You are on page 1of 11

RULES OF PROCEDURE

FREDERICK COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION


ADOPTED JAN. 6, 1999

FOREWORD
These standard procedures are issued to assist the Frederick County Historic Preservation
Commission, its staff and County agencies, and the general public in the orderly and
efficient conduct of all matters with which the Commission is concerned.

OBJECTIVE
In accordance with Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Frederick
County Historic Preservation Commission seeks to foster and safe guard the heritage of
the County by preserving the sites, structures, or districts which reflect elements of the
Countys cultural, social, economic, political, architectural, or archeological history.

SEC. 1. DEFINITIONS
1.1

The word Commission shall refer to the Frederick County Historic

Preservation Commission.

SEC. 2. OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES


2.1

The Commission shall elect a chair and a vice-chair annually in the month

2.2

The chair, or in the chairs absence, the vice-chair, shall preside at all

of July.

meetings and hearings of the Commission. In the absence of both officers, a temporary
chair shall be elected by the members present. The presiding officer shall decide on all

points of order and procedure, subject to these rules, unless otherwise directed by a
majority of the Commission members present.
2.3

Special committees may be appointed for special purposes or study.

SEC. 3. MEETINGS
3.1

Regular meetings shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month

unless postponed to such a day and time as directed by the chair.


3.2

Special meetings may be held to address issues of an urgent nature. These

meetings will be conducted according to procedures governing regular meetings and will
be scheduled by the chair, with at least seven (7) days notice provided to all members.
3.3

Attendance It shall be the duty of each member to attend all meetings.

Should any member be absent from one half or more of all meetings held during any sixmonth period, the Commission shall recommend to the County Commissioners of
Frederick County that they request the members resignation. Unexcused absence at
three (3) consecutive meetings shall constitute resignation by the member and shall create
a vacancy.

SEC.4. VOTING
4.1

A quorum shall consist of sic (6) members of the Commission.

4.2

The order of business shall be in accord with the agenda prepared by the

Frederick County Planning Department staff, in consultation with the chair. Members of
the Commission who wish to add to the agenda shall notify the chair of their request ten
(10) days prior to the scheduled meeting.
4.3

Questions put to a vote are decided by a majority of the members present

and voting; however, no decision shall be made in the absence of a quorum.


2

4.4

A tie vote by the Commission shall be interpreted as a defeat of the motion

upon which the vote was taken.


4.5

Members shall comply with the Frederick County Ethics Ordinance

(Frederick County Code 1-7.1) and are encouraged to consult the Frederick County
Ethics Commission as to the propriety of their voting on any matter which may involve a
conflict of interest.
4.6

In order to be eligible to vote on a matter, a member will have attended all

meetings or have become familiar with the record of any meetings from which the
member was absent at which the matter was discussed.
4.7

Members votes and abstentions shall be recorded on each motion.

SEC. 5. PUBLIC HEARINGS


5.1

All public hearings shall be preceded by notices by the County Planning

Department staff as prescribed by law.


5.2

All Commission meetings shall be open to the public as required by the

Maryland Open Meetings Law. Any interested person is entitled to appear and be heard
by the Commission before it reaches a decision on any matter. The voting on such
decisions shall be held during a public meeting and the Commission shall keep an open
record of its resolutions, proceedings, and actions which shall be available for public
inspection during business hours at the Frederick County Planning Department. Nothing
contained herein shall be construed to prevent the Commission from holding executive
sessions from which the public can be excluded in accordance with State law, but no
ordinance, resolution, regulation, or recommendation shall be finally acted upon at such
an executive session.

5.3

Record of Proceedings it shall be the duty of the Commissions staff to

keep a true and accurate, though not verbatim, record of all proceedings at all meetings
and public hearings. The basis for decisions on all applications shall be recorded in the
minutes as well as on the application. Minutes should be kept and, following each
meeting, the minutes shall be typed, distributed to the individual members, and, if
approved by the Commission at its next meeting, placed in a record book. The presiding
officer at the meeting shall sign the minutes, resolutions, and other official documents, as
adopted or approved.
5.4

A petitioner or applicant may appear before the Commission with or

without counsel or may be represented by an agent. In the absence of any personal


appearance on behalf of the petitioner, the Commission will proceed to dispose of the
matter on the record before it.
5.5

The order of hearing upon an application or petition shall be as follows:

Introduction of case by the presiding officer;

Staff Report

Presentation by the petitioner or his/her agent or attorney

Questions by members of the Commission

Public Comment

Petitioner rebuttal

Discussion/consideration by Commission

Statement of basis for decision.

5.6

The Commission may postpone or continue any case until the next regular

meeting due to a need for additional information from the petitioner or others, lack of a
quorum, or for further study. However, the Commission shall act upon a completed
application for a Certificate of Appropriateness within forty-five (45) days from the date
that the completed application was filed with the Commission unless an extension of this
forty-five day period is agreed upon mutually by the applicant and the Commission or
unless the application has been withdrawn.

SEC. 6. PRODEDURE IN BRINGING MATTERS BEFORE THE COMMISSION


6.1

Applications for nomination to the County Register of Historic Places and

for a Certificate of Appropriateness will be made on forms provided by the Commission.


6.2

All applications requiring Commission approval must be filed at least 14

days in advance of the regular monthly meeting.


6.3

To afford Commission members the opportunity to become adequately

informed as to exterior changes being proposed, complete applications for a Certificate of


Appropriateness must include the following:
(1)

A clear and legible plot plan or accurate drawing on paper of the


property showing all structures proportionate to their size and
distance from each other and from property lines or with an
accompanying scale;

(2)

A clear and legible sketch or accurate drawing on paper of the


exterior details or area to be changed. Photograph(s) which show
details or area(s) to be changed in the existing surroundings are
recommended.

(3)

Samples of materials to be used, copies of catalog cuts, or other


supporting information, if applicable;

(4)

For proposed new construction, a scaled or proportionate site


plan, elevation drawings or sketches, materials samples, and
photographs of the site from several angles are required;

(5)

Any additional information for any specific project determined


necessary by the Commission to carry out its functions and
duties.

6.4

The items in Sec. 6.3 may be prepared and submitted by the applicant. It

may be required that such information, if found deficient or in error, be resubmitted over
the certification of any engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor, or other
certified professional. The Commission may require that architectural renderings of
buildings, streetscapes or public areas be presented to assure that the appearance, size,
style, and type of building material or other aspects of the design submitted meet the
requirements of the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Treatment of Historic
Properties and any guidelines adopted by the Commission.

(THE FOLLOWING SECTION WAS ADDED AS AN AMENDMENT


ADOPTED APRIL 3, 2002.)
6.5

No facsimile (FAX) submissions of materials will be accepted.

SEC.7 FINAL DISPOSITION OF ALL MATTERS


7.1

The disposition of all formal petitions and requests before the Commission

requiring further action by the County governing body shall be in the form of a letter of

recommendation to the County Commissioners of Frederick County. The petitioner shall


be notified by letter of the action taken by the Commission.

SEC. 8. CONDUCT OF COMMISSION MEMBERS


8.1

Speaking for the Commission A member shall not appear to speak for

the Commission except as authorized by the Commission. In any public or private


statement concerning Commission affairs, members shall carefully indicate whether they
are speaking for the Commission or for themselves.
8.2

Conduct at meetings Members shall conduct themselves at Commission

meetings in a fair, understanding, and gracious manner. They shall seek to be considerate
of all individuals, attitudes, and differences of opinion involved in official Commission
business.
8.3

Conflict of interest Members of the Commission shall comply with the

Frederick County Ethics Ordinance. In the event of a possible conflict of interest, it shall
be the responsibility of the member to bring the possible or actual conflict to the attention
of the chair. In any case where there is an actual conflict of interest, the member shall be
recused and shall not participate as a member in the matter.

(THE FOLLOWING THREE SECTIONS WERE ADOPTED AS AMENDMENTS


ON FEB. 7, 2003.)
8.4

Exparte communications prohibited An exparte communication includes

an oral or written communication not on the public record to which reasonable prior
notice to all parties is not given. Such communication between Commission members
and interested persons is prohibited if relevant to the merits of a Commission proceeding.
Members should not discuss applications with applicants or other interested persons
7

outside the confines of a public meeting, but should recommend that the person(s) contact
Staff with any questions or concerns.
8.5.

Disclosure of exparte communications If a member engages in an

exparte communication, the member should at the next meeting in which the relevant
application is to be discussed state the nature of the communications and submit for the
record any written communication received, any written response to a communication, a
memorandum that states the substance of each oral communication received, and a
memorandum that states the substance of any oral response to a communication.
Alternatively, the member may recuse himself or herself from voting on that specific
application.
8.6

Penalty for violators If a member willfully and intentionally refuses to

abide by the Rules of Procedure, the Commission may, by a majority vote in a public
meeting, make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for removal of
the violator from the Historic Preservation Commission.

SEC. 9. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS to these Rules of Procedure may be introduced


at any meeting of the Commission and voted at any subsequent regular meeting, passage
requiring a majority vote of the entire membership.

AMENDMENT
ADOPTED APRIL 5, 2000

SEC. 10.

POLICY REGARDING STAFF HANDLING OF OFFICIAL

REQUESTS FOR COMMENTS BY COMMISSION


10.1

When an official request for Commission comment is received by staff,

the request shall be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting for consideration
and action by the Commission. When a time deadline for response is specified that does
not allow for scheduling on an agenda, the following procedure shall be used:
(1)

Staff shall research the issues and draft a response.

(2)

Staff shall consult the Chair and/or Vice Chair of the Commission

regarding the draft response, and any additional Commission members or other sources
of information as directed by the Chair and/or Vice Chair.
(3)

Upon agreement by the Chair and/or Vice Chair on the text of the

draft response, staff shall prepare the final response, which shall indicate in its text that
the comments therein are those of the Chair and/or Vice Chair of the Commission,
according to the adopted Rules of Procedure of the Commission.
(4)

The Chair and/or Vice Chair, upon reviewing the request for

comments and the draft response, may refer the request to the full Commission for
consideration and action. In this case, the request for comments shall be placed on the
agenda of the next regular meeting. Staff shall notify the requestor of the date of the
meeting and shall provide the comments in writing on the next business day following the
meeting.

10.2

It shall be the responsibility of the Commission staff to determine whether

routine notification of agreements between State and/or Federal agencies that are covered
by Memoranda of Understanding between those agencies warrant initiating the comment
procedure(s) described in Sec. 10.1.

AMENDMENT
ADOPTED SEPTEMBER 6, 2000

SEC. 11.

11.1

PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY

When an official request for a Determination of Eligibility for the County

Register of Historic Places is received, the following procedure shall be followed:


(1)

Staff shall consult with the Chair to schedule the Determination of

Eligibility on the first available regular meeting agenda.


(2)

The person or group requesting the Determination shall be

informed by Staff of the required materials to be submitted for the Commissions review.
These materials shall be the same as those required for nomination as specified in Sec.
6.3 of the Rules of Procedure and on the application form for nomination to the County
Register. The required materials shall be submitted to Staff at least 14 days prior to the
date of the meeting at which the Determination is to be considered.
(3)

The application form, if used by the applicant(s), shall be marked

by Staff as a Determination of Eligibility upon its acceptance as complete. All other


submitted materials shall also be similarly marked by Staff.
(4)

The order of the meeting at which the Determination is considered

shall follow the order of hearing as set forth in Sec. 5.5 of the Rules of Procedure.

10

(5)

The decision of the Commission shall be communicated in writing

to the applicant(s), the Director of Planning, and the Chief of Development Review.

11