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HPC Work Session & Meeting Minutes

April 4, 2013

Staff conducted a Citizen's Input Work Session on Thursday, April 4th, starting at 5:30PM.  The Commission met in work session at approximately 7:00PM.

Anne Roane City Planner, moderated the work session.  Handouts included an Agenda, Questionnaire, Summary Sheet of Citizen Input comments received to date and a draft HPC application form.  Three to four citizens were in attendance over the course of the meeting and workshop.  Citizens expressed disappointment that no HPC members were in attendance at 5:30 PM and with only staff in attendance it gives the appearance that staff is filtering comments that should be heard by HPC members.  Comments received at this session included:

  • Complaint on some properties including the condition of the property at 317 Oakley Street; not occupied, claimed or bought as a 2nd home, lack of maintenance and devaluation of surrounding properties;
  • Demolition by neglect not seriously taken by DPW, need better standards written into the rules of procedures or guidelines and enforced;
  • HPC is too arbitrary in interpreting and applying the guidelines;
  • More training is needed for HPC members; need to seek Certified Local Government status;

 

The Commission then convened a work session with Mr. Will Dennehy chairing the meeting. Comments from the public included:

  • The City should start leveling more fines, even if it forces properties into tax sales with the hope that the next buyer would be able to afford to fix it up; if a property goes to tax sale, there should be the stipulation that the property be brought up to Building Code and HPC standards within a specific time period;
  • HPC should stop fussing about vinyl siding and windows and muntin patterns when there are some many houses in disrepair; want more lenient demolition procedures; too many buildings beyond salvage;
  • Write more clear guidelines and enforce them, make guidelines fit the reality of Cambridge.

 

Commissioners Attending: Will Dennehy, Dormaim Bromwell Green.

Members Absent: Katie Clendaniel, Brian Roche, Farrell McCoy

Other Representatives or Staff Attending: Anne Roane, City Planner, Jackie Vickers, Commissioner.

 

Mr. Dennehy asked for a recommendation of approval on the Draft By-laws with changes made from the last HPC Regular meeting and the first 10 sections of the Draft Rules of Procedures.  Also discussed was the draft HPC application form.  It was stated that this material was to be posted on the City's Website by the following Monday.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Daniel L. Brandewie

City Planner II

 

 

Note:  These minutes were approved at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on August 15th, 2013.