The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed an emergency bill this week, placing a moratorium on the demolition of historic sites until July 1, 1980.
County Executive James P. Gleason asked the council to introduce the bill in the wake of several disputes over the future of historic buildings. The most crucial of those disputes has been the Takoma Park community's fight to save the Carroll House.
Montgomery College, which owns the building at 7700 Takoma Ave., wanted to tear it down to make room for a park the college planned to build. But the community protested to Gleason and the county council that the house was a historic site, an example of the architecture of Congressman Benjamin F. Gilbert's original development in 1885, and should be preserved.
Gleason instructed the Department of Environmental Protection to deny the college's request for a demolition permit. The college appealed the action, and a hearing has been set for this week.
The bill, which will prevent such permits for all historic sites, defines such a site as having "significant historical, architectural, archeological or cultural value . . . and identified as such in the Locational Atlas puclished by the Montgomery County Planning Board."
The bill also requires owners of historic sites to maintain the buildings and make repairs if necessary. If the county has to make repairs, the cost is to be charged to the owner.
"I don't see how you can force a private party to put morey into it," said Council member Esther Gelman. "What if I own a barn and you come by and say it's perfect example Queen Anne barns and you stick a marker on it, what am I supposed to do? I didn't know I had a Queen Anne barn!"
Royce Hanson, chairman of the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission, told Gelman that there are programs for helping people make repairs on such houses. Council member Neal Potter said the county has used some of its community block grant funds on perservations of historic structures may occur during this period if interim measures are not enacted immediately."
In other business, the council introduced a bill that would set salaries for the next county council, county excutive and state's attorney, all to be elected in November.
The salaries proposed under the bill: County executive, $50,000 plus an annual cost-of-living adjustment; council members, $26,00 plus an annual cost-of living adjustment; council president, $3,900 more than council members, and state's attorney, $47,500 plus an annual cost-of-living increase.
Th council has scheduled a public hearing on the salary bill for 8 p.m. Feb. 9.
The council also will hold a public hearing during the council meetings Tuesday on an emergency bill prohibiting the sale of obscene materials. Council members will hear testimony on the bill and two amendments, one defining obscene and the other giving immunity from prosecution to all those who have no financial interest in a business selling obscene materials.