CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
January 3, 2017
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, S. Kroes, K. Panozzo, A. Riegler, D. Warren
MEMBERS ABSENT: S. Radtke, excused; L. Wood, excused
STAFF PRESENT: M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: A. Soler, Lakeshore Museum Center, 430 W Clay Ave.; B. Leibrandt,
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of November 1, 2016 was made by J. Hilt,
supported by K. Panozzo and unanimously approved.
Case 2017-01 – 430 West Clay Avenue. Applicant: Lakeshore Museum Center. District: Clay-
Western. Current Function: Institutional. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The museum is
considering an addition to its building in the near future. They currently own the building at 477 W.
Western Ave, which they use as their archive facility. This building was formerly retail space, and
is located on the main downtown thoroughfare. The museum also rents space in the building that
houses Ryke’s bakery on Terrace St, which is used for storage. They would like to consolidate in
one central location and to accomplish this, they would like to purchase the two homes at 444 and
448 W. Clay Ave. which are to the west of the museum. They would then raze the homes in order
to make room for the addition. They are looking for direction from the HDC board on demolishing
the two homes.
A. Riegler stated that the houses in question had gone through many changes over the years, and
didn’t appear to have any architectural significance. A. Soler discussed the museum’s plans and the
background for their proposal. She stated that the City had requested that the museum’s archive
building on Western Avenue be put to a higher and better use. In addition, museum staff had
researched the two houses to be razed and found no evidence that any historically significant people
had resided there. At this time, one house was broken up into seven units and the other had two.
She had done a walk-through with an architect and city staff, and found that the houses appeared to
be in no condition to be moved. Pictures of the inside and outside of the houses were provided.
The museum’s plan was to purchase the houses and demolish them in the spring. They would then
obtain the necessary approvals from the city, fundraise, and proceed with construction of the
addition. M. Franzak stated that the current owner of the properties could apply to the HDC for
approval to demolish them. A. Soler asked if the approval would transfer once the museum bought
the properties. M. Franzak stated that it would. A. Riegler stated that she had checked with the
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state’s historic preservation office and found that demolitions can be approved if the properties are
detrimental to the historic district. M. Franzak stated that the use of the Western Avenue building
as storage was not a highest and best use, so it would be beneficial to allow another use to locate
there. D. Warren asked what type of use was being considered for the Western Avenue archive
building. B. Leibrandt stated that there was someone interested in leasing the building for retail use.
Board members discussed a possible motion, since no formal request had been made yet. A motion
that the HDC support a request to demolish the structures at 444 and 448 W. Clay Avenue once an
application is submitted, was made by D. Warren, submitted by S. Kroes and unanimously
approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, K. Panozzo, A. Riegler, and D. Warren voting aye.
Case 2017-02 – 540 West Webster Avenue. Applicant: Jere Clausen. District: Clay-Western.
Current Function: Residential. M. Franzak presented the staff report. This property was approved
for a two-story addition in 2016; however, the owner has changed his mind regarding his plans for
the home. He is now proposing to rebuild the porch in the same location of the existing porch. It
will match the previous structure exactly in height, footprint, material and configuration. However,
they would like to add a sliding door, an awning window and a double hung window on the west
side. Renderings of the proposal were provided to board members.
A. Riegler was the architect and described the work to be done. She stated that it would be in the
same footprint as the current structure, but with more openings (windows and doors).
A motion that the HDC approve the request for the addition as proposed as long as it meets all
zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by D. Warren, supported by
K. Panozzo and approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, K. Panozzo, and D. Warren voting aye, and A.
Riegler abstaining due to her being the architect on this project.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
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