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Talks continue on window repair

By Staff | Jan 13, 2012

Members of the town’s Planning and Historic Landmarks commissions met at the invitation of town resident William Struna to continue discussions of how to address possible repairs or replacements of window sashes at Struna’s 207 W. New Street home.

Struna was denied a permit to replace the windows of the home in May of 2011 for what was termed “serious deterioration” of the window sashes. The Planning Commission voted to deny the application based on Section 9-902 of the town’s ordinance and the evidence, testimony and HLC recommendations to deny the permit.

Lanmarks chair Hank Willard said the denial was on the proposed window which he said was wood inside but aluminum outside.

“What was apparent to us from the sample was the type, material and construction of the window which we found to be unacceptable for that structure,” Willard was quoted as saying at the time of the initial recommendation for denial last May.

The meeting held Monday at Struna’s home was the first of the meetings which Struna has attended. He has previously been represented by his attorney, who was also present Monday.

Following the earlier applications for replacement, the town hired David Gibney of Historic Restoration Specialists to offer advice on the state of the windows. Gibney reported that he felt the windows were repairable.

Gibney was at Monday’s meeting to explain to Struna the process he would use to repair the window sashes in the home rather than replace them.

“They are part of the house, they really ought to stay,” Gibney said of the windows in the residence. He explained that weather stripping and repairing the sashes would eliminate much of the infiltration of air into the residence. He went on to propose that thermal windows of the sort Struna had oringially proposed as replacements are simply “disposable” as they would need to be replaced in a matter of years.

Struna explained about his concern over high heating costs, especially with the cost of heating oil. Gibney shared that windows, especially after weather stripping, only account for about seven percent of heat loss. Additional heat loss could come from the attic, chimney and walls, Gibney said.

Struna is considering the proposal of undertaking restoration of an “exemplar” window to see how effective the repairs could be. He is awaiting further information from Gibney specifically on whether a study Gibney has quoted addresses such things as temperature variation.

Review of the discussions at Monday’s special gathering are on the agenda for the upcoming planning commission meeting where that body will address such questions as whether the matter should now fall under the Board of Zoning Appeals who currently hold an appeal or their body who made the initial decision. Also ripe for discussion is whether the original application to replace the windows needs to be filed again or modified for restoration or whether an applications is needed at all for work that is maintenance in character.

Regardless of the outcome, Charles F. Printz, Jr., town attorney, told Struna’s attorney Monday, “We’re hopeful you and your client will develop options to get this done.”