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17 September 2013 | Approved: 15 October 2013

Members Bob Booher, David Stopak, Mimi Styles, and Gail Littlefield. Wendy Harris and Council Liaison Joli McCathran were not present. The meeting began at 7:30 pm at the Town Council chambers.

Approval of Agenda and Adoption of Minutes.

The proposed agenda was adopted unanimously as revised. The August xx minutes were approved as corrected (adjournment time corrected.)

Projects. John Porter, 301 Chestnut Ave (constructed 1963), attended the HPC meeting to obtain an early consultation and review of the family’s plans to build a 1 ½ story free-standing 2-car garage/office structure on the property. The HPC members were favorably impressed with the plans, which include low eave lines, multiple planes, dormers, and details, such as rafter tails, brackets, and an arbor, which are consistent with the character of the town. Mimi will prepare the review.

PC meeting.

Wendy submitted her PC Sept 4 meeting notes by email. They are attached. There will be a “zoning non-compliance” work session on Sept 26th.

Town Bulletin.

Mimi will do a bulletin entry about Political Hill.


Bob reported on the CSX bridge plans. A meeting took place between 11 representatives of CSX, the Town Council, and the Bridge committee. CSX’s current bridge plans involve minimum impact to the structure—the I-beams will be replaced by curved steel that will allow the required clearance. The same railing will be used. There will be no change to the Railroad St. approach to the bridge. The Deer Park approach will be raised slightly. CSX will have to obtain a county and Town permit for the work. The HPC is concerned that the Bridge might lose the protections provided by its Locational Atlas and National Register-eligible status. Gail will investigate how to obtain an opinions from the Montgomery County HPC and the MHT on our Locational Atlas and National Register-eligible statuses. Bob will send the CSX plans to Larry Lee and Christopher Marston of the National Park Service for their comments. A town meeting on the Bridge plans is set for Oct 8. We need to be kept informed as the CSX plans progress.

New business.

Political Hill.

There was discussion of how to treat and if to interpret Political Hill—a plaque? A cleanup? Maintenance? Are there other historic sites in Washington Grove that deserve interpretation? Hotel site? Auditorium site? Maple Spring? A meeting on Political Hill is planned for Oct 14. Georgette would like for someone from HPC to attend—David and Wendy are available to attend. Pat Patula has prepared a report and recommendations for interpreting Political Hill.

Demolition by Neglect.

Gail will collect examples of demolition-by-neglect ordinances. Query, does the HPC have the authority to propose an ordinance?

Montgomery County new zoning framework.

Charlie Charlstrom concludes that though names for the zones in our vicinity have changed, that the uses will remain the same. Accessory buildings are allowed to become “mother-in-law suites.” Query, is the planning/master plan process (E.g., for Gaithersburg sector? Towne Crest?) changed? Bob will ask Charlie about this.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.

Gail Littlefield

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