CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
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:
December 4, 2018
III. New Business
Case 2019-1 – 283 Houston – Windows
IV. Old Business
V. Other Business
HDC Local Standards Review – New Construction, Porches and Decks (Worksession)
March 2019 HDC Training Opportunities
“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
December 4, 2018
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, S. Radtke, L. Wood, D. Warren, A. Riegler
MEMBERS ABSENT: K. Panozzo, excused; S. Kroes
STAFF PRESENT: J. Pesch, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: F. Peterson, City Manager
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of October 2, 2018 and November 6, 2018 was
made by J. Hilt, supported by S. Radtke and unanimously approved.
Case 2018-42 – 240, 250, 254 Monroe Ave. New Construction. Applicant: City of Mus-
kegon/Dave Dusendang Custom Homes. District: Houston. Current Function: Vacant Lot. J. Pesch
presented the staff report. The applicant is seeking approval to construct six rowhouses on three va-
cant lots on the north side of Monroe Avenue between 3rd Street and 4th Street (four additional row-
houses will be built across the street on 235 and 239 Monroe, but those will not be located in an his-
toric district). The units are of modular construction, and will have attached garages accessed from
the rear alley. The project is in partnership with the City of Muskegon, similar to the Midtown
Square development, and aims to add new and varied housing options to the near downtown Nelson
neighborhood. Updated renderings were provided to board members at the meeting.
J. Hilt asked what the back of the houses would look like. F. Peterson stated that most of the rear
view of the units would consist of an attached garage, but there would be windows upstairs. He ex-
plained the modular construction of the units, stating that they would be built off-site then transport-
ed and assembled on the lots. This limited the construction time and its impact on the neighbor-
hood. However, the modular construction would also limit the design options versus a stick-built
home. Two exterior design options and indoor floor plans were reviewed by staff and board mem-
bers. Board members liked the design with a garden level and steps leading to the front door but
acknowledged that the steps could cause accessibility issues. F. Peterson explained Federal regula-
tions concerning accessibility/visitability. A. Riegler stated that the windows did not look propor-
tionate to the other features of the house. J. Hilt suggested that the windows should be moved closer
to the center and more evenly spaced. F. Peterson stated that if the renderings did not meet HDC
standards, he would explain to the City Commission what it would take to meet those guidelines. S.
Radtke asked what the garages would look like. F. Peterson stated that they would be one-stall gar-
ages with a gable roof, connected to the back of the home. L. Wood asked if there would be addi-
tional parking for the units. F. Peterson stated that there would be room for cars in the back of the
units and in the driveway. A. Riegler agreed that the front windows needed to come in more toward
the center. S. Radtke didn’t like the false roofline shown on one of the renderings. A. Riegler asked
what the HDC was being asked to approve. F. Peterson stated that he was looking for some direc-
tion to go back to the developer with so they could come back before the board in January with re-
vised drawings. He asked if the renderings were reasonably approvable and the board concurred
that they were, with the exception of window placement and the false roofline.
A motion that the HDC approve the concept of building six modular rowhouses on the vacant lots at
240, 250, and 254 Monroe Avenue but table the approval until revised drawings were presented
based on input given by board members at this meeting, was made by S. Radtke, supported by A.
Riegler and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Radtke, L. Wood, D. Warren, and A. Riegler
HDC Local Standards Review – Residing and Trim Cladding, Roofing – J. Pesch stated that
there were grants available through the State Historic Preservation Office, but the board could not
apply for those until they updated their standards and became certified by the state. Board members
discussed the standards for siding, trim cladding and roofing, and concurred that siding was an im-
portant consideration. S. Radtke suggested removing the reference to asbestos cement shingles and
adding wording regarding metal roofs, since they were becoming popular. He was opposed to
standing-seam roofs but thought that stamped metal roofs were acceptable. A. Riegler suggested
removing the references to color, since the HDC did not regulate color; Federal standards did not
address color, and local standards could not be more restrictive than Federal standards. Board
members concurred that they would vote on the new language at the next meeting, once J. Pesch in-
corporated the board’s suggestions. J. Pesch stated that the sections to review for the next meeting
would be New Construction and Porches & Decks.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
III. NEW BUSINESS
Case 2019-1 – 283 Houston – Windows
Applicant: Debra Tober
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to replace fourteen (14) windows on the structure with new, vinyl
windows. The existing windows have wood frames, and some are broken or no longer operable. All
proposed new windows will match the placement and size of the existing windows, and those pro-
posed for the front of the house will also match the mullion style of the existing windows.
These guidelines pertain only to proposed changes to the structure and do not affect existing con-
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 by the Commission. All desired or proposed changes should be referred to the Historic Dis-
trict 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 re-
pair is not possible, elements shall be replaced with matching wood members. Damaged or deterio-
rated 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 ac-
tion. When repair is not possible, elements shall be replaced with matching wood members. 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 ap-
proval. Unusual decorative windows such as Palladian windows, oriels, bays, Gothic arch or seg-
ment 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 exteri-
or 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 ac-
ceptable 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 in-
side surface of the primary window and could cause damage to the wood and paint if not properly
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.
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, 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 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, col-
umns, 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 possible.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to replace fourteen (14) windows on the structure
with new, vinyl windows that match the placement and size of the existing windows with the win-
dows on the front façade also matching the mullion style of the front façade’s existing windows as
long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
V. OTHER BUSINESS
HDC Local Standards Review – New Construction, Porches and Decks – Commissioners agreed
to review the local standards for New Construction and Porches & Decks in preparation for this
meeting. The revised local standards for Residing & Trim Cladding and Roofing incorporating
comments from the December meeting will be voted on as well.
March 2019 HDC Training Opportunities – The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions
will be offering free, all-day commission training on two upcoming dates. The first opportunity will
be on Friday, March 15th in Ypsilanti, and the second will be on Saturday, March 23rd in Kalama-
zoo. The same topics will be covered on both dates. Additional information will be available at the