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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Historical Architectural Review Board
MINUTES

Date: January 20, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough HARB held a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2009 at 7:00 PM at Borough Hall, 12 E. Baltimore Ave., Lansdowne, PA.

Members Present:
Jeffrey M. Laufer AIA, Chairman
Gloria Carpenter, Vice-Chair
William H. Patterson III, Secretary
Elizabeth Roeder

Members Absent:
John Gould, Borough Liaison

Others present:
None

Call to Order: Mr. Laufer called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM. All deliberations were made in consideration of the Lansdowne Borough HARB Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (Standards). The applications provided by the HARB Borough Liaison provided the basis for discussion.

Public Comment: Mr. Laufer called for public comment and the following comments were heard.

There were no members of the public in attendance.

Approval of Minutes of November 20, 2008: Mr. Laufer asked if all members had a chance to review the minutes and if there were any comments or corrections to offer. No comments or corrections were offered. Mr. Laufer made a motion to approve the minutes; seconded by Mr. Patterson. All were in favor.

Item No.1: HARB’s Relationship with Lansdowne Borough Code Enforcement Department

Discussion of this item was deferred until the next meeting, due to the absence of Mr. Gould.

Item No.2: Proposed HARB Bylaws Revisions

Mr. Laufer presented proposed HARB Bylaws revisions and asked the Board to review the propsal and submit their comments during the period before the next meeting in anticipation of approving amended bylaws at the next meeting.

Item No.3: HARB Powers and Duties as Described by the Historic District Ordinance

Mr. Laufer drew attention to the HD Ordinance, Sections 203-7 and 203-8, and asked members to be cognizant of the powers and duties of the HARB, especially with regard to cooperating with or advising Borough Council.

Ms. Carpenter raised the issue that the HARB does not currently have any control over paint color choices in the Central Business District (CBD) as businesses are not required to obtain a building permit for such activities and therefore, do not need to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (CofA). The Board recognised that the absence of a permit requirement for painting of buildings in the historic district allows property owners to effect change in the historic district without HARB review. The Board is of the opinion that such a permit requirement is necessary to the purpose of the HD Ordinance as stated in Section 203-3. To address this issue and present an advisement to the Borough Coucnil, Mr. Laufer established a subcommittee, pursuant to HARB bylaws, and appointed Mr. Chapman as Chair and Ms. Roeder and Ms. Carpenter as members. The special/ ad hoc commitee has been given the task of drafting the advisement concerning painting and color for submission to the Borough Council.

Item No.4: Criticism of Past HARB Reviews

Mr. Laufer initiated a discussion of apparent criticism that past HARB reviews have received. The Board recognized the cooperative involvement of the Borough Code Enforcement Department and the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation’s Main Street Program in many applications before the Board. The Board agreed that it could best address the areas of concern by improving the procedures for applicant submissions, including requirements for supporting ducuments.

Item No.5: New Members

Mr. Laufer pointed out that, with Ms. Elizabeth Roeder’s appointment, the Board now has the minimum number of members required by ordinance. He also stated that the Board, according to the HD Ordinance, could have as many as 11 members. Ms. Carpenter suggested Ms. Terry Ponton as a potential member of the Board. Ms. Ponton will be contacted to discuss her interest in joining the HARB.

Item No.6: HARB Minutes and the Right-To-Know Law

Mr. Laufer showed a letter from the Borough Manager regarding compliance with Pennsylvania’s new Right to Know law. The letter asked that the HARB forward a copy of its minutes to the Assistant to the Borough Manager after each meeting.

Mr. Laufer presented a new document template for HARB meeting minutes to be used to maintain consistency and form. Mr. Laufer asked the Board to review and submit comments on the document template, with the intent of approving it at the next meeting.

Item No.7: HARB Correspondence Templates and Forms

Mr. Laufer presented new document templates for HARB correspondence and forms and asked the Board to review and submit comments on the document templates, with the intent of approving them at the next meeting.

Item No.8: Certificate of Appropriateness Applications and Checklists

Mr. Laufer presented proposed new forms for submission of applications including a revised CofA form and checklists. Mr. Laufer asked the Board to review and submit comments on the document forms, with the intent of approving them at the next meeting.

Miscellaneous Items:

Cancellation of HARB meetings:

The Board agreed that in the event a scheduled meeting is cancelled, a notice shall be posted at the announced meeting location on the day and time of the meeting.

Adjournment: Mr. Laufer made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8.55 PM; seconded by Ms. Roeder. All were in favor.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the HARB will be on February 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Borough office.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wiliam H. Patterson III,
Secretary

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