Council seeks more study on historic panel

June 12, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

A controversial bill that defines the role of the city's Historic District Commission will head back to the Planning Commission for further study.

At the same time, the Annapolis City Council voted 5-4 Monday night to defeat a similar bill that was co-sponsored by Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins and Aldermen Louise Hammond and Dean Johnson and favored by preservationists.

While both bills follow the state's requirements and preserve the commission's integrity, council members said, the one under study -- co-sponsored by Alderman Theresa M. DeGraff and four other aldermen -- would increase the size of the commission, set limits on members' terms, require academic credentials of more than one member and allow nonresidents to serve.

The amendments to change the number of commission members from five to seven and allow non-residents to serve were pivotal points that "changed the bill significantly," said Hopkins, who asked that the bill go back for further study.

The efforts to clarify the Historic District Commisssion's powers come after more than a year of fighting over the renovation of Main Street, sidewalk cafes and fast-food restaurants. Critics of the commission say it wields too much power.

Pub Date: 6/12/96

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