5 November 2008 | Approved: 3 December 2008
Chairman McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Charlie Challstrom, Peggy Ebner, Bob Evans and Steve Werts, as well as Council member Georgette Cole and Town resident Tom Appleby.
Minutes of October Meeting
The minutes of the October meeting as amended were approved.
A revised building permit application for 112 Chestnut was submitted by Tom Appleby to account for changes required by Montgomery County. As the changes did not affect the Town’s previous approval of the earlier application, the revised permit was unanimously approved.
Commissioner Challstrom reported that he had been compiling approved sections of the revised Master Plan as the Commission had considered them. The following new revised sections were presented: (a) an amendment to Section 1, “Land use and Zoning,” to reflect the proposed RR-1 and -2 changes the Commission has been considering, (b) an amendment to the “Municipal Growth Areas” section based on discussions with the Montgomery County Park and Planning Commission; (c) revisions related to the InterCounty Connector, and (d) revisions to the “Water Resources Element” to reflect concerns expressed by the State of Maryland Planning Department. These four revisions were approved unanimously. Commissioner Challstrom also noted that it had been suggested the Historic Preservation discussion be amended to include language regarding the available state and federal tax credits; there was a consensus such language should be added.
Role of Historic Preservation Commission
Recent discussions at the Council had led to the suggestion that a “design review stage” might be built into the process for HPC participation in the building permit process. An extensive discussion of various options followed, following which the Commission voted to (a) clarify that the 30-day period for HPC review of permit applications be tolled from the date the application is submitted to the Town Clerk, (b) encourage the HPC to accelerate its reviews when an application has been submitted shortly after the monthly Planning Commission meeting has occurred, (c) encourage the HPC to do more educational programming for Town residents about the benefits of preservation, (d) encourage homeowners to press for prompt HPC review where a 6-week or 2-month delay in coming to the Planning Commission would create a hardship, and (e) encourage homeowners to consult with the HPC even before a formal permit application is submitted.
It was reported that residents had expressed concern about the state of the Town garden and its shed; the garden and shed are to be removed. There was also a discussion regarding the lack of clarity about acceptable use of portions of Town walkways by adjoining homeowners.
Town Council report
Commissioner Challstrom reported that a review of Town houses which encroach on Town land beyond 2nd Avenue is being conducted. He also reported that the Manryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is beginning a review of the Gaithersburg West Master Plan and he will serve as the Town’s liaison for this review.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.