CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, May 2, 2023
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 March 7, 2023 regular meeting and April 17, 2023 special meeting
III. Old Business
Case 2023-03 – 460 W. Clay – Windows
IV. New Business
Case 2023-08 – 100 Diana – Garage Demolition and Construction of Two New Garages
V. Other Business
2023 Staff Approval Update #1
HDC Public Outreach
“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 MEETINGS OF THE CITY OF MUSKEGON
AND ANY OF ITS COMMITTEES OR SUBCOMMITTEES
To give comment on a live-streamed meeting the city will provide a call-in telephone number to the public to be able to
call and give comment. For a public meeting that is not live-streamed, and which a citizen would like to watch and give
comment, they must contact the City Clerk’s Office with at least a two-business day notice. The participant will then
receive a zoom link which will allow them to watch live and give comment. Contact information is below. For more
details, please visit: www.shorelinecity.com
The City of Muskegon will provide necessary reasonable auxiliary aids and services, such as signers for the hearing im-
paired and audio tapes of printed materials being considered at the meeting, to individuals with disabilities who want to
attend the meeting with twenty-four (24) hours’ notice to the City of Muskegon. Individuals with disabilities requiring
auxiliary aids or services should contact the City of Muskegon by writing or by calling the following: Ann Marie Meisch,
MMC, City Clerk at 933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440 or by calling 231-724-6705 or emailing clerk@shoreline-
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of March 7, 2023 and the special meeting of April 17,
III. OLD BUSINESS
Case 2023-03 – 460 W. Clay – Windows
Applicant: Nick Schippers
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to remove and replace nine windows on the front elevation with
new aluminum-clad wood windows of the same size and configuration. The colored glass will be
repaired and retained as inserts to be placed on the interior of the upper pane of the replacement
windows. The HDC approved installation of “fiberglass or wood replacement windows of the same
size and appearance and within the original openings on the side and rear elevations retaining the
decorative stained glass windows on the front elevation” in February 2023, but the property owner
has since determined that the larger front windows would not be stable if made from fiberglass, so
aluminum-clad wood windows are now being proposed. Staff determined that, due to the unique
approach to retaining the colored glass, formal HDC review of the work is necessary.
View of house from W. Clay Avenue, looking west. Windows on the front elevation proposed to be
replaced, repairing and retaining colored glass panels as inserts (photo from January 2023).
View of house from W. Clay Avenue, looking north (photo from June 2022).
Detail of existing window conditions (photos from June 2022).
WINDOW, DOOR, AND EXTERIOR WOODWORK STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES
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 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. 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 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.
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 ventilated.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to remove and replace nine windows on the front
elevation with new aluminum-clad wood windows of the same size and configuration repairing and
retaining the colored glass as inserts to be placed inside the upper pane of the replacement windows
as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
Case 2023-08 – 100 Diana – Garage Demolition and Construction of Two New Garages
Applicant: Antonio Figueroa
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to demolish the existing, detached garage located on the east side
of the house and to construct a new, 14’x24’ one stall detached garage in its place. An additional
28’x28’ two stall detached garage is also proposed on the west side of the house. More information
on the proposed design of the garage will be provided prior to the meeting.
View of house from Diana Avenue, looking west. Existing one stall garage proposed to be
demolished and replaced with a new garage visible at right.
View of house from Diana Avenue, looking north. Proposed location of new two stall garage visible
DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION
Although a significant amount of the Commission’s work is centered on historic structures, the
construction of new structures on vacant lots within historic districts is permitted and encouraged.
However, those professionals designing new structures should strive for excellence in design whether
small individual infill construction within the existing historic district blocks, or larger independently
sited projects. New structures should be in keeping with the existing historical character of the
neighborhood or district with a design that is compatible with the size, scale, material, and color of
the surrounding buildings and landscaping. Good design which responds positively to its surroundings
can be done in several different ways; therefore, it is impossible to develop specific interpretations
which will apply in all cases. Every site has its own design opportunities.
The following design recommendations shall be used by the Historic District Commission in
evaluating requests for new construction within the districts. These basic criteria should be a part of
any proposed design brought before the Commission for approval.
Recommended Not Recommended
Height - Relating the overall height of new Height - Introducing new construction that
construction to that of adjacent structures. As varies greatly in height (too high or too low)
a general rule, construct new buildings to a from older buildings in the vicinity. Extreme
height roughly equal to the average height of differences in building heights will have a
existing buildings from the historic period on detrimental visual effects on the appearance
and across the street. of surrounding property.
Scale - Relating the size and proportions of Scale - Creating buildings that in height,
new structures to the scale of adjacent width, or massing violate the existing scale of
buildings. Although a building may be much the area. The new building should not disrupt
larger than its neighbors in terms of square the scale and rhythm of the streetscape,
footage, it should maintain the same scale although it might be appropriate in a different
and rhythm as the existing buildings. location.
Massing - Breaking up uninteresting box-like Massing - Introducing single, monolithic
forms into smaller, varied masses such as are forms that are not relieved by variations in
common on most buildings from the historic massing. Box-like facades and forms are
period. Variety of form and massing are intrusive when placed in a streetscape of
elements essential to the character of the older buildings that have varied massing and
streetscape in historic districts. For example, facade articulation.
if an infill site is large, the mass of the facade
can be broken into a number of small bays.
Directional Expression - Relating the Directional Expression - Creating strongly
vertical, horizontal, or non-directional facade horizontal or vertical facade expressions
character of new buildings to the unless compatible with the character of
predominant directional expression of nearby structures in the immediate area. A new
buildings. Horizontal buildings can be made building that does not relate well to its
to relate to the more vertical adjacent neighbors or to the rhythm of the streetscape
structures by breaking the facade into smaller because of an unbroken horizontal facade
masses that conform to the primary should be avoided.
expression of the streetscape.
Setback - Maintaining the historic facade Setback - Violating the existing setback
lines of streetscape by locating front walls of pattern by placing a new building in front of
new buildings in the same plane as the or behind the historic facade line. Placing
facades of adjacent buildings. If exceptions buildings at odd angles to the street, unless in
are made, buildings should be set back into an area where diverse siting already exists,
the lot rather than closer to the street. If even if property setback is maintained,
existing setbacks vary, new buildings should should be avoided.
conform to historic siting patterns.
Sense of Entry - Articulating the main Sense of Entry - Introducing facades with no
entrances to the building with covered strong sense of entry. Side entries or entries
porches, porticos, and other pronounced not defined by a porch or similar transitional
architectural forms. Entries were historically element result in an incompatible "flat" first-
raised a few steps above the grade of the floor facade.
property and were a prominent visual feature
of the street elevation of the building.
Roof Shapes - Relating the roof forms of the Roof Shapes - Introducing roof shapes,
new buildings to those found in the area. pitches, or materials not traditionally used in
Although not entirely necessary, duplication the area.
of the existing or traditional roof shapes,
pitches, and materials on new construction is
one way of making new structures more
Rhythm of Openings - Respecting the Rhythm of Openings - Introducing
recurrent alteration of wall areas with door incompatible facade patterns that upset the
and window elements in the facade. Also rhythm of openings established in
considering the width-to-height ratio of bays surrounding structures. For example, glass
in the facade. The placement of openings walls and window and door shapes and
with respect to the facade's overall locations which are disrespectful to the
composition, symmetry or balanced adjoining buildings.
symmetry should be carefully studied.
Design Expression - Composing the Design Expression - Violating the existing
materials, textures and colors of the new character of the district by introducing non-
building facade to compliment adjacent compatible materials, textures, colors,
facades and relating details and decorations details, and decoration on new buildings.
of the new building to those of existing
Imitations - Accurate restoration of or Imitations - Replicating or imitating the
visually compatible additions to existing styles, motif, or details of older periods. Such
buildings and former construction, attempts detract from the character of the
contemporary architecture that well district by compromising what is truly
represents our own time yet, enhances the historic.
nature and character of the historic district.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request demolish the existing, detached garage located on
the east side of the house and to construct a new, 14’x24’ one stall detached garage in its place as
well as construct an additional 28’x28’ two stall detached garage on the west side of the house as
long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
2023 Staff Approval Update #1 – Since the last update in January 2023, Staff has approved eight
projects, those bolded were discussed with the HDC chairperson prior to approval:
- 504 W. Clay – Re-roof house
- 1597 Peck – Re-roof house
- 1065 4th – Re-roof flat roof
- 469 W. Webster – Replacement of four double hung windows with new windows of the same
size, design, proportions, profile, and materials
- 1197 Terrace – Replace remaining wood windows with vinyl windows of the same size
and configuration and side the gable end of the front porch (lead paint remediation)
- 511 W. Clay – Enlarge existing 32”-wide door to 36”-wide of the same style and material
on the rear porch, west elevation
- 458 W. Webster – Installation of a 5” half-round copper gutter segment with hanging
straps and a 3” corrugated round downspout (on the west elevation of the house to allow
water to drain away from the foundation)
- 1163 4th – Replace four fire-damaged windows with vinyl windows of the same style
HDC Public Outreach – The board has had past discussions on various means of better engaging
with residents of the historic districts and the general public. Staff is requesting a general discussion
of potential approaches to this goal.