The future of the Daisey home at 331 Chestnut St. is still undecided, as the Lewes Historic Preservation Architectural Review Commission analyzes a detailed presentation on the history of the property and awaits the findings of another independent report.
The Daisey family gave the presentation at HPARC’s Aug. 3 meeting. It included about 240 pages of documents, statistics, findings and even family photos from the 1950s and 1960s that show what the house looked like then compared to now.
The family wants HPARC to change the home’s designation from contributing to non-contributing to the city’s historic district, which would allow the house to be demolished and replaced with a new one. The family says the evidence overwhelmingly proves enough significant alterations have been made to warrant the change.
“The more a property changes, the less likely it is to remain contributing,” said Sarah Daisey Minor, one of the family members who presented to HPARC. “When does it cross the line from being contributing to non-contributing? Based on all the changes made to our property, we firmly believe it has already crossed that line.”
In the presentation, Darnell Daisey cited a third-party assessment done by consultants Barton Ross & Partners. The report found the building should still be considered a contributing property. But, Daisey said, there were errors in the study, and he pointed out several findings that he believes prove the designation should be changed. “We assert the house has not maintained to a significant degree its material, design, workmanship, setting or even its feeling integrity. It also no longer meets the original architectural style, which was a Queen Anne Vernacular house,” he said. Those were all findings in the assessment.
HPARC is expecting a second independent report in mid-August. The Daisey family will return to discuss the findings at the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, Sept. 7.
After considering the new report, HPARC could vote on the status of the Daisey property that night. If the commission decides to change the designation to non-contributing, a public hearing on the demolition will be held right after the meeting. But if commissioners keep the contributing status, there will not be a need for a public hearing.
HPARC is also scheduled to hold a public hearing at the Sept. 7 meeting on an application to elevate a home at 208 E. Market St.
The Sept. 7 meeting and public hearings will begin at 6 p.m. at city hall.
Also at its Aug. 3 meeting, the commission unanimously approved an application for construction of a new home on an existing lot at 118 Manila St. It also gave unanimous approval to an attached garage on an existing home at 110 Adams St.
The full meeting can be viewed at lewes.civicweb.net.