Excerpt from the Frederick News-Post:

The city’s Historic Preservation Commission has never been known for its short meetings, but the latest one held July 13 was exceptionally lengthy.

And the next one coming up Thursday may not be much shorter.

Not only are the commissioners set to workshop more details of the applications regarding the historic Birely Tannery site and the former Frederick News-Post building off East Patrick Street as part of the plans for a proposed downtown hotel and conference center. However, the agenda leading up to it contains a decent amount of items as well.

In glancing at the agenda, I learned that it contains various applications for work around the historic district. The items include two demolition reviews, a couple of roof replacements, a request to demolish a shed and porch, and a request for a one-story addition, among some others. And of course, a request to remove unauthorized paint on the side of of the old Asiana restaurant building at 123-125 N. Market is set for public hearing for the third consecutive meeting.

The matter was continued June 22 because a public hearing noticed was not displayed on the building in time. On July 13, owner Duk Hee Ro failed to show up to plead her case and commissioners continued it to Thursday. Will she show up this time?

As for the workshop agenda, three items precede the ones associated with the hotel project, which a modest crowd came to hear about at the last meeting. After the lengthy hearing on July 13, which included public testimony from both sides. Commissioners voted to proclaim the Birely Tannery building and surrounding site a contributing resource and of “unusual importance” to the historic district. The vote stopped a demolition request from moving forward for the time being, but commissioners said that does not guarantee it will not be demolished in the future. Commissioners will discuss the request for demolition and plans to preserve the historic elements of the building at Thursday’s workshop. Developers seek to tear down the building as part of the project and several community members have rallied against it.

Commissioners will also discuss plans to rehabilitate the old News-Post building as part of the hotel project during Thursday’s workshop. They voted in a 6-1 majority to designate a 1960s-built addition to the building as a non-contributing resource to the district, which gives the green light for demolition, but they still need to discuss the plans for the rest of the building.

Plamondon Hospitality Partners is developing a 180-room hotel and 20,000 square-foot conference center at 200-212 E. Patrick Street. The project is set to come to fruition with both public and private dollars.