Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 04.13.09 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday » 04.27.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the March Council meeting included:
- approved February 2009 Council Reports for posting on the Town website.
- awarded bid for refuse/recycling collection to Ecology Services, Inc. (3-year contract).
- awarded bid for leaf collection to U.S. Lawns (5-year contract).
- endorsement of the Mayor’s appointments to the Board of Supervisors of Elections; Mary Kay DuBois, Betty Knight and Kristin Perry.
- endorsement of the Mayor’s appointment of Eric Gleason to the Planning Commission filling the one-year term remaining on Margaret Ebner’s term.
- deferred further discussion about Ordinance No. 2008-07; Modifying Building Coverage Standards until after a PC/HPC joint work session.
- decided against installing any barriers along Grove Rd. at the athletic field.
- renewed contract for Town Code Inspector.
COURT OF APPEALS RULES ON LOS
Special Town Meeting to be Held to Discuss Next Moves
On March 12, the Maryland Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a narrow ruling on Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s (MNCPPC) appeal to become part of the Town’s condemnation lawsuit against Toll Brothers on the LOS field?the LOS field is the open meadow that runs along Ridge Road from Brown Street to Center Street. MNCPPC had asked the court to rule on 4 technical issues: (1) does the Town have the right to condemn the property by eminent domain, (2) does the lawsuit keep Toll Brothers from dedicating the property to MNCPPC during the lawsuit (lis pendens), (3) can MNCPPC become a party to the lawsuit, and (4) is the Town’s reason of “public necessity” for condemnation legal. The Court ruled only on (3) to allow MNCPPC to become a party to the lawsuit, although the Court did not determine that they had a specific interest. This is somewhat confusing, but it means that on the major point? (1) the Town’s right to condemn?the Court put that off until a possible appeal later in the case.
What this means to the Town is that we now proceed to a jury trial with Toll Brothers to determine the value of the LOS field so we can outright buy it from Toll Brothers and protect it from future development. MNCPPC can be part of the trial, but cannot raise any other issue until the trial is complete and the value determined. It is highly likely that MNCPPC will challenge the Town on the right of condemnation after this trial.
In traditional Washington Grove style, a Special Town Meeting will be called in April to give residents an opportunity to let the Town Council know what they think the Town should do. This meeting is imperative for those who support or oppose continuing the lawsuit to have an opportunity to express themselves. You will receive a notice 2 weeks ahead of the scheduled meeting. The Mayor and Town Council would like to see a large turnout and lively discussion of these issues. For those who do not have a background on these issues, a short historical presentation will precede the discussion. No vote will be taken at this meeting.
To new residents
Washington Grove has a Town Meeting form of government, unlike anything you may be used to or heard of (unless you are from New England). This is your opportunity to have direct input into decisions the Town makes that will affect the ability of the Town to continue to provide needed services and to protect our last remaining border from development. Please take time to speak with your neighbors before the meeting and attend to let us hear your voice. Without input from everyone, the Town Council finds it harder to make decisions that represent all interests of the Town.
Deer Park Bridge Update
On April 3, the Mayor and Town residents met with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT) to discuss a new proposal for the Deer Park Humpback Bridge. It appears that DOT has decided to make long-needed and long-recommended repairs to the bridge, rather than push to replace it with a larger, more intrusive structure. This is very good news for the Town and thanks to all those volunteers who worked to withstand the DOT in their efforts to impose less attractive options in the past 5 years. Although details are not available at this time, the Town still will be working with DOT to assure that the repairs are done in a manner that will retain the humpback bridge’s designation as an historic bridge. On the down side, the bridge is likely to be closed for a significant period this summer while repairs to the understructure are completed. This seems a small price to pay for what we could be looking at on our Western border if a larger bridge replaced the humpback bridge.
Town Elections…Mark Your Calendars!
Town elections will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2009 from 4-7 p.m. at McCathran Hall. The nominees are:
- Mayor (1year term)
- Darrell Anderson
- Council (two 3-year terms)
- Sheldon Bierman
- Kathie Evans
- Ted Kelly
- John Tomlin
To vote in Town elections, you must be currently registered to vote with Montgomery County at an address in Washington Grove. To verify your registration with the county, please call County Voter Registration Information at 240-777-8683.
Meet the Press
…then Meet the Candidates, on Sunday, May 3, 2009, 1:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall
All five (5) candidates will be there to talk about their priorities and find out about yours. Come and participate!
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
Vote for the candidates of your choice on Saturday, May 9, 2009 between 4 and 7 p.m. Come to the Annual Town Meeting, on May 9th beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Tax Reminder – Washington Grove -1612
Please fill in Washington Grove 1612 in the appropriate box on your State income tax form. If someone else prepares your tax forms, include this notice with your tax information and if you file electronically be sure to select Washington Grove under City, Town, or Taxing Area. This DOES NOT increase your taxes, but DOES help ensure that the Town receives its proper share of local income tax revenue. Thanks for your help!
Looking For That Super Volunteer!
Each year the Mayor presents an award to the resident who represents the best of our volunteer corps. If you would like to make a nomination, please contact the Mayor at 301-963-8555 or firstname.lastname@example.org before April 24. The award should honor someone who has worked on various Town projects over the last year and exemplifies the true volunteer spirit.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 05.06.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. The Town zoning ordinance governs setbacks, lot coverage and height. Applications are available at the Town Office at 301-926-2256. The permit fee for a major building permit (addition/renovation) is $40.00. The fee for a minor building permit (fence/shed) is $10.00. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. A shed requires a County permit as well. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.
Work session on Infill Development
The Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission will conduct a joint Work session on Wednesday, April 8th, 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. The intent of this Work session is to develop Town standards associated with infill and re-development so that homes and additions are built in a manner that prevents overcrowding; ensures adequate light, air, and access; and protects the character of the community. While this Work session is open to the public, there will not be official actions or final votes, and participation by other residents will be discouraged. Using examples from other jurisdictions, proposals will be developed to be considered for introduction in a Town ordinance with a public hearing.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 04.21.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. The HPC encourages residents to come for an early consultation when planning a renovation. The HPC can offer valuable, free advice BEFORE you spend money on architectural drawings. Bounce your ideas off the HPC – no charge!
Did you know…The HPC has assembled a small, but interesting, library of materials on the Council Room bookshelves (adjacent to the hallway door). The selection includes books (Sarah Susanka’s Inside the Not So Big House), periodicals (back issues of Old House Journal, Old House Interiors), a copy of one resident’s application for the Maryland Historical Trust Tax Credit, binders containing photographs of the town’s Contributing Structures, catalogues of “old house parts”– and much more. Please feel free to stop by and take a look for reference or inspiration!
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 04.15.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!
Final concert of the season!!
Concert No. 4 Wind Quartet
April 19, 2009; 3p.m. @ McCathran Hall
Tickets still available, call Alice Negin 301-926-2858
Summer In The Parks
All SITP kids are invited to Emily Cavey’s house for a pizza party sometime in the next couple of weeks to hear more about Jamboree and camp this year! We would very much like to hear your thoughts on camp this year and have your help in planning YOUR Summer in the Parks!!! Please contact Emily Cavey at email@example.com or via telephone: 240-632-9587 if you are interested in attending.
We wanted to share an exciting idea for Summer In The Parks this year! JAMBOREE!
Jamboree is a jam-packed two week-long event during Summer In The Parks in which the camp is divided into two teams to compete against each other in a series of fun challenges and events to earn points. Jamboree will include a combination of athletic and artistic activities. We promise there will be something for every personality (swimming relays, tug of wars, watermelon eating contests, art competitions, plaque making, t-shirt designing and other wacky events)! Jamboree will “break out” sometime during the second week of camp. The camp is not going to know when Jamboree will break or how it is going to break. Once Jamboree “breaks,” the entire camp will quickly gather on the beach at the lake where Camp Captains are revealed and the camp is split into 2 teams, each with a different theme and color.
During the two weeks of Jamboree, campers will participate in different activities trying to get points for their team. Points are awarded for winning various competitions, but also for showing good sportsmanship, spirit, leadership and other wonderful qualities we know all our campers have: EVERY Ca.m.PER will have something to offer the teams!!
Lake Committee News
Next meeting: Thursday » 04.09.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. New members welcome and encouraged!!
We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. They drive away the other geese during nesting season and then leave when their eggs do not hatch. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call Ann Philips or John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!
Lake Clean-Up – Save The Date!
The annual Maple Lake Cleanup will be on Saturday, April 11th at 10 a.m.. Please join in and bring your leaf rake, shovel and wheelbarrow if you have one. Rain date is Sunday, April 12th at Noon.
The Lake Committee is looking for an adult who would be interested in being a Lake Patrol this coming season at Maple Lake. This is a great opportunity for individuals who are retired, teacher off for the summer, individual looking for extra work, etc. Compensation negotiable. Contact Eric Selby at (301) 963-7073 for details or questions.
Neighborhood Watch News
Report Crimes & Suspicious Activity!
Mont. Co. Police non-emergency: 301-279-8000
Town Office: 301-926-2256
Joe Clark: 301-869-7944
Keith Gillis/Leigh Partington: 301-208-1437
- February 25: Fire in woods. 300 block Ridge Rd – Resident running by noticed smoke in the woods from an abandoned campfire set in a ring of stones. MC Fire Department responded and put the fire out.
- March 5: Vandalism. 200 block Chestnut Ave – Resident’s garbage can lid was tagged with spray paint between 7p.m. and 7a.m. along Hickory Rd. Police report filed.
- March 5: Suspicious activity. Chestnut Rd & Grove Ave – During the early afternoon, a white SUV-type vehicle was driving very slowly on Chestnut Road and Grove Avenue walkway. Not reported to police.
- March 5: Suspicious activity. Maple Ave – During the late afternoon an old red van was seen driving along Maple Avenue walkway, again very slowly and stopping to look at houses. Not reported to police.
- Please report criminal or suspicious activity to your Neighborhood Watch Block Captain or Coordinators. Filing a police report, too, helps the police department keep track of criminal incidents and is necessary for police to take action. Of course, for emergency situations call 911.
Advance notice: Neighborhood Watch 2-day Workshop
- Part 1: Wednesday, April 22
- Part 2: Wednesday, April 29
Both nights from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall, presented by Montgomery County Police Officer Diane Tillery.
Woman’s Club News
Next meeting: Thursday » 04.16.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Clubhouse.
Peggy Koniz-Booher, friend and neighbor, will share her work and adventures in Africa. Peggy has recently returned home from a year and a half assignment in public health in Uganda. Please join us to welcome her back to Washington Grove.
Annual Egg Hunt
Washington Grove’s Annual Egg Hunt, hosted by the Woman’s Club, is Saturday, April 11 at 10:00 a.m.-12 noon. Children bring your baskets and meet at the Gazebo. (Meet in McCathran Hall in case of rain.) Refreshments, games, and crafts will follow the Egg Hunt in McCathran Hall. Volunteers are needed to fill the plastic eggs with treats prior to this event. The eggs are sorted: 1 dozen per bag, take as many as you wish to fill. Empty eggs can be picked up on the front porches of Pat Deely (415 Grove Avenue) or Joan Mahaffey (102 Ridge Road). Please return filled eggs to either Pat’s or Joan’s by Sunday, April 5. Volunteers are also needed for refreshments, hiding eggs, games, and crafts. To volunteer call Pat at 301-977-9505 or Joli McCathran at 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome to volunteer!
THANKS TO ALL for your wonderful help with our “Grove Relief” Silent Auction in March! Funds raised exceeded $5,000, enabling us to contribute the requested $2,500 for our Rebuilding Together of Montgomery County project this month. Through your efforts, including some very lovely donations, help in setting up, and generous patronage and contributions, the father of a Gaithersburg family will have new railings and steps outside his townhouse, as well as other kinds of handicapped access and repairs inside. We will also be meeting with our friend Gustavo from the Camino de Vida United Methodist church, in order to plan the new roof for his trailer, where Grove Relief installed a wooden handicapped ramp last June. And we are at work on our plans for handicapped access to WGUMC’s fellowship hall, downstairs. Thanks so much!
Special Easter Season services:
- Sunday, April 5th–Palm/Passion Sunday, 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, April 9th– Candlelight Tenebrae Service, 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, April 12th–6:30 am: Easter Sunrise Service–Our traditional event of the season will take place in the field across from Ridge Road beginning at sunrise (6:30), and will be followed by breakfast at church.
- Sunday, April 12th–11:00 am: Join us for a special Easter drama written and performed by talented Grove children!
- April 18th & 25th–Rebuilding Together — Town and church “Grove Relief” rebuilders will participate in this county-wide charity. “Rebuilding Together,” also known as “Christmas in April,” helps needy county residents through the gift of home repairs. For more information call the church or Judy, at 301 869-3753 or 240 912 9895.
Forest Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 04.06.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. All are welcome!
Hydrangea Pruning…needed and necessary
The very old, much loved hydrangea bushes need attention. Forestry Committee volunteers will be cutting these bushes back and feeding them in an effort to get them healthy again. A bed near McCathran Hall has been completed. This is an approved activity there is no need to report this as suspicious behavior or vandalism.
ARBOR DAY SCHEDULE
“Trees, Trails and Treats”—Saturday April 25
The Forestry Committee and the Woods Group are co-sponsoring Arbor Day activities this year and we have a full slate of events!
Washington Grove Town Within a Forest Now Available on DVD!
$10.00 each at the Town Office. Many thanks to Allan Janus for making this possible!
Good News for Recycling
You may now recycle those pesky tops from your soda/water bottles. The only caveat is that they must be removed from the bottles. Just toss them in the bin with your other recyclables.
Brush Pick-up Reminder
As of March 1st, our trash/recycling contractor resumed recyclable yard waste (a.k.a. brush) pickup in properly marked containers and/or large brown bags.
Please help the Town cut costs by using this service rather than relying on Town Maintenance to pick up your brush. Thanks!
- Sunday, April 5: Blockhouse Point Park (Be at McCathran Hall 1:00 p.m.; Contact Judy Mroczka for info, Rain date: Sat. April 11) Includes a visit to the site of a Civil War camp and blockhouse in the park led by Don Housley, who has been researching the site for four years.
- Saturday, April 18 – BIKE HIKE! (Be at McCathran Hall 10 am; Contact Konrad Ritter for info; Rain date: Sat. April 25) Very level, easy and leisurely biking on the canal towpath near White’s Ferry. Bring the kids! We’ll take stops along the way and spend about four or five hours on the trail. With transport, shuttle, etc. we expect to return about 6:30 p.m. Pack a picnic lunch!
- Early May: We hope to schedule a canoe/kayak trip the first weekend in May, but details are not ready…Call Betsy Klinger for an update.
- Bulletin Deadline
The deadline for getting information into the Town Bulletin is the 24th of the month.
- Sand Containers Are Not Trash Receptacles
Please do not leave your full dog waste bags next to the sand containers located at some intersections in Town and expect to have them disappear. These containers are not trash cans. If you have mistakenly done this, please retrieve your bags. Thanks!
- Going for a bike ride? Don’t forget your helmet!