4 March 2009 | Approved: 1 April 2009
Chairman McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Bob Evans, Steve Werts and Missy Yachup. Also in attendance were Mayor Anderson, Georgette Cole, Ralph Hurst and Ed Roberts.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for February 4, 2009 were approved.
Mayor Anderson explained the enforcement letter that went to the residents at 103 Brown Street, provided a history of the permit and reviewed the related ordinance violations. The plans that were approved by the Town Board of Zoning Appeals and, subsequently, presented to Montgomery County differ from what was actually built. These changes were made without approval by the Town or the County. A discussion ensued. Chairman McClelland thanked Mayor Anderson for his action on this problem and stated that further discussion would continue later in the meeting.
Resignation of Peggy Ebner
For the record, Chairman McClelland thanked Peggy Ebner for her service to the Town. The Commission will be looking for a replacement.
Gaithersburg West Master Plan
Charlie Challstrom clarified that this plan is a County plan not a City of Gaithersburg Master Plan. He reviewed his Town response document (Exhibit A). There was a brief discussion about the inclusion of a statement supporting sidewalks in Oakmont.
Charlie Challstrom moved to endorse the draft document as presented. John McClelland seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
103 Brown Street
Ralph Hurst, the architect on this addition, presented some documentation. He explained that there was a greater difference in the elevation of the new structure than originally planned and, consequently, the plan did not work from an aesthetic or architectural perspective. The “breezeway connection” was then altered without the approval of the Town or the County. There was a lengthy discussion about the use of the original building permit, removing the railings, attaching the common roof to the garage, the approved singular line of the common roof ridge line, old ordinances, design elements, horizontal lines at the top and the bottom of the common roof, step up roof line connections (not allowed), the shed roof line, enclosing the breezeway and the Historic Preservation Commission’s role in a review of the plans. If the original permit is still in effect then the HPC does not have to review this because there is no departure from the original plans. If a new plan and permits are necessary then the HPC will have to do another review. The Planning Commission told Mr. Hurst that he must stay with the original plan that was the basis for the Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision and make that work. If not, the breezeway will have to be enclosed.
Revision of Ordinance 2008-07
Chairman McClelland stated that, based on public input, the amended version of this ordinance was too restrictive. Bob Booher, Charlie Challstrom and John McClelland will meet to discuss and work on the ordinance as it was originally proposed.
Driving on Walkways
Chairman McClelland stated that unless the Planning Commission was going to modify the ordinance that governs walkway use, there was no pressing need to address this issue. The Commission agreed.
Montgomery County WRE (water resource element)
The Commission agreed with the Montgomery County classification of “insignificant” for the County Master Plan.
Report from Town Council
Charlie Challstrom presented a written report (see Exhibit B). He specifically mentioned a tax problem with the out lot on Brown Street extended which was due to an oversight by the developer and assistance given to Brookeville on their Master Plan.
Ed Roberts (#6 The Circle) presented an application for a building permit to erect a gate on his property. The documents were reviewed and approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.