20 September 2011 | Approved: 18 October 2011
Margot Bohan, Bob Booher, David Stopak,
Guest: David Neumann
Meeting convened – 7:40pm;
Agenda reviewed, adjusted and approved
August minutes reviewed and adopted
Review of Projects
Observatory/accessory building at Lottes property, 330 Ridge Road
It’s a pre-fabricated pod. HPC considers it to be comparable, in terms of review, to a temporary structure, e.g., trailers, motor homes, doghouses. Since HPC doesn’t review temporary structures (the original basis for this is that the HPC has the long view), we decline to review this project. Bob intends to send a note to the WG Planning Commission (PC) regarding this decision.
Town Building Permit Review Procedure
At the last PC meeting, David Stopak presented the concept of decoupling the PC approval of town building projects from the HPC review. Although all PC members agreed that early HPC review is preferred, there was concern that this decoupling proposal would not improve the review process overall. The HPC’s next steps include responding to the email/notes coming from the PC meeting on this topic. At future meetings on this topic, HPC members should make a point of clarifying what is mandatory per the town ordinance: HPC review is required; the advice provided is advisory. David Stopak, Bob Booher and Margot Bohan agreed to meet (either in-person or via email) to develop a response to concerns, comments and questions raised in response to David’s presentation.
HPC Representation at Upcoming PC Meetings
In the interest of enhancing information flow and communication with the PC, HPC members’ names were tentatively assigned to the next 5 PC meetings, as follows: Bob – October; Gail – November; Margot – December; Mimi – January; David – February
Next HPC Workshop
Bob, Gail and Margot to attend (attended) the September 24th meeting with Patterson and Blundell to work through the topical and logistical details of the next HPC workshop. Although there’s still some finetuning to be done re: the specific subject matter, the workshop will take place November 12th, 1-4pm at McCathran Hall. It will commence with a 1-hour introductory powerpoint presentation re: moisture and temperature flux challenges to the homeowner, followed by a few home walk-thrus to discuss real application, and ending with some q&as back at the hall. A brief announcement will be published in the next town bulletin, and flyers will be posted in town, as well as forwarded to the Rockville and Gaithersburg HPCs, in the coming month.
HPC Input to Future WG Bulletins
We briefly discussed topics to consider for future town bulletins and came up with the following list:
- FYI and description of what’s available in the HPC Library;
- A shout-out to town members to say the HPC can help with identifying (historic) architectural features folks are curious about on their homes/town structures;
- Description of HPC guidelines, i.e., take one guideline each month and explain its intent.
Archivist Job Scope
The HPC approved the plan for Joli to bring forward for Town Council endorsement the candidate being proposed for the HPC archivist position. Given that this candidate is also the part-time archivist for the Gaithersburg HPC and other local venues, the potential for cross-fertilization is noteworthy.
The HPC also recommends David Neumann be a volunteer temporary assistant to the incoming archivist. David Neumann prepared the archivist job description and described the scope of work. Suggested preliminary duties include: (1) Conducting an assessment of what’s in the archive and determining what should be scanned and what order it should be scanned in; (2) Establishing standards for what we do and don’t accept into the archive; and (3) Becoming familiar with the town hall computer database.
Bob will follow up on Gail’s suggestion that the WG HPC become a member of Heritage Montgomery. He will follow up similarly with Preservation Maryland. David Stopak volunteered to invite Peggy Erickson to our next HPC meeting to discuss ways in which we/the town may engage with Heritage Montgomery.
Initially motivated by county permitting challenges arising from the McClelland family’s kitchen addition (the older (historic?) bay window and door do not meet thermal requirements and, thus, could not be re-installed, according to current County installation standards), Bob called Clare Kelly (Montgomery HPC) re: installation exceptions for historic properties. Clare asked if the town has ‘historic area work permits (HAWPs)’ and if the town is on the “Montgomery Atlas Map?” Apparently, if WG had these permits and was on the map, different review procedures by the County kick in. This raises the question of whether or not we should establish “historic area work permits” and get on the “Atlas?” Bob volunteered to follow up with Clare to learn more details. If the HPC/Town decides this is in our interest, it would likely have to formalize all this in some way.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.