Like bookends behind the City Hall dais, two new faces joined members of the Frederick Historic Preservation Commission as they delved through heavy agendas during the past two meetings.
The new members — Jessica Underwood and Stacey Streett — filled two vacancies that appeared on the board several months ago.
Matt Davis, the city’s division manager of comprehensive planning, emailed information about each of the new members, who wrapped up their second meeting Thursday.
Underwood, a full member, is a resident of the historic district and works as a real estate attorney, residential broker and residential builder.
Streett, the commission’s new alternate member, is a city resident and has a background in archaeology. She also recently served on the HPC Preservation Awards Committee.
The appointment of Streett also bumped alternate Commissioner Matt Bonin up to full member status.
Former Commissioner Michael Simons rolled off the board at the end of his last term on April 20, leaving one vacancy. In May, former Chairman Scott Winnette announced his resignation due to moving out of the city.
That left the two vacancies, which officials filled after an application and interview process that spanned several months.
The Board of Aldermen spent another two-plus hours at a Wednesday workshop going over details of a request to annex roughly 387 acres of vacant farmland along Gas House Pike into the city for eventual industrial use.
The workshop was the second the board has held on the request, which landowner Renn Family, LLC, applied for several months ago. If approved as requested, 327 acres of the property on the north and south sides of Gas House Pike east of Riverside Corporate Park would be zoned M1, or heavy industrial, with the remaining 60 acres to remain farmland.
Wednesday’s workshop discussion centered mostly around traffic improvements, required buffer zones and details of subdividing the farm property if the property is annexed.
Bruce Dean, a land-use attorney and partner at Linowes & Blocher representing the Renn family, said via phone Friday that a lot of moving parts exist with the request because of the amount of land. He said he believes officials are moving closer to resolution, though, and he hopes it will take just one more workshop before the aldermen are ready to vote.
“I feel like we’re making good progress,” he said. “We are hoping one more workshop and then having a public hearing. But I’m optimistic.”
If annexed as proposed, the land would become one of the largest properties in the county slated for industrial projects.
The city’s Planning Commission voted in a 3-2 majority in June to make a positive recommendation to the board for approval. The vote came with a series of conditions that the applicants are working on.
Asiana paint hearing pushed off again
In a familiar set of circumstances Thursday, members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission once again agreed to postpone a public hearing on a request to remove unauthorized paint on the side of of the infamously blighted old Asiana restaurant building at 123-125 N. Market.
According to staff members, the required public hearing notice was not posted in time to hold the hearing Thursday, forcing commissioners to push it back.
Commissioners continued the last hearing in July 13 because owner Duk Hee Ro did not show up. Two weeks before that, a hearing was also postponed because of a failure to post the notice.
In late April, Historic Preservation commissioners denied a request from Ro for post-work approval after she painted over replaced brick on the side of the building. Ro did not obtain approval from the commission before completing the work, which was a requirement because the building is in the Frederick Town Historic District and subject to strict historic preservation guidelines.
The commissioners ordered Ro to remove the paint in April, but before doing so, she had to come back before them with a plan to ensure the work was done properly and follows historic guidelines. That is the nature of the hearing that is continuing to be postponed.