20 October 2020 | Approved: 17 November 2020
Members Present (via Zoom) : Bob Booher, Gail Littlefield, Mimi Styles, David Stopak,
Darrell Anderson -TC Liaison, Jeff McCrehan – Alternate
Approval of Agenda and Adoption of Minutes
The minutes of the October 20, 2020 meeting were unanimously adopted, following one correction.
Krista Zanetti discussed ongoing efforts to create new signage at three entrances to WG – Daylily Lane, Railroad and Ridge and the Common Corner. She explained the signage would be similar to existing signage but will add information regarding WG’s dates of WG’s founding and incorporation, along with its status as an historic district. Mockups will be prepared, and text will need to be approved.
The HPC will vet these proposed signs, and then send to the Town Council. A question was raised as to who from HPC will interface with the Border Committee.
Fred Statchura, currently the supervisor for Neighborhood Revitalization in the Prince Georges County Planning Department, was invited to speak to the HPC on various in WG.
A wide-ranging discussion ensued regarding properties that might be listed as candidates for “demolition by neglect,” including the possibility of inviting owners of such properties to appear to the HPC to discuss plans for the property, inspection, etc.
It was noted that WG does not have a demolition ordinance per se. David brought up the question of needing a process to permit a demolition. WG also does not have a preservation ordinance, and no local buildings are dedicated as such. There was discussion of creating a local historic district, and an ordinance that regulates demolition. It was noted that WG does have design guidelines.
It was decided Bob and David would be POCs for Mr. Statchura, as he offered to be of further assistance to the HPC.
There were no applications submitted; however, the HPC discussed projects undertaken at the following locations:
- 106 Ridge – Handicap ramp installation
- 118 Ridge – Deck construction
- 412 4th – Shed
- 414 Brown – Porch
Discussion included whether to pursue obtaining permits after the fact, enlisting the Mayor to stop work where possible, having the HPC chair draft letters to the owners reminding people of the Town’s building permit requirements.
Members also discussed whether to get involved with construction of decks, ramps, and driveway aprons (such as 3 Ridge), and whether owners are obtaining permits from Montgomery County. The point was made that Montgomery County will not issue permits to residents of WG unless WG signs off. The HPC agreed to look at a list of what the Commission actually is responsible for reviewing on the next meeting agenda.
3.2 National Register Status
The Town’s new extended historic status in the National Register is now on the Town website and will make the nomination more accessible. Discussion of using Medusa for this.
Gail suggested a “History” tab on the opening page of the website. Wendy discussed a series of timelines. Discussion of other avenues for publicity of the Town’s revised status, such as posting in the Municipal League and other publications.
3.3 Masterplan Update
Bob explained the HPC comments that he submitted to the PC on the Housing Section of the Master Plan.
The HPC voted to send a letter to County Council recommending against acting now, per the Shady Grove Sector Plan staff recommendation, to support MTA’s plan to institute triple-tracking on MARC’s Brunswick Line.
3.8 Town Council Report
Darrel summarized the report provided prior to the meeting.
3.9 Racial Equity Ad hoc Committee
Gail reported that the UMd Historic Preservation Program Director Dennis Pogue did not reply to her email suggesting their students research Emory Grove as part of their Research Methods Class. Gail will follow up with Fred Statchura to see if he could promote such a preservation student project.
Gail proposed that a DVD of the street sign project be added to the Archives.
Gail suggested a future HPC project — to prioritize and apportion all the recommended actions in the Historic Preservation Section 9..
David said that Shelley believes it is time for the HPC to pursue annexation of the Legacy Open Space Conservation Meadow into the Town.
The meeting was adjourned at roughly 11:05 pm. The next meeting will be X at 7:30pm via Zoom.