The New York City architecture firm that is going to design the new city of Dover library was introduced at the city council meeting July 28. They plan to hold 14 workshops so that the public can comment on the proposed plan.


    Douglas Moss, a principle at Holzman Moss Architecture LLP, spoke to Dover City Council Monday about what his firm will be doing as the new architects for the Dover Public Anchor Library.

    Council accepted the New York City firm for the project by consent at the July 28 meeting.
 
   “It’s a very exciting process both for the community and for this region,” Moss said of the project.
 
   He added that his firm has 40 architects and they design a number of public projects, including libraries. Moss also pointed out that they have been involved in a wide range of communities from as large as Los Angeles to smaller than Dover.
 
   The firm plans to help develop a vision statement that understands the needs and capabilities of Dover by looking carefully at not only expanding the library but also how to provide more services.

    Once the contract with the city is complete, Moss said they would begin work in August by holding a series of 14 workshops that will run through March 2009. This gives a chance to have public input and he said Holzman Moss wants to help people fully understand what’s possible.
 
   When Councilman William McGlumphy joked that he wants to be able to drink Starbucks, Moss replied that actually their firm installed the first Starbucks in a library in Portland. Years ago people wouldn’t even joke about something like that, he added.
 
   Libraries are much more active than in the past, Moss said, and it’s not to say a Starbucks is right for Dover, but that’s what the firm wants to fully explore.

    Examples of other library projects the firm has completed will be on display at the Dover Public Library, as per a suggestion by Council President Kenneth Hogan.

In other business…

    • Council declared dangerous properties located at 16 S. Queen St. and 230 W. Division St., at the intersection of Division Street and Governors Avenue, formerly the Smokehouse restaurant.
 
   A public hearing where the owners pled their cases was held along with a debriefing by Scott Koenig, public services manager. This led council members to give the owners 60 days to fix the properties, rather than the originally suggested 30 days. If they are not fixed by that time, the city will ensure the properties either are repaired or demolished.
 
   • The preliminary draft of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan will be submitted to the state for review. Council instructed city staff to move the document on with a vote of 6 to 1, with two members absent.
 
   City Director of Planning and Inspections Ann Marie Townshend said the final draft of the plan would likely go before the Dover Planning Commission in October with a city council public hearing in November.
 
   A copy of the preliminary draft can be reviewed at www.cityofdover.com.

    • A first reading of zoning ordinance to create a conditional use within one-family residence zones that would allow for professional offices or studios to be permitted if eight specific conditions are met passed council on a 5 to 2 vote. It will move on to the Dover Planning Commission Monday, Sept. 15, and for a public hearing during council Monday, Sept. 22.

    Under the current zoning regulations, these professional offices or studios are permitted uses. If the conditional use ordinance is enacted, the major change would be that residence in the property wouldn’t be required, Townshend said.