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BOT approves limits on holiday decorations; discusses revised Diya plan, retail report

From the Chairman

The July KCA Board of Trustees (BOT) agenda was light on topics (pun intended) but heavy on discussion of a few important issues. Here is the summary of business covered by the Board.

Board Adopts Changes to Equity Resolution #3

The Kentlands Board of Code Compliance (BOCC) asked the BOT to consider revisions to the Equity Resolution #3 (Exterior Maintenance and Appearance Standards for Living Units and Lots).  The KCA published t

Photo: Barney Gorin
King Kong only goes up in Hart Mews for about 8 hours each Halloween, but the revised AR #3 gives him 60 days, 30 days before the holiday and 30 days after.

hese changes, and then the Board voted 5-0 to adopt the changes to ER3.

The primary change impacts the length of time that holiday lighting and decorations can be installed on frontages

and secondary frontages.  The decorations can be installed up to 30 days prior to the holiday and should be removed no later than 30 days after the holiday.  So, for example, this year your Christmas lights can go up the day after Thanksgiving and must come down by January 24th.  Holiday decorations are part of what makes the Kentlands special, just please keep them within the confines of the season.  Remember that this does not include permanent lighting changes that would need to be approved by the Kentlands Historical Trust (KHT) through a Visual Change Application (VCA).

Board Addresses Issues with Kentlands Apartments

Mike Watkins of Michael Watkins Architects (MWA) joined the Board in July to speak about changes to the Kentlands Apartment Schematic Development Plan (SDP) — the site currently occupied by the Diya Bistro.  These changes have been documented in the Town Courier, but the Board also wanted Mike’s input on the changes.  Mike seems encouraged by the updates to the SDP as the developers have incorporated more elements of New Urbanism.

Recently, the KCA also authorized our attorney to send a letter to the owners of Kentlands Apartments concerning the unapproved use of the name “Kentlands.”  The owners requested permission to continue to use the name through the current SDP process which the Board approved. We will continue discussions with the owners of Kentlands Apartments concerning this issue.

Retail Market Analysis

Mike Watkins also discussed the Retail Market Analysis recently conducted by the Gibbs Planning Group that the Board authorized a few months ago.  The KCA will be releasing that report.

In summary, there is concern about the amount of retail that the Kentlands can absorb as we move forward with these new developments.  Consequently….

KCA Working Group to address development projects

President Barney Gorin has advocated for a working group to analyze the impact of the different developments and report back to the KCA Board of Trustees.  The Board will look to draft a charter for this Working Group or Committee and bring it to the public at our August Board meeting.  Then, we will need people to join this important group! If you have interest in potentially serving or would otherwise like to offer input, please email

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