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7 March 2018 | Approved: 4 April 2018

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Georgette Cole (Alternate), Dave Hix, John McClelland, Deb Mehlferber and Steve Werts. Others in attendance were Architect Ralph Hurst, Historic Preservation Commission Chair Bob Booher, and Mayor McCathran.

Approval of Agenda:

Deb Mehlferber moved to approve the agenda. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Chairman Nagrod moved #5 (203 2nd Avenue Permanent Easement – review porch steps) to Public Appearances. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Public Appearances:

203 2nd Avenue Permanent Easement – review porch steps: John McClelland reviewed the situation; the new porch steps were not approved for construction on the West side of the home. There are four (4) new steps. The plans approved by the PC show one porch step on the East side with an over-hang. The original home had 1 1/2 free-standing brick steps on the East side of the porch. The new steps were not approved on a permit or the permanent easement. In addition, John explained the porch was raised because of an increase in foundation height. However, the home was still under the height restriction of 30 feet, thus, not in violation. Bob Booher explained the HPC is less concerned with lines, boundaries and borders and more concerned with the scale, use compatibility and the relationship of the porch to the historic district. Architect Ralph Hurst proposed the following solution to the problem:

  • Remove the current steps
  • Cut 2 or 3 steps into the porch floor leaving 1 ½ tread over the line at the bottom
  • Keep the steps on the West side

After a lengthy discussion about the various issues surrounding this property and the lessons learned with this permanent easement, the group decided on the following:

  • Remove one step
  • Increase the grade
  • Cut one step into the porch floor leaving approximately six inches over the line at the bottom
  • Steps remain the full width and stay on the West side

Approval of the Minutes:

Steve Werts moved to approve the February minutes. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Building Permit Applications:

123 Washington Grove Lane – Dave Hix explained the proposed plans for an addition. The Commission discussed the changes made based on HPC input. Compliments were given to the HPC for their thoughtful changes and to the residents for being open to the suggestions. Dave Hix moved to approve the building permit application for an addition at 123 Washington Grove Lane.
Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. The Commission discussed the definition of a basement, the definition of a story and a half story, and the drop of the lot from front to back. Concern was expressed about the 3-story rear elevation. Vote: 5-0.

Report from Town Council:

John McClelland reported the Council discussed proposed Ordinance 2018-02; Ordinance to Establish a Process for Sale of Surplus Properties for Main Buildings constructed in Part on Land Owned by the Town of Washington Grove and the three (3) additional ordinances specific to certain properties which were sent for legal review.

McCathran Hall – Emergency Preparedness Committee member Dave Cosson prepared a request for proposal for the purchase of a generator for McCathran Hall. This purchase will likely roll over to next year’s budget. Estimates for termite treatment are coming soon.

Discussion of Draft Ordinances for the Disposal of Certain Property and Abandonment of Public Use:

These draft ordinances were written by John McClelland and Charlie Challstrom using the permanent easement language as a template. The Town attorney will work on needed reversion language. The Commission discussed consequences of violating historic integrity, the enabling ordinance, and the requirement for the completion of a separate ordinance for each property. John McClelland moved to forward the draft ordinances to the Town Council for review/discussion knowing additional information will come from the Town attorney. Steve Werts seconded the motion. The Mayor stated the Town attorney will complete the enabling ordinance first and then work on the others specific to 15 The Circle, 409 5th Avenue, and 315 Grove Avenue. Vote: 5-0.

Joint Work Session – Review:

Chairman Nagrod stated it was a good session and reviewed the items discussed. Enforcement continues to be a challenge in terms of multi-family dwellings, number of cars permitted, and number of people living in a single home. Developing a process for the room rental registration, lake passes, and the need for a code inspector were also addressed.

Local Map Amendment – Update:

There were no updates on this issue.

Master Plan – Update:

A separate work session for the Master Plan has been scheduled for April 18, 2018.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:

Georgette Cole reported 178 properties have been completed.

Other Business:

The need for before and after pictures for home additions was mentioned.

Steve Werts reported WSSC work on Chestnut Avenue does not require a Public Ways & Property Permit because they are a public utility.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:00 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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