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HPC Work Session & Meeting Minutes

May 2, 2013

Staff conducted a combined Citizen's Input and HPC Work Session on Thursday, May 2nd, starting at 6:00PM.

Commissioners Attending: Will Dennehy, Farrel McCoy, Katie Clendaniel, Brian Roche

Members Absent: Dormaim Bromwell Green.

Other Representatives or Staff Attending: Dan Brandewie, City Planner II, Jackie Vickers, Commissioner.

Dan Brandewie, City Planner II, reviewed hand out material that included an Agenda, Questionnaire (short and long form) and a draft COA application form.  He proceeded to review an updated summary sheet of comments received from last week, updated as to April 29th.  Citizens provided additional feedback on the following topics:

  • concern over the number of rentals, rental inspection issues and property code enforcement issues;
  • problems with the number and visual impact of no trespassing signs;
  • lack of consistency with police enforcement;
  • increased flexibility for staff to approve roofing applications and the possible issue of preserving original cedar shake shingles on houses;
  • fence and HVAC standards as they may relate to setbacks, style and noise problems;
  • lack of consistency in decision making;
  • allowing flexibility within the district by creating sub districts or by following a policy as used in the Washington D.C. draft guidelines that provides flexibility by defining major-minor contributing buildings and non-contributing buildings.

Mr. Brandewie showed a map illustrating owner vs. renter occupied housing from 1980 where within the Historic District owner occupied housing was in the 60-80% range.  The estimate for the historic district is now approximately 40% owner occupied; however, this number may be somewhat deceiving as several out of town purchasers of homes in the Historic District have been for vacation or future retirement homes.  Tax incentive ideas were further discussed as a possible incentive to encourage the conversion of a rental home to a non-rental home.  Mr. Brandewie provided a copy of a new façade improvement grant program application from for both commercial and residential properties as it relates to the Maple Street designation for the City.  This geographic area encompasses properties on High Street in the Historic District and it is administered through the Economic Development Department.

Mr. Brandewie reviewed draft changes to the Rules of Procedures (ROP) that were provided by email to HPC Board members the day before.  HPC members expressed concern about moving forward on this given the limited amount of time to review it.  Staff recommended that HPC members evaluate the changes ahead of the next meeting.  Staff noted that these changes were primarily made by pulling material from the existing zoning ordinance and inserting them into the ROP.  Several changes were also in response to Ms. Clendaniel's suggestions.  Discussion followed.

Mr. Steve Delsorda provided a review of his comments to an earlier draft ROP and provided several suggestions to take under consideration.  Discussion followed.  It was recommended that further changes be made over the next week based on this input.

Mr. Brandewie provided a power point presentation on Law and Ethics as made available from the Maryland Association of Historic Preservation Districts.

Moving forward, it was noted that Brian Roche and Will Dennehy have offered to begin the task of rewriting new guideline material on the topics related to rehabilitation.  Mr. Brandewie will prepare material on the introductory parts.  Ms. Clendaniel and Dormaim Bromwell Green will begin drafting material on sign guidelines.


Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Brandewie

City Planner II


Note:  These minutes were approved at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on June 20th, 2013.