20 October 2008 | Approved: 18 November 2008
HPC members present: Bob Booher, Chair, Mimi Styles, Margot Bohan, David Neumann and Ed Mroczka. Darrell Anderson, Town Mayor, was also at the meeting briefly. Joe Clark, Council Liaison to the HPC, was not in attendance.
Margot agreed to take minutes for the meeting. The meeting was officially called to order at 7:30pm. The agenda, proposed by the Chair and posted on the outside of the door to the Town Hall Meeting Room, was reviewed and modified based on the agenda topics’ timeliness and state of progress since last discussed.
Town Mayor Discussion
Darrell attended the meeting to speak to the Commission members about the Town’s building permit process and HPC’s role relative to the Planning Commission regarding review of building permit applications. He also spoke re: historic easements and requested at least 3 examples of easement policy/protocols that he could bring before the town lawyer who is looking into how the town should handle properties with porches, etc. on town land. Margot Bohan agreed to contact Susan West-Montgomery, the Maryland Associate of Historic District Commissions’ representative re: the preservation easement concept she suggested during her visit during last month’s meeting. David Neumann will give Darrell a copy of the draft easement language he, Mimi and Bob drafted for the Second Avenue properties.
The HPC continued to talk after Darrell’s departure about what the HPC can do to better the historic preservation review process for all concerned, e.g., consultations in advance of permit application process. The HPC discussed the possibility of taking the initiative to suggest changes to the town ordinance or having a joint meeting with the Planning Commission. Each commission should meet independently first and then come together to discuss the inherent contradictions stemming from the Town Ordinance. Presently as part of the permitting process, there are no town-adopted requirements for historic preservation; hence the HPC has a purely advisory role. If someone comes to the HPC with his/her final plans, there’s no value added. In order to have an effective advisory role, the HPC can’t review plans once they’ve been completed or finalized. The HPC needs to review them at an earlier stage. In order to maintain respect for the application and review process, expectations and outcomes need to be clarified across both commissions. A solution suggested by the Planning Commission was for there to be a requirement for an HPC review prior to the homeowner’s submission of the building permit application to the Town.
The June, July and September minutes were reviewed. No August minutes were taken.
The Town commemorative plaque reimbursement request to MNPPC Historic Preservation Section is to be finalized within this month for Bob Booher’s signature and mailing to Susan Soderberg with a copy to the Town Treasurer, Mary Challstrom.
Library and Archive
David Neumann announced that the Town Clerk, Kathy Lehman, organized and collated all of the HPC library material onto a specific set of shelves in the Town Hall meeting room. It includes quite a large collection of Old House Journals and other relevant materials for people to use in their renovation research.
Review of Projects
The HPC intended to review the new design for 402 Ridge Road that was submitted to and approved by the Planning Commission, but a copy of these plans was not provided/deposited in the HPC inbox.
Ordinance modifying building coverage standards for residential zones
In order to weigh in on this topic effectively, we need the excel spreadsheet data Charlie Challstrom has accumulated on lot coverage. When Bob receives this data, he will send it around to HPC members and set a date for a special HPC session.
Mimi moved to adjourn, and Margot seconded. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, November 18, 2008, starting at 7:30pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.