/* The Divi child theme test */ Historic Preservation Commission Meeting Minutes May 2008 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net

20 May 2008 | Approved: 17 June 2008

HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Ed Mroczka, Mimi Styles, Margot Bohan, and David Neumann. Newly elected Councilman Joe Clark was present. He was just appointed Liaison to the HPC from the Town Council. David Stopak attended as former Liaison from the Town Council.
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. Ann Briggs was present to discuss the unveiling of the plaque in Morgan Park. Reggi Norton was present to present plans for the construction of a two-car garage and workshop. The agenda was modified substantially and then unanimously adopted. David Neumann agreed to take minutes for the meeting.

The minutes of the HPC meeting held on April 15, 2008 taken by Margot Bohan were approved with minor changes.


Reggi Norton presented drawings of her plans to construct a two-car garage with a workshop on the Hickory Road side of her house at 118 Chestnut Avenue. She brought drawings which showed the new structure as seen from the existing house, Hickory Road and from the adjacent properties. Mimi Styles took notes on the review and will write up the HPC comments. Bob Booher observed and explained where the plans showed evidence of limitations imposed by the Town Ordinances. The review of the Reggi Norton’s project was designated as a preliminary review. When the final plans are submitted to the Planning Commission, Mimi Styles will review them to make sure that they are substantially the same as those reviewed by the HPC.

It was noted that we had done an “early” review of plans shown to the HPC by Tom Appleby at our last meeting, and that since it was an early review, Mr. Appleby would present completed plans for review at a later date. The HPC wrote no review of the Appleby plans.

Town Council Report

David Stopak provided a report on actions and discussions at the Town Council. He explained discussions on the Soccer field and the ICC. Joe Clark was present and further summarized Town Council actions. He also reported on discussion of the Master Plan at the Planning Commission. The HPC members unanimously approved a motion thanking David Stopak for his being an essential sixth member of the HPC and for his long dedication in behalf of the HPC and careful and helpful representation of the HPC to the Town Council.

Other Business

Placement of an historic marker in Morgan Park. Ed Mroczka explained that the plaque has been ordered. He expects that it will be installed (via the efforts of Jim Fletcher and himself) prior to July 4th. There is an effort involving Meredith Horan, George Paine and Judy Young to give birth to some poetry to be recited at the unveiling of the plaque on July 4th.
We resolved to pass the responsibility for the poetry aspect at the unveiling to others, the writers group, poetry group, e.g. George Paine, Judy Young, etc.
Ed said he would invite Mr. Bourdeau of Tri-State Quarry to the unveiling.
We discussed the protocol for the unveiling. It is agreed that it will take place on July 4, whether or not it rains. Suggestions were

  1. to have the unveiling before the gathering at the Hall.
  2. to have it later in the afternoon
  3. to have it just after the bell ringing which occurs after the awards are handed out for costumes.

We felt it was necessary to block off Grove Road and possibly Brown Street in the area around the rock and plaque for safety, in the event a large crowd comes to the unveiling. We thought we might even need a flag person to direct traffic. We may need a sign for the road closing.
We decided on option (c) – to have it directly after the Town Bell is rung. The mayor would announce at the end of his speech that the unveiling will take place after the costume awards are given out and after the Bell Ringing.
We decided that we would ask the mayor, to speak at the unveiling, but that we would suggest that he introduce Bob Booher or Joe Clark to read the words on the plaque. Mimi volunteered to make a considerable number of copies of the plaque to hand out to families that attend the unveiling.
We decided that we should serve lemonade and champagne at the unveiling, and that we would ask the Town Treasurer for funds to cover the refreshments. David Neumann volunteered to contact the Treasurer. We will need a permit to serve alcoholic beverages.
We decided to ask the Mayor – after the Bell Ringing – to drive the Town tractor from the Hall down Grove Road to the unveiling to lead or spearhead the crowd in the right direction.
We resolved that the entire unveiling would take no more than 15 minutes. The poetry reading was to take no more than 10 of those fifteen minutes. The Unveiling Ceremony will take place at approximately 1:30 or 2:00 pm. It is uncertain as it depends on when the costume award ceremony is over.
We would ask the Mayor to thank Charles Horan for inspiring this new plaque.
We resolved to ask the poetry group or whoever leads that effort to contemplate a printed handout of the poetry that will be read or was submitted to the group for the occasion..
We will need tables, punch bowls, cups and glasses. There will be no rain date. Margot Bohan will work with David on the refreshments.

Oral History Project

Ed Mroczka presented a status report by Judy Mroczka on the oral history project. We agreed to discuss the application for a grant to fund the transcription of the oral histories at our next meeting. Ed explained in some detail the number of oral histories and the importance of moving ahead quickly to get them done. A number of people have committed to taking oral histories of their older neighbors, etc. but have for some reason not completed their commitment. Judy Mroczka asked for more people to do oral histories. It is hoped that the oral histories will be available for listening when we have a heritage night. We need an announcement stating that in the Town Bulletin. Judy Mroczka said that Alton Ghrist is doing an excellent job of recording the oral histories.

Master Plan

Section 9 of the Master Plan was drafted by a MP subcommittee, reviewed and edited by the HPC. It has in large part been accepted by the Planning Commission and has been included in the latest draft of the MP. The PC will hold a public hearing on the MP before submitting it to the Town Council for approval. It must also be reviewed by neighboring jurisdictions, etc. before it is sent to the State. Joe Clark explained the reasons why the PC members were not in favor of treating the various neighborhoods within the Town differently with respect to historic preservation. He explained that the members of the PC were not in favor of an historic district being set up within the Town of Washington Grove. Some member of the HPC explained that they thought that this had already taken place as the boundaries of the area that is on the National Register of Historic Places is not congruent with the boundaries of the Town. This is in part due to the annexation of areas adjacent to the Town since 1979. Other members of the HPC were concerned that some of these ideas should be discussed at joint meetings of the HPC and the PC, while others stated their concern that protection of the historic resources within the Town may require that some areas be treated differently than others. David Stopak and David Neumann suggested that some areas in Town, especially where lots are small or houses are more significant historically, may need greater leniency or slightly different rules with respect to zoning to preserve their historic character while improving their utility for current family needs.

Some suggestions were discussed. We resolved to discuss the seven criteria used by the BZA for variances. It was agreed that if these could be made more understandable and reasonable, it would permit the zoning requirements and procedures of the PC to be strengthened. It was felt that at present the bar is lowered for variances by the BZA and could be raised provided clearer reasons were given for granting exceptions.


Bob Booher reported on his conversations with state and federal officials regarding the ICC and noise mitigation efforts. We discussed briefly the possibility of using legal assistance in this matter. Nancy King has said that she is willing to assist us in our efforts to mitigate the effects on the Town of the ICC and the concomitant increased use of Rte 370.

Meeting Procedures

Margot Bohan suggested that we agree to adjourn our meetings at a specific time. She was hoping for an adjournment ca. 10 pm. Bob Booher explained that our meetings rarely extended past 10:30 pm and that often the reviews take considerable time. He would prefer no procedural limit to the length of the meetings.

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

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