18 November 2008 | Approved: 16 December 2008
HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Mimi Styles, Margot Bohan and David Neumann. HPC member, Ed Mroczka, was not at the meeting; Joe Clark, Council Liaison to the HPC, was also not in attendance.
Margot agreed to take minutes for the meeting. The meeting was officially called to order by the Chair at 7:30pm. The agenda, proposed by the Chair and posted on the outside of the door to the Town Hall Meeting Room, was reviewed and modified. The October minutes were adopted with minor changes for submission to the website and town archive.
Review of Projects
The HPC conducted a review of the renovation at 302 Ridge Road using the plans submitted to the Planning Commission by Mike Schank on September 25, 2008. David Neumann will finalize this review. This is the second set of plans and a different design than was originally presented at the September 2008 HPC meeting. These plans were subsequently approved by the Planning Commission at its October meeting, prior to receipt of HPC review. Review of the application was delayed because no written review was requested of the original design that was presented to the Commission at its September Meeting and the submitted material for the second design was not available for review at the October meeting.
Historic District Commission Representative Visit
Margot sent a follow-up email to Susan West-Montgomery thanking her for her insights and requesting materials referenced during our discussions at the September HPC meeting.
The HPC members agreed that the HPC Chair will write a thank-you note to Susan West-Montgomery for her visit and to request that we institute this as an annual visit by the Maryland Historic District Commission.
Follow-Up to the Mayor’s October Visit
Following up on outstanding actions resulting from our discussion with the Town’s Mayor at last month’s meeting, David Neumann will give Darrell a copy of the draft easement language he, Mimi and Bob drafted for the Second Avenue properties. David will also look on the web and in material from the MDAHPC to see what other examples of easements he can find with respect to Darrell’s request for 3 examples. Margot will also reconnect with Susan West-Montgomery re: the preservation easement concept she mentioned at our September ’08 meeting.
HPC Review Procedures
Recently, Charlie Challstrom sent out to HPC members the draft Planning Commission October meeting minutes. HPC review procedures were a topic of discussion. Some of the recorded discussion regarding the role of the HPC led to comments by the HPC members, and Bob will write an email requesting that the HPC be added to the PC agenda of the next meeting, Dec 3rd prior to the PC’s adoption of these meeting minutes.
To enhance our sense of what homeowners may be experiencing when they apply for a building permit, Margot will, over the next several months, create and submit a proxy project, following existing instructions for PC and HPC review, to see what, if any, challenges she runs into in her efforts to get the HPC & PC review and town building permit.
Bob reported on the ICC and a meeting Wed, Nov 19, at Mill Creek Elementary off Shady Grove Road to possibly de-fund the ICC. This meeting will provide an opportunity for people to voice their opposition to the ICC.
A request came in for Washington Grove to host the Montgomery County Delegation to take Q&As from those opposed to the ICC. Although this will not be happening, the Delegation is coming to the November Washington Grove Town Meeting, December 1st, for its annual report to the Town, and will answer questions at that time.
Modification of Zoning Ordinance
Bob requested at the last PC meeting that Charlie distribute the modified zoning ordinance numbers to the HPC members electronically. HPC members have not yet received these numbers; Bob will resend his request to Charlie. A zoning ordinance hearing is scheduled for December 8th. However, without the numbers, the HPC cannot provide specific commentary. Plus, the next HPC meeting (at which we could reach consensus on our comments) falls after the scheduled hearing date. The HPC discussed the possibility of requesting that the record be left open after the hearing. The HPC could then comment in general about the modifications and provide more details about implications at a time after which we’ve had the opportunity to review the numbers.
Master Plan Review
All HPC members will review the Master Plan and come to the Dec 16th HPC meeting prepared to comment/discuss/formulate a comprehensive response.
Joan Mahaffey contacted Margot Bohan, in her capacity as an HPC commissioner, to offer both the clubhouse facility and her services as the Woman’s Club Program Coordinator to the HPC for historic preservation-oriented community events/workshops/seminars. Margot will endeavor to work with Joan to coordinate future events that are complementary to the missions of both the HPC and the Woman’s Club.
Margot suggested, in the interest of the minute-takers’ as well as meeting participants’ time, that the HPC should proceed to review/revise minutes electronically versus during the following month’s meeting until the time that we have a FT minute-taker. The HPC should also institute a system that ensures alternating minute-taking responsibilities.
Conferences & Memberships
The Montgomery County History Volunteers Conference is scheduled for Jan 24, 2009, 8:30am-4pm on the Montgomery College Germantown Campus. Among other things, oral history is on the agenda. See this url: http://www.montgomeryhistory.org/documents/ConfBro.pdf for more details about this conference.
The HPC received an invitation from Preservation Maryland to take advantage of a membership in the Preservation Maryland Colleagues program (membership fee: $100 annually). Preservation Maryland is committed to assisting local non-profit preservation and community organizations throughout Maryland in their efforts to preserve historic structures and revitalize blighted areas. Information sharing and educational workshops offer Colleagues members the opportunity to learn from national and state experts specializing in the fields of organizational issues, lobbying, and community revitalization. Bob will send an email request to Mary Challstrom to spend some of our HPC funds for this membership.
The HPC discussed embellishment of its submission to the Town’s monthly bulletin with the objective being to reach out to people in town to let them know about the various services HPC can provide. Mimi volunteered to draft something for the next bulletin re: the HPC guidelines. For future bulletins, we discussed using the venue to periodically publish the HPC project review flowchart; to provide HPC restoration tips, money saving tips, etc; to inform folks about the archived HPC reviews located online and in hardcopy; to remind town members about early consults (and what they mean) and to inform town members about upcoming historic preservation-related meetings/symposia, etc. Kathy Lehman likes input by the 12th of each month. It was agreed to add to the monthly meeting agenda a regular discussion of suggested items for bulletin as well as review of drafted bulletin items.
Mimi moved to adjourn, and Margot seconded. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, December 16, 2008, starting at 7:30pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 p.m.