The Historic Preservation Commission met last Friday, May 22, for its second meeting of the month. The original purpose of the HPC's second monthly meeting was to vote on the language of the certificates of appropriateness prepared by the HPC's legal counsel, which are meant to state the commission's rationale for approving or denying applications. At its previous meeting, on May 8, the HPC had voted six to one to deny a certificate of appropriateness to the new house proposed for 11a Rossman Avenue. (Peggy Polenberg was the only one voting to approve.) When it came to voting on the certificate of appropriateness, however, Phil Forman had issues with the language of the denial.
Forman protested that his reasons for determining the proposed structure incompatible were not represented in the certificate of appropriateness, which cited only scale and setback as the basis for denial. According to Forman, his issues with the building were not scale and setback but rather that "architecturally it had no relation to anything on Rossman Avenue," and it was this "lack of sympathy with the neighborhood" that made him vote to deny approval.
It was decided that the HPC would present the language problems to the city attorney, and there would be a special meeting on Friday, May 29, at 10 a.m., to vote on a revised certificate of appropriateness.
Also on May 22, HPC chair Rick Rector announced the formation of two committees of the HPC: an education committee and a historic districts committee. The first task of the education committee will be to update the brochure about historic preservation and the benefits and expectations of living in a historic district distributed by the City. The education committee will be chaired by Forman and will include Polenberg and Gini Casasco. The historic districts committee is tasked with reviewing the existing historic districts and identifying potential new historic districts. This committee will be chaired by Miranda Barry and will include David Voorhees and Chris Perry. Rector will serve ex officio on both committees. The education committee will have its first meeting at 9:30 a.m. on May 29; the historic districts committee will meet immediately after the special meeting on May 29, which begins at 10 a.m.
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