June 1, 2020 Minutes

The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Council Chamber on the second floor of City Hall, located at 555 South Washington Avenue on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

 

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

 

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Member Gaetjens motioned to approve the minutes from the March 2, 2020 meeting. Member Jonas seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote.

 

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Chairman Kiesel asked to move forward to agenda item 7E. The Historic Preservation Board members agreed to move forward to item 7E on the agenda.

 

Chairman Kiesel informed the Historic Preservation Board that he will be recusing himself from this agenda item and he has filled out and submitted Form 8B Memorandum of voting conflict for county, municipal, and other local public officers.

 

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New Business

 

Review & Approval for request to demolish existing building at 346 S. Washington Avenue

James Mutter of 3040 Kelley Street Titusville, Florida owner of the property came to speak in favor of this item.

 

Chairman Kiesel said he understands that Mr. Mutter is requesting a demolition of the structure and asked if Mr. Mutter could state the reasons for the demolition to the Historic Preservation Board. Mr. Mutter said the structure is not safe due to severe termite damage.

 

Member Foster asked when the structure was purchased and was Mr. Mutter aware of the damage at the time of purchase. Mr. Mutter said he purchased the property in December 2019 or January 2020. Mr. Mutter said he knew the structure needed repair but did not know the severity of the damage until he had a contractor look at it.

Derek Barger of Barger Construction came to answer questions in regards to this item. Mr. Barger said that Mr. Mutter could not have known the severity of the termite damage until someone got into the walls. Mr. Barger said that the structure is extremely unsafe and there is no way to save it.

 

Member Foster asked how permits were pulled and issued from the city’s Building Department for windows for a structure that is so unsafe. Mr. Ford said that this structure was not inspected by the Building Department for structure concerns, therefore the Building Department would not know the severity of the damage.

 

Member Jonas said that once damage like this is found, the structure is a lost cause.

 

Member Shifalo said she looked in the windows of the structure and it was bare. She said she did not see anything that could be saved.

 

Mr. Ford said that this structure was contributing due to the exterior of the building, not due to the interior.

 

Member Gaetjens asked how long would it take to demolish the structure. Mr. Barger said it would only take one day to take the structure down.

 

Member Foster asked if the Historic Preservation Board will be able to see the plans for the new structure. Mr. Ford said yes.

 

Member Foster said she would like to request that photos be taken before, during and after the demolition takes place in order to document the structure and to verify why it was necessary to demolish it. Member Foster said the photos should be sent to be included in the Florida Master Site File.

 

Member Foster said she would like to have a process to try and prevent structures like this to be in such disrepair that the only option is to demolish the structure. Member Foster said inspections should take place when a building permits are issued to verify that the structure is safe.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that the only way a structure could be inspected for such a reason is to have a Code Enforcement complaint, otherwise a building permit that is issued is only having inspections for what the permit was issued for.

 

Mr. Barger said that Code Enforcement has been to the structure three times since Mr. Mutter has purchased the property. Mr. Barger said Code Enforcement knows the condition of the building and knew that it was coming before the Historic Preservation Board to be reviewed for demolition. Mr. Ford said that Code Enforcement has only sited the property for violations of the exterior and not the structure.

 

Member Foster said she doesn’t want to set a precedent that the Historic Preservation Board will just grant demolition permits for structures in the downtown. Member Foster said that many of the structures downtown might have the same severe damage.

 

Chairman Kiesel said that demolition by neglect could be an agenda item for future discussion. Member Foster said she would like for someone from the Building Department to be included at that meeting for discussion.

 

Mr. Ford read the report from the Historic Preservation Officer concluding that the structure is unsafe and not salvageable.

 

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Member Jonas made a motion to approve the request for demolition of the structure located at 346 S. Washington Avenue Titusville, Florida. Member Gaetjens seconded.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Gaetjens        Yes

Member Jonas             Yes

Member Shifalo          Yes

Member Shoemaker    Yes

Member Foster            Yes

 

Motion Passed.

 

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Old Business

 

Demolition Permit Application Review Process

Mr. Ford gave an overview of this item.

 

Member Foster said she would like a request or requirement to be included that photos of the structure be taken before, during and after a demolition takes place.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that the Historic Preservation Board can make a request for photos but to make it a requirement is a code change.

 

Member Foster said that she would like to see photos as proof to substantiate why a demolition is necessary.

 

Mr. Ford said that if the Building Official goes to a structure and deems it as an imminent danger, the structure can be taken down without the Historic Preservation Board’s consideration.

 

Chairman Kiesel said that each structure is going to be a case by case review.

 

The Historic Preservation Board members had questions regarding whether or not the Building Department should have a separate application for a demolition permit. Mr. Ford said that there is a process that takes place when a building permit is submitted for a demolition. There is a review process that takes place.

 

Debbie Shuler of 422 Julia Street Titusville, Florida came to speak in regards to this item. Ms. Shuler said she feels that the Historic Preservation Board members should be able to visit the structures in person to be able to make a better decision about the structures.

 

Mr. Parrish explained the review process that takes place by the Planning Department when a demolition permit is submitted. Mr. Parrish said that all of the Historically designated properties from the Florida Master Site Files, locally designated properties and all three surveys have been flagged in the city’s system. The flags indicate that the structure has some historical value and needs to be reviewed.

 

Member Foster said the process may need to be tweaked and she would like for the photos to be taken during the demolition process before, during and after.

 

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Member Shifalo made a motion to approve the demolition permit application review process with the discussed changes to include photos. Member Foster seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

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Historic Neighborhood Conservation Districts as a historic preservation tool

Mr. Ford gave an overview of this item.

 

Mr. Ford said that Member Foster and staff met with a few representatives of the neighborhood on March 5, 2020. It was decided to have a community meeting on March 31, 2020, but due to the COVID 19 restrictions that meeting did not take place and has not been rescheduled.

 

Chairman Kiesel suggested tabling this item until the meeting can take place.

 

Member Shifalo said that she would like to discuss this item because she feels the neighborhood is in support of it.

 

Member Foster said that the conservation district would need to compliment their plan and she feels that a workshop or meeting would need to take place to get the community’s input.

 

Chairman Kiesel said he would like to find someone who has knowledge in regards to conservation districts. Member Foster said that Raleigh North Carolina has been very successful with conservation districts. Member Foster suggested reaching out to someone in Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Ford said that there are conservation districts in Sarasota, and Miami Dade.

 

Chairman Kiesel said that this discussion is leading into the next agenda item which is in regards to the annual workshop. Mr. Kiesel said he would like to discuss the workshop.

 

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New Business

 

2020 Annual Historic Preservation Board Workshop

Chairman Kiesel asked if the Historic Preservation Board members would like to have their annual workshop. The Historic Preservation Board members all agreed to have a workshop.

 

Chairman Kiesel asked if the Historic Preservation Board members would like the topic of the workshop to be Neighborhood Conservation Districts. The Historic Preservation Board members said yes.

 

Chairman Kiesel asked that Staff start preparing for this topic. Mr. Ford said at the next Historic Preservation Board meeting discussion should take place in regards to the date, speakers and agenda outline.

 

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Reports

 

Mr. Ford went over the staff report in the agenda packet.

 

Mr. Ford said that the Florida Trust Conference is July 29th-31st.

 

Member Foster brought up the property 723 Palm Avenue and how it would need to go through the Certificate of Appropriateness process.

 

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Adjournment 7:19 p.m.