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21 June 2016 | Approved: 19 July 2016

Members Present: Bob Booher, Wendy Harris, Gail Littlefield, David Stopak and Mimi Styles, along with Georgette Cole, Town Council Liaison, and Cynthia Werts, Town resident. In addition, Meredith Horan, Town resident, made a public appearance. The meeting was called to order at 7:35pm.

Approval of Agenda:

The agenda was reviewed and approved, as amended.

Adoption of Minutes:

The draft minutes from the meeting of May 17, 2016, were reviewed. David moved to adopt the minutes, as written, seconded by Mimi. The motion carried unanimously.

Review Session:

There were no projects for review.

Dog Park:

Meredith Horan made an appearance to inform the HPC that a group of residents are pursuing the idea of having a dog park in Town. An informal meeting has taken place to discuss possible locations, however, no plans of any kind have been prepared. Meredith expressed concern about the impact it would have on the Town’s environmental landscape. The HPC concluded they could not comment until a more specific proposal is presented for evaluation.

Design Guidelines:

There was an in-depth review and discussion on current HPC design guidelines for exterior changes. Elements discussed included:

  • Changes to structures requiring review by the HPC
  • Criteria for designation of historic or “contributing” structures
  • Design criteria used to evaluate building applications
  • Scale and Massing
  • Siting and Orientation
  • Materials
  • Elements and Detailing

These guidelines will be discussed in more detail at future meetings. The original documentation was adopted in 2005 and there are several additions/changes that will need to be made to update the existing criteria.

Council Report:

Georgette Cole gave a brief overview of the June meeting. A couple of items that pertained to the HPC were:

  • Peter Nagrod, PC Chair, wants to form a task force to look into a fence along Washington Grove Lane. He plans to come to the HPC with more details and to get the Commission’s input on the issue.
  • The Records Retention Draft was approved by the Town Council and it will now go to the State for review. On behalf of the HPC, Gail will present written argument that historical preservation material should be categorized as official Town documents and not special collections. Gail will forward this to Marilynn Frey, the Town’s Records Management Officer, and copy Georgette Cole and Pat Patula for their review.

PC Meeting Report:

Mimi represented the HPC at the recent meeting. She gave a brief overview of issues discussed. There was only one item on the agenda that pertained to the HPC:

  • Building Permit (Compton residence at 202 Ridge Road) for a two-level deck was approved without the trellis feature on the lower level. The trellis had been represented on the architect’s plans by means of a conceptual photograph, and its height was not indicated. Specifically due to the deck’s proximity to the property line, any future trellis construction would be governed by height restrictions in current ordinances.
  • Bulletin Material: Wendy noted that Pat Patula has prepared the second article in a series devoted to Washington Grove’s early history (based on historical articles that appeared in the Washington Post). The article will be featured in the July Town bulletin.

Vacant Properties:

David reported that the task force has expanded its scope to include occupied houses with conditions that do not meet Montgomery County housing codes. The group did a house tour in May to physically observe structures that fall in both categories. A report on their findings will be sent to the TC for review. In addition, house tours were suggested to promote marketability and keeping houses in good condition.

Clare Kelly Presentation:

Clare’s presentation has been confirmed for Friday, October 21st. The Town Hall has been reserved and an announcement will appear in the August and September Town bulletins so residents can mark their calendar accordingly.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30pm.

Minutes prepared and submitted by:
Cynthia Werts

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