2006-02-11 / News

New Cottage Gets OK for Hubbard’s Annex

By Karen Gould

Construction is slated to begin this spring on a singlestory home in Hubbard’s Annex, approved by the Mackinac Island Planning Commission on January 10, pending review by the city architect, Rick Neumann of Petoskey.

The new house is to be constructed in Hubbard’s Annex by Cordelia and Charles Puttkammer. Their contractor, Mike Gamble, represented them at the commission meeting.

Multiple-story housing is the norm in the Annex, and although the Puttkammers’ plans were amended by increasing the roof pitch to meet ordinance height requirements, concerns remained that the one-story structure is not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.

“It might be the only zoning area on the Island that actually has a minimum height requirement for a residential structure,” said Dennis Dombroski, city building inspector.

Commissioners also questioned the base of the house. Mr. Gamble explained the Puttkammers’ architect, who lives in Seattle, Washington, did not understand Island winters and had designed the home with siding to the ground. Mr. Gamble advised the architect that the house needs an exposed foundation that is two cement blocks high to keep the siding clear of snow.

Commissioner Kay Hoppenrath voted against a permit because the house will have only one floor. She noted the structure would not be in character with the area. She also said several Annex residents had discussed with her their concerns with the single-story layout and their concerns that this new construction would set a precedent for the Annex.

“There is one other onestory house in the Annex and that was built in 1943,” Ms. Hoppenrath noted.

She told fellow commissioners she had suggested the Annex residents put their concerns in writing, but no letters had been received by January 10.

“That’s a problem with our ordinance,” noted Commissioner Mary Dufina, who voted for the project. “If, in fact, we wanted it to be two stories, then we should have said it.”

Concerns over the proposed single-story dwelling fitting into the character of the neighborhood prompted commissioners to call for an architectural review of the home’s plans. Commissioners Margaret Horn and Mrs. Dufina voted against the review, noting they already had approved the project as presented.

In other business, commissioners approved an air conditioning enclosure for the Lake View Hotel on Main Street and a new bike storage rack for the Mackinac Island Bike Shop, which is part of the hotel.

Moving some mechanical equipment out of the basement of the hotel and placing it outside will displace six bike spaces, said hotel officials. They proposed using a twotiered bike rack, which would increase bike storage by 12 bikes. The bikes are rented to Island visitors in the summer.

The Mackinac Island Planning Commission next meets Tuesday, February 14, at 3 p.m. in Community Hall on Market Street.

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