Errant Post-It Note Causes Mix-up at Board Meeting


A misplaced Post-it Note stuck in the wrong spot on an agenda at last Thursday’s Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review caused the board to slightly confuse two applications.

Initially, representatives of Nora Vega Guerra of 44 Harbor Avenue were told they would need a public hearing for the project, which involves enclosing an existing front porch to make it livable space, as well as painting the house, adding a trellis, enlarging a deck in the back and a few other exterior changes. Village code requires public hearings for houses that measure 3,000 square feet or greater, and, board members said, this house would be just over that threshold. Enclosing a porch counts as adding square feet to a house, according to the village code.

Katie Osiecki, representing the homeowner, told the board the project would be redesigned in order to avoid going through a public hearing. The board adjourned the Harbor Avenue application to its May 10 meeting, and Ms. Osiecki and her colleague left the meeting.

However, board member Dean Gomolka soon discovered the note advising the board of the need for a public hearing was actually intended for the application that came after 44 Harbor Avenue on the agenda: a new two-story house with a swimming pool, pool house and detached garage at 60 Grand Street. That house, in fact, would come in at 3,070 square feet — not 44 Harbor Avenue, as the board initially thought. The BHPAR set a public hearing for 60 Grand Street, which had also recently obtained several variances following multiple appearances before the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

Ms. Osiecki was later contacted by the building department to clear up the confusion.

Hamilton Street Connection Approved

The board approved plans for an addition that would connect two contributing houses in the historic district, 36 Hamilton Street and 40 Hamilton Street, but declined to accept a landscaping plan for which homeowner Christopher Knoess also sought approval.

The addition was proposed as a one-story, 11-by-8-foot structure. According to Mr. Knoess, the plans had been tweaked so that it would be shorter in height, the roof would be sloped and there would be fewer windows.

The resulting house will have just one kitchen and a new septic system for the entire property.

The discussion around the landscaping plan took a contentious turn when its designer, Glenn Lawton, suggested he was being “reprimanded” when the board criticized the plan as not specific enough. Earlier in the meeting, the board had tabled two other landscape plans that weren’t up to par.

“The point is that we need a document that becomes a legal document that is referred to by the building inspector, and we don’t have that in front of us,” board chairman Anthony Brandt said.