CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, July 6, 2021
TIME OF MEETING: 4:00 p.m.
PLACE OF MEETING: Conference Room 204, City Hall
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of June 1, 2021 and special meeting of June 15,
III. Old Business
IV. New Business
Case 2021-25 – 1392 5th – Porch Skirting
Case 2021-26 – 72 E. Grand – Windows, Doors, and Siding
V. Other Business
2021 Staff Approval Update #2
Staff Approval of Sheds
State Historic Tax Credit Program – Draft Rules Public Comment
Identification of Historic Resources
“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
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 at 933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440 or by calling (231) 724-6705 or TTY/TDD: Dial 7-1-1 and request that repre-
sentative dial 231-724-6705
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of June 1, 2021 and special meeting of June 15, 2021.
III. OLD BUSINESS
IV. NEW BUSINESS
Case 2021-25 – 1392 5th – Porch Skirting
Applicant: Kimi George
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to replace the lattice and 1”x4” framed skirting with 1”x6” framed
slatted skirting with 1”x4” slats.
View of house from corner of 5th Street and Campus Avenue
Existing skirting Proposed skirting
PORCH AND DECK STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES (ABBREVIATED)
Freestanding or Attached Decks (Uncovered Porches)
Placement and design of all decks shall be approved by the Commission. Decks should be located in
unobtrusive locations and shall feature one of the edge details featured on the attached decking de-
tail illustration. Decking boards shall consist of 5/4” thick pressure treated decking or square edged
fir decking and appropriately finished. In some cases, composite decking materials may be permitted
for use on uncovered porches.
All exposed deck or porch wood shall be painted to complement or contrast the existing structure.
Pressure treated wood shall be painted no later than one year after installation.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to replace the lattice and 1”x4” framed skirting
with 1”x6” framed slatted skirting with 1”x4” slats as long as the work meets all zoning require-
ments and the necessary permits are obtained.
Case 2021-26 – 72 E. Grand – Windows, Doors, and Siding
Applicant: D. Wilkinson Insurance Agency, Inc.
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to 1) remove and replace 12 wood windows on the first floor with
double hung vinyl windows of the same sizes (except where a picture window is required on the
front porch), 2) remove one wood window on the first floor’s east elevation and install a new vinyl
egress window in a new location on the same wall, 3) remove and replace four wood windows on
the second floor with double hung vinyl windows of the same sizes except for one existing, non-
original window on the south elevation to be replaced with a new egress window (above the porch),
4) reside the entire house with vinyl siding, retaining the existing brick and corbels, 5) remove the
door on the north elevation and install siding over the opening, 6) replace two remaining, non-origi-
nal exterior doors with six panel doors matching the existing front door, 7) reverse the door swing
on the west elevation, and 8) replace counterflashing and other required repairs on the roof (unfin-
ished from former owner’s permit).
View of south (front) and west (left) elevations from E. Grand Avenue showing second floor win-
dow above porch to be replaced with an egress window (#3) and other existing first floor windows
to be replaced (#1)
View of south (front) and east (right) elevations from E. Grand Avenue showing window on east el-
evation to be removed and replaced with a new vinyl egress window in a new location (#2)
View of west elevation showing location of door to be reversed and replaced (#6) (photo from
View of north (rear) elevation showing rear door to be eliminated (#5) (photo from fall 2020)
Door on north (rear) elevation proposed to be removed and sided over and proposed replacement
door style for all three exterior doors (#5 and #6)
Existing first floor plan (top) and proposed first floor plan (bottom) with changes noted
Interior view of (from left to right) existing front door to be replaced with similar six panel door
(#6), boarded-up center window on front porch to be replaced with a vinyl picture window and ex-
isting window on west elevation to be replaced with a vinyl window (#1). Proposed replacement
window styles depicted below.
Photos depicting condition of existing wood siding proposed to be replaced with vinyl siding (#4)
RESIDING AND TRIM CLADDING GUIDELINES
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.
In cases where the repair or replacement with like materials is impractical or where it can be demon-
strated 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 under-
stood 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 in-
stallation 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 be allowed.
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 cladding.
2. Any installation of residing materials shall simulate the appearance of the original building ma-
terial that it is intended to cover. This simulation shall take into account the size, shape or pro-
file, texture, and linear direction of the original building material.
a. The residing material shall be similar in appearance and dimension to the original sid-
ing. 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 His-
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 ap-
propriateness 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 Commis-
sion 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, facias, soffits, frieze members and boards, brackets, aprons, corner boards,
trim boards, skirt boards, or any other characteristic moldings or architectural features.
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 con-
sideration 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
In most cases the soffit cladding material shall run parallel and not perpendicular to the plane of the
WINDOW, DOOR, AND EXTERIOR WOODWORK STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES
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 action.
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
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.
Every effort should be made to preserve or repair the original doors where damage has occurred.
When repair is not possible, a new wood door may be used. 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.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to 1) remove and replace 12 wood windows on the
first floor with double hung vinyl windows of the same sizes and a vinyl picture window on the
front porch centered between two double hung windows, 2) remove one wood window on the first
floor’s east elevation and install a new vinyl egress window in a new location on the same wall, 3)
remove and replace four wood windows on the second floor with double hung vinyl windows of the
same sizes with one existing, non-original window on the south elevation to be replaced with a new
egress window above the porch, 4) reside the entire house with vinyl siding, retaining the existing
brick and corbels, 5) remove the door on the north elevation and install siding over the opening, 6)
replace two remaining, non-original exterior doors with six panel doors matching the existing front
door, 7) reverse the door swing on the west elevation, and 8) replace counterflashing and other re-
quired repairs on the roof as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary per-
mits are obtained.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
2021 Staff Approval Update #2 – Since the last update in April, Staff has approved 19 projects,
those bolded were discussed with the HDC Chairperson prior to approval:
- 263 W. Muskegon – Replacement of wood stair treads and one exterior door
- 504 W. Clay – Replacement of rotted porch floor and railings with matching materials
- 401 W. Western – Restoration of marquee and sign (items that did not require full HDC review)
- 404 W. Webster – Paving of existing gravel driveway
- 59 Irwin – Replacement of fixed pane bathroom window, replace living room window with
matching window or repair broken glass pane
- 1727 Jefferson – Installation of 18’ of 6’-tall wood privacy fence
- 308 Monroe – Installation of above-ground pool (16’ diameter, 4’ depth) and 6’-tall vinyl
- 349 Houston – 6’-tall vinyl privacy fence
- 1542 Clinton – Replacement of damaged exterior door with matching door
- 299 Houston – Replacement of remaining porch flooring (item did not require full HDC review)
- 294 Monroe – Installation of 6’-tall vinyl privacy fence and 4’-tall vinyl picket fence
- 511 W. Clay – Residing of garage to match house
- 1624 Jefferson – Reroof house
- 458 W. Webster – Repair and replace porch roof. Reinstall decorative second-story
- 1261 Ransom – Installation of 3’-tall wood picket fence
- 424 W. Webster – Reroof house
- 32 Diana – Installation of 6’-tall wood privacy fence and 4’-tall wood picket fence
- 153 Campus – Reroof house
- 1368 5th – Reroof house
Staff Approval of Sheds – Past discussions of the HDC involved enabling Staff to approve requests
for new sheds should they meet certain standards. Staff has drafted the following general design
standards based on recent conditions of approval used by the HDC and is seeking consent to add
them to the Staff Approval Form:
Sheds must have seven-foot-tall walls, a gable roof with a minimum of a 6/12 pitch, and double
doors with each door being 3’-6” wide. Sheds shall be as neutral as possible and shall not be a
focal point of the property. All sheds must receive a Development Permit prior to construction and
must follow the requirements of the City of Muskegon Zoning Ordinance.
State Historic Tax Credit Program - Draft Rules Public Comment – The State Historic Preser-
vation Office (SHPO) has released the draft rules for the recently renewed State Historic Preserva-
tion Tax Credit program for public comment. The rules can be accessed online by 1) clicking this
link, 2) emailing a request for the rules to firstname.lastname@example.org, or 3) sending a written re-
quest for the rules to the SHPO, 300 North Washington Square, Lansing MI 48913. Comments must
be received not later than 5:00p.m., Friday, July 30, 2021.
Identification of Historic Resources – As part of the HDC goal setting discussion that took place
earlier in the year, Staff is requesting that Commissioners assist in informally identifying resources
with particular historic significance to the Muskegon community. These could be sites, structures, or
areas located in the city of Muskegon and located outside or within a local historic district that could
be compiled into a list and/or map. That would then aid in identifying potential expansions to exist-
ing historic districts, planning for future historic districts, or informing possible nominations of re-
sources to the National Register of Historic Places. Staff intends to present the Commission’s find-
ings, adding any information readily available on each, and review them in further detail at the next