Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission

HPC approves COA for Federal Street house, demo of Hodge Street house

Third COA tabled to March 21
Mon, 03/11/2019 - 8:15am

The Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission on March 7 approved certificates of appropriateness for a Federal Street project and a demolition on Hodge Street.

The project at 22 Federal St. is a major remodel of a home Anthony Rafusfo bought, involving a new, black steel roof, replacement of all gutters with white, half-round gutters and white round downspouts, replacement of rotted pine clapboards with cedar clapboards, a full paint job of both the house and the barn, and repair and  replacement of the shutters. Some windows will be replaced in the house, porch and barn, and brick skirting that is bowing out will be reconstructed. Repair and  replacement of the railing on the front porch, which is out of code, will be constructed, and the sewer line will also be replaced. 

At first, several members did not want to approve the standing seam metal roof. The owner said he would check the price of metal shingle roofing, but expected it would be outside his $80,000 budget for the project. Then the HPC approved the project as presented, with the  exception of the  snow guides and the original proposal for the railing, which the owner said he would be happy to do in wood and bring up to code. The project passed 3-1, with Pam Logan dissenting, on the grounds she did not want a metal roof.

The second COA request sought the demolition of a small house at 56 Hodge St., owned by Dion West. West wanted to use the condemned property as a garden and parking space for a property adjoining it, which he also owns, at 5 Evergreen St. In last year’s windstorm, a tree fell on the house, rendering it uninhabitable. The property is non-conforming, and no new structure can be erected on it. According to an architect’s letter, the property was not contributing to the historic value of the neighborhood, and according to interim town manager John O’Connell, the property constitutes a liability hazard. Wiscasset’s Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Mullens said he did not even want to enter the property to examine it because it was so dangerous. Logan objected to the demolition and stated she believed the owner had an obligation to restore the property. Failing that, she said, he should have a home inspection performed to certify that the property was not capable  of being restored.

The COA passed, 3-1, with Logan dissenting. Commissioner Leslie Roberts asked that photographs be taken to preserve whatever historic value the property may have. West agreed.

West’s second COA request for was an enclosure of a small porch area at 5 Evergreen St. Once enclosed, he wished to add several windows, to match ones he has installed. The discussion involved whether or not the windows should be more historic in appearance, but West said he wanted them to match the windows he installed. Albert Kontrath said West was correct. But the proposal did not have images of the planned windows, or dimensions. West agreed to correct that in time for the March 21 meeting.