Speakout!

September 16, 2007

LAST WEEKS ISSUE: -- A city employee has filed the first applications for a "green roof" and a front-yard rain barrel in Annapolis' historic district.

Chuck Weikel wants to grow a garden of drought-resistant grass on his roof, figuring it would cool his house more than the black rubber covering. The rain barrel would allow him to use captured rainwater for plants in his garden.

Weikel's petitioning before the Historic Preservation Commission was postponed until next month, when the panel will take up the question of whether green construction can coexist with the city's Colonial heritage.

"I think, from a philosophical standpoint, there would be a tension between historic preservation of a significant residence and green technology," said Sharon Kennedy, commission chairwoman.

Do "green roofs" and front-yard rain barrels have a place in historic Annapolis?

City needs an eye toward the future

I agree that the whole environmental problem will be a challenge for many philosophies, including Historic Annapolis, but our brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets are just as hard on Spa Creek and its watershed as the concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads are on Back Creek and all the other local waterways.

Green roofs and rain barrels can have a huge impact on the storm water runoff we're sending down the streets. If Historic Annapolis stepped outside the box to incorporate the necessary environmental modifications into their admirable and successful portfolio, a whole new precedent would be set and Historic Annapolis would stand in the forefront of organizations with an eye on the past and on the future.

Amy Clements Annapolis

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