Neighbor slams proposed gate
The Historical and Architectural Review Board tabled a proposal Aug. 7 by Dan Ault for 251 E. Church St. requesting a certificate of appropriateness for a new gate at the side rear of the house owned by Madeline Peters.
His application to erect a three-foot wide by six-foot high solid wood cedar gate with black wrought-iron hardware, hung between two four- by-four premium kiln-dried posts, was interrupted by his next-door neighbor. Cheryl Dougan, the owner of 253 E. Church St., requested a delay in voting. She cited unresolved issues between her and the other property owner.
Some of the board members found it odd that the gate was at an angle. Ault explained it would have to be installed like that to make it wide enough for a person to walk through, as the neighboring frame houses are close together. When it was suggested to possibly place the gate perpendicular, between the properties, Vice Chairman Philip Roeder replied it would violate city zoning laws for the gate to straddle the property line.
Although there had been no plans submitted for a fence, Dougan complained that her neighbors were planning to build a tall one, starting at the new gatepost. Being within 12 inches of her home’s rear addition, Dougan said it would make access for maintaining the siding difficult, among other concerns.
Chairman Fred Bonsall told Dougan that this is something she should take up with the zoning office, not HARB. Diana Hodgson made a motion to grant the COA as proposed, but no one on the board was willing to second it.
Ault was advised to return with more detailed plans that would provide accurate measurements of the placement of the components and the area between the two buildings.
Owner/applicant Kyle Lebouitz received approval for his proposal to install lighting in the dark side alley by his red brick house at 445 High St. Three black gooseneck fixtures, equally spaced, are to be mounted to the mortar joints and placed approximately 139 inches above the sidewalk. Outdoor rated cable is to be run along the mortar line.
Glenn Kershaw scored a COA to install a fence behind the home he and Whitney Kershaw own at 14 E. Market St. The four-foot high, 64-foot long black aluminum flat top fence is to have two 3-foot gates to allow access. Kershaw explained in the application the fence was needed to “define our yard for gardens, shrubbery, and to protect and contain our pets.” The style is similar to other fences in the immediate neighborhood.
Approval was granted for walk-in Will Scudder’s request for a new roof to replace one that had begun leaking at his red brick twin at 215 E. Church St. Scudder assured the board that the proposed GAF Slateline shingles in antique slate match what is on his attached neighbor’s home. He was also permitted to replace the slate shingles on the front porch roof “in kind” to match the color of the slate on the neighbor’s porch. Roeder reminded him to install open valley copper flashing.
The voting for all successful proposals was unanimous.
The Historical and Architectural Review Board regularly meets the first Wednesday of every month to review all exterior changes proposed to buildings in the Bethlehem Historic District north of the Lehigh River. When a proposed project receives a certificate of appropriateness from the board, applicants must wait for city council to vote on it before proceeding.
Roeder mentioned the city plans to begin digitally recording these hearings in September and posting them on YouTube. A new start time of 5 p.m. is to begin with the January 2020 meeting.