301-926-2256 [email protected]

17 January 2017 | Approved: 21 February 2017

Members Present: Wendy Harris, Gail Littlefield, David Stopak and Mimi Styles, along with Georgette Cole, Town Council Liaison, and Cynthia Werts. Bud & Carolyn O’Connor and Taunton Paine, Town residents, were also present, along with David Weimer of Rocky Gorge Construction. The meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm.

Approval of Agenda:

The agenda was reviewed and approved, as amended.

Adoption of Minutes:

The draft minutes from the meeting of December 20, 2016, were reviewed with no changes. Mimi made a motion, seconded by Wendy, to approve the minutes, as written. The motion carried unanimously.

Review Session – Projects:

#15 The Circle (Bittersweet Cottage): Taunton Paine arranged a slide presentation showing plans for modification and repair to the property. Taunton’s contractor, David Weimer, was available to answer any questions regarding the proposed project. Part 1 of the slide show consisted of a “walk through” – including exterior photographs of the front, middle extension, side extension and rear; as well as several interior photographs of the kitchen and family room areas; Part 2 of the slide show consisted of redlined photographs showing rough plans for the areas in need of repair and demolition. Mimi will prepare an early consultation review and it was suggested that Taunton contact Peter Nagrod (PC Chair) to get an overview of the process involving building and demolition permits that will be required for this project.
Taunton was also made aware that the front porch of his property encroaches onto Town land and the Commission discussed the permanent easement application process with him. This item will be added to a future agenda so the HPC can begin to prepare documentation on the historic integrity features description of the property. Taunton stated that he hopes to have the house ready to go on the market sometime in mid 2017, so, it would be beneficial to have the permanent easement resolved by then.

Old Business:

Bud & Carolyn O’Connor were present to discuss their concerns and displeasure with Exhibit C to the Deed of Easement for 409 5th Avenue. They believe the scope greatly exceeds what is necessary and they are very uncomfortable with the language that currently exists in the document. Acting Chairman, David Stopak, explained that since the Town Council approved the Easement Resolution on November 14, 2016, the HPC could not make changes in the existing document unless the entire easement process was started over from the beginning.
Design Guidelines Working Group Report: Wendy met with Pat and Mimi on January 16th to review and discuss design guidelines for other historic districts and communities. The group’s goal is to update and refine the scope of the existing guidelines and focus on specific house design elements. Proposed additions to the guidelines include:

  • A map of the entire Washington Grove historic district in order to show the distribution of resources.
  • Illustrations of the various house design elements that are described in the guidelines.
  • A new section of the design guidelines devoted to open spaces and streetscapes.

The work group intends to meet once a month to pursue these issues.

Joint TC/PC/HPC Meeting:

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 30, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Town Hall. The format is for discussion of the Town Council and Town Commissions on mutual concerns. The meeting is open to the public; however, it is not a meeting for public comment. Items on the agenda include:

  • Permanent Easements
  • Master Plan
  • Woods Committee Report
  • New Business

The item of Vacant Houses was removed from the agenda because the task force has not yet submitted their findings.

TC Meeting Report:

Georgette reported that the Town Council accepted a bid from IPC, Inc. for treating invasive species in all the East Woods ($32,526.35). The scope of the proposal includes removing and controlling non-native invasive plants to allow for reforestation. The contractor will come for a Town informational meeting in late February to give an overview of the project to residents and answer questions regarding invasive management.

PC Meeting Report:

Gail attended the January meeting. It was reported that the BZA approved the request for a variance to allow a 6-ft. fence on the rear property line of 112 Chestnut Avenue facing the Commercial Corner. A building permit has also been submitted for 118 Grove Avenue. Jay & Liz Everhart have plans to add four sections of double fencing in an effort to keep the deer from entering their yard.
Bob Booher is scheduled to attend the PC meeting in February.

Bulletin Material:

Wendy and Pat are working on more material for the Town bulletins. They are finishing up the last of their 3-part series on the life of Amelia E. Huntley, which should be ready in time for the February bulletin.

New Business:

The Town Council liaison spoke about the possible zoning violations on Oakmont Avenue and asked if the HPC wished to take a formal stand on the matter. The HPC members discussed the location of the violation and concluded it was not within the purview of the Commission.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 pm.

Minutes prepared and submitted by:
Cynthia Werts

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