/* The Divi child theme test */ Historic Preservation Commission Meeting Minutes December 2010 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net

21 December 2010 | Approved: 18 January 2011

Bob Booher, Mimi Styles, Margot Bohan, and David Neumann. Councilor Joli McCathran was present as Town Council Liaison. The meeting began at 7:30 p.m. David Neumann took minutes.

Approval of Agenda and Adoption of Minutes

The proposed agenda was modified and then adopted unanimously. Minutes for the November 16 regular HPC meeting were approved subject to a few changes. They will be filed in the Town office and submitted to Bill Saar to be added to the Town Web Site.

Project Reviews

Members reviewed a permit application from Mr. Jim Snyder to build a shed at the rear of his property at 201 Maple Road. Mimi Styles agreed to write the review.

Council Report

Joli McCathran presented her report on Council activities relevant to the HPC. The council had not approved the idea of purchasing an overhead projector for the Town. The TC did not feel that the Town needed its own projector as we were sharing a projector with the Washington Grove United Methodist Church. The question of purchasing an inexpensive device to convert slide and negative was proposed by David Neumann. The Town Council will only be meeting once a month, therefore there is a shorter time for the liaison to the HPC to prepare her report to the TC.

Building Permit Application Procedure

Margot Bohan has been reviewing the HPC aspect of the WG application procedure for building permits. She explained her ideas in documents circulated earlier in the year and has agreed to re-circulate to HPC meeting attendees her proposals and draft set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) intended to make the application process more transparent. We briefly discussed, but agreed to postpone action until the draft FAQ’s are redistributed.

HPC Rules of Procedure

David Neumann passed out printed copies of Draft 21 of the HPC Rules of Procedure so that we could edit them at the meeting. They had been circulated to members by email on October 17, but due to time constraints, we had not discussed them at the last meetings in October and November. At this month’s meeting, we finished reviewing the entire draft. Various suggestions were made. David Neumann agreed to make the changes and re-circulate a Draft 22.

PC/HPC work sessions on Mansionization

Members reviewed the current status of the PC/HPC efforts to draft an ordinance that would offer some protection from mansionization, i.e. the construction of out-scale structures, in the Town. The meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 22 was postponed to Weds. Jan 26. This postponement means the 18-month time limit in Ordinance 2008-07, effective July 22, 2009, will elapse. Accordingly, the Building Coverage Standards for Residential Zones revert to those in place before 7/22/2009. HPC members felt that although this was unfortunate, it would only result in a single non-compliant structure. Bob Booher agreed to send out a summary of the status of the PC/HPC efforts in the next several weeks.

David Neumann mentioned emails he had sent out, that asked members of the PC/HPC to suggest ideas and views to the group via email. We had a short discussion of the purpose of his emails with histograms showing the distribution of lot sizes and enclosed space in the RR1 and RR2 zones in Town.

Mimi Styles explained that a slide shown at the 2nd Forum on Mansionization on November 17 may have been misleading. Slide 15 states that the “graduated maximum enclosed area” concept (on which the proposed ordinance is based) would allow each residence "an average increase in size of about 1000 sf."

However, using the spreadsheet on which the ordinance proposal was based, if one subtracts the actual “enclosed area” for existing residences (Column G) from the proposed allowable enclosed area figure (2,320+10.5% – Column L), most of the properties (62+56) would be allowed additional build of 1,500 to 2,500 sf.

Recall that the current average enclosed area for existing residences in RR-1 is 1,815 sf; for RR-2, it is 1,431 sf. If the Town wishes to maintain the modest scale of residences, consideration should be given to adjusting downward the "2,320 +10.5%" calculator.

Additional square feet allowed Number of properties
Under 1,000 21
1,000 to 1,500 12
1,500 to 2,000 62
2,000 to 2,500 56
2,500 to 3,000 16
3,000 to 4,000 14
4,000 to 5,500 5

(The four lots that would yield the greatest increase in allowable build – Voigt, Lottes, Church, Harrison – were excluded from the table. Also excluded were three residences for which there would be no additional build allowable beyond the current enclosed area – Saar, English and Carrato.)

Coordination of Seminars or Talks with the Woman’s Club

Margot Bohan suggested that a wood window repair and maintenance workshop be arranged in cooperation with the Woman’s Club. Other workshops were mentioned. Margot has a list of other historic preservation-related topics for future seminars and suggested that the HPC look for names of potential presenters. Joli reminded the members that the next president of the Woman’s Club would be Margo Cavenaugh

Periodic Review of Ordinances

David Neumann reminded members that we have an obligation under the HPC Ordinance and/or instructions from the TC and Mayor to review the Town Ordinances to see where changes could be made in the interest of historic preservation.

Amending Historic District to include the Meadow

Members also discussed the idea of amending the WG historic district to include the newly acquired meadow. As a first step the history of the meadow’s relationship to the Town would have to be researched. There will be a committee in Town that will deal with issues related to the field. So, some members felt that that new committee could take responsibility for this issue.


The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 18, 2010 at 7:30pm in the McCathran Hall meeting room.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

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