20 May 2014 | Approved: ?
Members Bob Booher, Gail Littlefield, Wendy Harris, David Stopak, and Mimi Styles were present. Also, Georgette Cole, council liaison, and Nan Aitel-Thompson, observer and potential Town resident were present. The meeting began at 7:35 pm at the Town Council chambers.
Approval of Agenda and Adoption of Minutes.
The agenda was approved as modified.
Town Council Report.
Georgette expressed her desire as council liaison that the HPC move ahead with a next phase of anti-mansionization. She reported that the Council had discussed the proposed budget ordinance and some new county legislation. Montgomery County Ordinance 2014-02 is to amend Article XIII, “Application of County Legislation”. Section 1, “Exemption from County Legislation” will exempt the Town from County Code Chapter 8, “Buildings”, and Chapter 19, “Erosion, Sediment Control, and Storm Water Management”. These provisions are already covered by our current Public Ways and Property Permit and our Forest Conservation Policy. Section 2 adopts the County Code Chapter 31C, “New Home Warranty and Builder Licensing” is a County law applicable in the Town as it gives some additional protection we don’t currently have. Both changes were reviewed and approved by our Town attorney.
The Council also discussed proposed ordinance No. 2014-03 relating to granting easements to Town property owners (8 known instances) whose homes are partially on Town property. The Town Attorney proposed this as a possible solution to Eva Polson’s predicament regarding reconstructing her damaged home, the front porch of which is on town property. The PC has issued to Eva a demolition permit.
PC meeting report.
Georgette also reported that the PC discussed the proposed ordinance 2014-03 at its meeting. Charlie Charlstrom would like the ordinance to be adopted at the next Town Council meeting on June 9. Georgette and Bob said there was nothing new on the Bridge project. Bridge traffic will be re-routed sometime after school is out.
Houses on Town property—proposed ordinance.
The HPC discussed the proposed ordinance, especially with regard to paragraph 2 and the determination of whether reconstruction/replacement plans for homes on town property had historic integrity and were compatible with the neighborhood . The members agreed that there was some ambiguity in the language of the draft ordinance. Who will draft the “quid pro quo” conditions in the easements? Does the granting of the easement trigger review of the plans for work on the whole house? Just the part on town property? Or the part in non-compliance with setback requirements? The HPC was of the opinion that the HPC should make the determination of whether reconstruction/replacement plans met the historic integrity/compatibility standard and that language to that effect should be added. (What if the homeowner wants to make changes NOT associated with damage to the house? What if the planned changes do not affect the part of the house on town property?) It was decided to raise these issues with Joli to take to the Town attorney for clarification and to propose language to remove ambiguity.
Building permit procedures HPC FAQ’s.
Wendy has finalized the FAQ’s. They will appear in the June Town bulletin and go into effect June 1, 2014. The HPC discussed the need to update the 2004 HPC procedures and Definitions. Mimi will draft some proposed changes.
There will be more submissions on “Political Hill.”
The HPC is concerned about the protection of steatite quarries in the meadow. A plan is needed to prevent damage due to planting, landscaping, etc. The sites’ boundaries need to be established, so that responsible parties can be identified and included in planning. Wendy and David will approach Charlie about locating the quarries on the plat map.
Bob responded to questions from Nan Aitel-Thompson, who is interested in moving to the Town, about the HPC’s review of additions and partial demolitions of homes in the town.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 pm.