Friday, September 25, 2015

Tall Garage Gets Certificate of Appropriateness

A proposal that has been before the Historic Preservation Commission since July--to increase the height of the garage at 829 Warren Street to eighteen feet--was finally granted a certificate of appropriateness this morning.

When the HPC first voted on the proposal, on August 14, only five of the seven members of the HPC were present. Three members--Peggy Polenberg, Phil Forman, and Miranda Barry--voted to grant a certificate of appropriateness; two members--David Voorhees and Rick Rector--voted to deny. But approval requires four affirmative votes, so the certificate of appropriateness was denied by default. 

On August 28, when the HPC reviewed and voted on the language of the document denying the certificate of appropriateness, only four of the seven members were present. Three--Rector, Voorhees, and Forman--voted to approve the language and hence deny the certificate of appropriateness; one--Polenberg--did not.

For the past month, the HPC has struggled with the dilemma and conferred with counsel, and today, with all members present except Chris Perry, the architect member, who has not attended a meeting in months, it was unanimously agreed that the HPC would vote again on the proposal. This time, four members (Gini Casasco, Polenberg, Forman, and Barry) voted to grant a certificate of appropriateness; two members (Voorhees and Rector) voted to deny. The project finally got the four votes needed to get its certificate of appropriateness.


  1. About time. I hope it was granted with an apology to the applicant for the delay and nonsense displayed by HPC for this tiny insignificant structure, which may add a bit of whimsy to this dormant part of Warren Street.

  2. I don't think it's about the significance of the current structure, but about the oddness of the new structure. Tearing it down for a driveway would be less startling than stretching such a tiny footprint up another story.

  3. A little oddness may make it significant.