7 February 2007 | Approved: 7 March 2007
Chairman John McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:36 pm. In attendance were Commissioners Peggy Ebner, Darrell Anderson, Bud O’Connor and alternate Joe Clark. Also in attendance were town residents Georgette Cole, Meredith Horan and Ralph Hurst.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for January were approved.
The following building permits were reviewed by the Planning Commission (PC):
402 Grove Avenue
Four foot fence within lot line approved unanimously per Section 3.328.
Report from Town Council
Commissioner Anderson reported that a committee (Darrell Anderson, Charlie Challstrom and David Stopak) had met to work on an annexation plan for the Cater property. The committee developed a new RR4 Cluster Zone proposal that would apply only to the Cater property requiring a maximum of four lots and only one entrance from either Ridge Road or Railroad Street. See Attachment A. Chairman McClelland noted that the main points in the proposal were what has been recommended by the Planning Commission for several years. Commissioner O’Connor expressed concern that detached garages were suggested and pointed out that attaching a garage could help insulate against train and traffic noise and allow for more open space. Commissioner Ebner voiced concern that the proposal does not ask for some control/input on the architectural style of the homes. Chairman McClelland agreed pointing out that the Town would be interested in making sure that the new home’s scale and style were compatible with those within Washington Grove. He added that the Town was to some extent able to influence style and scale for the WSSC properties and was hopeful that at least the same amount of control, if not more, would be allowed with the Cater property subdivision. Commissioner Anderson stated that he would take these points of concern back to the Town Council for discussion.
Commissioner Anderson reported that the Town Council is proposing a zoning text amendment to state that if clarity is missing in an ordinance, the Planning Commission’s interpretation of the ordinance will take precedent (for instance in an appeal with the Board of Zoning Appeals.)
Commissioner Anderson introduced a discussion regarding the notification of neighbors when a resident is planning a renovation. The Commissioners discussed requiring a resident to notify neighbors when a permit comes before the HPC. There was concern that relationships between neighbors should not be legislated by the Town. The Commissioners concluded that a line should be added to the permit reminding the resident to notify neighbors of their intent.
Chairman McClelland began the discussion by reviewing a letter and business permit application from Prime Choice Catering for the Commercial Corner. The PC cannot approve the permit because the ordinances state a catering business is only permitted in conjunction with the meat market business which is now defunct. Chairman McClelland will write a letter to Prime Choice denying the business permit per Article 7, Section 8.2B. He also noted that the PC will consider rewriting that ordinance to allow more businesses into the Commercial Corner designed to foster improved relations with the landlord and encourage remodelingand/or restoration investment.
Master Plan Revision
Commissioner O’Connor led a review and discussion of the Introduction, Sections 1 and 2 of the Master Plan. See Attachment B. At the March meeting, Sections 3, 5 and 6 will be reviewed by Commissioner Evans.
Missy Yachup – Secretary
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.