Historic District Minutes 10-25-2023

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                                          CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                    HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
                                       SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES

                                                 October 25, 2023

Chairperson S. Radtke called the meeting to order at 4:09 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               J. Huss, T. Emory, G. Borgman, S. Radtke

MEMBERS ABSENT:                D. Gregersen, excused; K. George

STAFF PRESENT:                 J. Pesch, W. Webster

OTHERS PRESENT:                W. Walker and B. Housh (69 Irwin)




Case 2023-22 – 69 Irwin Ave. – Siding
Applicant: William Walker - District: Clinton-Peck - Current Function: Residential

The applicant was seeking approval to reside the house. J. Pesch explained that the majority of the original wood
siding had already been removed without building permits or HDC approval, a stop work order was issued by the
Building Inspections Department on October 10th, and a special meeting was scheduled so that the house did not
remain exposed to the elements until the HDC’s next regular meeting in mid-November. J. Pesch further clarified
that the original plan was to reside the house with vinyl siding, but the product purchased for that work had since
been returned.

J. Pesch also stated that when the house was listed for sale, he notified the realtor of the house’s location in a
historic district. W. Walker stated that that information was not relayed to him.

B. Housh, contractor for the project (but not the original contractor), explained the condition of the siding that
was previously on the house and the resulting issues with water damage. S. Radtke noted that the HDC’s local
standards called for replacing original materials with like materials, but that the HDC had previously allowed for
composite siding with a smooth finish as a replacement siding material as long as the trim profiles and reveal
dimension were maintained. W. Walker asked if the house could be removed from the historic district and J.
Pesch stated that changes to the historic district boundaries involved a lengthy study period that he would not
advise due to the urgent nature of the work. W. Walker asked if the HDC would be willing to allow for vinyl
siding in this case and offered more detail about the damage found at the house.

S. Radtke asked about the spatial relationship of the neighboring houses to this house. J. Pesch explained that the
house to the west was very close to this house and that there was some space containing a driveway between this
house and the house to the east. He added that this was the last house in the historic district, so the house to the
east was not located in the district.

S. Radtke asked if composite siding allowed one to set the reveal dimension to match the original siding reveal.
B. Housh stated that it would, but it would likely sit proud of the trim boards since the composite products that
were available were designed to have a 4-5/8” reveal which was larger than that of the original wood siding. A
narrower reveal required the boards to overlap at a wider point, forcing them to project out farther than the existing
trim. The possibility of using composite trim was mentioned. B. Housh stated that they planned to use composite
trim on the watercourse, but did not plan to replace the other wood trim on the house.

S. Radtke suggested that the board consider allowing for replacement of the existing trim as needed, a crown
molding profile similar to what was found above some of the windows, and vinyl siding on non-principle facades
and composite siding on principle facades. In this case, the board discussed what they would consider non-
principle facades and decided that the west (right) and south (rear) elevations were least visible from the street,
but that the north (front) and east (left) elevations were too visible to be considered non-principle facades. J. Huss
stated concerns with matching the vinyl and composite siding to one another. S. Radtke proposed changing
materials two-thirds of the way back on the east elevation at a corner board and siding all faces of the front porch
with composite. The board agreed with this suggestion and B. Housh’s proposal for a 4” siding reveal so that the
composite and vinyl siding would line up.

B. Housh stated that the 8”-wide composite product available for the watercourse was not produced with a smooth
finish and the HDC agreed to allow a faux-woodgrain finish for this piece only due to its utility. The HDC
reviewed the locations of the decorative crown molding above the windows and settled on requiring that it be
repaired or retained where it already existed. B. Housh explained that the existing soffit would be retained and
repaired where necessary. S. Radtke stated that such work would not require approval from the HDC as it was
basic maintenance and there would be no change in materials.

The HDC discussed the small window on the west elevation near the back of the house. B. Housh stated that it
was a modern window that opened into a bathroom and the plan was to remove it. The board agreed that this was
acceptable. J. Pesch noted that many of the windows in the house had been replaced with vinyl windows by a
previous owner. The leaded glass window on the west elevation near the front of the house was also discussed,
with W. Walker stating that it was damaged and that he planned to replace it with a fixed window. The board
preferred that the leaded glass window be retained and suggested looking into having it repaired and installing a
storm window on the outside of it for protection.

A motion that the HDC approve the request to install composite siding with a smooth finish and a four-inch reveal
on the front porch, the north (front) elevation of the house, and the front two-thirds of the east elevation of the
house; install vinyl siding with a smooth finish and a four-inch reveal on the south (rear) elevation, the west
elevation, and the back one-third of the east elevation of the house; retain the wood trim boards where they
currently exist and install composite or wood replacement trim with a smooth finish for the corner boards and
composite replacement trim with a faux wood grain finish for the watercourse matching the dimensions of the
previously-existing trim; retain the decorative crown molding above the windows where it currently exists and
replicate it where damaged or rotted; and remove the small, unoriginal bathroom window on the west elevation
of the house as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained was made
by J. Huss, supported by T. Emory and approved with J. Huss, G. Borgman, S. Radtke, and T. Emory voting aye.

T. Emory left at 4:57 p.m.




There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:03 p.m.

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