Circuit Court Gives Thumbs Down to Fiberglass Columns ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, February 26, 2010

Circuit Court Gives Thumbs Down to Fiberglass Columns

According to a news release from City Hall, The Historic Preservation Commission ruling to deny the installation of fiberglass columns at 114 Market Street was affirmed Wednesday, Feb. 17 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Bryan and Valerie Miller received a certificate of approval to restore a missing porch to their house at 114 Market Street in September 2005. During construction, their contractor recommended using fiberglass columns instead of the wooden ones that were approved in their plans submitted to the HPC. In October 2007, the Millers acknowledged that they had not complied with the HPC’s approval certificate and came back to the commission in January 2008 seeking retroactive approval for installing the fiberglass columns.

The application was denied because it was not consistent with the commission’s design and historic rehabilitation guidelines. The Millers appealed that decision. Judge William Mulford ruled from the bench that the commission followed all applicable laws and procedures. The Millers have 30 days to appeal the ruling from the time the order is issued.

I know and like the Millers, but I don't get this. Historic District means Historic District. Permit means permit. The contractor decided what was acceptable? The homeowners asked for retroactive approval? Is it any wonder this went to court--and to Circuit not District! I would personally rather paint every ten years than ever go to court, but then again, I don't live in the Historic District and I used a lot of newer engineered materials when I renovated my house. But again--it was permitted and I don't live in the Historic District.

One day, hundreds of years from now, perhaps vinyl siding and even form-stone (you know--the fake masonry all over Baltimore) will receive historic preservation protections.

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