Briefly, here are a few of the things covered at tonight's Rodgers Forge board meeting:
Two homeowners have recently requested approval for solar panels. Board president Jennifer Helfrich could not attend tonight's meeting but said in a written report, "By law, we cannot tell homeowners they cannot install solar panels. Even if we have an inquiry by phone and not an official exterior-alterations written request. The architecture committee has updated information and has been in contact with homeowners requesting permission for solar panels to let them know it's allowed."
There was discussion about whether the fact that RF is on the National Register of Historic Places means it is exempt from the law that prohibits homeowners associations from banning the panels. But it sounded like for now the board is not telling homeowners they can't have solar panels. (Read last month's meeting recap for more details on discussion of this issue.) Being on the register doesn't prohibit altering your house or putting formstone on it or even tearing it down, but it does offer tax credits for doing pre-approved home improvements that are consistent with the area's historic nature.
The board also, after going into closed session and then re-opening the meeting, voted to oppose a homeowner's request to do a cut in to the curb to create a driveway from Dumbarton to the side of the house; the side of the house faces York. The homeowners applied to the county to allow it and were denied but they have reapplied. The board voted unanimously to write a letter to the county opposing the cut in.
The board also voted in favor of supporting the county's action in taking issue with the owner of 300 Hopkins for what they said was a code violation for a "deck" (though I'm told it is only about 3 or 4 inches off the ground; the details were not clear) in the back of her house. Board members in the past had repeatedly called county inspectors to ask them to check on the construction of her actual covered deck, which has the appropriate permits. But apparently this second structure does not have the proper permit, according to what the board said the county relayed to them. The board said in this case the county contacted the board to let them know of this new situation and that they had not been aware of it.
Very briefly, it looks like the idea of a formal dog park in RF is pretty much dead as there are many hurdles to overcome. However, people gave a shout out to Councilman David Marks who worked with volunteers to see if something might be viable. ... A new greening committee was formed and will work to get more trees planted in RF. ... The board is going to have a more formal board position for working on problem rental properties. ... The board has $12,000 in checking and $11,000 in savings. ... Eric Helfrich made a presentation about upgrades to the website, mostly technical things behind the scenes so far (aside from the complete overhaul he did a while back) and Ruth Roberts gave him kudos for spending so much time on it and making it easier for her and others to update. ... There is a court hearing January 11 about a house on the 200 block of Murdock, which is apparently vacant or in disrepair.
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