Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, September 20, 2016

FROM: Fran Rodgers, Cochairman HARB
DATE: September 28, 2016

HARB met on September 20th at the GVMS. Some members also inspected the site at 4111 White Horse Road for which there would be the hearing at our regular meeting. Those members present are in bold: Linda Appier, Tom Fillipo, Dale Frens, Sheila Klement, Ann Kline, Wendy Leland, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers, and Dan Wright. Also present were: Mr. and Mrs. John Allen, realtor Barbara Pennington, Amit and Dempy Tangri architect Jeffrey Bowdry and builder Mr. Lawrence Palmer.

Mr. and Mrs. Tangri submitted an application for a HARB review to demolish the house at 4111 White Horse Road. At our meeting, Mr. and Mrs. Allen, present owners of the properly, presented some history of the property. The original house was quite small and additions were made to it in the 1930’s and 1950’s. The original parcel was 70 acres and other structures were later added, but the present lot size is 2 acres. It was likely used as a tenant house for workers on the nearby Quigley Farm. Some problems were presented, such as the house being in poor condition and its front being only 25 feet from White Horse Road. An idea was put forth that it might be rehabilitated and be used as an accessory structure for the new house. As to adding to the house itself, a zoning exception would be needed to add more than 50% to the present structure. The potential buyers, Mr. and Mrs. Tangri, did not favor either of those solutions. Their architect showed a plan with a new house keeping the front tree line and with a driveway from White Horse Road and going from the west side of the house.

The discussion that followed this presentation cited the fact that if this house had been in the historic district, then it would be important to keep it to retain the integrity of the district but in the present location, that is less important. As it now stands, it would be a financial burden to rehabilitate. A member mentioned that we must be careful not to set a precedent for demolition The best solution would be to take the house down to its footprint and then have that covered with flush natural stone with a marker to show its former significance. Mr. Palmer spoke up and said that that solution would be easy to carry out and not expensive. Mr. and Mrs. Tangri spoke privately with their architect and indicated their acceptance of that idea.

Dale Frens made the motion that HARB recommend a Certificate of Appropriateness to the BOS for the demolition of the Period 1 stone structure be approved with the provision that the outline structure would be preserved with a flush natural stone footprint over the original house. Ann Kline seconded the motion and all members were in favor.

An update on the Feiner property on Foster Road was given. Some HARB members visited the property to inspect the sample stucco work proposed for the three outbuildings and found it acceptable so that the builder was allowed to proceed.

Another update on the Methodist Church stone wall was given by Rosemary. The church received permission to rebuild the stone wall but the Church Board balked at the price of the new wall. They considered tearing down the wall completely but one church member proposed that he could repair the wall for $2500 and that was an acceptable solution.

Dale Frens gave an update on Brightside Farm The BOS have approved a contract for repairs to the bank barn, wagon barn and the spring house. He also reported that work is being carried out in the house for a first floor bathroom and later, the 2nd floor bath would be replaced.

Rosemary said that she had emailed Blake Caplan about his plans after he had spoken with Dale Frens but she received no response from Mr. Caplan.

In new business, Rosemary spoke of the plans by the new owners of the Kling property. Mr. Pete Cooper had submitted an application for review by HARB but after examining the plans, it was evident that the addition did not impact any of the historic section of the house and that a HARB hearing was not necessary.

Nancy Long mentioned that a sign now appears on the historic Bodine House on Bodine Road.

The meeting was adjourned and the next scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday, November 15th.