Historic commission to reschedule meeting after no quorum

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Unable to produce a quorum of its members Tuesday evening, Washington’s Historic Preservation Commission did not consider and/or act on several items on its agenda.

Only two members of the seven-member commission — Chairman William Kenner and Karen Mann — showed up for the meeting. There were 16 other at the meeting, including three of the five City Council members, one department head and two city employees. Among 15 people were several who had requests for certificates of appropriateness before the commission.

“I know a lot of you have projects ready to go tomorrow,” Kenner said Tuesday evening. “I’m sorry for the inconveniences.”

Kenner asked those with business with the commission to check with city staff as soon as possible to determine a date for rescheduling the meeting.

The commission’s agenda included consideration of six major-works projects, eight minor-works projects and a tree policy. Major works require approval by the commission. Minor works, approved by city staff, are reviewed by the commission to make sure they comply with the commission design guidelines for the Historic District.

The commission was scheduled to consider Charlotte Cutler’s request for a certificate of appropriateness to place two sets of bistro tables on the sidewalk in front of The Meeting Place Café & Catering at 22 W. Main St. It was also scheduled to consider a request by Wesley Earley for a certificate of appropriateness to make alterations to the house at 326 N. Market St. The alterations include the following:

  • construct a wheelchair ramp along the north side of the house;
  • expand the existing parking lot in the back yard;
  • more the existing fence in the back yard.

The commission was expected to consider a request by Caroline Collie to demolish the rundown two-story-house at 325 N. Harvey St. so a potential buyer can build a story-and-half house on the lot. Tony Edwards, with AG’s Home Solutions, is the applicant seeking the certificate of appropriateness.

The new house will look similar to the house at 413 N. Bonner St. and possibly incorporate some items from the old house in its construction, according to city documents and email between Collie and Edwards.

It’s somewhat rare for a city advisory board or commission to not have a quorum, but it does happen.

The Washington Electric Utilities Advisory Board did not have a quorum at its June meeting, meaning it could not take any action on items on its agenda. However, that did not prevent the board from discussing several matters.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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