21 November 2006 | Approved: 19 December 2006
HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Mimi Styles, Ed Mroczka, and David Neumann. The meeting was called to order at 7:50 p.m.
The agenda proposed by Bob Booher was approved by the members after a few changes were made by the members. David Neumann agreed to take minutes for the meeting. Minutes of the regular meetings of October 17, 2006 were approved, subject to changes.
Bob Booher reported that he had been told by the HPC Council liaison, David Stopak, that he had presented the idea of giving more notice to neighbors when a building permit is applied for in their vicinity. David had also presented the idea of asking the Town Web Master to permit some form of updating of the house histories presently on the Town Web site. Both ideas were well received by the Council. David Neumann was asked by the HPC members again to discuss this with the appropriate Council Person, Kathy Evans, and with Bill Saar. He said he had sent them an email alerting them to this idea of a "Grovepedia."
The Chair reminded members that Attorney William Chen will update the Town residents at a Public Information Session on Dec. 13, 2006 at 7:00 pm in McCathran Hall, and that the Mayor/Council will convene a Town Meeting to consider approval of funds for legal expenses.
No building permit, subdivision, or other applications were considered.
- Town Archive. The files donated by Clare Kelly were now in the Town Hall Meeting Room. Unfortunately the Town archivist has stepped down from her position temporarily. She will return in one or two months.
- Archive of Photos of Contributing Structures. Members decided to meet on another evening to collate the photos and put them into albums for preservation in the Town Archives and as a tool for use by the HPC when writing reviews of building permit, etc. applications.
- Commemorative Plaques. These are plaques which would be placed to commemorate places and structures significant to the Town’s history that no longer exist, such as buildings, for example, the hotel, the auditorium, etc. The discussion was postponed until the next meeting.
- Notification Issue. See Council Report above. We discussed changing the building permit routing sheet and including a list of neighbors that should be informed, sending postcards to neighbors.
- HPC Minutes. It was resolved that the minutes should be sent to the Mayor, all members of the Town Council, and to all members of the Planning Commission.
Review of Town Ordinances. Chris Kirtz reviewed the Town Ordinances and provided five changes or corrections that he thought the HPAC should consider. The suggestions were:
- Art. IV, Sec. 2, (a): add language to first sentence: “….and pursuant to Article XV to the HPC for review and comment.”
- Art. IV Building permit regulations sec. 2 (a): add to the list of PC items, items that the HPC feels are requisite to out being able to perform a meaningful review, e.g. elevations, etc.
- Art. IV, building permit regulations sec. 7> add the following language to the last sentence: “… which must be received prior to the PC’s final approval of the application.”
- Art. V. Planning. Sec. 4: add to the middle of the 2nd paragraph: “including those pertaining to the HPC.”
- Art. VII. Zoning. Sec. 1. Purpose: add the following language to the second to last sentence of sec. 1.1: “… bearing in mind the Town’s historic designation.”
The members present discussed these suggestions. It was decided that none of these would be passed on to the Town Council or PC as members felt these were already covered in other places in the ordinances, e.g. in Art. XV Historic Preservation Commission. Members suggested that some of these indicated the TC should consider improving the wording, e.g., in Art. IV Sec. 2 to reflect more the way things are actually done at present. Suggestion 5 was felt to be correct and maybe we should look at it again in the future.
- Flat roofs. The article from Wall Street Journal: “Invasion of the Roof Snatchers: The Flat-Top Look Catches On” was discussed briefly. It came out in the Sept. 15, 2006 issue of the WSJ. It was agreed that a copy of the article should be added to the minutes of our last meeting.
- Report from FHA SHA Advisory council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). Bob Booher reported that a representative of the FHA, the SHA, and the ACHP came to view the field at Ridge Road. The goal was to visually see the area and gain a better understanding of how the Town would be affected by the ICC and the inevitable ramp-up in use of I370. Ed Mroczka and Bob Booher put up balloons to mark the tree line and the height of the overpasses that will be constructed for the ramps from I370 to and from the ICC. The Mayor attended the outdoor meeting. The Town representatives presented arguments for greater participation of the Town in the decisions related to the construction of the ICC, esp. the need for visual and sound barriers, the need to retain the tree line, and the need to include the Town as an historic area that will be affected by the ICC. The Town representatives were told that we would hear back from the ACHP.
- Master Plan. The chair reminded members that there will be a Work session on the Town Master Plan (MP) on Weds. Dec. 6 at 7:00 pm also at McCathran Hall. The MP contains significant matters pertinent to historic preservation, so members were encouraged to be present. The sections of the MPmay be read on the Town Web site at www.washingtongrovemd.org/official/pdraft_mp.shtml
- New HPC Commissioner. Bob Booher explained that Chris Kirtz told him that due to his and family health issues he will have to resign from the HPC. Chris had and members at the meeting suggested several residents who might be enjoy being members of the HPC.
- We discussed sending a letter to the PC outlining two alternatives to deal with the height limit on those portions of structures that are non-complying (i.e., portions of building or structure that lie between the outer boundary of a lot and the setback line within the lot. Two alternatives were discussed: (a) that when renovating such existing non-complying structures their height may not be increased; or (b) their height may be increased, but the height of any part of a new structure may not exceed the height of a straight line drawn from a height of four feet above ground at the lot boundary to the maximum height for the zone at the setback line. (N.B.: it would also be necessary to state that the vertical height limiting line should be drawn perpendicular to the lot boundary line.)
- The reason to make this change in the ordinance would be to promote desirable living conditions within the Town. See purpose in Art. VII.
- Zoning Text Amendment. Ordinance No. 2006-03, No. 2006-04. This zoning text amendment was briefly discussed.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday December 19, 2006 at 7:30 pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.