CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
April 2, 2019
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, S. Radtke, D. Warren, A. Riegler, K. George
MEMBERS ABSENT: L. Wood, excused; K. Panozzo, excused
STAFF PRESENT: J. Pesch, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: J. and L. McKenna, 18080 Hidden Trail, Spring Lake MI; D.
Villafuerte for 1294 Ransom St.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of March 5, 2019 was made by S. Radtke,
supported by A. Riegler and unanimously approved.
Case 2019-04 – 487 W. Clay Avenue (New Construction). Applicant: Joseph and Laura McKenna.
District: National Register. Current Function: Vacant Lot. The applicant is seeking approval to
construct a new house on the vacant lot. Architectural drawings for the proposed new house were
S. Radtke asked how many square feet the house would be. J. McKenna stated that it would be 2,200
square feet. D. Warren observed that the entrance seemed to meet the newly updated porch and entry
guidelines. L. McKenna asked if they could side the house with wood-look vinyl. S. Radtke stated
that wood was the preferred material. J. Pesch pointed out that vinyl had previously been approved
for new homes, citing the Midtown Square houses. K. Zimmerman suggested a product called
SmartSide, which was a wood composite material that would not fade. A. Riegler stated that vinyl
would change the look of the outside of the home, and urged them to consider an alternate material.
K. Zimmerman agreed and stated that the neighborhood had many beautiful old homes with wood
siding. S. Radtke wondered about the scale and massing compared to other homes in the area. A.
Riegler stated that, realistically, people no longer built single family homes that were that large. K.
Zimmerman stated that the architectural style of the new house should fit in nicely in that
A motion that the HDC approve the request to construct a new house on the vacant lot as depicted in
the architectural drawings provided at the April 2nd, 2019 HDC meeting as long as the work meets all
zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by D. Warren, supported by
K. George and unanimously approved.
Case 2019-05 – 1274 Ransom Street (Siding, Porch Repairs). Applicant: Vanessa Lezama
Villafuerte. District: McLaughlin. Current Function: Residential. The applicant is seeking approval
to reside the house with vinyl and to repair the damaged porch roof. The applicant also wishes to
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discuss the window trim in regard to the proposed residing work, as well as trim wrapping the corners
of the house. J. Pesch stated that he had spoken to a City housing inspector about this case and it was
his understanding that the unpainted woodwork was what brought about the enforcement issue. The
other defects that needed attention were repairing the beam over the porch and the damaged/missing
D. Villafuerte had questions about requirements for trim at the corners and around the windows. D.
Warren asked if he would be keeping the trim. He stated that yes, he wanted to install vinyl siding
but keep the wood trim. J. Hilt asked what condition the wood siding was in. D. Villafuerte stated
that he could paint it, but due to the large size of the house, he preferred to install lower-maintenance
vinyl siding. K. Zimmerman asked if he planned to remove the wood or side over it. D. Villafuerte
said he would side over it. S. Radtke stated that HDC standards discouraged vinyl siding. A.
Riegler, K. Zimmerman, and J. Hilt concurred that wood siding was preferable, and that installing
vinyl over the wood would cover a lot of architectural features. J. Pesch confirmed that HDC
standards encouraged replacement and repair of existing material, rather than replacement. D.
Villafuerte stated that he would paint the house rather than reside with vinyl if that was what was
required. J. Hilt stated that it appeared that some repairs had already been made to the porch roof. D.
Villafuerte stated that he had to replace the two horizontal beams with one solid beam. J. Pesch
stated that it was a structural beam and not trim, so the HDC would only need to approve the
appearance of the new repair work.
A motion that the HDC deny the request to reside the house with vinyl siding and to approve the
needed repairs to the porch roof with the conditions that 1) the finish work and trim must match the
existing, 2) the porch roof profile must match as closely as possible what is existing, and 3) the work
meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by A. Riegler,
supported by D. Warren and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Radtke, D. Warren, A. Riegler,
and K. George voting aye.
Case 2019-06 – 1649 Peck Street (Shed, Porch). Applicant: Michael Mastenbrook. District: Clinton-
Peck. Current Function: Residential. The applicant is seeking approval to construct a new, 12- x16-
foot shed at the rear of the property. The applicant is also seeking approval to replace the cement
steps on the north side of the house with a small wood deck due to damage from an adjacent tree.
J. Hilt asked if the shed would be visible from the road. J. Mastenbrook stated that part of it may be
visible, but most of it would not be. A. Riegler stated that the shed style did not match the
architecture of the house, and asked if he would consider something with a simple gable roof. M.
Mastenbrook stated that he needed the overhead storage space that the barn-style shed provided. D.
Warren asked if there was a different style that looked less like a barn. M. Mastenbrook stated that
they would paint the shed to match the house and install a brown roof that also matched the house. S.
Radtke stated that, since a shed was not a permanent structure like a house or garage, he was inclined
to be less strict on the standards. He stated that the property next door had a vinyl shed that had been
previously approved by the HDC. J. Pesch pointed out that there was a large tree that would block
much of the view of the shed. J. Hilt asked about the plans for replacing the concrete porch that had
been damaged by an encroaching tree. M. Mastenbrook stated that he would need to remove about 8
feet of the porch, as the tree roots had pushed it into the house siding. He would like to enlarge the
remainder of the porch by adding a small deck which would be about 1 foot off the ground. S.
Radtke stated that the porch was not original to the house.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to construct a new 12- x 16-foot shed at the rear of the
property and to replace the cement steps on the north side of the house with a small wooden deck as
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proposed, as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained,
was made by S. Radtke, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, S. Radtke, D.
Warren, A. Riegler, and K. George voting aye.
HDC Local Standards Review – Window, Door, and Exterior Woodwork, Fence – Commissioners
and staff discussed the standards for Window, Door, & Exterior Woodwork, and Fences. J. Pesch
stated that he had made some changes to the fence regulations due to the City amending the
ordinance regulating fences on corner lots. S. Radtke suggested that composite material for use on
decks be addressed. He stated that he would prefer to approve that type of request on a case-by-case
basis. A. Riegler concurred, and asked if that was allowed. J. Pesch stated that he would look into the
legality of it. Regarding decks, S. Radtke asked J. Pesch if they would have to raise the railing
height allowance to meet building codes. J. Pesch stated he would check with the building inspection
department about that.
D. Warren left at 5:00 PM.
Recap of March HDC Training Workshops – J. Pesch discussed the National Alliance of Preservation
Commissions training that he had attended. S. Radtke stated that it would be helpful to have some
training geared toward realtors, in the hope that they would pass on that knowledge to their clients
considering purchasing property in a historic district.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
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