SH Variance Request for 11 out of 31 new signs

Dear Neighbors,

Here’s an update on the Sign Review Board process, etc….

The Sign Review Board asked for a continuance at the April 12 hearing, and this hearing will be held at the Stella B. Werner County Council Bldg., lower level auditorium, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville MD 20850, on Thursday, May 11, at 8:30 a.m.  We hope you can attend, and if you would like to carpool, please contact Kate Stern (301-785-0195, sternkate@comcast.net), Jonna Stoycos (240-888-3161, jonnastoycos@gmail.com), or any HTCA board member. 

Because of the very short time-frame, we ask that you express your views about the signage by phone, letter, or email to the HTCA Board as soon as possible, so we may convey these views.  Following the notice last week on the HTCA listservs, a number of neighbors made comments, but we welcome more input.  Please call or email Lorraine Driscoll, Jonna Stoycos, Kate Stern, or any HTCA Board member with your comments.

Background info: As mentioned last week, the HTCA Board learned March 28, 2017, that Suburban Hospital had applied for variances on 11 of its proposed 31 exterior signs, and that this would be considered at a Sign Review Board hearing on April 12, 2017.

Information about the proposed sign variances was scanty and inadequate, and HTCA board member Jonna Stoycos immediately requested more detailed information, which was provided.  With many neighbors away and busy during the school holiday Spring Break, and with the very short notice about this development, and because the signage and proposed variances had not been discussed in any recent meetings between the neighborhood and SH—meetings mandated by the Board of Appeals 2010 ruling in order to keep the community informed during the construction period—we requested a postponement.

SH was unwilling to postpone the hearing, and the county elected officials and departments we contacted were unable to arrange postponement either, stating that we could only request this at the hearing itself.  On April 12, five of us attended the hearing, but our request for postponement was denied.  Suburban Hospital made its presentation to the Sign Review Board—a citizen board under the county’s Department of Permitting Services—and then we were able to voice our concerns in a presentation.

The Sign Review Board indicated to the hospital that the two largest wall signs for which it had requested approval through variances were unnecessary and were certainly far too large; lighting specifications and examples needed to be provided for all signs, including the one large sign proposed for the entrance at the new addition; the number of signs would need to be addressed (too many); and the sign package needed to include the existing signs and their impact. The hospital requested a partial approval of some of the signs, but the Sign Review Board wanted to see the entire package together, and only after Suburban Hospital and HTCA held meaningful and productive conversations/meetings regarding the signage package. The Sign Review Board directed the hospital to resubmit its entire signage package at the next Sign Review Board hearing on the 11th of May, 8:30 a.m.

We were gratified that some of our concerns were shared by the Sign Review Board, and that their recommendations to the hospital for revising the sign package and variances application were consonant with what we had presented.  We were also gratified that the Sign Review Board directed that the hospital must discuss in a meaningful way its application for variances, taking into account our neighborhood concerns.

Finally, we have posted the pdfs of the signage proposal by SH on htca.net , though we expect Suburban Hospital to modify them following last week’s hearing and our meeting(s) with them.  Our goal is that the hospital have appropriate identifying and way-finding signage, but that it take into account the Montgomery County Master Plan’s designation of Old Georgetown Road as a green corridor, the County code regarding the size, placement, number, and illumination of signs, and the hospital’s location within a residential neighborhood.

Triangle Garden Spring Clean-Up

TRIANGLE GARDEN SPRING CLEAN-UP is April 22, 9-12; raindate is April 29.

Digital HTCA

· HTCA Web site – htca.net

· HTCA Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HuntingtonTerraceMD

· Nextdoor Huntington Terrace (registration required) – huntingtonterrace.nextdoor.com/news_feed/

· To subscribe to our official announcements-only HTCAnet email list, please visit the Web site and look for email lists page.

· To subscribe to HT Exchange, our community discussion email group, email Stu Borman at sab2d47@yahoo.com

HTCA Board of Directors

· Lorraine Driscoll — President, (lorrainedris@gmail.com), 8507 Garfield St.

· Stephen Brown — Treasurer, (sbr286@gmail.com), 5504 Hoover St.

· Kate Stern – Vice President, (sternkate@comcast.net), 5513 McKinley St.

· Lori Fish Bard — (lolabard@comcast.net), 5505 Lincoln St.

· Marc Ghany         •   Jonna Stoycos         •   Srini Mirmira

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s