REPORT: LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEETING (4/27/20)

Town Hall Under Construction (ca. 1866). Photo: Amherst Historical Society

The meeting was held virtually via Zoom webcast. Participating were Local Historic District Commission members Karin Winter, Greta Wilcox, Jim Lumley, Peggy Schwartz, and Jennifer Taub (Chair). Absent were members Maurianne Adams and Bruce Coldham. Also participating were Nate Malloy and Benjamin Breger from the Planning Department.

There were two items on the agenda. 

  • The family center at 17 Seelye Street, owned by the Congregational Church, needed to move a dryer vent from a second floor window on its west facade (back of the building) to a position lower down to meet Building Code requirements. The Certificate of Appropriateness was granted unanimously with little discussion.
  • A petition was submitted for renovations to a ten-year-old sun porch for four-season use at 194 Lincoln Avenue, on the corner of Elm Street. The sun porch is visible from Elm Street, and was originally constructed on top of a deck, the floor of which needs to be raised to allow for insulation. Existing transom windows would be removed and raised panels similar to those on the 1895 building would be constructed to fill the space between the floor and new double glass-paned windows identical in size and design to what exists. The existing evergreen trees would remain to screen the porch from the abutters. The Board agreed that the proposal was more in keeping with the 1895 style than the existing sunroom and voted unanimously to grant a Certificate of Appropriateness.

The Board then discussed agenda items for its May 18 meeting. With no petitions currently pending they plan to continue their discussion for a “minimum maintenance” bylaw, apparently arising from historic district neighbors unhappy with the condition of some rental properties.

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