Homes at the corner of West Street and Randolph will continue to take shape, as soon as the weather breaks for good, now that the Historic District Commission has approved plans after 45-minute debate last week.
The homes – which are a product of developer and builder Mike Miller of Greenstone Homes – will join an existing home which was moved at the site, and an additional home which has not yet been designed or taken before the commission.
Walter Coponen, the architect and designer of the project, presented plans for two homes, one of which would be located at 205 West Street, the other at 405 Randolph Street. The homes will measure 2,500 to 2,800 square feet and size and will adhere to the overall feel of the district, said Coponen.
“The homes are going to look great at the site once there completed," Coponen said in an interview Wednesday. “People are going to be very pleased.”
Commissioners, however, had their fair share of questions about two of the homes, especially when it was revealed that one home will have a singular, 16-foot double garage.
Commissioner Jennifer Luikart did not feel the door was living up to the district guidelines. “I would like to see two doors,” she said.
Coponen said the parcel was not configured to accommodate two doors, which all agreed would look better. On Thursday, however, he said he would be back before the commission with a door he found to make sure that part of the plan could move forward.
“I already found a door that looks like two doors, and they will love it, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue,” he said.
The process of building a new home can be a long process in the historic district, with each stage of design and construction monitored by the commission. However, there are no existing ordinances that would disallow a 16-foot door on a home in the district.
One resident at the meeting said that the commission should enforce its guidelines for a two-door configuration because the builder is attempting to build homes that some perceive as too large, or too plentiful, on the parcel.
Also, the commissioners said they preferred stone-covered chimneys on the homes, and Coponen agreed to investigate that possibility with the homeowners.
Work on the two new homes will begin this spring, and work on the foundation of the existing home is currently underway. The fourth home will be designed at a later date, and Coponen will again come before the commission with that plan.
Other measures that were undertaken by the commission included approving the design concept for the Garage, a restaurant slated for the old Gulf service station on Main Street and an application to construct a new roof on Monroe Bank’s facility, also on Main.
Also, the commission announced that John Argenta – an architect that previously acted as an advisor to the commission regarding design and construction matters – is now a voting member of the commission.