Historic Germantown spent practically the past year mulling and refining their historic overlay concept, and that work culminates tonight when District 19's Council Member Erica Gilmore brings the proposal in the form of a bill for First Reading at Metro Council. The bill would apply the overlay to around 500 properties in Germantown in order to protect the facades from demolition.
The overlay also includes Morgan Park, which actually sits outside of Germantown. That extension originally caused a mixed reaction in Salemtown, but since leaders of the two communities met to discuss the overlay, S-town concerns quickly died down. Germantown has not sought our support in the interim, but they probably don't need it, because there seems to be a general weariness at dealing with opportunistic developers on a property-by-property basis.
A historic overlay ordinance is quite an undertaking for any council member, let alone a new one. We'll see if Ms. Gilmore handles the proposal better than Sylvan Park's John Summers handled his last term (she could hardly do worse) and whether Germantown might teach other neighborhoods a thing or two about how to do historic overlays the right way.