Historic Zoning Commission

Ft. Sanders NC: Level II


Staff Recommendation

Pending additional discussion by the Historic Zoning Commission on the proposed rear dormer design, staff recommends approval of Certificate 6-E-24-HZ, subject to the following conditions: 1) all masonry repair and repointing follow NPS specifications; 2) final site plan to meet City Plans Review and Inspections and City Engineering standards, avoiding creating new front yard parking unless infeasible due to accessibility requirements.

Applicant Request
Additions; Roofing; Windows
Proposed reconstruction of roofline and addition of dormers, along with an exterior rehabilitation.

The existing hipped roof has a 6.5/12 pitch, measuring approximately 32'-5" to the mid-point of the roof slope, with hipped-roof dormers centered on the front and side roof slopes. The proposed roof pitch will be 8/12. Hipped-roof dormers (with 8/12 pitch on the front and rear, and 5/12 pitch on the sides) are proposed for the front, slide, and rear roof slopes. The dormers will be clad in fiber cement shake siding.

The project also includes the installation of new double-hung windows in existing fenestrations, repair and repointing to the existing brick masonry exterior, and new roof cladding. Several windows on the side and rear elevations (2 on the rear, 4 on the right, and 1 on the left) will be enclosed with masonry (or siding infill on the rear) to match the existing.

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL PER 7.18.2024 HZC: 1) all masonry repair and repointing follow NPS specifications; 2) final site plan to meet City Plans Review and Inspections and City Engineering standards, avoiding creating new front yard parking unless infeasible due to accessibility requirements.

Staff Comments
American Four Square, c.1910
    2.5-story brick residence with a hipped roof, an exterior of brick veneer, and dormers on front and front and side roof slopes. Full-length front porch supported by square columns.

1. 1610 Clinch Avenue is a contributing structure to the Fort Sanders National Register Historic District and Neighborhood Conservation Overlay. National Register eligibility or contributing status is determined by the State Historic Preservation Office. National Register status, including contributing versus non-contributing status, is not re-evaluated by the SHPO unless there is a precipitating event (like a project with federal funding or federal licensing requiring Section 106 Review).

2. The primary scope of work aims to increase the height and interior capacity of the house's upper level. The revised addition will change the existing roof pitch from 6.5/12 to 8/12 (previously proposed as a 9/12 pitch). While guidelines recommend that new roof pitches are "not less than an 8/12 pitch," they also recommend that houses remain proportional to comparable houses in height and width. Overall, the proposed 8/12 pitch roof is comparable to the adjacent houses (1616 Clinch Avenue and 1620 Clinch Avenue), and slightly reduced from the previous proposal.

The primary relevant guideline in the Fort Sanders NC Design Guidelines states that "additions should be made to the side or rear of the building." However, dormer additions have been approved in Fort Sanders, both by increasing the size of existing dormers and adding new dormers, along with slight increases to roof pitch.

Revised drawings show the largest new dormers will be located on the rear and side roof slopes. The revised dormers are wider than the previous proposal, but feature lower-pitched roofs (previously 9.5/12 and now 5/12). The side dormers are comparable in size to the existing side dormers. The rear dormer now extends from the primary roofline and features an 8/12 pitch. The Commission should discuss the design and scale of the rear dormer.

3. The existing building's exterior has already received significant modifications, including replacement windows, new windows in non-original locations, and the enclosure of a rear corner porch. Overall, the proposed window replacements are appropriate within the guidelines. The revised windows on the façade's ground level have been revised to be double-hung windows to meet the guidelines. All replacement windows should be installed in the originally-sized brick fenestrations (as reflected on the drawings) and avoid further enclosure with trim or siding. The proposed windows to be enclosed are on secondary elevations and at basement level, and are not character-defining features of the building. The elevation drawing retains the door's transom and sidelights, which are character-defining features.

4. All repointing and masonry repair should meet the specifications of NPS Brief 2, "Repointing Mortar Joints on Historic Masonry Buildings." Painting historic brick masonry with contemporary paint is not advisable.

5. Guidelines for parking recommend providing parking access off the alley or a side street, and note that "surface parking area shall always be to the rear of the building." Access from the alley does not appear feasible due to the substantial slope at the rear of the property, the narrow width of the alley, and the placement of the parking garage to the rear. 1610 and 1616 Clinch Avenue already have large gravel surface parking lots between the two houses, and front driveways extend off Clinch Avenue up to 1630 Clinch Avenue. All efforts should be taken to place new parking areas beside or behind the primary building, and avoid the front yard. Final site plan revisions will be necessary based on accessible parking requirements and City Engineering standards. Staff may approve minor revisions to site plans provided they meet the guidelines.

Brian Dennison

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: 865-215-3795
Email: lindsay.crockett@knoxplanning.org
Location Knoxville
1610 Clinch Ave. 37916

Clinch Development Group LLC

Case History