Historic Preservation Committee decision overturned by Salida City Council – by Taylor Sumners


Local business owner of Boathouse Cantina and Manhattan Hotel Ray Kitson appeared before Salida City Council on Tuesday evening to appeal a Dec. 26 decision from the Historic Preservation Committee that denied a certificate of approval for a shade structure at the Boathouse Cantina, located at 228 North F St. which had already been constructed. At the end of the litigation process, two split city council decisions overturned the CHP’s decision to retroactively approve the structure, with Mayor PT Wood breaking the tie.

The awning in question in front of the Ghost sign at the Manhattan Hotel (Photo courtesy of Salida City Council Package, Jan. 21)

In accordance with article 16-2-70 of the Municipal Code of Salida, this HPC decision can be appealed to the Municipal Council of Salida. Kitson challenged the CHP’s decision that the new shade structure and retractable awning undermined the historic integrity of the main structure. Specifically, the structure would cover parts of the historic “ghost sign” visible on the building.

Salida town planner Kristi Jefferson provided an overview of the timeline of events before the appeal reached Council.

As per the schedule, staff informed Kitson on November 18, 2019 that the shade structure (which had already been built) required a major certificate of approval (CA) from CHP.

The AC request was submitted on November 22, 2019 by Patrick Payne, Boathouse Cantina Director of Operations on behalf of Kitson. On December 26, 2019, the application was reviewed by the CHP and rejected based on the following findings:

  • that the applicant [Kitson] did not go through the approval process.
  • The shadow structure diminishes, disguises, obscures and undermines the existing phantom sign.
  • When the Board approved the original request for a three-story addition to the Manhattan Hotel on December 19, 2018, the applicant [Kitson] said the phantom sign would not be covered.

In response to HPC’s decision to deny approval of the shading structure (now existing), Kitson appealed the decision on January 3, 2020. Staff at the town of Salida assessed the structure and determined that it was it complied with the codes in force. The findings of the staff of the City of Salida were presented by the town planner of Salida, Kristi Jefferson, as follows:

  • That the application complies with the examination standards for contributing structures in the historic district because the new construction must not undermine the historic integrity of the main structure and of the site.
  • The shade structure will be differentiated but compatible with the existing historic structure and if removed in the future, the integrity of the historic building will be intact.
  • The work is not necessary to comply with any building, fire or life safety code.

Kitson spoke ahead of the public hearing process: “I agree with the staff’s conclusions that we are in compliance with all standards. I think the CHP functioned outside its jurisdiction, as the city prosecutor [said], you cannot deviate from the regulations. There is no provision in the code to protect a phantom panel.

“We didn’t really cover it up at all. There is nothing absolutely against wall painting. You can see the whole fresco. There are really only eight bolts to anchor it, per code, ”Kitson said. He added: “I built it before I had an application and once I understood it was, I went and got an application and filled out all the necessary paperwork.”

He went on to say, “The only reason it really happened was when we went to put all our awning permits, the guy who made 90 percent of the awnings in this town, Aztec Manufacturing. from Pueblo, he felt it wasn’t a canopy, it was just a shade structure.

During the public hearing, concerned citizen Tom Golson said, “Regarding the Manhattan Hotel facade, I think Ray should be commended for making sure the windows look good and look good. that the brick is the correct color. However, I think the city council went through a lot of maturation to make sure they had highly qualified professionals on the job. [HPC]. You gave [the HPC] authority [to make] decisions in accordance with the rules of the Ministry of the Interior.

Ghost sign on the facade of the Manhattan Hotel before renovations begin – July 2018 (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

“My only rebuttal to the man who spoke is that his main point is that I clutter up the mural,” Kitson said. “I could paint on this mural tomorrow and there is nothing in the regulations to protect it. I wouldn’t do something like that, but the point is, there is no provision in the current guidelines that protects ghost signs.

Kitson continued, “The other thing I would say. You know when you say if you want the building in the historic district or if you want it outside; the best way to protect our historic buildings in the city is to install a building there. successful business and I have had a successful business there for decades.I have done nothing but improve this area and will do nothing but improve this area in the future.

After the public hearing, the municipal council of Salida began the deliberations. Council member Jane Templeton started the questions by asking if staff had referred to areas of the Salida municipal code that referred to painted walls, particularly in section 16-1-80 which talks about exterior architectural features.

Planner Kristi Jefferson said, “We have a lot of different murals. We have ghost signs, but it’s not a protected thing. So if Mr. Kitson wanted to go paint on his ghost panel, because it was already painted bricks, you can paint it. If it’s mud brick, you can’t paint your historic building.

Deputy City Attorney Nina Williams responded to Templeton, citing the code language that defines exteriors: “… defined as an architectural feature, we mean the architectural style and general layout of the exterior of a building. structure, including the type and texture of construction materials, and which includes all windows, doors, lights, painted wall signs or displays and other fixtures. So, I don’t think we’ve defined a painted wall sign in our code.

Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen added: “Much of the historic ordinance refers to Home Secretary standards, then we have [our local] design guidelines. Which interprets how staff should interpret this code and there is nothing in [those] who say we need to protect the ghost signs.

This response prompted City Councilor Justin Critelli to ask what the difference is between a “painted wall sign” and a “ghost sign”. City administrator Drew Nelson responded to Critelli saying there was no definition in the code for either term.

Councilor Dan Shore asked a question: “When you look at the reason why [the HPC] used to deny, number one says the requester did not go through the process. I was wondering if it was even the responsibility of the CHP? “

Williams replied, “No, that part isn’t. It’s frustrating when the board is in a situation where the requester has already done something that is claimed, however, any commission, whether it is a town planning or historic preservation commission, must consider it as a new request. And whether or not they would have approved it, if the structure had not been built. “

Boathouse Cantina (Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor)

Williams presented three options to Salida City Council at the start of the meeting. The Board could either reverse the decision of the HPC, confirm the decision taken by the HPC, or modify the decision with additional modifications.

Councilor Pollock asked what the next steps would be, given the three options available to Council. Williams stated that if the Board’s decision were to uphold the CHP’s decision, the appellant (Kitson) would then have the option of filing a Colorado Civil Procedure Rule (“CRCP”) 106 (a) (4) “106 action To the district court or reapply for another claim.

During board deliberations, Critelli said: “It wasn’t too long ago that the board restored the voting rights of CHP. I think one of the main reasons I supported this vote was ultimately to make it a more professional and attractive body. “

“It wasn’t a split decision by the CHP either, it was unanimous,” Critelli said. “It goes to my point not to weaken the position or the small powers that the HPC has. It was not divided and it was not close.

Pollock pleaded for more time, hoping the issue could be resolved at the next meeting. City Councilor Pollock said more time with the issue and the code could provide clarity. However, other motions were tabled before this idea could move forward.

A motion from Templeton and seconded by Critelli upheld the decision made by the CHP. Council members Templeton, Critelli and Pollock were in favor. Council members Pappenfort, Kasper and Shore opposed it. Mayor PT Wood broke the tie with a vote that opposed this motion.

With the motion dying, Council returned to another period of deliberation where a new motion was introduced by Council Member Harald Kasper and seconded by Shore to overturn the CHP decision. Council members Kasper, Shore and Pappenfort were in favor of overturning the CHP’s decision. Council members Templeton, Pollock and Critelli opposed it. With another tie, Mayor Wood voted to overturn the decision made by the CHP. The motion was carried.

Future discussions will take place between Salida City Council and Salida City staff regarding ghost panels and murals as part of the future restructuring of the Land Use Code.

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