CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, September 6, 2016
TIME OF MEETING: 4:00 p.m.
PLACE OF MEETING: City Commission Chambers, City Hall
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of August 2, 2016
III. New Business
Case 2016-15 – 1341 4th Street – soffit & fascia
Case 2016-16 – Heritage Village (Clay and Webster from 5th to 6th) – street lights
Case 2016-17 – 517 W Webster Ave – windows
IV. Old Business
V. Other Business
“We admire that which is old not because it is old, but because it is beautiful.” Winston Churchill
AMERICAN DISABILITY ACT POLICY FOR ACCESS TO OPEN MEETING OF THE
CITY COMMISSION AND ANY OF ITS COMMITTEES OR SUBCOMMITTEES
The City of Muskegon will provide necessary reasonable auxiliary aids and services, such as signers for the hearing impaired and
audio tapes of printed materials being considered at the meeting, to individuals with disabilities who want to attend the meeting,
upon twenty-four hour notice to the City of Muskegon. Individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids or services should
contact the City of Muskegon by writing or calling the following:
Ann Marie Cummings, City Clerk
933 Terrace Street
Muskegon, MI 49440
TTY/TDD: Dial 7-1-1 and request that representative dial 231-724-6705
CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
August 2, 2016
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, S. Kroes
MEMBERS ABSENT: D. Warren, excused; K. Panozzo, excused; L. Wood
STAFF PRESENT: M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: L. Loring, 446 W. Webster Ave; D. Loring, 446 W. Webster Ave;
Q. Tiffany, 1694 Jefferson; C. Farmer, 1668 Jefferson
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of July 5, 2016 was made by J. Hilt, supported by
S. Kroes and unanimously approved.
Case 2016-13 – 446 W Webster Avenue. Applicant: Lori Loring. District: Downtown Structures.
Current Function: Bed & Breakfast. The applicant is seeking approval to replace a 19’7” x 5” arched
exterior crown molding. They have been unable to find a contractor capable of replacing the exact
shape with wood. They have found a company in Texas that is able to produce a rubber mold from
the wood sample. They will then use a pourable foam process to create the flexible crown molding
that will replicate the original wooden crown molding.
The Lorings explained that they had checked with several local contractors to inquire about the
possibility of making a replacement piece of wood molding. Several places were unable to do it, and
cost estimates for those who could were in the thousands of dollars. Upon the advice of one
contractor, they sent measurements to a place in Texas, who stated that they would make a mold and
create the replacement piece out of foam with the exact shape of the original. This would still be a
very costly endeavor, but it offered substantial savings over other estimates. A. Riegler asked if the
foam material was exterior grade. The Lorings stated that they were not sure, but would check into
it. D. Loring stated that a good portion of the molding would be covered by the rain drip edge of the
rubber flat roof above it.
S. Radtke stated that he appreciated the extensive amount of work that the Lorings put in to finding a
replacement piece of molding. A motion that the HDC approve the request to replace the arched
exterior wooden crown molding with the foam replacement piece as proposed, as long as all zoning
requirements are met and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by S. Kroes, supported by S.
Radtke and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, and S. Kroes voting aye.
Case 2016-14 – 280 W Muskegon Avenue. Applicant: Central United Methodist Church. District:
Houston. Current Function: Institutional. The applicant is seeking approval for exterior lighting and
a bathroom vent cap that will be affixed to the building. M. Franzak stated that HDC standards did
not cover these items, but he would still like the board’s input. A spec sheet showing the type of
lighting and vents was provided. A. Riegler observed that they were very understated and would not
detract from the building.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to add the lighting and vent cap as proposed, as long as
all zoning requirements are met and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by S. Radtke,
supported by A. Riegler and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, and S. Kroes
1319 Peck St. (request for siding) – Q. Tiffany and C. Farmer came to the meeting regarding last
month’s case at 1319 Peck St. (Step Up). They were opposed to the request to side the home with
vinyl. They stated that this was a significant home in the neighborhood, and allowing the wood to be
covered with vinyl would discourage others with wood-sided homes from choosing to repaint instead
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:37 p.m.
Case 2016-15 – 1341 4th St
Applicant: Andrea Harmon
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to wrap the soffit and fascia in the rear of the home with
aluminum trim. Squirrels have chewed through the soffit at the rear of the home.
RESIDING AND TRIM CLADDING GUIDELINES
(Adopted December 6,1994 - Effective January 1, 1995)
The Muskegon Historic District Commission does not endorse the residing of structures within the
Historic districts. It is the policy of this Commission that the original fabric of the building should
be repaired or replaced where necessary with the original building material. Therefore, residing and
trim cladding in Class AA districts shall not be approved.
In cases in Class A districts where the repair or replacement with like materials is impractical or where
it can be demonstrated that the original materials will no longer hold paint or that the original materials
are so badly deteriorated that they can no longer be reasonably repaired, the residing standards below
shall strictly be adhered to.
For the purpose of this statement, the terms "residing materials" and "trim cladding" shall be
understood to encompass the use of any residing materials such as aluminum, vinyl, steel, hardboard,
wood, masonry, or molded urethane which is designed to replace or cover all, or any part, of an
exterior wall, trim work or other building element or a structure within a designated historic district.
The Commission shall review all applications for Certificates of Appropriateness proposing the
installation of residing materials or trim cladding as individual cases. Each application shall be
decided on its own merit. No person should interpret any Commission approval for residing or trim
cladding as being precedent setting. Unrestricted use of residing materials or trim cladding will not
In any case where residing materials or trim cladding are proposed for use by a property owner or
siding contractor, the property owner shall be required to submit a signed letter stating in detail the
intent and scope of the proposed residing or trim cladding installation. Such a letter is to also include
the identification of any deterioration or problems occurring relative to the existing siding or exterior
building fabric. If known, the cause and extent of this deterioration must be clearly stated.
The following conditions of installation shall be met by all proposals for residing or trim cladding:
1. All existing deterioration shall be made structurally sound and its causes, insofar as
possible, shall be corrected prior to the installation of residing materials or trim
2. Any installation of residing materials shall simulate the appearance of the original
building material that it is intended to cover. This simulation shall take into account
the size, shape or profile, texture, and linear direction of the original building material.
(a) The residing material shall be similar in appearance and dimension to the
original siding. The exposure to the weather of the new siding shall range within one
inch of the nominal dimension of the original siding. The Historic District
Commission shall have the authority to waive this requirement in the event that they
believe a different design or dimension siding would be more appropriate to the
architectural character of the Historic District.
(b) A proposed color shall be appropriate as determined by the Commission.
(c) Generally, wood grain textures are not approved by the Commission.
However, the appropriateness of a specific siding texture shall be determined on an
individual case basis.
3. Any installation of trim cladding shall adhere to the following guidelines for the
treatment for architectural trim elements.
(a) Existing cornice or building trim elements shall not be covered or replaced
without Commission approval. Commission approval will depend upon how closely
the trim cladding or new trim elements duplicate the appearance of the existing
building trim elements.
(b) The wall siding material shall not extend over the existing trim members such
as window and door trim, sills, fascias, soffits, frieze members and boards, brackets,
aprons, corner boards, trim boards, skirt boards, or any other characteristic moldings
or architectural features (see attached illustration).
(c) If the above mentioned trim members are to be clad, they shall be covered with
custom formed cladding which shall closely approximate the shapes and contours of
the existing moldings or trim. Distinctive or unusual trim or architectural elements
shall not be clad without prior consideration and Commission approval.
(d) No building trim elements or architectural features are to be removed or altered
to facilitate the installation of the new siding or trim cladding without approval of the
Historic District Commission.
(e) In most cases the soffit cladding material shall run parallel and not
perpendicular to the plane of the wall.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to wrap the soffit and fascia in the rear of the home
with aluminum trim as proposed as long as it meets all zoning requirements and the necessary
permits are obtained.
Case 2016-16 – Heritage Village
Applicant: Heritage Village Committee of Nelson Neighborhood Association
District: Downtown Structures
Current Function: Residential
The committee is seeking approval to retrofit the existing streetlight poles with new LED fixtures.
Most of the poles are in the City right-of-way; however, some are located on private property.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to retrofit the existing light poles in Heritage
Village with new LED fixtures as proposed as long as it meets all zoning requirements and the
necessary permits are obtained.
Case 2016-17 – 517 W Webster Ave
Applicant: Clemente Coulombe
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to replace the basement windows (about 4 to 5) with glass block
windows for efficiency and security reasons.
WINDOW, DOOR, AND EXTERIOR WOODWORK
STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES
(Adopted December 6, 1994 - Effective January 1, 1995)
These guidelines pertain only to proposed changes to the structure and do not affect existing
These guidelines are primarily directed toward the front and side elevations of the structure. Greater
variances and more leniency may be extended toward proposed changes to the rear elevation of the
building in Class A districts by the Commission. All desired or proposed changes should be referred
to the Historic District Commission for consideration. Extenuating circumstances, the effect upon
the architecture of the particular structure together with the general effect upon the surrounding
structures, variables in architectural design, or the effect upon usage and viability of the structure
could dictate a variance from these guidelines.
No exterior doors, windows, or exterior woodwork shall be altered, removed, relocated, or added
without Historic District Commission approval.
Existing exterior window or door casings, sills, and caps shall not be altered from the original design
or appearance. Damaged or deteriorated wood shall be repaired as a first course of action. When
repair is not possible, elements shall be replaced with matching wood members. In Class A districts,
damaged or deteriorated wood elements may be replaced or covered with formed aluminum or vinyl,
subject to Commission approval and provided that the original profile of the woodwork is not altered
Existing damaged or deteriorating window frames and sash shall be repaired as a first course of action.
When repair is not possible, elements shall be replaced with matching wood members. In Class A
districts, metal or vinyl replacement windows may be acceptable provided they match the original
windows in design and type and that they consist of or are painted an appropriate color. Bare metal
finishes generally will not be acceptable.
The size of glass lites and muntin arrangements shall not be altered without Commission approval.
Special glazing, such as stained or leaded art glass, shall not be removed without Commission
approval. Unusual decorative windows such as Palladian windows, oriels, bays, Gothic arch or
segment tops, etc. shall not be removed or altered.
Wood storm and screen windows are the most appropriate for use in the historic district. Other types
of storm, screen, or combination windows will be approved provided that the new storm window
mullions align with the mullions of the primary windows. Blind stop storm and screen windows
(where such windows are placed inside the existing window frames rather than affixed to the exterior
of the frames) are preferable and may be required in some instances. Bare metal storm and screen
windows must be painted to match or complement the trim. Interior storm windows may be
acceptable as long as they do not detract from the appearance of the primary windows. Care should
be taken, however, when using interior storm windows because condensation tends to form on the
inside surface of the primary window and could cause damage to the wood and paint if not properly
Greater scrutiny will be applied by the commission in reviewing storm and screen windows in Class
AA districts in order to determine the most appropriate option.
Every effort should be made to preserve or repair the original doors where damage has occurred.
When repair is not possible, the first choice shall be a similar salvaged door from a structure of the
approximate age and style. A new wood door may be used when a salvaged door is not available.
Such new door shall match the original in detail and finish.
In Class A districts the Commission may approve new wood doors that may slightly differ from the
original in cases where replicating the original may not be feasible, as long as such doors generally
conform to the ones illustrated on the attached sheet. Under certain circumstances in Class A districts,
the Commission may approve doors made of material other than wood provided they conform to the
same design requirements.
Wooden storm and screen doors are preferred and will generally be the required option in Class AA
districts, especially on the front of the structure. Aluminum or metal storm and screen doors may be
used so long as they are not mill finished or anodized aluminum. Baked enamel or other applicable
paints or finishes will be acceptable. In general, storm and screen doors shall conform to those
illustrated on an attached sheet. The door stiles and rails should be a minimum of 4" wide and one
lite doors, where practical, are preferred in order not to detract from the existing primary door.
Jalousie doors are not acceptable for use as storm doors in the historic districts. Ornamental iron
work safety doors are also generally inappropriate in the historic districts.
Existing decorative woodwork such as railings, moldings, eave, and gable cornice trim, tracery,
columns, observatories, scrolls, bargeboards, lattice, and other carved or sawn wood ornament shall
not be removed or altered without Commission approval. Existing deteriorated ornamental
woodwork shall not be removed but shall be repaired or replaced with matching materials where
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request replace the basement windows with glass block
windows as proposed as long as it meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are