February 21, 2006
8 a.m. in City Commission Chambers
1. Approve Minutes January 21 meeting
2. Discuss proposed historic overlay district in Erskines Addition (D. Mayo)
3. Section 106 Project Reviews (J. Thomasson)
- 311/319 Broadway Accessibility (interior) & Facade (exterior)
- 505 Broadway Accessibility (interior)
- 510 4th Ave N Accessibility (interior)
4. CLG Grant Updates (D. Mayo)
- Downtown Historic Database (2004)
- A Look Around Downtown Brochure (2005)
- Recorded narrative, building markers, public event (2006)
5. Ideas for NDSHS Historic Preservation Fund grant opportunity (D. Mayo)
6. Liaison Reports
- Planning Commission - Christine Kloubec
- Fargo School District - Peter Moynihan
- Fargo Park District - Doug Scraper
- Cass County Commission - David Shultz
- Housing Rehab - Paul Gleye
- Board of Adjustment - Daryl Bachmeier
- House Moving Board - Paul Gleye
7. Other Business
This meeting will be re-broadcast on Cable One Channel 12 at 5 p.m. on February 23.
8 a.m. in City Commission Chambers
Present: David Shultz, Claire Strom, Doug Scraper, Peter Moynihan, Christine Kloubec
Absent: Paul Gleye, Daryl Bachmeier
Also Present: Denise Kasowski, Dawn Mayo, Jessica Thomasson
Vice chair, Claire Strom moved the minutes of January 17, 2006 be approved as submitted.
Discuss proposed historic overlay district in Erskines Addition
Dawn Mayo invited Carl Wendelbo to the podium to discuss the proposed historic overlay district. Mr. Wendelbo introduced himself as a resident of the proposed district. Mr. Wendelbo explained that the reason they chose this area for the application of a historic overlay is that 95 percent of the houses are on extra long lots, which is unique in the area (no alleys). There is an interest in preserving the area. Mr. Wendelbo said that they are trying to protect this area of the city.
Christine Kloubec asked if the group has worked with the city on this proposal. Mr. Wendelbo responded that his wife has been working with Planning Department staff. Ms. Mayo said that Ms. Polly Wendelbo used our survey form and is working on submitting photos with the completed surveys.
Ms. Thomasson said that Polly came into the office several months ago requesting the district and has worked very hard to get this going.
Ms. Strom asked about expanding area.
Mr. Kloubec expressed concern about having such a small area as an overlay district.
Ms. Thomasson said that the lot layout makes these properties unique which is why the neighbors want to protect them.
Mr. Scraper agrees that we should try to extend the area. Ms. Mayo said that Polly wouldnt be able to do the survey work alone if the area was expanded; we would need to find volunteers to add on to the district.
Ms. Thomasson said that she has concerns about designating such a small area as a historic overlay district.
Ms. Strom repeated that we need to expand the area beyond the proposed boundary if at all possible.
Ms. Thomasson suggested having Dawn go to the next Hawthorne Association meeting to find out if there is any interest in expanding the boundary.
Another gentleman (didnt say his name) noted that he also lives in the proposed district. He owns the brick house built by Meineke Johnson. 20 years ago it was converted from single owner to multiple apartments; he then purchased the house and remodeled it to be an owner occupied house with only 5 apartments.
He feels that an area this size would not be very difficult to manage; if it was bigger it would be more difficult to manage. He would like to see strict policies for preserving the area which residents could help manage.
Ms. Strom said that the commission is very supportive of grass roots preservation efforts. However, from a community standpoint, she would like to see this overlay expanded to include a larger part of the addition.
Mr. Moynihan said that if others arent interested the Committee will consider the district as suggested.
Mr. Scraper agrees with the position put forward by the neighborhood representatives but would like to include a larger area in the overlay district. We dont want to create an unmanageable number of historic overlay districts within Fargo.
Mr. Shultz said that the area surrounding the proposed district is similar; the homes are of the same period and generally have the same feel.
Mr. Wendlebo expressed appreciation that the commission took the time to hear this and re-stated that we are all on the same side on this issue.
Section 106 Project Reviews
Ms. Thomasson gave a brief overview of the purpose of section 106 project reviews.
The facade project would make much needed repairs to the exterior of the building, helping to ensure continued structural integrity and to make the appearance more historically appropriate.
Mr. Terry Stroh, owner/developer, noted that the project will include new windows and more historically appropriate signage. The windows will be Pella double hung windows. He also noted that the canopy is not original. Mr. Stroh provided a picture of the building when it was a YMCA (horse and buggy era) and there was no canopy. It was, however, added fairly early in the buildings history; everyone remembers the building as having a canopy. The owners intent is to keep and restore the canopy structure.
Ms. Kloubec asked if it is common for businesses to own their space as opposed to leasing it. Mr. Stroh said that it is not common now but seems to be done more and more.
Ms. Strom asked why they would put the canopy back if it is not original. Mr. Stroh said most people dont know building without the canopy since it has been there so long. Babbs Coffee House is thinking of putting tables under the canopy to offer outdoor seating.
Mr. Stroh said that there will be 16 residential units above the commercial space.
Mr. Shultz asked about structural panels. Mr. Stroh said that they are there, behind the signs. Mr. Shultz asked if the packet could include historical photos.
Ms. Thomasson said she will include historic photos in future packets, whenever they are available.
Ms. Thomasson pointed out that the proposed elevator work does not affect the historic significance of the property.
Mr. Scraper asked where the funds are coming from for this project. Ms. Thomasson said from the Community Development Block Grant.
Ms. Kloubec made a motion to approve the project at 311/319 Broadway finding that there is no adverse affect on historic properties. Second by Mr. Shultz. All present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
Ms. Thomasson introduced the project at 505 Broadway, which is known as the Ford Building and Kayes printing. The proposed grant-funded project affects the interior via the installation of a passenger elevator. Ms. Thomasson explained that this is a major project that affects almost an entire block. Federal funds would be used to enhance accessibility in the building.
Kevin Bartram, owner/developer, provided layouts of how the interior of the building will be affected by the project. He also noted that they will be adding enclosed parking for the residences, which will be at grade and connected to the building. The first floor is made up of 2 different areas, the first was the show room and then you go up two steps to what was the main assembly level. The accessibility improvements include an interior adjustment of floor height to provide at-grade access to the elevator, and the installation of an elevator. The project also returns the entry to its original location. The entrance has been in 3 different locations; the center location is what they will restore. There were 2 columns that were in front and they are not there any more; they will likely need to be restored as well. The project includes the replacement of all of the exterior windows, including the third floor.
Mr. Scraper asked if the windows go all the way to the floor. Mr. Bartram responded that they do not but the bottoms are only a couple of feet from the floor.
Ms. Kloubec asked about the number of units. Mr. Bartram responded that there will probably be 9-10 units on the third floor.
Mr. Scraper asked if the parking garage will affect the windows on the north side. Mr. Bartram said that most of the windows are higher than the proposed structure.
Ms. Thomasson noted that the proposed accessibility enhancements do not compromise the historical integrity of the building.
Mr. Shultz made a motion to approve the project at 505 Broadway finding that there was no adverse affect on historic properties. Second by Mr. Scraper. All present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
510 4th Ave N
Ms. Thomasson introduced the project at 510 4th Ave N, which is known as the Universal building or the Bristol & Sweet Harness factory. This project involves a comprehensive renovation of the building, including accessibility enhancements. The building has an elevator but it is not in good condition. The building has been empty since a fire in late 2004; the damage was from both fire and water damage.
Mr. Steve Gerhtz, owner/developer, said the elevator needs to be enlarged and replaced. The project also includes the installation of a wheel chair lift to provide grade-level access to the elevator. The building owners are planning 28 apartments with the possibility of 3 in basement. Offices would be located on the main floor.
Mr. Scraper asked price range of the apartments. Mr. Gerhtz responded that they would be studio lofts, 1 & 2 bedrooms that would rent for $475-$750.
The historical lobby will be restored to its original condition. There will be some small changes needed due to adding the chair lift but they are seeking federal historic tax credits so will be very mindful of historic impact.
Ms. Kloublec made a motion to approve the project at 510 4th Avenue N finding that there is no adverse affect on historic properties. Second by Mr. Moynihan. All present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
CLG Grant Updates
Downtown Historic Database
Ms. Mayo said they are making final modifications to the historic database and will be ready to move it from the test environment to the public web site within weeks. They have added some features including search capabilities. Ms. Mayo gave a demonstration of database and the new capabilities.
The Commission commended Ms. Mayos efforts on this project, and thanked the Citys IT department for all of their work.
A Look Around Downtown Brochure/Recorded narrative, building markers, public event
Ms. Mayo gave an update on the Look Around Downtown brochure. If the 2006 grant is funded, they will work on developing the audio narrative of the tour and then it will need to be recorded.
She explained that building markers would identify the buildings for the public to know they are at the right building. Ms. Thomasson said that we cant use state CLG funds for the markers because they are not an eligible cost but that we will seek other sponsors of those markers.
Ms. Mayo said that we would like to have a public event to announce the project. She is working together with the Fit Fargo initiative to use this tour as one of the walks they do.
Ideas for NDSHS Historic Preservation Fund grant opportunity
Ms. Mayo explained that this grant requires a brick and mortar project that is a public building. Some ideas she has include the Cass County Courthouse, the Fargo depot and the Detention Hospital, which Head start is using now. These are some local possibilities that we could use for this grant. Ms. Mayo stated that she will contact these building owners to see if they are interested.
Ms. Thomasson reminded the commission that Marchs meeting we will be reviewing storefronts applications. Please plan for the meeting to last approximately 90 minutes.
Adjourned at 9:15 am