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18 August 2015 | Approved: 15 September 2015

Bob Booher, David Stopak, Gail Littlefield and Mimi Styles. Georgette Cole, Town Council Liaison, and Cynthia Werts, Town resident, were also present, along with property owners Al & Betsy Taylor. The meeting was called to order at 7:35 PM.

Approval of Agenda

No changes were made to the agenda. It was approved and adopted, as submitted.
Adoption of Minutes: The draft minutes of July 21, 2015, were reviewed – there were no corrections. The minutes were then approved and adopted by consensus.
Projects: There were no new projects to review, however, Al & Betsy Taylor (417 4th Avenue) were present to request more information on window restoration. Mimi gave them a list of resources to review and Gail suggested they contact Clare Kelly of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission should they have any further questions.
Archives: Gail reported that she and Pat Patula were going to the State Archives in Annapolis on Thursday, August 20th to investigate the Town’s options regarding the Record Management Plan. Gail has prepared a list of questions to ask pertaining to the advantages and disadvantages for municipalities, along with conditions for local archives. Pat submitted a draft of the Records Retention and Disposal Schedule for the HPC to review. This project is still in progress and moving towards complete organization. A full discussion with all Commission members, along with Pat Patula, is necessary – Gail will check with Pat to see if she would be available to attend the HPC meeting in October.

Permit Reviews

Procedure Revisions:

Bob reported that he is in the process of preparing written documentation to present to the Town Council for their review.

Article IV Section 5 Projects:

Applications the HPC will not need to review were discussed. A list of 5 items was provided in 2003 that the Commission felt unnecessary to review:

  • Fences and walls
  • Trellises and screens
  • Treehouses
  • Oil tanks and AC equipment
  • Shutters

In addition, “special structures” and temporary structures with a life span of less than two years would not be reviewed. Bob will modify the old list of exceptions to review at the next meeting. He will also prepare a checklist (for HPC requirements to be included with new building permit applications) for review and discussion.

Council Report

Georgette submitted a written report from the Town Council meeting to the HPC for review. A status report was given on the Permanent Easement Application for 409 5th Avenue. In order for the easement to be granted, a professional surveyor is needed to provide the “metes and bounds” legal description; therefore, documentation will need to be resubmitted.

A written update was also given on the following issues:

  • Vacant Properties – a committee has been established and the task force will meet within the next few months.
  • Shared Use Bike Path – at this time, there is much uncertainty as to when and how the path will connect due to the many challenges involved. County Officials stated that any action will not take place for another 4-5 years.
  • Lake – A meeting took place with representatives from the Montgomery County Health & Human Services regarding the state and county laws that need to be followed. Our attorney is working with our State Senator to seek options as to whether the Town of Washington Grove may be exempt from certain state regulations for a “Level 3 beach bathing area”.
  • PC Meeting Report: Dave attended the Planning Commission meeting and gave an update on the following:
  • Eva’s House – Ralph Hurst reported that the timing on the previous schedule of work would be slower due to the fact that Eva’s contractor was issued two stop work permits which has delayed progress. As the architect, Ralph has no control over this aspect of the project.
  • Chris Kirtz (102 Center Street) – a building permit application for a carport (with no walls) was approved by the PC.
  • Review of Surveyor’s Plat for Block 11; lots 2,3, and 4 – this defines the alley between 315 and 319 Grove Avenue, 203 Second Avenue, and #6 and 8 The Circle. The PC is working on a proposal to resolve the issue to allow access to all properties and preserve access to public ways. A “sale of surplus parcels not currently dedicated to public use” may be involved.

Bulletin Material

Mimi reported that the September newsletter will include a continuation of myths and facts on old windows.
New Business: Phoenix Newsletter (quarterly publication dedicated to preserving Maryland’s historical buildings) – there was a general consensus to continue supporting this organization. Bob will check with Mary Challstrom on the amount of the Town’s previous contribution and submit a monetary donation in the same amount.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

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