19 February 2008 | Approved: 18 March 2008
HPC members present: David Neumann, Acting Chair, Margot Bohan, Ed Mroczka, and Mimi Styles. Bob Booher was unable to attend. David Stopak attended as Liaison from the Town Council.
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. Ed Mroczka moved that we adopt the agenda with a number of changes. Mimi Styles seconded. The agenda proposed by Bob Booher was adopted. David Neumann agreed to take minutes for the meeting.
The minutes of the HPC meeting held on January 15, 2007 were not approved as they are unofficial since a quorum was not present. The notes taken for that meeting by Mimi Styles will be placed in the HPC loose leaf binder, and very brief note stating that the meeting was unofficial will be placed on the Town web site.
Plans for a renovation of the commercial corner were on the table. These plans showed a remodeling of the building whose addresses are 11 Brown Street and 105 Washington Grove Lane. The buildings have the address 111 Hickory and 109 Washington Grove Lane were shown in the drawings, but were not reviewed as the plans showed them labeled as “future construction.” Thus, all that was discussed were the plans for the two story building 11 Brown St. and 105 Washington Grove Lane. Ed Mroczka agreed to be the note taker and write up the preliminary review. It should be noted that the correct addresses of the project and the name of the owner or contact person were not on the plans. The Town Clerk or Town Treasurer will be asked to give Ed the correct mailing addresses.
Town Council Report
David Stopak, the Council Liaison, reported on Town Council actions:
- He reported on the block survey and that the Council had voted to have the survey recorded with the County.
- He explained the freedom of information policy proposed by Kathy Evans and discussed by the Council.
- He explained that approximate measurements of the location of the Town Boundary along lower Ridge Road were to be done. The idea is that to protect the trees in that area, it would be best if we would be sure which trees are on Town property. Council member Challstrom had volunteered to perform measurements from subdivision and other markers placed along Ridge Road by residents and owners during recent construction and subdivision projects there.
- He explained the issues that have arisen at 103 Brown Street since the Planning Commission denial and the Board of Appeals ruling on the construction project there.
- He explained that the use of the code enforcement officer was still awaiting a decision on rules and procedures by the Planning Commission, and that the Town council and the Planning commission are aware of certain violations of the Zoning Ordinances and are looking for ways to deal with them.
There was considerable discussion of the problems. The major concern and hope was that the Town Council and Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals will deal with these violations in a fair and equitable manner. The violations are largely due to (a) structures that have been built too close to property boundaries; (b) structures that have been built contravening the sense of Town ordinances that houses in Washington Grove should be single family residences; (c) structures that have been built on Town property. The view was expressed that each violation not be dealt with in isolation, but that the problems might be addressed by creating a process and a set of guidelines to deal with the issues. As a first step a list of properties that have a portion of a structure on Town property be drawn up. As the block corners are being confirmed and monuments placed at the corners, etc. the problem of determining whether part of a structure is on Town property may easier than in the past.
Placement of an historic marker in Morgan Park. Margot Bohan had given Ed Mroczka vendor forms needed by the MNPPC. Mimi Styles suggested using Erie Landmark Co. She has a coupon from them for a discount. There is a new statement in the Bulletin. David Stopak asked that the dimensions of the plaque as stated in the Bulletin be checked. Mimi Bolotin has suggested new wording. It is agreed that the rock will be located at approximately the position where the “mock Rock” is located. Some felt that it should be slightly further back from the road. Margot Bohan asked that David Stopak ask the Town Treasurer whether we can already charge the account with the County.
Poetry Contest. An unveiling of the marker has been suggested. A poetry contest has also been suggested by Meredith Horan. It was suggested that the unveiling and poetry contest winner reading occur as part of July 4th weekend or some other Grove event.
Sanford House pre-demolition survey. A release form has been drawn up to permit Ed and Bob to survey and photograph the house prior to its demolition. The Sanfords have not yet agreed to the release.
Annual Award Criteria. The discussion of the criteria to be used for annual awards was postponed to the next meeting.
Oral History Project. The plan to put in a grant proposal for this project was discussed with respect to the HPC budget proposal for FY 2009 which starts in July 2008.
HPC Budget. The budget was discussed and David Stopak will discuss it with the Treasurer and present it to the Town Council. The budget would reflect the oral history project, the use of a consultant, membership in the Association of Maryland Historic Preservation Commissions, the annual award.
Master Plan. Members discussed the second version of the Town Master Plan. Question was raised why the MP can not have a section or chapter titled "Historic Preservation" or something similar. Members expressed disappointment that the current version of the MP had less material on preservation than earlier or that what was there from the original proposed material for Section 8 had be dispersed to other places. It was proposed to meet prior to the next PC meeting to discuss possible additional input on preservation for the coming Weds. Mar. 4, 2008 meeting of the Planning Commission. David Neumann mentioned the possibility of asking the PC to add plans for maintaining the scale of new structures added as “infill” to the Town.
The members asked David Stopak to ask the Town Treasurer to include a salary for a secretary for the Commission in the budget for FY 2009.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.