17 July 2007 | Approved: 21 August 2007
HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Mimi Styles, Ed Mroczka, and David Neumann. Margot Bohan was unable to attend. David Stopak attended as Liaison from the Council. The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 7:47 p.m. The agenda proposed by the Chairman was adopted after a few changes by members. David Neumann agreed to take minutes for the meeting. Portions of the following minutes are taken from a report on the HPC meeting for the TC written by David Stopak. The minutes of the last regular meeting held on June 19 were approved subject to changes requested by members.
Audrey Maskery presented her preliminary plans for the repair and renovation of the entrance porch to her house at 205 Washington Grove Lane. She explained she placed a high priority on protecting a black oak that was in front of her house. The position of the tree relative to the house limits the depth of the porch. We agreed to perform a preliminary review as a building permit and final plans were not ready. Mimi Styles agreed to write up our review and agreed to be the contact with the Planning Commission to verify that the final plans were consistent with the plans presented to the HPC. As long as there is no significant change, no further consultation with the HPC will be required.
Town Council Report
David Stopak, the Council Liaison, reported on Town Council actions and discussions relevant to the HPC. Casey 6 & 7, the Bicycle path near Brown St. and Ridge Road, the Cator property annexation, the ICC, Safety and Speeding, were discussed. The following is from a summary written by David Stopak.
Casey 6-7, ICC, and Western Maintenance Facility
Bob Booher reported on the meeting at Park and Planning where the Town was able to have input as part of the joint meeting with SHA on progress of the ICC. David Stopak reported on the meeting at Park & Planning concerning Casey 6 & 7, where the Town’s issues, endorsed by the Town Council, were raised. In both meetings the Town’s position was heard and duly noted by the planners. However, to have these issues resolved will require additional work by the Town’s representatives.
David Stopak reported on a follow up discussion with Karen Kumm, who is the lead planner for the Shady Grove Master Plan. She suggested that the Town request a meeting with P & P, SHA & ICC (not to be confused with the road itself) this entity is the contractor for the first stage of the highway of the same name. Karen feels that ICC (the contractor) may be more responsive than SHA has been to both the Town’s and P & P’s concerns. Let this be a reminder to the Mayor to call Dan Hardy, lead planner for the ICC (the hwy.) at P & P to arrange such a meeting. Bob Booher will also try to contact ICC (the contractor) for a two pronged lobbying effort. Once the Maryland Historic Trust passes on the Western Maintenance Facility, which is likely, the Town will no longer have much leverage.
It was resolved to do some more research on the procurement of a plaque commemorating the founding of the Town of Washington Grove in the area near Grove Road between Brown St. and Railroad Street as proposed by Dr. Charles Horan. Considerable information has now been gathered on the cost of the plaque, a large rock as a base for the plaque, and a base for the stone. Approximate costs were:
(a) plaque from $250 for an 11″ x 8″ plaque to $650-$800 for one about 24″ x 11″; the rock was estimated at $100 per ton. A stone weighing 1.5 to 2.0 tons would be needed with a delivery cost of $100. Cost of the base might be zero if done by Town staff or volunteers. We decide to finalize the plaque proposal for the council at the next meeting in August. Councilor Stopak would take the present cost estimates to the Council.
Oral histories. Janet Lottero will be interviewing adults who were raised as children in the Grove, including our own Kathy Lehman. Again the idea of a grant to get the histories transcribed was brought up. Ed will talk to Charlie Challstrom about ideas Charlie mentioned for grants.
Town archives. The question arose whether one could get grants to help with the archiving of the Town records. Was there still money in the budget for a Town Archivist? David Neumann volunteered to ask the Town Treasurer, Mary Challstrom, about the status of an archivist for the Town and if the Town would be advertising for an archivist.
House Histories. We were again reminded by Mimi Styles that we need – each of us – to write and put our House Histories on the Town Web site.
Master Plan – Section 8.4. The Chair reported that John McClelland had said that he would include the wording offered by the HPC to the PC for the MP in the next draft of the MP.
Rules of Procedure. David Neumann discussed a new draft of Rules of Procedure for the HPC. He is modifying them to include the additional functions of the HPC under Article XV, e.g. Master Plan review, subdivision plat review, zoning text amendment review. He will try to circulate by email the next draft by email before the next meeting in August.
Preservation Award. The plaque for this past year’s award to the Henninger’s will be mailed this week. We discussed without any conclusion whether there should be a small celebration to present the plaque to the Henningers. There is still a need to write criteria for the Washington Grove Annual Preservation Award. We will discuss this at our next meeting when Margot Bohan is present.
Cator Property Annexation. Status of the The Cator Property annexation discussed briefly. A letter was drafted approved by members and sent to the PC and TC after our last meeting. A letter by Charlie Challstrom in response was also circulated. John McClelland explained to Bob Booher that he objected to the statement in the letter that implied that the PC saw the HPC review as a purely a formality. Members discussed whether and what changes were needed to Art. XV of the Town Ordinances to bring it into compliance with Art. 66B of the Maryland Code. It was decided that the HPC will review the subdivision plat for this property at their next meeting. Although this will be late, there may still be some value in following up in this way. There was further discussion of the events leading to the annexation and possible solutions to the problems raised.
At the Planning Commission (PC) meeting of July 11th, John McClelland suggested that review by HPC be required before an application for a permit is made. He suggested to Bob Booher that the Town should consider a pre permit “sit-down” by applicants with the HPC. He explained that he had noted this procedure in the Town of Chevy Chase where a “sit-down” is required with the Code Enforcement Officer before an applicant begins the building permit process. John urged us to consider this idea and said he the PC would be looking into the idea. The ideas were discussed and were met with general approval, although details will have to be worked out carefully.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.