McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission appoints chairman, vice chairman
McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission met Wednesday, Jan. 4.
The McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission meets every first Wednesday of each month, except July and December, at 6:30 p.m. at the Office of Planning and Development, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock, Illinois 60098.
Here are the minutes as provided by McHenry County:
HISTORIC PRESERVATION MINUTES
JANUARY 4, 2017
Public Meeting County Board Conference Room 6:30 PM
667 Ware Rd, Administration Building, Woodstock, IL 60098
I. CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
Mr. McConnell called the meeting to order at 6:37 p.m.
Commissioners Present: James McConnell, Susan Stelford, Steve Greeley, Gloria Mack, Paula Rieghns, Laurie Selpien, Linda Spencer, Ted Thayer, Gail Brown (MCCD Liaison), and Sean Foley (Staff Liaison)
Commissioners Absent: Lynn Gray
II. APPROVAL OF DRAFT MINUTES
1. Historic Preservation - Public Meeting - Dec 7, 2016 6:30 PM
Motion by Mr. Thayer, seconded by Ms. Selpien to approve the minutes of December 7, 2016.
RESULT: ACCEPTED BY VOICE
III. INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS
Michael Pigliacelli and Sean Pigliacelli, representing the Boy Scouts, Hans Mach and Zak Klehr representing the County Community Development Division, and Kurt Begalka of the McHenry County Historical Society.
Dennis Sandquist, Director of Planning and Development, was also present.
IV. PUBLIC COMMENT
Mr. Pigliacelli remarked that he was present with his son on behalf of the Boy Scouts. He will earn a merit badge by attending a governmental meeting.
Mr. Mach, Community Development Community Administrator for McHenry County explained the Community Development Department is responsible for the oversight of grant funding made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mr. Mach explained they have a citizen participation period starting for potential amendments to the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. The proposed additions include the entry of historic preservation potential opportunity in the years 2018 and 2019 for nationally designated landmarks. They are seeking public comment through February 22.
The proposed amendments will be posted on the Community Development Website to review a summarized version.
Mr. McConnell asked if there was a specific landmark Mr. Mach had in mind.
Mr. Hans answered that the City of Woodstock requested that the Old Courthouse/Jail/Sheriff Building be included in the plan.
Mr. McConnell thanked Mr. Mach, and stated the Commission will use their contacts to make sure the owners of interested properties are made aware of this opportunity.
V. OLD BUSINESS / ACTION ITEMS
VI. NEW BUSINESS / ACTION ITEMS
Annual Commission Elections
Mr. McConnell opened the nominations.
Ms. Mack made a motion to nominate Mr. McConnell for Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Greeley.
Motion by Ms. Reighns, seconded by Mr. Greeley to close the nomination for Chairman.
Mr. Greeley made a motion to nominate Ms. Stelford for Vice Chairman. Ms. Reighns made a motion to nominate Mr. Greeley.
The motion by Ms. Reighns was seconded by Ms. Selpien.
Motion by Ms. Mack, seconded by Ms. Selpien to close the nomination for Vice Chairman.
Ms. Mack nominated Ms. Reighns for secretary. The motion was seconded by Ms. Selpien.
Motion by Mr. Thayer, seconded by Mr. Greeley to close the nomination for secretary.
Motion by Ms. Stelford, seconded by Ms. Spencer to accept the slate of nominations. All voted aye on a roll call vote. Motion passed.
The recommendation for Chairman will be forwarded to the County Board for approval.
Historic Presevation Ordinance Enforcement
Mr. McConnell explained this is to initiate the possibility of enforcement proceedings against the owner of the Holocombville School building for a potential Ordinance violation of demolition by neglect.
He explained the Commission does not have the right to start enforcement proceedings, but the County Board does. The Board cannot start enforcement proceedings without a recommendation from the Commission.
The proposed resolution makes the recommendation to the County Board, which includes the steps to be taken by the Staff at Planning and Development including inspection, notifying the owner, and giving the owner time to come up with another plan. If this does not get resolved, it will go to court.
Ms. Brown asked about the condition of the roof.
Mr. McConnell said the roof is intact, but there are some leaks. The first step is have a building inspector go out to the site and determine if the building is unsafe.
Ms. Stelford stated she is uncomfortable with the resolution. The owner, now lives out of state and has the property up for sale. Ms. Stelford stated the owner has played a big part in historic preservation, and Ms. Stelford does not want this to create any hardship or problems for the owner.
Ms. Reighns asked if the house is actually in danger, and if it is, the resolution should be supported.
Mr. McConnell mentioned the question on whether it is in danger depends upon passing the resolution, and sending a qualified inspector out to the site to make that determination. If it is found that the house is structurally sound, there is no basis for the County Board to proceed with an enforcement proceeding. If we do not pass the resolution, the inspection is not done and the Commission does not know.
He also added that the longer the Commission waits, the more money it may cost the owner.
Mr. Belgalka said Landmark Illinois accepts nominations for certain properties to be designated as endangered, and the deadline to submit is January 16. Mr. Belgalka stated he spoke with the owner, and she is willing to have the house designated to be put on the endangered list. If the house does get named to the list, they will send an architect out to the property to do a survey of the entire building to give a idea on what needs to be done. He added that he does not want to create a contentious relationship with the owner.
Mr. Greeley stated there is a process, and the first part would be direct communication with the owner's concerns and steps we could take and the ramifications she is going to have related to those if she does follow through with some of the requirements.
After further discussion, there was a motion by Ms. Reighns, seconded by Ms. Mack to adopt the Resolution regarding the Holocombville school.
It was noted that if it is determined there is not a structural issue, there will not be any further escalation.
The roll call vote was as follows:
Ayes: Mr. Greeley, Ms. Mack, Mr. Reighns, Ms. Selpien, Ms. Spencer, Mr. Thayer and Mr. McConnell
Nay: Ms. Stelford
Motion passed 7 to 1.
Resolution regarding Coventry Farmstead
Mr. Begalka stated he was contacted by Charlie Eldridge, the Harvard Economic Development Corp Director. Mr. Eldridge said there will be an announcement this month from the Chinese company who bought the property that a incubator business is planned.
Mr. Begalka said the main spokesman was Gary Nobody who died in a car crash and that derailed moving this forward. Mr. Begalka said the enforcement action would be an incentive.
Mr. McConnell stated he doubts the people in charge that own the property know that part of it is landmarked. The County Board passed the Designation Ordinance before the auction/sale was closed. Once the Ordinance was recorded, Mr. McConnell proposed that the Commission pass this resolution initiating enforcement because there is nothing about Coventry House that is getting any better and there are no indications they are going to use the buildings which have not been maintained. He thinks the new owners are focused on the main buildings and not the farmhouse and the farm. He added the City of Harvard's Historical Society would love to have the building to use as a museum, but they do not have resources to put it in the condition required for a museum.
After discussion, there was a motion by Mr. Greeley, seconded by Ms. Spencer to adopt the Resolution regarding the Coventry Farmstead.
All members voted aye on a roll call vote. Motion passed.
Minutes Historic Preservation Commission January 4, 2017
The Resolutions will go to the Planning Environment and Development Committee on January 9, and to the County Board on January 17.
1. Resolution regarding the Holcombville School Landmark
2. Resolution regarding the Coventry Farmstead Landmark
Mr. Sandquist proposed a bus tour of some of the County-designated landmarks.
He suggested renting a bus, advertising in Visit McHenry County, and working with the Historical Society and other local groups to get them involved.
The first step would be to contact the homeowners and see if they would be interested in having their property available for an external site visit and possibly an internal visit. For sites such as schools or any buildings where they would be willing to let us view the inside, he suggested charging a fee, along with the funds from the Commissions budget.
Ms. Brown stated the bus tours that have been done in the past in conjunction with the College have been very successful.
The Commission agreed it is a great idea. Mr. McConnell stated the Commission should consider reaching out to the Historic Preservation Commissions in the municipalities to get more interest and also better publicity.
After discussion, Ms. Stelford made a motion to table this agenda item until the February meeting. Ms. Mack seconded the motion.
All members voted aye on a voice vote. Motion passed.
Proposed 2017 Landmark Bus Tour
VII. STAFF REPORT
VIII. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Mr. McConnell told everyone to take a look at the committees they are on, and decide if they want to stay on that committee or be placed on another one.
A. Communications & Public Relations Committee
B. Municipal Liaisons
Ms. Mack mentioned that she will be dropping off her annual report on Monday.
Ms. Stelford has already e-mailed hers to the chairman and staff
Minutes Historic Preservation Commission January 4, 2017
i. Joint Council
ii. Municipal Relations and Programs
C. Survey and Landmark
i. Landmark Nominations
ii. Special Programs
A. Heritage Groves
B. Scenic Roads
C. Victory Gardens
Mr. Foley noted the 2017 budget for the year is $2,000. This is $500 less than in previous years.
E. MCCD Liaison Report
Ms. Brown reported there is a newly uncovered log cabin. It was a covered shed, and the new owners removed the siding and found the cabin. She has not been able to make a site visit because of the weather, but she is planning on visiting the new owners and ask if she can take pictures.
IX. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Ms. Stelford, seconded by Ms. Selpien to adjourn. All members voted aye, motion passed.
The meeting adjourned at 8:09 p.m.
Organizations in this Story
2200 N Seminary Ave
Woodstock, IL 60098-2637