Members’ Guide to House Numbers

Last year, our doors were replaced during HIP– and with the original doors, away went the historic, gold-on-glass numbers for our unit!  Those original numbers were both elegant and unobtrusive, and I decided to re-apply gold numbers on our doors. It’s not hard or expensive to do– and so much nicer than vinyl stick on numbers.

Before giving instructions for how to apply gold letters on glass, let’s examine the requirements for house numbers in general.  House numbers are a practical matter– most importantly, emergency service workers need numbers to find your house. Universal building code includes them, and individual municipalities regulate them.  (The GHI member handbook does not have any rules about house numbers.) According to building code, you must have house numbers on the side of your house that faces the street, and also on any side of your house that faces a fire road, alley or access lane.  House numbers should be 4-6 inches high, and should visually contrast with the surface on which they are mounted.  And, lastly, numbers should be clearly visible from the street– not hidden by overgrown shrubbery. (https://www.nachi.org/house-numbers.htm) Continue reading “Members’ Guide to House Numbers”

In Support of Green Spaces

Editor’s Note: This is part two in a small series of articles by author James Wisniewski about the important and significance of green spaces in Greenbelt. Read his first article here.


“Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is easy for us to take Greenbelt’s beauty and green spaces for granted in much of the same way many Washingtonians take the monuments and other DC landmarks for granted.  We do so knowing that green spaces are only a short distance away. After the Prince George’s County Council introduced a new zoning ordinance on October 23, 2018 allowing for increased density, increased building height, and less green space, Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI) and the City of Greenbelt acted quickly to get the county to create an exception based on the historical significance of Greenbelt, known as the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Zone (NCOZ). Due to the complexity of the terminology in the proposed NCOZ, we need to make sure that the regulations:

  1. Do not allow for the removal of green spaces and
  2. Keep the integrity of historic Greenbelt intact.

Continue reading “In Support of Green Spaces”

Green Spaces Are The Place To Be

Greenbelt is … green.

When I first met my wife, I had spent my entire life living in one Montgomery County zip code. As our relationship grew, we discussed which of us would move. I enjoyed living in my neighborhood, but Lauren loved Greenbelt. It was the only place she had ever lived and she told me she never wanted to leave. Why? What about her neighborhood was any different than the neighborhoods in which I had been raised? Spending any amount of time here in Greenbelt quickly changes that perspective. Greenbelt’s location, accessibility, and affordability are hard to rival in DC’s metropolitan area and the small, intimate community feel is also quite appealing. Continue reading “Green Spaces Are The Place To Be”

New Zoning Ordinance Could Bring Dramatic Change to Historic Greenbelt’s Density, Open Spaces, and Skyline

zoningOn October 23, 2018, the Prince George’s County Council voted to approve a new zoning ordinance. This new ordinance is estimated to become effective in 2020. At that time, the current zone which caps density (the number of residential dwelling units) in Historic Greenbelt will go away.

The new zoning ordinance will allow for:

  • Increased Density – the number of dwelling units which may be built in GHI
    would increase by over 500%!
  • Increased Building Height – up to 5 stories for townhouses/apartments and no height limitation on commercial buildings
  • Less Green Space – as a result of infill development on existing green spaces

The County Council also authorized the creation of a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NCO) Zone for the Greenbelt, Maryland National Landmark District that includes GHI. This NCO will provide a framework for protecting the existing character of Historic Greenbelt. Continue reading “New Zoning Ordinance Could Bring Dramatic Change to Historic Greenbelt’s Density, Open Spaces, and Skyline”