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) provides for protecting buildings and neighborhoods from being demolished; 2) helps to ensure the visual beauty of a neighborhood; 3) provides owners with information on care, restoration, and preservation; and 4) 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.

The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will hold a public hearing and worksession on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., and a second worksession (if needed) on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. At the June 9th hearing, the HPC will: 1) hear public comments and review submitted correspondence; 2) receive a presentation from Historic Preservation program staff; 3) determine whether the proposed Potomac Overlook Historic District satisfies the designation criteria; 4) make a formal recommendation whether the historic district should be listed in the Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites and Master Plan for Historic Preservation to the Montgomery County Planning Board; and 5) review the design guidelines. If required, the worksession will carry over to June 23, 2021.

How to Participate

The Wheaton Headquarters Auditorium and Building are currently closed to the public. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the HPC is conducting all hearings virtually. To testify during the public hearing, please sign up no later than 9:00 am the day before the hearing. In addition to public testimony, property owners and interested parties may submit written comments to the HPC via email at MCP-historic@mncppc-mc.org. All comments must be submitted no later than 9:00 am the day before the hearing for distribution to the commission. Any comments received after the deadline will be included for the permanent record.

Members of the public wishing to observe the meeting may watch or listen online.

Resources

Potomac Overlook Historic District Design Guidelines – Staff Draft Spring 2021

Potomac Overlook Historic District Master Plan Historic District Designation Form – May 2021

Last Updated: May 10, 2021