20 July 2010 | Approved: 17 August 2010
Present: Bob Booher, David Neumann, Mimi Styles, Margot Bohan, David Stopak., ex-officio member Sandy Klingenberg. Council member Sylvie Favret was not present. The meeting began at 7:30 p.m. Bob Booher took minutes.
Approval of Agenda/ Adoption of Minutes
The proposed agenda was reviewed, modified and adopted by the members. The minutes of May and June had not been provided for review so no action was taken.
No projects had been submitted for review.
Permit Review Procedure
Margot presented notes from her review of the current permit application procedure. Reviewed were the Flow Chart, the Application, the Checklist, and the Design Guidelines. Margot found that navigating the documents for the average applicant was very difficult.
The Application is the County’s application, and much of the information required is not useful for the Town processes. Many of the questions are related just to county requirements for large projects and there is no guidance provided about how to answer them. Unfortunately there is no chance of modifying this document and it does need to be completed for the County review. The Town stamps the application upon its Zoning approval, as well as the drawings that are submitted. Unfortunately many times, the drawings that go forward to the County are different than those submitted to the Town, in that they get further developed and finalized to meet the County requirements. The Town does require an approved set to be returned and filed with the Town after County approval. Thus, use of the County Application in the Town’s approval process is presently necessary.
The Checklist was developed by the Planning Commission to make sure that the Applicant knows what information needs to be submitted and for the PC to verify it has. The material required relates to the review the PC must do and does not list what the HPC needs to do its review. Thus the applicant has no guidance on what to submit for our purposes.
The Flow Chart is a single page that provides a visual representation of the permit process, including the PC and the HPC. Margot found this of little help in understanding what was required at each step, She provided an example from another jurisdiction that provided a more logical step-by-step process including explanations as a contrast.
Margot felt that the Design Guidelines were both too general on the one hand and too specific on the other. They are due for a revision to reflect what we have learned from the many reviews we have done. It also is not evident how they are used in the reviews.
There was much discussion about whether to undertake an improvement to the current procedures, or to propose following up on the John McClelland suggestion to have the Applicant obtain the required HPC review as a condition for even applying for a permit. This corresponds to the HPC procedure for obtaining a “Preliminary Review” and has been endorsed by the HPC. Nothing came of the initiative within the PC. Bob volunteered to send an email to the PC & Town Council to reopen this discussion of this issue.
Margot will send a list of FAQs that she feels has potential of clarifying the process for applicants. The members will review for next meeting. She will also draft a revised application form that reflects the needs of the Town processes and attempt a revision of the Design Guidelines.
Rules of Procedure
David Neumann offered to forward via email what he has as the current version reviewed and adopted in draft form at the February meeting. The other members will review this version with the intent of adopting the final version at the August meeting.
PC/HPC work session on Mansionization
The members discussed the task agreed to at the previous work session which was to divide into two groups to test out two of the likely tools on 5 houses in the Grove. Mimi and David Neumann verified that they volunteered to be on the “trigger” group and David Stopak & David Neumann agreed to be on the FAR group. The results of these investigations will be presented at the end of August work session.
Educational Presentations at the Women’s Club
Margo reviewed her consultations with Joan Mahaffey regarding collaboration for presenting speakers to help inform and educate the community regarding preservation issues. Joan has indicated that the Women’s Club is offering use of their clubhouse, but is not interested at this point in helping to set up the speaking engagements. She has indicated that scheduling is fairly flexible and requested we notify her of suggested dates in advance. Clare Kelly has made a suggestion for the first presentation.
Mimi requested further ideas for material for the Bulletin. Sandy offered to forward an early photograph of her house and a number of questions she has regarding stories she has heard. Mimi will request the community to offer any information they may know related to the house. This was discussed as a possible model for generating interest in adding stories to the House Histories. Bob & Margot offered to provide similar material for future bulletins.
The next meeting will be Tues, August 17, 2010, starting at 7:30pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.