Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

September 8, 2004

Jeff Komarow, Jim Drew, Alan Gelb, John Noble, Norman Metzger, Ann Marie Cunningham, Leah Hertz, John Matthews, Dave Winer, Jane Winer, Jack Sanders and Johnna Robinson.

Ann Marie Cunningham introduced a guest, Dean Brenneman, an architect who, with his partner, Peter Pagenstecher, has recently purchased the Sycamore Store. They have researched the history of the building, and Mr. Brenneman reminded us that it originally serviced the terminus of the Walhonding Road trolley line. They are applying for zoning to restore the building and turn it into an architects’ office. They will use the counter as a receptionist’s desk. He believes the building may have been built before 1921 but has not gotten any definite proof. Some of the members expressed a desire to keep the historic landmark, since we think the Store may be named after the Island. [See Sherry Pettie's article on the Store in the August issue.]

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 pm by the President, Ann Marie. There were no minutes to approve. John Noble, the large-party chairman, brought up the request by the Maluskys (George II) for a large party on the 20th of September. It was approved unanimously. Usually, large parties are allowed only on odd days. The Treasurer, Alan Gelb, reported that the money situation is normal.

Ann Marie reported on a meeting that was held with Mr. Martin Klauber, a Montgomery County ombudsman for zoning issues. A representative from Howard Denis’ office was there. [Mr Denis is a member of the Montgomery County Council.] At the meeting we were told that it will be necessary to submit a plan and then, if it is rejected, to try for variances until we work out an acceptable plan. Today she received a call from Denis’ representative who told her that we would not be allowed to build outside of the current building footprint because of flood plain restrictions. Ann Marie distributed copies of draft plans for two versions ‘inside the footprint’ and one version ‘outside the footprint’. John Noble moved that “We will eliminate from consideration any plan to build outside the current ‘footprint’.” The motion passed with one nay vote. Johnna Robinson, on the building financing committee, said that it would be optimal if a plan could be agreed on before the November meeting in order to have time to propose financing options for/or before the December meeting. The specific financing options will have to be approved by the membership. (It is assumed that the building committee can present the one best plan to the membership.) Jack Sanders, the building committee chairman, reported that they will meet soon to zero in on a specific plan for the remodeling.

In a comment about the recent “Mud Fest”, everyone was reported to have had a fine time. Jane Winer had brought down a lovely dessert, so the meeting was adjourned before 10 p.m.

-- Johnna Robinson, Acting Recording Secretary