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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Historical Architectural Review Board

Date: February 26, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough HARB held a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 7:00 PM at Borough Hall, 12 E. Baltimore Ave., Lansdowne, PA.

Members Present:
Jeffrey M. Laufer AIA, Chairman
Gloria Carpenter, Vice-Chair
John Gould, BCO, Borough Liaison
William H. Patterson III, Secretary
Elizabeth Roeder, ASID

Members Absent:

Others present:
Jeff DiBlasi, applicant
John Carpenter, applicant
Mark Gavin, LEDC
Michael Grant, LEDC
Jennifer Hoff, applicant

Call to Order: Mr. Laufer called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. All deliberations were made in consideration of the Lansdowne Borough HARB Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (Standards). The applications provided by the HARB Borough Liaison provided the basis for discussion.

Public Comment: Mr. Laufer called for public comment and the following comments were heard.

There were no members of the public in attendance.

Approval of Minutes of January 20, 2009: Mr. Laufer asked if all members had a chance to review the minutes and if there were any comments or corrections to offer. No comments or corrections were offered. Mr. Laufer made a motion to approve the minutes; seconded by Ms Roeder. All were in favor.

Item No.1: 12 S. Lansdowne Avenue

John Carpenter, presenting. Ms. Carpenter recused herself from the discussion as she is related to the applicant. The applicant wished to revise a previously approved Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). The applicant asked that they be allowed to use slate shingles instead of copper cladding on the small roof in front of the building. The board recommended approval of the following:

  • 6 or 7 courses of slate shingles
  • Color would be either Eco or Jade Green as per GAF brochure.
  • Flashing would be either copper or bronze
  • Mr. Carpenter will provide samples to Code Enforcement
  • Mr. Laufer made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Patterson

Item No.2: 29-37 N. Lansdowne Avenue

John Carpenter, presenting. Ms. Carpenter recused herself from the discussion as she is related to the applicant.

The applicant asked that the Board recommend approval of a revised CofA in light of the following changes made to the awnings during construction:

  • The height from the ground was changed to comply with code.
  • Lansdowne Borough Historical Architectural Review Board
  • The awnings installed are not retractable because the specified model was no longer available
  • A logo was added to the company name on the valance of the awning.
  • The application was brought before the HARB because the Code Enforcement Department recognized the installed awnings were not in compliance with the approved CofA. The Board, in a private meeting, discussed two options, both of which would appear to set an unwanted precedent:
    • 1) accepting the non-complying awnings without consideration for corrective action, or 2) rejecting the non-complying awnings on the basis of the Code Enforcement Department’s citation and non-compliance with the approved CofA. The Board felt that in the case of the first option, the Borough would appear ineffective at controlling the work performed after the CofA was issued. In the case of the second option, the Board felt that the Borough would appear unfriendly to applicants in light of the minor discrepancy of the non-compliant awnings.

In expressing sympathy for the applicant, the Board recommends that the revisions be approved by Council; however, The Board recommends that Council decide if there should be any further concessions from the applicant.

Ms. Roeder made a motion to recommend approval, seconded by Mr. Laufer.

Item No.3: 23 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Jennifer Hoff, presenting. Mr. Laufer recused himself from the discussion as he did the facade sketch for the application. Vice-Chair, Ms. Carpenter led the discussion.

The Board felt that the plans submitted were not detailed enough to make a decision. [The applicant proposed to make the cornice and pediment additions in the style of the original as indicated on a historic photo presented to the Board. The Board noted that the cornice and pediment shall be three dimensional and project from the face of the building as did the original. The Board also noted that the pediments and details of the storefront shall also have a three-dimensional form.] Ms. Hoff will have the drawings revised with more detail including material and color specifications. She will resubmit to the Board. The Board agreed to review the revised drawing off-line and forward a recommendation to Council.

Ms. Carpenter made a motion to approve this course of action, seconded by Ms. Roeder.

Ms. Carpenter received the color samples and revised sketch of 23 S. Lansdowne Ave. from the applicant. The HARB members reviewed the material and all voted to recommend approval of the CofA. The use of stucco and the painting of the brick area was allowed because of the small size of the areas concerned.

Item No.4: 25 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Jennifer Hoff, presenting.

Ms. Hoff presented a plan to partially restore the 3rd floor of the building, including brick pointing, removal of shutters, replacement of wood trim and painting. The plan also includes replacement of asphalt shingles with appropriate cedar wood shingles. The Board felt that these renovations would be appropriate and asked Ms. Hoff to resubmit the application along with samples of the paint colors to be used.

Ms. Carpenter made a motion to approve this course of action, seconded by Ms. Roeder.

Item No.5: 30 N. Lansdowne Avenue

The Lansdowne Farmer’s Market submitted a revised application regarding the utility shed that was approved at the July 2008 meeting. At that time it was agreed that the shed would be painted green to blend with the adjacent shrubbery. The Market asks permission to not paint the shed because of increased maintenance costs. The Board feels that the present color of the shed as well as the fact that it is screened from the street by shrubbery added by the aplicant, renders it acceptably unobtrusive.

Mr. Patterson made a motion to recommend approval, seconded by Mr. Laufer.

Item No.6: 14 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Jeff DiBlasi presenting.

Mr. DiBlasi presented a plan for a new awning and signage for the State Farm Insurance agency he is opening at this address. The Board reviewed the building and expressed a feeling that an awning which would conceal the existing pent roof would be inappropriate. Mr. DiBlasi agreed and withdrew the awning request. The Board next reviewed and accepted his plan for a sign on the glass of the front window of the establishment. Finally, a sign to project from the building was reviewed. The Board felt that the sign should be carved wood and modified to include only the State Farm logo, enlarged to utilize the proposed area of the sign.

Mr. Laufer made a motion to approve this course of action, seconded by Ms. Roeder.

Item No.7: 8 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Applicant not present.

The Board requested that the applicant resubmit the application with more detailed specifications, including a specific font and size for the proposed lettering on the awning.

Miscellaneous Items:

2-12 N. Lansdowne Avenue
Mr. Gould informed the Board that the Code Enforcement Department had examined the facade at this address and found that it was in imminent danger of collapse. Emergency removal is currently underway and a project to replace or restore the facade will be subject to review by the Board.

Adjournment: Mr. Laufer made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 PM; seconded by Ms. Roeder. All were in favor.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the HARB will be on March 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Borough office.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wiliam H. Patterson III, Secretary

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