Posted by John Cooke in Cape May, Guest Blog on December 8, 2017
During a meeting Nov. 20, Cape Jetty LLC principal Emmanuel DeMutis was seeking a demolition permit for the existing structure and conceptual approval to build a new hotel.
The HPC approved a demolition permit in February 2006, but the permit was not acted upon and expired. Cape Jetty LLC is currently seeking the same approval. The building has not changed since 2006.
Architect Steven Fenwick gave the HPC a presentation on the existing building and future plans.
“The existing Jetty Motel building does not have any historic, architectural, cultural or aesthetic signifi – cance,” Fenwick said. “The proposed hotel is a permitted use within the zone and conforms to all the zoning requirements. The existing motel does contain some zoning nonconformance.”
Fenwick stated the Jetty Motel represented a lifestyle rather than structural significance.
“The removal of the building would not be detrimental to the integrity of the property or the historic district or public interest,” he said. “There is no uncommon craftsmanship, texture or material incorporated into the structure.” The retention of the building would not increase property values, promote business or contribute to other aspects of the public interest, he said. The present building is structurally sound and does not contain attractions or amenities to induce the current industry, according to Fenwick.
The Jetty Motel was built in the late 1950s. It is a masonry building with a stucco finish, vinyl siding in the front, a fl at roof, parking and a swimming pool, he noted.
The proposed building is similar to the one that was previously conceptually approved in 2006. It would be three stories of habitable space with parking below and on part of the second floor. The base of the building would be brick veneer, poured in place concrete structure. Plans call for brick openings arched with lattice enclosure to provide parking ventilation and screening from public view. The building conforms to the zoning regulations as to height. It would include a restaurant.
“The prior conceptual approval had three townhouse units on the property that is now a single-family home that was subdivided in the interim years and a new single-family home was approved for that site,” Fenwick said.
The proposed building has been reduced in scale. Materials in the conceptual drawings include shingle as the primary siding material, cement board in addition, and the roof would be a mix of fi berglass asbestos shingle. The turrets and gables would be a synthetic slate. The windows would have crowns and traditional trim work, and would be further discussed with the board.
The conceptual rendering includes a proposal for metal railings with a decorative circular motif. The columns would be trimmed in a traditional fashion. A continuous decorative band would separate the bottom and top of the building.
A landscape architectural plan is scheduled to be discussed at the next HPC meeting. The plan calls for landscaping in the back of the hotel to shield it from the house.
HPC Chairman Warren Coupland asked if the shingles were going to be a cedar shake. Fenwick said there would be a texture and pattern that varies with cement board.
“We’ve been looking for the softer material to run horizontal to the building instead of perpendicular,” Coupland said. “The perpendicular makes it look like piano keys, more of a suburban look.”
The board agreed that the provided information was helpful and asked questions regarding the lighting and sidewalk, and additional information will be provided and discussed at the next meeting.
“We are a stickler for details on the final,” Coupland said. “We prefer the hardy board as planks to have a flat finish and framing around the windows. We had been urged by the Environmental Commission to use energy-efficient materials. There are synthetic slate roofs with solar panels that still look like slate roofs and we would ask you to look at that and see if that would be a possibility for your roof.”
HPC member Bonnie Pontin said the proposed design was a beautiful rendition and would be an uplifting change for that end of the beach.
The Cape May Planning Board granted preliminary site approval for this project and the applicant returned to the board for a one-year extension on the preliminary approval, which expires in June 2018. They will seek final site plan approval from the Planning Board.