July 6, 2020 Minutes

The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Fire Dept. Multi-Purpose Room on the second floor of the Fire Dept., located at 550 South Washington Avenue on Monday, July 6, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

 

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Chairman Kiesel called the meeting to order at 5:30p.m.  Present were Vice Chairman Petyk, Secretary Adams, Member Gaetjens, Alternate Member Shifalo and Alternate Member Shoemaker. Member Foster joined the meeting via telecommunicating. Member Jonas and Member Green were absent. Also attending was Redevelopment Planner Tim Ford and Recording Secretary Laurie Dargie.

 

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Member Shoemaker motioned to approve the minutes from the June 1, 2020 meeting with corrections. Member Gaetjens seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote.

 

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Chairman Kiesel asked if the Historic Preservation Board members would like to discuss 346 S. Washington Avenue due to Member Foster’s request to have discussion on the demolition as a report item. The Historic Preservation Board members agreed to discuss 346 S. Washington Avenue.

 

Chairman Kiesel passed the gavel to Vice Chairman Petyk to run this portion of the meeting as he recused himself from this item.

 

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Reports

 

346 S. Washington Avenue – demolition of structure discussion

Member Foster went over in detail the e-mails that she sent to city staff and staff gave out to each of the Historic Preservation Board members. Member Foster said she was told that the demolition was taking place currently. Mr. Ford said yes, the demolition was happening at the present time. Member Foster asked if the city received all the documentation that was needed to move forward with the demolition. Mr. Ford said yes as far as he knew, the Building Official was at the site when demolition started. Member Foster asked if the asbestos was being taken care of properly. Mr. Ford said yes.

 

Member Foster said she did not feel that the photographs that were provided were adequate with proving that the structure could not be repaired and that the only option was demolition. Member Foster asked if anyone visited the site to determine if demolition was the only option.

 

Mr. Ford said he and Member Shifalo visited the site. Mr. Ford took pictures of the structure using his phone. Mr. Ford said there were supporting beams that were not connected and he saw a lot of wood rot. He said he is not an expert in buildings but he did not feel safe inside the structure.

 

Member Shifalo said that she feels that the Historic Preservation Board members should be given the opportunity to visit all structures that come before the Board for any reason such as being designated as a historic structure or for a demolition. Member Shifalo said that it makes for better decisions when discussion takes place regarding the property. Member Shifalo said that she could see through one of the walls and she did not feel there was sufficient structural support.

 

Member Foster said that the 3D pictures that were provided did not show enough proof for the disrepair that was discussed during the June 1, 2020 Historic Preservation Board meeting. Member Foster said she does not even know when the 3D pictures were taken. Member Foster stressed the importance of getting engineering reports along with supporting pictures to prove the need for demolition before demolition takes place. Member Foster would like the Historic Preservation Board to have opportunity to review these documents and would suggest making it a requirement that these documents are reviewed in advance of a demolition.

 

Mr. Ford said that the code allows for the requesting of documentation. Mr. Ford said that the 3D pictures were taken the same day that he visited the site. Mr. Ford said he took multiple pictures of the property with his phone but the 3D pictures were better at showing the damage.

 

Secretary Adams asked if the Historic Preservation Board Officer visited the site. Mr. Ford said he didn’t think that they did. Member Shifalo said that she did see that the Historic Preservation Board Officer did confirm that the structure should be demolished.

 

Vice Chairman Petyk said that discussion on the procedures for demolition by neglect would be discussed during that agenda item.

 

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Vice Chairman Petyk passed the gavel back to Chairman Kiesel.

 

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Old Business

 

Neighborhood Conservation Districts – Historic Preservation Board Annual Workshop

Mr. Ford gave an overview of the staff explanation of this item.

 

Mr. Ford said Vicki Oldham would be willing to come and speak at the workshop.

 

Mr. Ford said that Tania Tully would be willing to speak virtually at the workshop.

Chairman Kiesel said he would like for the workshop to have an educational component and then to have a real example of the Neighborhood Conservation District.

 

Member Shifalo suggested that the Historic Preservation Board have a virtual meeting with Ms. Tully in Raleigh, North Carolina to become more educated on Neighborhood Conservation Districts. Member Shifalo said that the Historic Preservation Board needs to be well educated and have a good understanding of Neighborhood Conservation Districts so the Board can educate our community.

 

Chairman Kiesel said he would like to have a basic education and a concrete example of Neighborhood Conservation Districts at the workshop.

 

Chairman Kiesel asked if the Historic Preservation Board would like to have a virtual meeting with Ms. Tully in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Board members agreed.

 

Chairman Kiesel asked that Staff find out what Ms. Oldham and Ms. Tully would charge to have these meetings with the Historic Preservation Board.

 

Chairman Kiesel said he would like to have the annual workshop at the Harry T. Moore center if possible.

 

The Historic Preservation Board discussed potential dates to have the annual workshop. October 20, 2020 if it can be at the Harry T. Moore center and October 22, 2020 in the Council Chamber. Staff will check into those dates.

 

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New Business

 

Demolition by Neglect

Chairman Kiesel said that he believes Member Foster has a concern with the possibility of other structures in the Downtown being demolished due to neglect. Mr. Ford said that any structure in the Downtown would come before the Historic Preservation Board before being demolished.

 

Chairman Kiesel asked how the Historic Preservation Board would like to handle structures that are in danger of being demolished due to neglect. Does the Board want to try and approach the owners of the structures or pursue an ordinance change to make it more stringent? 

 

Member Shifalo suggested cultivating relationships with property owners and city staff, getting cooperation with other historic preservation groups, and public awareness.

 

Member Shifalo said that she would suggest the Historic Preservation Board look at making changes to the ordinance. 

 

Vice Chairman Petyk said she would like to see a stronger ordinance and a good working relationship with Code Enforcement. 

 

Member Gaetjens said that most structures are neglected due to the lack of funds.

 

Member Shoemaker would like for the Historic Preservation Board to find funding sources and be able to tell property owners where to go to get grant money that might be available to them to help with repairing their properties. 

 

Mr. Ford said that there are some grant funds available for the commercial downtown properties. Mr. Ford said that Neighborhood Services can sometimes help with residential properties but not necessarily historical residential properties. 

 

Chairman Kiesel said that there are protections in place for the properties on the three surveys that have been done. Chairman Kiesel suggested trying to reach out again to some of the property owners that have been contacted in the past and encourage them to move forward with designating their properties and repairing them. 

 

Member Gaetjens said he does not want the Historic Preservation Board to become another obstacle for property owners, he would like to be helpful.

 

The Historic Preservation Board members all agreed that they don’t want to become the Historic Preservation “police”, but want to find ways to help and encourage the preservation of historical structures. 

 

Mr. Ford said that 723 Palm Avenue is in need of repair and the property owner would like to repair it but is unable to get funding sources to help with the repairs. 

 

Member Gaetjens asked if a stabilization grant could be created to help property owners.

 

Member Shifalo suggested trying to help find funding sources and volunteers to help.

 

Mr. Ford said Mr. Warren has met with Member Foster to see if she could help find any grant money. Mr. Warren is open to ideas. 

 

Chairman Kiesel said the Historic Preservation Board needs to consider whether or not the Board wishes to use a personal approach, outreach, or pursue a stricter ordinance. 

 

Member Gaetjens suggested looking at properties and deciding whether or not it makes economical sense to repair them.

 

Chairman Kiesel would like to focus on properties that have grant opportunities available to get help. The Historic Preservation Board members all agreed to pursue the properties which have grant money available to help. 

 

Chairman Kiesel suggested that the Historic Preservation Board members start with the downtown property owners and reaching out to them about their properties and the grant opportunities that are available to get them interested.

 

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1002 Indian River Avenue – Letter to request local designation of historic structure

Chairman Kiesel asked if there are any incentives that can be included in the letter sent to 1002 Indian River Avenue. Mr. Ford said he can include information about the tax abatement program. Mr. Ford said he will draft a letter and bring it back before the Board for review.

 

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Member Shifalo made a motion to approve sending a letter to the property owner of 1002 Indian River Avenue Titusville, Florida. Member Shoemaker seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

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Reports

 

Mr. Ford gave a brief overview of the reports that were included in the agenda packet.

 

Chairman Kiesel would like for a draft letter to be created to go out to the property owners of structures that could be historically designated to encourage them to become locally designated. He would like for the letter to have a helpful and personal approach.

 

Chairman Kiesel said more discussion needs to take place regarding demolition procedures.

 

Mr. Ford asked if anyone would like to present the Historic Preservation Board’s semi-annual report. Member Shifalo volunteered to give the report. Chairman Kiesel said he would also attend the City Council Meeting.

 

Mr. Ford asked if anyone would like to write a spotlight article on the Historic Preservation Board. Member Shifalo said she would write an article.

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Adjournment 2:53p.m.