CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
February 4, 2020
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, K. George, L. Wood, T. Emory, K. Panozzo, S. Radtke
MEMBERS ABSENT: Riegler, excused
STAFF PRESENT: J. Pesch, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: J. Zappacosta for 316 W. Webster
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of December 3, 2019, was made by K.
Panozzo, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously approved.
Case 2020-01 – 316 W. Webster Avenue (Sign). Applicant: Hackley Public Library. District:
National Register. Current Function: Institutional. J. Pesch presented the staff report. The
applicant is seeking approval to replace an aging sign currently located in the garden by
installing a new, 36” wide by 36” tall aluminum panel ground sign supported by wood posts.
The garden is in the library yard facing Third Street. A rendering of the proposed new sign was
J. Hilt asked if the size was the same size as the current one. J. Pesch stated that the new sign
would be a little taller. K. Panozzo asked it if would have a white background, as shown in the
rendering provided. J. Zappacosta stated that it would, and it would match the sign recently
approved at the Torrent House.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to install a new, 36” wide by 36” tall aluminum
panel ground sign supported by wood posts in the garden facing Third Street as long as the work
meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by S. Radtke,
supported by K. Panozzo and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, T. Emory, K.
Panozzo, and S. Radtke voting aye.
Case 2020-02 – 416 W. Webster Avenue (Window). Applicant: Home Depot USA, Inc. (Robert
Lusby, Property Owner). District: National Register. Current Function: Residential. J. Pesch
presented the staff report. The applicant is seeking approval to remove and replace one 53”x77”
wood picture window on the front façade with a new, vinyl-wrapped wood picture window of a
similar size and configuration. A photo showing the view of house from W. Webster Ave. with
picture window visible to the right of the front door was provided. This case was heard at a prior
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meeting when several other windows in the house were replaced, but the request to replace the
front picture window with a solid pane of glass had been denied.
J. Pesch stated that the homeowner had been able to find a new window that more closely
matched the configuration of the current window. Drawings of the new window were provided.
S. Radtke asked what was wrong with the current window. J. Pesch stated that it was dry-rotted
and non-functional. He also stated that the proposed replacement window was about as close as
what one would be able to find nowadays. This house was originally located near Hackley
Hospital but was moved to its current location in 1994 when Hackley Hospital expanded their
A motion that the HDC approve the request to remove and replace one 53”x77” wood picture
window on the front façade with a new, vinyl-wrapped wood picture window of a similar size
and configuration as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits
are obtained, was made by L. Wood, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously approved, with J.
Hilt, L. Wood, T. Emory, K. Panozzo, and S. Radtke voting aye.
New Board Member – New City Commissioner, Teresa Emory, has been appointed to the
Historic District Commission, replacing Debra Warren. Kimi George and Steven Radtke were
reappointed to the HDC. J. Hilt stated that she would be resigning from the board after many
years of service. J. Pesch stated that S. Radtke would fit the requirement of having a member of
a preservation society on the board.
HDC Enforcement – A number of recent cases, unfortunately dealing with both unapproved and
denied work, have led to a review of Historic District Commission’s procedures for enforcement
on such work. Staff continues to evaluate this process and provided a brief update at the
December 2019 meeting. J. Pesch discussed some past infractions and provided a sample denial
letter showing what that would entail. When an infraction was discovered, the board needed to
set a timeline for completion of any remediation work. He also explained the civil infraction and
K. George arrived at 4:17 PM.
Public Art – The HDC local standards do not address public art, although an assortment of
public art pieces have been installed in Muskegon’s historic districts in recent years. Staff and
board members discussed whether the HDC should be involved in approval of public art. J. Hilt
stated that, if the artwork was attached to a building, the HDC should be consulted. S. Radtke
added that, if art was painted on a building, the HDC should also have input. He discussed how
some other municipalities have dealt with art. J. Pesch stated that he would look into it.
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Certified Local Government (CLG) – Staff is continuing with the application to become
certified through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Alan Higgins, the CLG
Coordinator for SHPO, would be attending the upcoming, March 3rd HDC meeting to discuss the
program. Staff asks that board members review the certification manual in preparation for that
meeting, and come prepared with any questions. The City of Muskegon’s plan to apply for
certification was the impetus for updating the HDC’s local standards in 2019. The CLG
certification manual is available online.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:47 p.m.
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