CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
TIME OF MEETING: 4:00 p.m.
PLACE OF MEETING: City Commission Chambers, City Hall
I. Call to Order
III. Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of May 2, 2017
IV. Old Business
Case 2017-08 – Hackley Park – Dance Floor
V. New Business
Case 2017-09 – 1508 Clinton St – Garage Door
VI. Other Business
“We admire that which is old not because it is old, but because it is beautiful.” Winston Churchill
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CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
May 2, 2017
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, S. Kroes, S. Radtke, A. Riegler
MEMBERS ABSENT: D. Warren, excused; L. Wood, K. Panozzo
STAFF PRESENT: M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: H. Sherman, 1347 Peck St; D. Gregersen, 241 W Muskegon Ave.; J. Paul-
son, SafeBuilt Building Inspection Dept; A. Soler, Lakeshore Museum Cen-
ter; T. Kling & T. Sanocki, Muskegon Polish Festival
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of April 4, 2017 was made by J. Hilt, supported by S.
Kroes and unanimously approved.
Case 2017-06 – 1347 Peck Street. Applicant: Helen Sherman. District: McLaughlin. Current Function:
Residential. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The applicant is seeking approval to replace the cur-
rent wood siding with vinyl siding. They are proposing to remove the old wood siding, wrap the house
for insulation and protection against moisture, put up trim and wrap in aluminum and then reside with vi-
nyl. The applicant was asked to get a quote for repainting versus residing.
H. Sherman stated that there were a number of improvements to the property that were needed in order to
make it marketable, including repairing some areas of dry rot. A. Riegler asked if the porch was original
to the home. H. Sherman stated that it was not; it was a later addition that was approved by the HDC. A.
Riegler stated that the house was architecturally significant, as it was a classic of its time period. S. Radt-
ke concurred. S. Kroes stated that the architectural features would be retained, just wrapped in aluminum.
H. Sherman stated that she wanted to protect the house from further deterioration. A. Riegler stated that
the addition of vinyl siding could cause more problems, as it would trap moisture. H. Sherman stated that
she planned to remove the problem siding and correct any problems before wrapping and adding vinyl
siding. A. Riegler asked if she had obtained a quote for the work. H. Sherman stated that she had a quote
of $5,000 to $7,000 for the siding only, with no labor, as she would handle the labor herself. A. Riegler
stated that she had a couple of issues with the request: 1) the house was definitely architecturally signifi-
cant, and 2) the addition of vinyl siding and aluminum trim would drastically change the look of the
house. She stated that she would like to see pictures of the areas of deterioration. H. Sherman stated that
one board had fallen off on the back and others were dry-rotted. S. Radtke stated that houses of this era
were not meant to be wrapped, and the vinyl siding would trap moisture. J. Hilt asked H. Sherman if she
had gotten a quote for restoring the wood. H. Sherman stated that she had not; she planned to do that
work herself. She stated that the house was last painted in 2003 and it was not done well. She was also
concerned with possible lead paint contamination. A. Riegler stated that she would like more information
before voting on the request. The wood siding was part of the structural integrity of the house and there
was no telling what damage could be caused by removing it. S. Radtke and J. Hilt concurred. J. Hilt
asked if H. Sherman could obtain estimates for stripping and repainting the wood siding. H. Sherman
stated that it would be difficult, since they would be doing that work themselves. S. Radtke reviewed the
HDC standards for vinyl siding and stated that the board had to abide by the standards. H. Sherman stated
that the board had been generous in the past in allowing work to be done. A. Riegler stated that board
members had changed over the years. H. Sherman stated that she was aware of the homes history but im-
provements to the house were much needed and the cost of wood repair and painting would make that
impossible. She asked staff about lead paint concerns. M. Franzak stated that it was possible the house
contained lead paint, and she would need to take that in to consideration. H. Sherman confirmed that the
board was asking for quotes on painting and vinyl siding. S. Radtke stated that the first preference was to
repair the wood siding, but the board would like to compare the estimates. H. Sherman asked if the HDC
or the City provided any incentives for financial assistance to help meet the HDC standards. M. Franzak
stated that there was nothing in place at this time, but the City and the HDC had been looking at possibili-
ties to provide some kind of assistance to homeowners.
A motion that the HDC table the request to replace with wood siding with vinyl siding was made by S.
Radtke, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, S. Radtke, and A. Riegler
Case 2017-07 – 240 Monroe Avenue. Applicant: City of Muskegon. District: Houston. Current Func-
tion: Residential. M. Franzak stated that SafeBuilt building inspection department was the applicant for
this case on behalf of the City. They are seeking approval to demolish the house due to fire damage from
a fire on November 9, 2016. The State Historic Preservation Office of Michigan (SHPO) has determined
that the home is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fire Inspection Report and
pictures were provided to board members.
A. Riegler stated that at the previous meeting the applicant had indicated that he was interested in saving
the structure. J. Paulson replied that, at the subsequent Housing Board of Appeals (HBA) meeting the
homeowner informed that board that he had not been aware of the full extent of the damage and the costs
involved in repairs. J. Paulson described the structural problems with the house, and estimated that re-
pairs would cost over $20,000. The City had escrowed funds to cover demolition or rehabilitation costs,
and Mr. Clark (homeowner) had been under the impression that he would lose those funds if the house
was demolished. A. Riegler stated that, given the choice of the house remaining as it was or being demol-
ished, demolition was preferable. Given the new information regarding the extent of damage and estimate
of repair costs, she was more comfortable approving the demolition request.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to demolish the structure as proposed as long as all zoning
requirements are met and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by A. Riegler, supported by S.
Kroes and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, S. Radtke, and A. Riegler voting aye.
Cases were heard out of order at this point, with the ones having applicants present being heard first.
Case 2017-11 – 444 & 448 West Clay Avenue. Applicant: Lakeshore Museum Center. District: Clay –
Western. Current Function: Institutional. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The applicant is seeking
to erect a wooden split-rail fence around the two vacant properties where homes were recently razed. The
fence will keep cars from parking in these areas so they can be seeded. The rear of the lots near the alley
will remain a parking area.
A. Soler stated that the fence may not be permanent; they just needed something to keep people and vehi-
cles off the grass seed. She was willing to erect whatever type of fence the HDC deemed appropriate.
The HDC standards did not clearly address fences on vacant lots. S. Radtke stated that the fence matched
that around the adjoining museum property. The board suggested that shrub plantings could be used to
screen the fence and vacant lots.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to erect a wooden split rail fence as proposed as long as it
meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by S. Kroes, supported
by S. Radtke and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, S. Radtke, and A. Riegler voting aye.
Case 2017-10 – 345 Houston Avenue. Applicant: Andre Coffee. District: Current Function: Residen-
tial. This is one of the new Midtown Square homes. The applicant is seeking approval to install a 6-foot
white vinyl privacy fence with gate around his back yard. They will also be installing a ground-level
wooden deck in the back yard and a paver patio with a fire pit. A sketch of the project was provided.
A. Riegler asked if the improvements met HDC standards. M. Franzak stated that this type of fence was
very popular in historic districts and fit the character of the homes. J. Hilt pointed out that the houses in
this development were new, not historic. Board members concurred that the proposed fire pit did not re-
quire HDC approval.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to erect a 6-foot white vinyl privacy fence and a wooden plat-
form deck as proposed, as long all zoning requirements are met and the necessary permits are obtained,
was made by S. Kroes, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, S. Radtke,
and A. Riegler voting aye.
Case 2017-09 – 25 Merrill Avenue. Applicant: Holly Alway. District: McLaughlin. Current Function:
Residential. The applicant is seeking approval to replace the current chain link fence with a 5-foot wood
privacy fence. Her back yard borders a parking lot and she would like the fence to screen her yard. The
fence will be located along the rear property line and the side of the back yard facing Peck St. An aerial
photo of the property was provided showing the proposed fence location.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to erect a 5-foot wood panel fence as proposed as long as it
meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by S. Kroes, supported
by J. Hilt and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Kroes, S. Radtke, and A. Riegler voting aye.
Case 2017-08 – Hackley Park. Applicant: Muskegon Polish Festival. District: National Register. Cur-
rent Function: Park. M. Franzak stated that, although this request was not supported by staff, the appli-
cant wished to present their case for installing a concrete dance floor in Hackley Park and have the HDC
vote on it. M. Franzak and the City’s Parks Supervisor, B. Young met with the applicant, Mr. Kling, at
Hackley Park to discuss the proposal. Staff was not in favor of installing any permanent structure or
grinding down any paved areas. There was discussion about leveling off the dirt then reseeding it after
the festival. Mr. Kling stated that the temporary dance floor they rented last year did not work well, as it
shifted position and was uneven. Staff and board members pointed out that the intended use of the park,
per its master plan, was a Civil War monument, and a dance floor did not fit that purpose. T. Sanocki
stated that they needed a dance floor for their festival and asked what their next step was. M. Franzak
stated that he would discuss it with the Parks Supervisor. No vote was able to be taken, as J. Hilt was on
the board of the Muskegon Polish Festival and the remaining three HDC members present did not consti-
tute a quorum.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Case 2017-08 – Hackley Park
Applicant: Muskegon Polish Festival
District: National Register
Current Function: Park
The applicant is seeking approval to install a permanent, concrete dance floor at Hackley Park. Please see
the enclosed renderings that show five different options they would like to offer for consideration. Please
also refer to the Hackley Park Master Plan that was sent out for the April meeting. The Parks Department
and Planning Department are both opposed to the request, as it is not called for in the park’s Master Plan.
Please see the Hackley Park Master Plan
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to install a permanent dance floor at Hackley Park as de-
scribed as long as it meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
Case 2017-09 – 1508 Clinton St.
Applicant: Ken Kampenga
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to replace the current wood garage door with a similar vinyl garage
door. A picture of the proposed door will be provided at the meeting. The proposed door will not have a
window. It appears that the current door may have one window, but it may have been painted the same
color as the door. The applicant has concerns over crime in the area and wishes to conceal the contents
inside the garage.
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 construction.
These guidelines are primarily directed toward the front and side elevations of the structure. Greater vari-
ances 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 Histor-
ic 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 archi-
tectural design, or the effect upon usage and viability of the structure could dictate a variance from theses
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 Com-
mission approval and provided that the original profile of the woodwork is not altered or changed.
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 dis-
tricts, 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 gener-
ally will not be acceptable.
The size of glass lites and muntin arrangements shall not be altered without Commission approval. Spe-
cial glazing, such as stained or leaded art glass, shall not be removed without Commission approval. Un-
usual 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 win-
dows 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 de-
tract 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 ventilated.
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 origi-
nal 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 Commis-
sion may approve doors made of material other than wood provided they conform to the same design re-
Wooden storm and screen doors are preferred and will generally be the required option in Class AA dis-
tricts, 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 fin-
ishes will be acceptable. In general, storm and screen doors shall conform to those illustrated on an at-
tached sheet. The door stiles and rails should be a minimum of 4" wide and one lite doors, where practi-
cal, are preferred in order not to detract from the existing primary door. Jalousie doors are not accepta-
ble 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 re-
moved but shall be repaired or replaced with matching materials where possible.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to replace the garage door as proposed as long as it meets
all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.