On the road: HDC holds field hearing on Southport project
The weather cooperated for the Fairfield Historic District Commission Friday afternoon as it conducted an on-site public hearing for an application at 715 Pequot Ave., Southport.
Only three times before has the HDC convened a special meeting at a property where approval was being sought for changes and additions in an historic district. Ellen Gould, the commission chairwoman, acknowledged that the on-site hearing is a fact-finding mission. "We like to do our due diligence," she said. "We really need to give applicants guidance and help as much as we can."
Friday's 13-minute field hearing was called to review the application of Mathew Goldsmith and Cheryl Guibone, who own 715 Pequot Ave. Their architect, Jack Franzen, who also was on site to explain the proposed project, presented the application at the HDC's meeting on April 14. Action on the application was tabled. The application has since been altered and a new one submitted. It will be heard at the HDC's next meeting at 4:30 p.m. May 19 in old Town Hall. Four project items from the original list of 15 have been eliminated based on questions and concerns raised at the April hearing.
At the property, commissioners viewed a structure made of boards, nailed together to give an idea of the size, height and location of a new garage. The old garage would be demolished and the new one would be built at a slight angle in the rear yard, which is alongside Westway Road. A tree would be removed to make room for it, said Franzen.
The commissioners asked several questions about height, sightline, setback and location, walked the property to get views from different angles and looked over architect's drawings of the proposed garage. Gould said the Sasquanaug Association for Southport Improvement was instrumental in having the informal frame for the garage erected.
At the April meeting, Sharon Klammer, a representative of Sasquanaug, said the association favored putting up the structure to visualize the effect of the plans on the streetscape.
The white house, across the street from the Pequot Library, was built around the turn of the 20th century. A carriage house, once where the garage is now located, was moved across the street at 776 Pequot Ave., a remodeled into noted Southport architect Roswell Barratt's home.