The central business district of Mount Rainier is in a county designated zone called the Mixed Use Town Center. Design standards for signage, facades, lighting, landscaping, etc. were developed with community input. Using those standards as a guide, a county-appointed committee of seven people reviews projects within the zone that require a permit and makes recommendations to the county Planning Board for its approval. The Mount Rainier City Council nominates candidates to serve on the committee and the Planning Board makes appointments from that list.
The City Council is asking for applications from residents and businesspersons who are interested in serving on this important committee. Currently, all seven positions are open for applications. The Planning Board encourages the City Council to nominate a group that reflects the diversity of the neighborhood in order for the committee to be reflective of the community it serves.
The committee meets on an irregular basis depending on whether building/sign permits need to be reviewed. Meetings are held in the evening and typically last about two hours (again depending on the amount of review needed). Committee members should have a sense of fairness in reviewing applications and be interested in the on-going revitalization of the downtown business area. Committee members should be willing to help encourage appropriate building alterations and signage among business and property owners and to help educate rather than regulate.
The composition of the M-U-TC review committee is as follows:
- Two Mount Rainier residents.
- Two business or property owners within the M-U-TC zone.
- Two municipal government representatives (not necessarily current elected officials).
- One design professional (the design professional member does not need to live in the city).
At least one of the residents, business or property owners, or government representatives on the committee must be a practicing artist or design professional with experience in planning, architecture, landscape architecture, or historic preservation.
Interested candidates should address a letter of interest to Councilmember Bryan Knedler. Please provide some background of your qualifications and interest on serving. Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent/hand delivered to City Hall, One Municipal Place, Mount Rainier, MD 20712. Applications should arrive no later than March 12, 2018. The City Council plans to discuss the candidates at its worksession of March 20, 2018.
For further information, please contact a councilmember or Mayor Miles.