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You are here: Home) Government) Public Involvement) Boards & Commissions) Landmark Review Board ) FEBRUARY 24, 2004 Minutes

RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF THE
Landmark Review Board
PUBLIC MEETING
CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2004 07:00 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS

CALL TO ORDER: The PUBLIC MEETING of the Planning Commission was called to order by Doug Starcher - (Chair).
                    George Volker - (Chair)
ROLL CALL:
    Commission Members Doug Starcher - (Chair)
    Joan Beardsley
    Julie Muyllaert
    Michael Kohl
    Chris Morgan
    Jim Bishop
                    George Volker - (Chair)
                    Marilyn Master
                    Michael Durbin
                    Sean Walbeck
                    Rod Burton
                    David Christensen

    Commission Members
    Absent
                    Sandra King Maureen McCormick

    Planning Staff Members Marilyn Vogel, Senior Planner, Jackie Lynch, Planner, Katie Franks, Development Specialist I, Cheri Moniz, Recording Secretary
MINUTES: The minutes from 11/12/03 and 11/14/03 were submitted for approval. Marilyn Mastor moved to approve, Sean Walbeck seconded. All Ayes.
    PUBLIC MEETING
    1. Consideration of a Certificate of Alteration to the Immanuel School of Industry, 1303 Astor for major changes to the building, including but not limited to eliminating and adding doorways, windows, and stairways; adding a deck, and adding a garage door.

    Michael Durbin disclosed that he has a working relationship with the Stewart/ King Partnership. He said he is not directly involved in this project. No concerns were noted.

    STAFF PRESENTATION
    Jackie Lynch handed out supplemental information. Staff recommends approval with the condition that signs should meet the criteria set forth on page 1-1.

    Sean Walbeck asked if the staff recommendation is to give the applicant general approval on the sign and have the details worked out with staff. Jackie Lynch clarified that as long as the applicant meets the criteria, then it would not come back before the Board. Staff could send the proposal to the Board members so they could determine if it meets the criteria. If the Board felt that it did not meet the criteria, a hearing could be set up.

    APPLICANT PRESENTATION

    Michael Sullivan, 1109 A Street, Suite 1, Tacoma, commented that they have been taking this building through the local and national historic process to preserve the character of the building. This building is beautiful in its simplistic architecture. The intent of the project is to integrate the necessary changes to the building to make the pediatric dentistry office fit into the building. They felt it important to hold onto the character of the building, especially on the exterior. This is not a dramatic change to the building.

    John Stewart, 401 Harris Ave, Suite. 320, addressed the Boards’ concerns from the worksession. There was no intent to change the size or visual aspect of the windows. In regard to the porch on the east elevation, historically there was a door in the southeast corner when the building was the Immanuel School. The proposal puts back a large window that was historic. The Board had questioned why there were three doors proposed in the basement. The applicant originally felt there was a functional need for those, but they have been re-addressed and the new proposal is for one door. In the west elevation, they are adapting to make the building ADA accessible via a ramp and a new entry. They will be reusing existing doors. He clarified that the main entry must be glass. The glass could be panels versus a large pane. They added an exit stairway within the building, instead of on the exterior. In regard to the question of adding a chimney on the roof, that is a ventilator. They intend to leave the Akers Taxidermy sign on the building, but may remove it in the future. The packet contains a drawing of a parking lot with 15 stalls. They wanted the Board to know it will be a future proposal.

    Dave Christensen stated that the proposal does a great job preserving the character of the building. The combination of open railing and solid wall extends the length of the wall. In his opinion this changes the character. He felt the railing should be more transparent to allow more of the building to be seen. John Stewart said in their opinion, the railing does not change the character. This extension must happen. He said he tried to raise the grade in that area so as to have no railing but was unable. They concluded that when new elements are added there must be a physical clue that it is not original. The intent is to not confuse where the historic lets off and the new begins.

    The Board asked if the applicant felt that the Akers Taxidermy sign is pertinent. Mary Elizabeth Bisese, owner, said originally, she thought the sign was historically significant. That has changed since finding out that the building had been a schoolhouse. The intent was to keep the sign, but she is unsure if it is necessary. Michael Sullivan stated that when they went before the Governor’s Advisory Committee, representatives from the Lummi Tribe spoke to the taxidermy’s cultural historic significance. The words of the sign may not be important, but the history behind the sign is. When the sign was tested, it turned out to be authentic. For these reasons, they wanted to keep it.

    Dave Christensen asked if the entry door is proposed to be wood. John Stewart agreed.

    Dave Christensen questioned the location of the compressor for the air conditioning and the trash enclosures. John Stewart commented that the trash will be in the basement and the compressor will be outside between this building and the church on the ground.

    The next discussion was on the paint color chosen for the roof and walls. John Stewart pointed out that the current paint has lead in it and must be removed. They looked at several color choices from that era, but have not chosen one. They have a red tone that is more historic. The trim would be light. Michael Sullivan stated that when the layers were tested, the colors were not dramatic. It appears that the building was only painted when they had to. They are open to color suggestions, but are leaning towards a toned down red. Rod Burton said he prefers red as it references the building as a schoolhouse.

    Rod Burton asked if the patches to the east elevation will be obvious or more blended. John Stewart clarified they will be blended in.

    There was a second discussion on the sign when Rod Burton said that the building was significant because it was the Immanuel School. He encouraged the applicant to remove the Akers sign. Other members expressed their opinion that the sign should stay. Michael Sullivan stated that Carl Akers made the letters out of oak. They may use them inside for artifact value. Jackie Lynch clarified that the Board did not list the Akers sign as historic. Therefore, the applicant would not have to come before the Board to remove it. John Stewart said they would be willing to remove the sign and work out new signage with staff. Rod Burton pointed out that the Board does not have the authority to decide what happens with the sign since it was not designated as a landmark. Dave Christensen said the Board will make a recommendation because they are a design review board.

    The discussion turned to new signage when Sean Walbeck asked if the applicant would come back before the Board with a proposal. John Stewart said that staff would bring it before the Board and a hearing could be held if needed. Michael Sullivan stated that in regard to a new sign, they will develop a concept and go through the process. Dave Christensen asked where a new sign would be located. Mary Elizabeth Bisese stated that it would be on the ground and be a low impact.

    PUBLIC TESTIMONY OPENED

    No Testimony taken.

    PUBLIC TESTIMONY CLOSED

    DISCUSSION

    MOTION: DAVE CHRISTENSEN MOVED TO APPROVE THE PROJECT WITH THE STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS WITH THE CONDITIONS THAT THE RAILING IS SHOWN TO BE A CLEAR MODIFICATION THAT LOOKS DIFFERENT AND IS A DIFFERENT TYPE OF MATERIAL, SUCH AS AN OPEN RAILING; THAT THE TAXIDERMY SIGN SHOULD BE REMOVED AS IT IS NOT HISTORIC; AND THAT THE PAINT COLORS SHALL BE HISTORIC AND IN A WARM TONAL RANGE SIMILAR TO THE CURRENT RED COLOR. ROD BURTON SECONDED.

    The Board discussed the motion. Michael Durbin stated that he does not want to require the removal of the sign, as it is not in their jurisdiction. He also did not like the requirement for an open railing. Sean Walbeck pointed out that the building was the Immanuel School of Industry for a short period of time. This building is significant based on all the prior uses added together. Dave Christensen clarified the intent of the motion by stating that the building was originally funded for one use, the Immanuel School of Industry. In his opinion, displaying the Akers sign inside the building is a good idea. He felt leaving it on the building is disrespectful. He understands the tie to the Lummi Tribe, but felt that is not singularly relevant. The railing needs to look different. It should not try to fool someone that it was historic. Michael Durbin agreed with the railing modification, but did not want to mandate the material. The Tribe making such an effort to recommend the building to the national historic registry struck him. Some of the Board felt that the sign should be left up to the applicant. Sean Walbeck pointed out that there was no sign on the building when it was the Immanuel School. There is a longer narrative to the history of the building than the origin. To say that the Akers sign should come off because it was the Immanuel School of Industries first belies the fact that for 40 years it said Akers Taxidermy, which was very much a part of its history.

    Katie Franks said that Dave Christensen wants to honor the form of the building and make sure the story continues. But, the sign creates a legacy. She suggested that the applicant put an interpretive plaque in front of the building to explain why the Akers sign is on the building.

    Michael Durbin asked if the issue of the sign has come up in the process of the national registry. Michael Sullivan stated that the proposal has been submitted to the National Parks Service. Their comment was that the sign is not part of the historic fabric of the building, but because it was there they did not require that it be removed.

    VOTE: DAVE CHRISTENSEN VOTED IN FAVOR; MARILYN MASTOR, MICHAEL DURBIN, ROD BURTON, SEAN WALBECK AND GEORGE VOLKER OPPOSED. THE MOTION FAILED.

    MOTION: MICHAEL DURBIN MOVED TO APPROVE THE PROPOSAL SUBJECT TO THE STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS; WITH THE CONDITION THAT THE RAILING IS CLEARLY A MODIFICATION IN KEEPING WITH THE HISTORICAL CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING; AND THAT THE PAINT COLOR BE HISTORIC IN NATURE. ROD BURTON SECONDED.

    Dave Christensen asked if the motion was specific enough for staff to approve the building plans for final permit. Jackie Lynch agreed.

    VOTE: MICHAEL DURBIN, MARILYN MASTOR, ROD BURTON, SEAN WALBECK AND GEORGE VOLKER VOTED IN FAVOR; DAVE CHRISTENSEN OPPOSED. THE MOTION CARRIED.

    GENERAL BUSINESS

    1. The Board discussed times for meetings and worksessions. They preferred having the March meetings and worksessions at 7:00 p.m. After that, they would like to have the worksessions on the second Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. and the hearings on the fourth Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

    2. The Board then discussed switching the March worksession and hearing. Staff recommended holding a public hearing on March 9th and the worksession regarding the Certified Local Governments on March 23rd. The Board agreed to switch them.

    3. George Volker stated that he drafted two letters after the last worksession. One addressed the need to have the City Council change the code to allow a decision of the board to be made by the affirmative vote of the majority of the quorum of the board. The second letter asked the Mayor to fill the vacancies on the Board. Marilyn Vogel stated that staff will be making a recommendation to the City Council regarding the legislation and the code. These issues will be addressed. Sean Walbeck said that other boards make decisions based on the plurality of those members that attend the meeting. Dave Christensen pointed out that if a minimum of members is present at a hearing the applicant might have some concerns. Marilyn Vogel stated that the Arts Commission still needs to appoint a member. They concluded that this is not an urgent item and the letters the Chair drafted could be coordinated with the upcoming proposed legislation on this topic.

    ADJOURNED: 8:20 P.M.

    Minutes prepared by:

    Cheri Moniz, Recording Secretary

    Minutes edited by:

    Jackie Lynch, Planner II

    This is a digital copy of an original document located at Bellingham's City Hall. The City of Bellingham specifically disclaims any responsibility or liability for the contents of this document. The City of Bellingham does not verify the correctness, accuracy, or validity of the information appearing in this document.
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