20 December 2005 | Approved: 17 January 2005
HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Ed Mroczka, Mimi Styles and David Neumann. David Stopak attended as Town Council liaison. Joan Mahaffey attended as she had plans she wished to discuss with the HPC. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm.
Minutes of the previous meeting were not discussed. David Neumann agreed to take minutes.
Joan Mahaffey presented her plans for a renovation of her house at 102 Ridge Road: Photos of the house as it presently exists were used in the review. The photos came from the HPC 2005 photographic survey of contributing structures.
The plans had already been presented to the Town Planning Commission (PC). According to Ms. Mahaffey the plans had already been approved by the PC. There were no indications on the building application or plans that they had been approved by the PC. There was no information on the status on the cover sheet that went with the permit application.
125 Grove Avenue: Mrs. Chandler attended with her contractor, M. Gargan. The permit application had been completed by the contractor although the application was blank on the reverse side. They told the HPC that the PC had said that the plan would pass if a slight change were made to the distance to one of the side boundaries. There was considerable discussion of this project as the design implied a large bank of windows facing the park resulting in a very modern looking glass structure. Essentially the HPC suggested that a peek out at nature might be better than an all glass constantly open view of the park. The applicant was very open to suggestions from the HPC.
113 Grove Avenue: The plans submitted by the Henningers for alterations to the back porch of their residence facing Grove Road. There was considerable discussion of this project as the design implied a large bank of windows facing the park resulting in a very modern looking glass structure. Essentially the HPC suggested that a peek out at nature might be better than an all glass constantly open view of the park.
The possibility of putting a note in the Town Bulletin was discussed. The note would say something to the effect that the optimal time to have plans ready is just before the third Tuesday of the month. In that case the HPC can review and send their review to the next Planning commission meeting. Since the HPC review is needed by the PC, if Plans are submitted after the HPC meeting on the third Tuesday of the month, it can take several weeks to obtain the review from the HPC plus another two weeks until the PC meets to consider the permit application, up to a toatal of six weeks.
After the discussion of the plans for 113 Grove Ave. presented by the contractor, one of the members suggested that it might help applicants for building permits if a list of architects in the County were available to residents. This would simply be a list with no connotation of recommendation attached to the names on the list.
The Cator property annexation and the ordinance changes currently before the Town council were discussed. Councilman Stopak said that he hoped that the HPC would officially comment on the Ordinance changes before the second Monday in January. He also explained the issue of grandfathering or partial grandfathering in the "Implementation Resolution" that was to accompany the adoption of ordinance ZTA2005-08.
The Photograph Project: Photos made from the digital CD version of the 2005 survey of contributing structures were delivered at a previous HPC meeting. At the current meeting it was decided to postpone discussion of the binders and the placement of the photos into binders until the next meeting in January. A copy of the CD was provided to the Town archivist.
The Questionnaire: David Stopak explained that additional survey forms had been received. We will discuss the processing of the survey results at the meeting in January. At the last meeting in November or October we decided that we would send the Planning Commission a short note on the manner in which we intend to do the tabulation.
HPC Procedures: At a previous meeting the HPC adopted an outline of the HPC procedures as drafted by the Chair, Bob Booher. We resolved to discuss sections of the procedures at each meeting and adopt sections of the procedures one or two or three at a time. The outline was previously adopted as a guide. At the current meeting we tentatively agreed to a section 3.1 and 3.2 as drafted by the chair. It would be typed up by David Neumann for the next meeting. We agreed that section 4 a-d could be placed into our procedures by reference to the handout that had been adopted by the Town Council.
Cator Property: The agents (Higdon/Kershaw) for the sellers (Harrisons) are asking the Town to annex and permit the owners to subdivide the property. Two issues were discussed (a) Should the town annex the property and permit three or possibly four residences to be built on the property? And (b) should the property be subdivided for mixed use, commercial and residential. The underlying question is whether a mixed use would be beneficial to the Town as a whole by in some way protecting or improving or making more viable the other residential lots. The idea being that the commercial use would set up a barrier in some way to the adjacent noise and discomfort generated by the trains and railroad tracks. It might be helpful if the Town Council or Town PC looked into the state of the two properties in Gaithersburg on Chestnut Street (by an historic area) that are adjacent to the train tracks.
Miscellany: David Stopak reminded members again of use his new email address at: [email protected] The next meeting will be on January 18, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.