21 June 2011 | Approved: 19 July 2011
Members David Stopak, Mimi Styles, and Gail Littlefield, and Town Council Liaison Joli McCathran. The meeting began at 7:45 pm at the home of Joli McCathran. There was no key available to open the Council meeting room.
Approval of Agenda and Adoption of Minutes
The proposed agenda was adopted unanimously. The minutes of the May 17 meeting, taken by David Newmann, were approved with minor modifications/corrections. Mimi Styles will distribute the final May 17th minutes. Minutes of the April meeting have not yet been prepared.
There were no projects to be reviewed.
Report by Council liaison; Humpback Bridge
Joli reported that Charlie Charlstrom, new Planning Commission chair, had written to CSX and the County informing them that they must consult with the Town on changes to the bridge, since preservation of the Bridge is a provision of the Town Master Plan. Gail will forward to the Town’s Bridge committee the comments she received from Larry Lee at the National Park Service.
Permit review procedure
David reported that he and Bob Booher had gone to the Planning Commission meeting to discuss modifying the work permit process regarding HPC review. HPC review in the present process comes after the permit application is received by the Planning Commission. The HPC is viewed as an impediment to getting a Planning Commission stamp of approval. Also, it is usually too late for the HPC views to be taken into consideration by the homeowner. We want to consult early with the homeowner to gain consideration of the HPC’s views prior to finalization of plans and submission of them to the Planning Commission.
The modified process will have the HPC review precede the permit application, coming at any time prior to the application. The HPC review document will go the Planning Commission with the permit application. There will be no “formal review” of the submitted application by HPC, unless the plans presented with the permit are not what the HPC consulted on. If a permit application is presented to the Planning Commission with no prior HPC consultation, the homeowner will be told to make an appointment with the HPC. It was the opinion of the Planning Commission that this change in procedure did not require an ordinance revision.
The new process will be written up to give to the Council, distributed to townspeople in a packet and broadcast through other outreach/educational efforts . The permit application form will not be changed at this time. As part of the education effort for the new process, we could offer to provide information on possible Maryland Historical Trust tax credits.
There was discussion of having a HPC liaison to the Planning Commission. One option would be a rotation of HPC members to attend Planning Commission meetings. Having a Planning Commission liaison to the HPC was also discussed.
Mimi will submit some additional text regarding economic benefits of preservation for the next Town bulletin. Gail will research compiling more good entries.
Joli reported that the modifications (regarding landscaping changes) to the easement on the Town Hall held by the Maryland Historical Trust were approved by the Trust.
Gail reported on an inquiry she made to Brian Blundell about doing a workshop on energy-savings and weather-proofing in historic houses. Blundell had not yet responded. Margot’s email from the MHT regretting they could not provide a workshop speaker on tax credits was discussed. Clare Kelly at the Mont Co HPC had not responded to Gail’s inquiry about their ability to provide someone for a tax credit or energy-savings workshop. Including Rockville and Gaithersburg HPC’s and historic house owners in our future workshops was discussed.
Discussion on Anti-mansionization ordinance
Deferred to next meeting.
Archives Tour Report
Deferred to next meeting.
New Business-Heritage Days participation in 2012
There was some discussion of how the Town could participate in next year’s Heritage Days. It was agreed that the HPC would invite Peggy Erickson of Heritage Montgomery to attend a meeting in Fall 2011 to discuss.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.