retyped and placed on the February 21 agenda.

 

APPLICATIONS

            99 North Main Street, (B28,L1.01) In Historic District;  Attorney Frank Brennan and homeowner John Corr were present for the submitted addendum regarding the ‘as built’ pergola roof (previously denied at June 7, 2005 HPAC meeting).  Frank gave a brief summary of the past applications and its evolving process.  Frank stated that he and Trishka Waterbury discussed this issue.  Both feel that this “repackaged ‘as built’ application” be addressed. He also states that the submitted application cites the current HPAC ordinance, references the Secretary of Interior Standards (SOIS), and the submitted photos supporting his argument.  Frank feels that this application addendum is consistent with the SOIS.   

With the submitted “repackaged” application, a copy of the original garage and pergola plan drawing (date recd.Jan.5, 2004) and a drawing of the existing as built garage and pergola (date recd.Jan.24, 2006) were compared.  Frank highlighted the plan changes in the number of pillars/columns, stone veneer height, brackets and roof pitch. The accuracy of the submitted ‘as built’ drawing was queried.  Both drawings were compared and measured.  It is not clear of the two submitted drawings, which one represent the accurate proportions and height of the garage structure. This alters the proportion, visual impact, massing and appearance of the roof pitch.   HPAC feels that the overall massing overwhelms the house.  The original request (December 2003) of lowering the roof pitch was to prevent the pitch from overwhelming the existing buildings.  Based on the approved pitch of January 2004 plans the galvanized roof material was approved, as it would not be obvious with a low roof pitch.

 Frank focused on the submitted photos.  The photos are of roof pitches within and outside the Cranbury Historic District.  The Corr property is in the District.  Frank states the photos support the overall design of roof pitch, and there is no difference of roof pitches used on historic buildings throughout Cranbury.  He also stated that the pitch of the roof cannot necessarily be a big issue.  He

 

 

 

addressed the SOIS and the challenges of new construction differentiated or similar to an existing house.  Frank stated the two massive structures facing street side and the pergola with the roof pitch tries to visually connect the two together.   He also stated the pergola roofing material is the same used on historic barns throughout Cranbury.                                             

Harry, a contractor by trade, stated that he was not a member of HPAC when the application was approved.   After reviewing, he feels that HPAC was generous allowing the free standing garage built while not following the same configuration of the existing house.  Existing now is a contemporary garage and tying the two together is the pergola. 

Mr. Corr cited the dollar cost to him of prior HPAC recommendations. 

HPAC reiterated that new construction should harmonize.  They also feel that the garage is beginning to take on characteristics of a house.  In addition, the garage should not dominate, which is happening with the as built pergola.  Disproportionate massing is reflected and highlighted by the starkness of the galvanized tin roof.  Adding to the visual mass are an approved fence and gate that has been approved, but not installed as of this date. 

Kate read from current Ordinance (93-13 E(h)) referencing Roof Shape: the roof slope of a building shall be visually compatible with buildings to which it is visually related.  Kate feels that the roof shape was not visually compatible. 

Diane submitted colored photos that were taken on this day, taken at different angles to give a better picture of the site.   

Opinions on both sides ensued about the roof material.  Frank stated that the same materials are used on the Updike barn.  HPAC stated there are differences between the Updike barn and the Corrs’ garage, such as building use, style and location.  The roofing material was approved, but on a lower pitched roof.   Frank solicited HPAC for their input asking to creatively look at the “as built’ and make it work in a way that might not offend and not have the homeowner tear down the existing.

After much discussion and review, HPAC feels that the ‘repackaged as built’ application does not alter the previous concerns of proportion, visual impact and appearance.  HPAC stands by their decision of denial, all votes for not approved. 

39 North Main Street, (B23,L51.01) In Historic District; application, photos and brochure submitted (to have a wrought iron hand rail installed near front entrance door as indicated.   Owner submitted a last minute change from wrought iron to a PVC rail.  HPAC feels the iron railing is more appropriate-but application lacks a spec sheet.  The PVC material railing is not appropriate.  HPAC reviewed, discussed and denied this application. All votes for not approved.

             139 Plainsboro Road; (B23,L17) In Surround Zone;  application was received for a porch railing on a ranch style house.  The rail style is the same design as the new deck located on the rear of the house.   The existing hand wrought iron handrails will remain.  HPAC reviewed, discussed and denied this application stating that the railing is not appropriate for a front porch.  Homeowner should view other same style homes for the style of railing used.  All votes for not approved.

            14 Prospect Street;  (B28,L15) In Historic District;  application was received for the design of two arbors and fencing.  One arbor will be installed close to the street and the other close to the rear back.  The proposed arbors, one situated on each side of house, are two different designs.  HPAC reviewed this application and feels the arbors should stylistically relate to each other.  The application was denied with all in favor of no approval.

            120 South Main Street, (B16,L11); ZBA100-05; Outside of District and Surround Zone. HPAC reviewed this Zoning Application, but due to the location, there is no need for a comment.

 

DISCUSSION

Diane took several colored photographs of 99 North Main Street, on this date that show different angles for a better view of the site.   They were submitted for the record.  Kate requested to have a copy of these photos.  Secretary will make Kate a copy.  Kate gave additional comments regarding 99 North Main Street referencing SOIS #9 new construction work shall be differentiated from the old and will be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportions, and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.

 

Discussion (cont.)

A motion was made by Harry, second by Bobbie, carried by all, to enter into closed session for discussion of the vacancy.  Shortly thereafter, closed session exited and re-opened for public.

March 21, Tuesday, Preservation NJ will host a Commission Assistance & Mentoring Program (CAMP).  Secretary will sign up three members to attend.

HPAC requested that applicant attend when their application is discussed at the meeting.  This would prevent unnecessary delays in the proposed work on the application.

Kate spoke with Committeeman Wayne Wittman regarding the barn.  They visited the site and decided to consider a corrugated metal roof. The other existing barns had their roof replaced, with a plywood decking.  It seems that CHPS has offered to handle the contributions for saving the barn.  

Kate will contact Richard to find out when the cell tower will be on the agenda.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

There being no further business, on motion duly made by Bobbie Marlowe, seconded by Kate McConnell, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned at 10:05 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 February 7, 2006, consisting of 3 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 March 21, 2006.

 

 

 

__________________________________________

Linda M. Scott, Secretary