Board or Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Agenda

*This meeting will be conducted in-person*

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to be heard at this meeting, please sign the speaker list provided in the Council Chambers. The Chair reserves the right to limit the amount of time each speaker has for each agenda item (typically 2 minutes).

  1. Roll Call.
  2. Approval of the Minutes for the Regular HDC meeting held on March 8, 2022.
  3. HDC-2022-0099 for 25 Post Office Avenue submitted by Legends Group, the applicant is proposing to remove the existing detached garage on the property. The garage is unused, visually dilapidated, and measures approximately 20’ X 32’. The applicant is proposing to remove the existing large Black Walnut tree on the property with the intention of subdividing the 25 Post Office Avenue lot into two (2) lots in the near future. Applicant states that the new lot that would be created after subdividing would be unsuitable for construction with the Black Walnut remaining in place.
  4. HDC-2022-0088 for 595 Main Street, submitted by Cameron Manesh, this item was tabled at the last meeting, the applicant will be refacing the existing monument sign.  The sign is located at the front entrance of the site.  The new sign will be placed on aluminum material.  The sign will read “Patuxent Place Apartments”, the business website (www.patuxentplace.com) and the phone number (301-674-5032).  The sign is 98 inches by 26 inches or approximately 17.69 sq. ft.  The current sign is aluminum and the same dimension of the new sign. The revised sign colors will consist with the other building signs.
  5. HDC-2022-0104 for 600 Main Street, submitted by Cameron Manesh, applicant is proposing to paint the exterior of the apartment complex – Sherman Williams Agreeable gray.  The existing color of the siding is yellow.
  6. HDC-2022-0103 for 516 Main Street, submitted by Mona Gulati, Applicant is seeking retroactive approval to reface an existing freestanding sign and replace existing wall signage with new channel letters. The sizes of the installed freestanding and wall signs are same as the previous versions. Applicant has refaced the existing freestanding sign. The new sign has a Navy-Blue colored background with the message “Cork n’ Bottle Liquor” in white text. Applicant has replaced the existing channel letters on the front façade of the building with new channel letters of the same size, color, and placement. The installed channel letters are in Navy-Blue colors with the text “LIQUOR-CHECKS CASHED-LOTTERY”.
  7. HDC-2022-0110 for 339 Prince George Street, submitted by Michael & Mary Eileen Leszcz, the applicant is proposing to remove and replace (28) existing windows.  Window replacements are proposed to be the same size as existing, 26 Pella Lifestyle Windows double pane/two over one windows aluminum frame trim, clad white color with wooden Simulated-Divided grilles 2 Pella Architect Series (Attic) double-hung/one over one windows aluminum frame trim, clad white color with wooden Simulated-Divided grilles. Original windows: single hung / one over one windows and one over two windows aluminum frame trim, white.
  8. HDC-2022-0105 for 708 Main Street, submitted by Patricia Haag, applicant is seeking approval to install two (2) level retaining walls with landscape in the front yard of the property. The two retaining walls will be one foot in height and measure approximately 50 feet in length and approximately eight feet in width at its highest point. The proposed retaining walls will be comprised of large Creekwash beige gravel and Colonial Gray Rockwall material. Applicant is proposing to retain existing landscaping in the construction of the retaining walls, including existing azalea whites, ivies, and pieris plants.

Staff Approvals

HDC-2022-0107 for 505 Prince George Street, submitted by Marvin Hernandez, the applicant is seeking approval to replace front porch wood floorboards and repaint in same existing gray color. Also replace front porch railings (same style) and posts then repaint in same white color.

HDC-2022-0109 for 306 Montgomery Street, submitted by Ivan Laure, the applicant is seeking approval to replace current faded green 3-tab shingles with asphalt Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration in Chateaue green color. Work is considered “in-kind”. Will also replace gutters and downspouts in white metal.

HDC-2022-0108 for 310 Fourth Street, submitted by Cheryl & Michael Dyer, the applicant is seeking approval to replace front porch wooden posts in white (metal bracket at bottoms to protect from water damage) current posts are rotted out at the bottoms, all work is considered to be “in-kind”.

HDC-2022-0112 for 608 Prince George Street, submitted by JoAnn Blair & Amy Knox, the applicant is seeking approval to replace green 3-tab roof shingles to emerald green architectural shingles IKO Dynasty. Applicant states current roof is leaking and causing stains on ceilings. Will also replace 5’’ gutters and downspouts in white aluminum with 6’’. Photos and inspection done on the damage to property.

HDC-050-2022 for 612 Prince George Street, submitted by Ernest Johnson, the applicant is seeking approval to replace leaking roof IKO Dynasty shingles in Atlantic Blue architectural style. The current roof is a faded gray with 3-tab shingles. Photos were received of damage. Inspector visited property and also confirmed the leaks.  The sequence on this application number is different because it was on hold for so long.

HDC-2022-0106 for 710 Montgomery Street, submitted by C. Philips Nichols Jr, the applicant is seeking approval to repair roof by replacing broken and missing slates, loose tar at peak. New material will be semi weathering sea green slate. This will match as close as possible to the existing color and style of the roof.

HDC-2022-0120 for 329 Prince George Street, submitted by C. Michael Walls, the applicant is seeking approval to repair red brick chimney by installing two (2) underpinning piles to stabilize the vertical settlement. All work will be “in-kind” the look of the chimney will not change. This was considered an emergency repair as the chimney was starting to detach from the home.  

HDC-2022-0121 for 415 Prince George Street, submitted by Jim Booze, the applicant is seeking approval to scrape and repaint all wood on exterior of porch with McCormick white semi-gloss latex enamel. This is considered “in-kind” since the current color of porch columns and railings are white.  

  1. Adjourn

Minutes

MINUTES

EIGHT HUNDRED AND FOURTY EIGHTH MEETING

TUESDAY – APRIL 19, 2022 – REGULAR – 6:00 P.M.

 

*This meeting was conducted in-person*

 

Convened: 6:00 P.M.                                                Adjourned 7:07 P.M.

 

Commissioners Present:                              Staff Present:

Robert Kluckhuhn, Chair                                                     

Margie McCeney, Vice-Chair                       Brooke Quillen, HDC Coordinator, ECD

Councilmember James Kole                         Monta Burrough, Planner II, ECD                          

Karen Lubieniecki                                          Robert Love, Director, ECD

Marlene Frazier                                              Darnell Butler, Communications Department

Gregory Sweitzer                                          

                                               

                                                                                                                                                           

Commissioners Absent: One (1)

Citizens Present:  Approximately sixteen (16)

 

Chairman Kluckhuhn called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and read the Opening Statement.

 

            Chairman Kluckhuhn thanked Mr. Robert Love, ECD Director for guidance throughout the past (2) two years during the Covid pandemic with Historic District matters and congratulated Mr. Monta Burrough, who was recently promoted to Deputy Director.

 

Chairman Kluckhuhn asked for a roll call. Six (6) Commissioners answered present, constituting a quorum.

 

Chairman Kluckhuhn asked if there were any corrections to the Minutes from the Regular HDC meeting held on March 8, 2022. There were none.

On a motion by Ms. McCeney seconded by Ms. Frazier, the minutes were approved on (6) six affirmative votes.

 

HDC-2022-0099 for 25 Post Office Avenue submitted by Legends Group, the applicant is proposing to remove the existing detached garage on the property. The garage is unused, visually dilapidated, and measures approximately 20’ X 32’. The applicant is proposing to remove the existing large Black Walnut tree on the property with the intention of subdividing the 25 Post Office Avenue lot into two (2) lots in the near future. Applicant states that the new lot that would be created after subdividing would be unsuitable for construction with the Black Walnut remaining in place.

On behalf of the applicant, the owner of the property, Mr. Richard Weichang Wang, read the staff report to the Commission. He also stated there are several larger trees of this kind in the City. Mr. Wang added while the tree is currently healthy, he believes the tree will cause problems in 5-10 years due to the very large branches falling which would be dangerous. He explained that in order to redevelop the land the tree must be removed.

For the record, Chairman Kluckhuhn announced that they are to determine the following 1) is the tree removal a major landscaping design or reconfiguration and if yes 2) based on the Arborists evaluation, is the tree a significant contributor to the Historic District or would the removal of the tree seriously impair the historic, archeological, or architectural significance of the surrounding properties.

The Commission discussed with the owner other options to donate the land as a park or a different development scenario in which the tree could remain. The applicant stated developing around the tree is not possible. Additionally, he does not have any plans to donate the land as a park. There was further discussion about the land being two (2) lots with one (1) tax identification number. The total acreage on Lot 4 is approximately 15,400 sq. ft. There will be new Magnolias and Pin Oaks trees planted on the lots, eight (8) trees total per the plan. The Commission also suggested staff send the applicant a copy of the code for replacement of Champion Trees, even though it is not technically a Champion tree, it could be helpful because it recommends actual sizes of replacement trees. It was clarified by staff that the other black walnut trees that are bigger or just as big are in Prince George’s County, not necessarily in the City limits, per the arborist.

Chairman Kluckhuhn stated there were several speakers signed up to speak tonight.

 

The public hearing opened at 6:20 p.m.

 

Mr. Jonathan Haight, 5 Riverview Court #204 Laurel, Maryland  20707, stated this lot consists of two (2) lots, and asked if the subdivision limited to those two (2) lots. He added that the tree is older than the City of Laurel itself, which preexists both the mills that were on that river and railroad. It is a “witness” tree, it would be anti-historic if taken down.

 

Mr. Dave Everett, 1110 Montgomery Street Laurel, Maryland 20707, a member of the Tree Board and President of the Board for Laurel for the Patuxent, said he has much experience with trees, and has admired this one at 25 Post Office Avenue. He stated he did some research with the Maryland Tree List and there is only one (1) other tree in Prince George’s County that is bigger than this one. He estimates the tree is approximately 210-240 years old and the house on the next lot was built in 1930, which is why there is not already a house there on this lot. On the other hand, by saying the tree cannot be removed would be taking away from the owner. However, he suggested the Commission think of the community and environment value over the cost to the property owner.

 

Ms. Cheryl Dyer, 310 Fourth Street Laurel, Maryland  20707, expressed her excitement about all the work that has been done at 23 & 25 Post Office Avenue, she added she started the petition to save the tree when news of plans to remove it came about. She also tried to reach out to the applicant with no luck. She said 150 trees were planted in the City during the celebrations of the City’s 150th anniversary. Ms. Dyer explained this is a native shade tree, is good for the environment by reducing urban heat island, captures carbon, provides food for humans and small mammals, host to several species of moths/insects and is vital to our ecology. We owe this tree our respect that was here much longer than us and the City, which is probably one of the oldest living things here. She pointed out that she is grateful for this tree’s existence and hopes it will continue to exist for another century.

 

Ms. Heidi Hess-Webber, 323 Compton Avenue Laurel, Maryland  20707, a member of Laurel of Patuxent and a Laurel Elementary School teacher, announced to the Commission we have a planet in trouble, all the kids that are in school now, what will be left for them-  will everything be gone. It has a memory of how everything was before we started knocking everything down for development. Additionally, we should start deciding in favor of the gifts we have been given in our community and decide that a tree is as valuable if not more than money.

 

Mr. Brian Coyle, 336 Prince George Street, Laurel, Maryland  20707, Ecologist, advised the Commission that he believes this should be considered a Champion Tree after referring to the definition in the City code. He added this should be preserved as a cultural and historic tree as it brings value to the City and why people want to live here, we should show we value the tree. He explained the Maryland State Assembly recently reported Maryland needs more trees and started the Tree Solutions Now Act in attempt to remedy this inequity, calling for 5 million trees to be planted over an eight-year period, with 500,000 of them targeted to urban, underserved areas. He responded to the statement about a safety concern in 5-10 years, that is not valid. The City has lost several trees recently due to development at Patuxent Greens, there were supposed to be saved but weren’t. He commented that to some this is just one (1) tree but which direction we decide to go says a lot, maybe we should look into available grant money to give the landowner.

 

The public hearing closed at 6:33 p.m.

 

The Commission discussed the health of the tree. The current condition shows it is healthy. The Commission asked staff to look into potential options for the applicant to donate a section of this property to the city for a park. The Commission commended the applicant on the previous two (2) houses that have been renovated. The applicant explained the sole purpose to remove the tree is to develop the land, furthermore, is not possible to build a house to side of it, would be too close to the tree, per the applicant.

On a motion by Ms. Lubieniecki, seconded by Ms. McCeney, the application was approved on (6) six affirmative votes with the amendment to approve the request to demo the garage and the request to remove the tree is tabled to enable staff and the applicant time to explore other options.

 

HDC-2022-0088 for 595 Main Street, submitted by Cameron Manesh, this item was tabled at the last meeting, the applicant will be refacing the existing monument sign.  The sign is located at the front entrance of the site.  The new sign will be placed on aluminum material.  The sign will read “Patuxent Place Apartments”, the business website (www.patuxentplace.com) and the phone number (301-674-5032).  The sign is 98 inches by 26 inches or approximately 17.69 sq. ft.  The current sign is aluminum and the same dimension of the new sign. The revised sign colors will consist with the other building signs.

            The Property Manager, Tonia Martin was present on the applicant’s behalf. The Commission agreed the new color scheme was more appropriate for the sign.

On a motion by Ms. McCeney, seconded by Ms. Frazier, the application was approved on (5) five affirmative votes with Councilmember Kole abstaining from the vote.

 

HDC-2022-0104 for 600 Main Street, submitted by Cameron Manesh, applicant is proposing to paint the exterior of the apartment complex – Sherman Williams Agreeable gray.  The existing color of the siding is yellow.

The Property Manager, Tonia Martin was present on the applicant’s behalf. There was discussion on the color of the shutters. Staff confirmed the new color will be black which was previously approved.

On a motion by Ms. McCeney, seconded by Ms. Lubieniecki, the application was approved on (6) six affirmative votes.

 

HDC-2022-0103 for 516 Main Street, submitted by Mona Gulati, Applicant is seeking retroactive approval to reface an existing freestanding sign and replace existing wall signage with new channel letters. The sizes of the installed freestanding and wall signs are same as the previous versions. Applicant has refaced the existing freestanding sign. The new sign has a Navy-Blue colored background with the message “Cork n’ Bottle Liquor” in white text. Applicant has replaced the existing channel letters on the front façade of the building with new channel letters of the same size, color, and placement. The installed channel letters are in Navy-Blue colors with the text “LIQUOR-CHECKS CASHED-LOTTERY”.

The applicant and new owner of the store was present. The Commission reminded the applicant any exterior work needs Historict District Commission approval. The Commission asked the applicant if he would be willing to set a timer for the lighted signs to go off at closing time which is 10:00 p.m. because they are so bright, the applicant agreed to do so. The Commission asked staff to follow up on their window signage for allowed coverage.  

On a motion by Councilmember Kole, seconded by Mr. Sweitzer, the application was approved on (6) six affirmative votes with the condition the lights will be turned off after hours, at closing time.

 

HDC-2022-0110 for 339 Prince George Street, submitted by Michael & Mary Eileen Leszcz, the applicant is proposing to remove and replace (28) existing windows.  Window replacements are proposed to be the same size as existing, 26 Pella Lifestyle Windows double pane/two over one windows aluminum frame trim, clad white color with wooden Simulated-Divided grilles 2 Pella Architect Series (Attic) double-hung/one over one windows aluminum frame trim, clad white color with wooden Simulated-Divided grilles. Original windows: single hung / one over one windows and one over two windows aluminum frame trim, white.

The applicant was present and pointed out the window style and material are actually going back to what the once were. Additionally, he suggested the Historic District Commission go back to meeting twice a month instead of once.

On a motion by Ms. McCeney, seconded by Councilmember Kole, the application was approved on (6) six affirmative votes.

 

HDC-2022-0105 for 708 Main Street, submitted by Patricia Haag, applicant is seeking approval to install two (2) level retaining walls with landscape in the front yard of the property. The two retaining walls will be one foot in height and measure approximately 50 feet in length and approximately eight feet in width at its highest point. The proposed retaining walls will be comprised of large Creekwash beige gravel and Colonial Gray Rockwall material. Applicant is proposing to retain existing landscaping in the construction of the retaining walls, including existing azalea whites, ivies, and pieris plants.

The applicant was present. The Commission expressed excitement over this project.

On a motion by Ms. Lubieniecki, seconded by Ms. McCeney, the application was approved on (6) six affirmative votes.

 

Staff Approvals:

There were no questions or comments.

 

Other Business:

There were no new announcements or requests.

 

The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:07 p.m.

 

Minutes Approved:             Brooke Quillen                               Date:  5/17/2022

 

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