Saturday, March 28, 2015

Downtown Frederick FAQ: Does the HPC care what color I paint my house?

Question: Does the HPC care what color I paint my house?  And if I want to paint in historically accurate colors, where can I find out what those colors might be?

Answer by Lisa Mroszczk Murphy, AICP, Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Frederick.   The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)  does not review paint color and maintaining painted surfaces is encouraged. The HPC only reviews painting when it involves painting currently unpainted masonry or the removal of paint from masonry using chemical strippers, abrasive cleaning methods, power/pressure washing since historic materials can be damaged in either case.   

The HPC does review the color of pre-finished products and materials, like a light fixture for example, and on signage.  The only way to really know what paint colors were used historically on a building would be to conduct a paint analysis.  And since we don’t review paint color we’ve never gathered any data on this.  I did a quick search online and there are some good general recommendations here: and

See also: City of Frederick Historic Preservation.  Design Guidelines and procedures. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jazz Happenings Around Frederick

For all you Jazz lovers in Frederick and the surrounding areas, know that local resident Tony Constable sends out regular email outlining the jazz events in Frederick County.  Here is a sample of Tony's email. Please contact him directly if you would like to be included in his email list.    Darcy
Dear Jazz Enthusiast:
Here are this week's (and beyond) local Jazz Happenings that I know about, or that you have made me aware of. As always events are presented in chronological order.  Make sure you really look at the additional items at the end of the "Happenings" sections.  ~  Tony

Jazz Happenings
Early this summer, Le Parc restaurant hopes to have permits in hand to host live music and is expecting expected to feature jazz.  Look for more updates later.  

The greatest jazz musicians learned their craft on the bandstand.  The goal of the jam is to provide a venue for tomorrow’s players to hone their chops.  The jam is open to players at all levels who want to work on their chops.  Drums, mic, amplification, and real books in concert, bass, Bb, and Eb are provided.  They always try to have full time professionals in the house band to support you.  This time the house band will consist of: Howard Burns (reeds); Don Resnik on the new baby grand's keys; and Ted Jenkins on bass. Anita Thomas will be back soon and Dr. Mark Cook will be sitting in on keys once in a while.
Ali Afrookteh's Monocacy Jazz Quartet (MJQ) will be at the Ayse Meze  restaurant on East Street (near East Patrick) on Thursday, March 26th from 5:30PM until 8:30PM.
The next Jazz Night at Cafe Nola featuring the Bruce Fransen Quartet will be on Wednesday, April 1st (no joke!). The music starts at 7:30 PM and goes on until 10:30. The Bruce Fransen Quartet features Pete Chauvette on vibes, Lou Hinds on bass, Paul Wilson on drums, and Bruce Fransen on saxophones and flute. This monthly event has a large and loyal following - be there early to get a good seat!
"Junk Jazz" plays the first Sunday of EVERY month at Firestone's on Market Street from Noon - 3pm - Sunday April 5 is the next time. Junk's 6 piece ensemble includes: Eric Plum on trombone, Steve Churchill on sax and flute, Ryan Benton on piano, Jim Goodwin on guitar, Chris Marsh on bass, and Travis Driver on drums. If you want a table be sure to make a reservation, this group has been playing at Firestone's for many years now and has a loyal following.
Ali Afrookteh's Monocacy Jazz Quartet (MJQ) will be at the Ayse Meze restaurant on East Street (near East Patrick) on Thursday, April 9th from 5:30PM until 8:30PM.
Ali Afrookteh's Monocacy Jazz Quartet (MJQ) will be at the Ayse Meze  restaurant on East Street (near East Patrick) on Thursday, April 23rd from 5:30PM until 8:30PM.
Ali Afrookteh's Monocacy Jazz Quartet (MJQ) will be at the Catoctin Breeze Winery on Saturday, May 9th from 1PM until 4PM.

For more information contact Tony Constable at

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Downtown Frederick FAQ: Can I put storm Windows on my historic home?

Question: Can I put storm windows on the street-facing side of my home in the historic district?

Answer by Christina Martinkosky, Historic Preservation Planner in the City of Frederick.
Yes, property owners in the Historic District can install storm windows on any side of their building, including street-facing elevations. HPC approval is needed before starting work, however requests are generally reviewed by Staff within 2-3 days of submitting a complete application.

Storm windows must incorporate dimensions that correspond with the window to be covered. Storm windows can be metal or wood and they must be painted or have a factory-applied finish to match the underlying window or the window trim. HPC guidelines for storm windows and all exterior modifications can be found at or you can call the Planning Department with specific questions.

Please remember that many rehabilitation projects, including the installation of storm windows, are eligible for the City's Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Tax paying property owners in the historic district may apply for a property tax credit equal to 25% of expenditures incurred for exterior work. Please check the City's website or contact Staff for more information.  Residents with questions can call the Planning Department at 301-600-1499. Ask to speak to a Historic Preservation Planner.

Downtown FAQ is a new item in the blog.  Feel free to submit questions and I will find the official answers. ~ Darcy


Friday, March 6, 2015

Downtown FAQ: Can Neighbors Stop Me from putting An Addition On My Home?

Question: If a resident wants to put a bump-out on the back of their downtown Frederick home, and at least one neighbor objects, does that stop the project?

Answer by Christina Martinkosky, Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Frederick.
A property owner in the Historic District that is interested in constructing an addition must receive HPC approval and appropriate building and zoning permits before starting work. The first step in the process is submitting a complete "Rehabilitation and Additions Application" to the Planning Department. However, many applicants find that it is helpful to meet with Staff to review their ideas before submitting any documentation. Staff is available to meet with property owners and perform site visits.

Once an application is submitted, most proposals for additions are discussed at workshop with the Commission before being reviewed at a hearing. The public has an opportunity to provide comments to communicate their support or concerns for the proposal. The Commission does consider public input, however the Commission is charged with making decisions based on the Frederick Town Historic District Design Guidelines.

Residents with questions can call the Planning Department at 301-600-1499. Ask to speak to a Historic Preservation Planner.

Downtown FAQ is a new item in the blog.  Feel free to submit questions and I will find the official answers. ~ Darcy

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

More Snow On the Way - Snow Guidelines - Frederick MD

Frederick City and Frederick County have specific guidelines about snow removal policies and moving your car from Snow Emergency Routes.  See the note below about when the public garages are open for free overnight parking in the event of a snowstorm.

Frederick City
Snow removal policies for the city can be found at: Snow Removal. Snow removal takes place by region in the city, so if you don't know which region you live in consult the Snow Removal Region Map. Snow Emergency Routes are defined on this page: Snow Emergency Routes. The city really needs one page titled "Everything You Need to Know about Snow." But they do have a Tips About Snow document in pdf format that you can download and this really is worth reading if you live downtown because you can get a Notice of Violation for not shoveling your snow within the specified time frame and to the specified width.

Frederick County
Snow removal policies for the county can be found on their Snow Removal page. The County's Snow emergency definitions is described in this county document on page 5. 

When Are Public Garages Open for Free Parking After A Snowfall?
As a downtown resident, I get this question a lot. Recently, Nikki Bamonti, from the Mayor's office answered the question as follows:

"Only in the most extenuating circumstances are the City parking garages open for “free parking” in a snow event.  The Mayor makes that decision on a case-by-case basis.  In 2009, the City had an unusually high volume of snow and alternative parking had to be implemented. Hundreds of residents, businesses and downtown employees exercise the option to rent parking spaces in the City garages on a long-term basis so they are guaranteed a place to park.  When opening the deck to “free parking” during a snow event, that allows anyone to occupy 1, 2 or even up to 4 spaces in the City garages.  This has the potential to put those who rent spaces on a permanent basis without a place to park, even though they have paid a premium to secure parking. 
The Mayor recognizes that parking downtown is limited and makes the decision to open the garages after considering many factors.    When the Mayor institutes free parking in City garages in the future, we will make sure it is well publicized.  Sign up for Alert Frederick County to be notified.   You can sign up here:   For any questions about snow and snow removal, contact the 24-hour switchboard: 301-600-1440."

"Depending on the weather updates throughout the day, we will likely be putting out a press release later today advising residents to “be aware of and obey the Restricted Parking designations."  The restricted parking areas assure citizens and the DPW Snow Plow Teams that the designated areas will be open and available for use to push and/or haul snow from streets if the need arises.  As a reminder, parking in a Restricted Parking area at any time, will result in a fine.

Residents are also reminded to move vehicles off of City streets if other parking is available.  A street cleared of parked vehicles allows the DPW Snow Team to plow quickly and as efficiently as possible. During any accumulating snow event, citizens are asked to stay home and off the roads if possible so as not to put themselves or others at risk.” 
Tricks for Keeping Your Driveway Clear of Plowed Snow

I saw this YouTube video the other day on how to keep the snow plow from plowing in your driveway once you've cleared it. It's worth watching if you have a driveway in the suburbs or the country but won't help downtown residents.  Snow Shoveling Secrets.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

E-News from City of Frederick - March 2015 - Join Your NAC, Carroll Creek Park, Earth Hour, Parks & Rec, and Freecycle Roundup

Welcome to the City of Frederick's March 2015 e-Newsletter is re-posted here. If you have any questions or suggestions direct them to Susan Harding, the Public Information Coordinator, and author of the newsletter: The topics for this month's newsletter are shown below and the articles follow. See the archives for other issues.  ~ Darcy Richards.


  1. Talk to the Mayor Tuesdays
  2. Freecycle Roundup Day - April 11th - Walnut Ridge Park
  3. Celebrate Earth Hour 2015   Star Party in Baker Park
  4. Frederick Community Action Agency Five Programs That Offer Assistance!
  5. Parks & Recreation Center - Does it Get Any Better Than This?
  6. Weinberg Center for the Arts Upcoming Events March Highlights  
  7. Illuminating Frederick 1865 - From Celebration to Grief Activities Planned for April 9th and 10th
  8. Carroll Creek Park Update
  9. News from the Frederick Police Department  Youth Resource Fair
  10. Neighborhood Advisory Council - Join Your NAC 
  11. Alert Frederick County Emergency Notification System
  12. Employment Opportunities
Sign-Up Today!
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
Talk to the Mayor Tuesdays
Freecycle Roundup Day 2015
Celebrate Earth Hour
FCAA Assistance Programs
Park & Rec Winter Programs
Weinberg Center Lineup
Illuminating Frederick 1865
Carroll Creek Update
Youth Resource Fair
Alert System
Job Opportunities
Daylight Savings TIme SPRING FORWARD!
Sunday, March 8th
Turn your clocks forward 1 hour.
To find out what's happening in your City watch City Cable Channel 99!
for a complete listing of  programs on City Cable Channel 99. 

AVD Highlights 

View the following in-house productions by The City of Frederick Audio Visual Department.
City Issues - Discussion on  Small Area Plans with Matt Davis

City Issues - Discussion on Freecycle Roundup with Nikki Bamonti
Policies & Procedures
Inside the Weinberg Center with John Healey 

Fitness Minute - Yoga 

City Board/Commission Vacancies

Building Code Appeals Board

For more information, contact Amber Grimes at 301-600-1453
or email

Quick Links

61st Administration 
of The City of Frederick  
Downtown Frederick Partnership 
It's what's happening!
To find out what the
Downtown Frederick Partnership has planned for the 2015 season

Upcoming Events

First Saturday Event
March 7th
Theme - Shop Small, Shop Local 
3-9 PM    
 Shopping, Dining and the Arts

Frederick...The Key to the Heart of Maryland.
For more information visit

Connect with The City
March 2015

"Talk to the Mayor Tuesdays"

Mayor McClement has set aside the 4th Tuesday of each month from 2-6 p.m. to meet informally with citizens to discuss topics or issues of their choice.
The next Talk with the Mayor Tuesday will be March 24th.
The Mayor's office is located in City Hall at 101 North Court St.  No appointment is necessary and citizens meet with the Mayor on a first come; first serve basis. For more information, contact Nikki Bamonti at 301-600-3835 or

Freecycle Roundup Day
April 11th - Walnut Ridge Park

The City of Frederick's Annual Freecycle Roundup will be held on Saturday, April 11th, 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM at Walnut Ridge Park,1151 Rocky Springs Road. 

View Freecycle Roundup for more information.
Limited pickups will be available through the Frederick Community Action Agency's Green Jobs Program.
To schedule a free pickup, City residents should contact Ben at 301-600-2039 by Friday, March 20th.
Questions? Call the Department of Public Works at 301-600-1440.

Celebrate Earth Hour 2015  

Star Party in Baker Park 

Join The City of Frederick and celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28th from 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM.
The City of Frederick will join 7000+ participating cities around the globe and turn off non-essential lights around City Hall in observance of Earth Hour.
Join in -Turn off your non-essential lights for one hour.
Earth Hour Star Party in Baker Park from 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Learn about the wonders of the night sky. The City is partnering with TriState Astronomers to bring amateur astronomers and their telescopes to Baker Park. Bring your chairs and blankets and be part of our party!  Interested star gazers should meet in front of City Hall at 7:15 PM to walk to the designated area in Baker Park.

Frederick Community Action Agency
Five Programs That Offer Assistance!

The following videos, produced by The City of Frederick Audio Visual Department, explain several ways the Frederick Community Action Agency (FCAA) can offer assistance to citizens in the community. Click on the videos below for more information.

The Frederick Community Action Agency
Helping People - Changing Lives

Parks & Recreation Department

Does it Get Any Better Than This?

Congratulations! The City of Frederick Parks & Recreation Department claimed four #1's in the recent "2015 Best of Frederick" sponsored by Frederick Magazine.

Best Park - Baker Park
Best Pool - William R. Diggs Memorial Swimming Pool
Pet Friendly Venue - Baker Park
Best Golf Course - Clustered Spires Golf Course.

The 2015 Spring/Summer Recreation Brochure will be available on-line at and at the Recreation Center located at 101 North Bentz Street, on Monday,  March 9th.
The Parks & Recreation Department has opened a new Program Registration and Facility Recreation Desk.  The desk will be open Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM and is located on the east end of the Talley Recreation Center's large entry doors facing Bentz Street.  For more information call 301-600-1492/1493.

Weinberg Center for the Arts Upcoming Events
March  Highlights 

March 4 & 5 - Fred Hersch Trio
March 27 & 28 - The Americana Festival
For information on all upcoming events, visit
Weinberg Center Website or call the Box Office at 301-600-2828.

For your viewing pleasure and to learn more about upcoming March events, view Inside the Weinberg Center.

Illuminating Frederick 1865 - From Celebration to Grief

Activities Planned for April 9th and 10th

Thursday, April 9th at 3:15 PM - Bells Across the Land: "A Nation Remembers Appomattox" City Hall bells will toll  for 4 minutes - symbolic of the 4-years of the Civil War.

Friday - April 10th, 7:00 - 9:30 PM All activities are open to the public and free of charge.
7:00 PM - Lecture by Best Selling Author James Swanson, Author of The Manhunt- the 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer - City Hall Boardroom
8:30 PM - Following the lecture, a Grand Illumination Ceremony will be held in front of City Hall
9:30 PM - Walking Tour leaves from City Hall
For more information, visit Illuminating Frederick 1865.

Carroll Creek Park Update

East of East Street

Brick pavers for the Galleria walkways and stone work on the creek walls continues near the Delaplaine Center and the "Galleria" Fountain. Where stone work is taking place, water levels in the creek have to be lowered to allow workers access  - this is referred to as "dewatering". 
To follow this project and others, visit DED Blog 

News from the Frederick Police Department
Youth Resource Fair

Youth Resource Fair 2015 will be held on Saturday, April 18th in center court at the Francis Scott Key Mall from 10 AM - 3 PM.
Stop by and see the program and services available for youth ages 5-21 in Frederick County. 

For more information please contact Michele Bowman at 301-600-2091 or

Neighborhood Advisory Council
Join Your NAC

The Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) monthly meeting list can be found here. For more information about NACS, contact Michele Bowman, Community Outreach Coordinator at 301-600-2091 or email

What are Neighborhood Advisory Councils and what do they do?  To find out more information on Neighborhood Advisory Councils visit NACs.

Alert Frederick County
Emergency Notification System

Sign up for weather, traffic, and other important notices and updates at
Alert Frederick County.

Changes are coming to Alert Frederick County!  In the upcoming weeks, you will receive a notification through Alert Frederick County as to the easy and one time change you will need to make to continue receive notifications.

Employment Opportunities

The City of Frederick values diversity in its workforce and is an equal opportunity employer.  For information on employment with The City of Frederick, visit these links: