Potomac Overlook Neighborhood

Evaluation of the Potomac Overlook Neighborhood

About the Project

Proposed Potomac Overlook Historic District

In July 2019, residents of Potomac Overlook reached out to the Historic Preservation Office to request that the neighborhood be evaluated for designation to the Master Plan for Historic Designation. The Potomac Overlook subdivision contains a celebrated collection of modernist homes built 1956-1959 through a collaboration between developer Edward Bennett and the architecture firm of Keyes, Lethbridge & Condon.

The neighborhood has been found eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under the Multiple Property Documentation Form, “Subdivisions Built by Edmund Bennett and Designed by Keys, Lethbridge & Condon in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1956–1973.”

Adopted by the County Council in 1979, the Master Plan for Historic Preservation is the County’s preservation planning document. It includes the list of all officially designated historic sites and districts. Designation of a single property or entire district as a Master Plan historic site or historic district signifies that the particular site or district has been researched carefully by preservation specialists and, through review by the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and the Planning Board and by vote of the Montgomery County Council, determined to be of special historic significance and, therefore, to be protected under the Montgomery County Ordinance, Chapter 24A, Preservation of Historic Resources.

Designation as a Master Plan historic district: 1) recognizes significant architectural and cultural sites; 2) protects buildings and neighborhoods from demolition; 3) manages exterior alterations to resources; 4) provides owners with information on care, restoration, and preservation; and 5) qualifies owners for special tax benefit programs.

Evaluation Process

Designation of resources to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation requires the approval of the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board, and County Council. Each phase of the review offers opportunities for public comment and testimony on the proposed designation.

At a public hearing and worksession on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, the Historic Preservation Commission found that the proposed historic district satisfied the designation criteria as outlined in Chapter 24A of the County Code and voted unanimously to recommend that the Planning Board list the proposed historic district in the Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites and amend the Master Plan for Historic Preservation to designate the resource as a Master Plan Historic District.

On November 18, 2021, the Planning Board approved the Public Hearing Draft Plan, listed the district in the Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites, and recommended that the County Council amend the Master Plan for Historic Preservation to designate Potomac Overlook as a Master Plan Historic District.

How to Participate

The Planning Board will transmit the Planning Board Draft Plan to the County Executive and County Council in Winter 2021-2022. The County Council and the Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee then will hold public hearings and worksessions to review the amendment.

Resources

Potomac Overlook Public Hearing Draft – Amendment

Potomac Overlook Public Hearing Draft – Appendix

Potomac Overlook Public Hearing Draft – Design Guidelines

Last Updated: November 22, 2021