Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 12.08.08 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the November Council meeting included:
report from Senator King and the State delegation on 11/24/08.
decision to replace a deteriorating wooden guard rail on Johnson Alley.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, December 8th at 7:00 p.m. to hear comments regarding Ordinance No. 2008-07. This proposed amendment to modify building coverage standards was initiated by the Washington Grove Planning Commission to deal with the challenges of mansionization — that is, infill development where large homes or additions are built in a manner that puts them out of character with existing housing. This ordinance also proposes to update the maximum height standard for accessory buildings to reflect the added definition of Half Story.
Further explanation for this Ordinance is now available on the Town’s website. The explanation document on the Town’s website identifies specific properties in Town that would be affected by the changes in building coverage standards. Existing building coverage (“Enclosed Area”) is provided for these properties using data available from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. There are 14 lots identified in the RR-2 zone that would have more restrictive building coverage than the current 40% standard. These would be reduced to 35%, 30%, or 25%, depending on lot size. In order to create more equitable opportunities for renovation, the same realignment of maximum building coverage is also proposed for the RR-1 zone. There are 47 lots identified that are significantly smaller than the minimum lot size for this zone. The current 25% building coverage standard for these lots in the RR-1 zone would be increased to 30%, 35%, or 40%, depending on lot size.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 01.07.07 @ 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 minorbuilding 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.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 12.16.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.
Get HPC’S Free Design & Architectural Advice Before Investing in your Final Plans! As always, 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… Why is any particular Grove house considered to be a “contributing resource”? Generally, houses are identified as “contributing” if they were built between 1873 (when the Methodists purchased the 268-acre property to establish the camp meeting) and 1937 (Washington Grove’s incorporation as a Town), and the character and form of the original house remain clearly evident.
But ALL Grove houses have a story to tell, and the HPC continues to solicit input for ALL houses in town (not just those classified as “contributing structures”). Do you have interesting comments to share about former owners, tenants or sojourners? Births, deaths, weddings? Renovations? Was your house featured in a film? Do you have a special interior or exterior photograph to share? Have you given a special name to your home? Please see “House Histories” under HPC News on the Town website: washingtongrovemd.org/community/hsehistory/index.php. If you have a tidbit, or more, to share, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link for The HPC House History Updates & Anecdotes Form. Don’t be shy-the HPC would love to hear from you.
The Montgomery County History Volunteers Conference is scheduled for January 24, 2009, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on the Montgomery College Germantown Campus. Among other things, oral history is on the agenda. See this url for more details about the conference: http://www.montgomeryhistory.org/documents/ConfBro.pdf.
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 01.21.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!
Washington Grove Holiday Revels “Visions of Chautauqua”
Bring the whole family to this year’s holiday show Saturday December 13, 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall. The original drama with music and dance will feature town talent and friends of Washington Grove – and of course a visit from a “special holiday guest”.
Caroling in The Grove
Come join the fun on Sunday, December 21, 2008. Meet at McCathran Hall at 7:00 PM. Return to the Town Hall after caroling for refreshments. For more details, please contact Amy or John Porter at 301-977-6768.
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
November 21: Rowdy Behavior. McCathran Hall – five (5) teenage boys attempted to enter McCathran Hall during a dance class causing class disruption shortly after 8 PM. The boys proceeded to run and scream around town between Center St and McCauley. The boys were not Grove residents but were Gaithersburg High classmates of a Grove resident, whose hat was stolen by the boys and later recovered. Police were called and patrolled the area.
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.
Woman’s Club News
Next meeting: Thursday » 01.15.07 @ 7:30 p.m. at the home of Judy Mroczka (107 Grove Ave.).
Please join us for our annual White Elephant auction. This event is always a lot of fun and an enjoyable way to “recycle” gifts. You may also pay your $15 annual dues at this meeting.
Congratulations to our new Woman’s Club officers, elected at our November meeting.
Joli McCathran – President
Margo Cavenagh – Vice President
Jean Potmesil – Recording Secretary
Leigh Partington – Corresponding Secretary
Cynthia Werts – Treasurer
The Woman’s Club wishes you and your family a wonderful holiday season!
Tuesdays 7 pm–the Spirituality/Meditation Group continues.
A simple meal is provided at each class. Speech and song are part of our gatherings, along with meditation. Catch your breath in the busy middle of the work week. We’ll meet on all December Tuesdays except the 23rd. “Contemplation is part of our deep belonging to a sacred Earth…” -Conrow Coelho
Dec. 20th 2-5 pm, Christmas Open house at the Parsonage-all welcome-101 Center St.
Dec. 21st, Children’s Christmas Drama during worship, 11 am
Dec. 24th Candlelight Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols, 7:30 pm
Help Habitat ReStore Deck the Halls!
Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County ReStore has opened its first ever Holiday Shoppe. The ReStore Holiday Shoppe will feature merchandise ranging from Christmas trees to winter decorations for the home. Donations are needed to make the ReStore Holiday Shoppe a success. Sift through your decoration boxes and help us deck the ReStore halls. Donate now and receive a tax-deductible receipt while adding cheer to someone else’s year. For more information please contact Nicole Abel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-947-3304. Donation hours are Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri. & Sat. 10am – 4pm and Thurs. 10am – 6pm.
Washington Gas Community Outreach
Washington Gas has launched a customer and community outreach effort promoting the early availability of federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. LIHEAP funds are distributed to assist low and fixed income eligible customers in paying heating and cooling bills. Maryland’s FY2009 LIHEAP allocation is approx. $109 million, nearly tripling previous years’ allocations. For more information contact Doreen Hope, Regional Manager, 202-624-6033.
Memorial Tree to Honor Susie Cox
This year, we lost a long-time resident of Washington Grove. Susie loved this Town and it seems appropriate to honor her with a tree. If you would like to make a contribution towards the purchase of a memorial tree, please send your check (made out to the Town of Washington Grove) to P.O. Box 216 or drop it off at the Town Office. The tree will be planted in Wade Park, across from the Cox home. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Carole Huberman at email@example.com or call 301-926-4786.
New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for the removal of leaves in bulk each autumn. US Lawns will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six feet of any walkway or roadway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins November 1 and ends January 1, 2009, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is complete.
This is your opportunity to have leaves removed without the additional work and expense of bagging. Weather frequently affects this process, as rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues. Also, one or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually see most of us raking at the same time. As the contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming, if you rake when most other people rake the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. If you feel that a particular pile has been ignored for an inordinate amount of time, please call Kathie Evans at 301-869-7816 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please place your windrows with an eye towards traffic visibility and flow, and don’t include brush or limbs that foul the vacuum.
Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.
Speaking of Leaves…
The Mayor and Council would like to remind residents to refrain from placing their leaves in the road, whenever possible. Piles along the side of the road are fine but large piles in the roadway present a traffic hazard on our already narrow roads. Thank you!
Did we get your attention? Sticks and debris foul the large hose that our leaf contractor uses to suck up the leaves. Please remind your leaf-rakers (and yourselves) to remove all sticks and debris from the leaf piles. Otherwise, your pile may not be taken away. Thank you!
FINAL Recyclable Yard Waste Pick Up
Per our contract with Montgomery County Sanitation and Recycling, November 28th was the last date for collection of your big brown bags, bundles, or containers of recyclable yard waste for this year. This service will resume in early March. Town Maintenance will continue to collect your reasonably-sized brush piles.
We are starting a Grove hiking group and are planning two outings a month. All are welcome to hike with us, whether old or young, slow or fast. Mark your calendars for upcoming hikes:
Saturday, Dec 6: Lake Frank (contact is Birgit Henninger; 301-740-1815)
Saturday, January 3: (TBA) (contact is Sylvie Favret; 301-987-0074)
Saturday, March 7: Harper’s Ferry (contact is Nancy Helme; 301-926-1781)
Contact the person listed for details, meeting times and rain dates. We expect to meet at the Hall before each hike and carpool from there.
Who Let the Dogs Out?
The Town of Washington Grove adopted Montgomery County’s animal control legislation some time ago. The phone number for reporting stray dogs or cats is 240-773-5960. Here’s what the County code says about animals at large and about noise.
Any dog is at large if it is outside the owner’s premises and not leashed, unless it is a service dog, is in a dog exercise area designated by the Maryland National Capital park and Planning Commission, or is participating in an approved activity. Any other animal (i.e., cat or livestock animal) is at large if it is outside the owner’s premises and not leashed or immediately responsive to verbal or non-verbal direction.
An owner must not allow an animal to cause noise that is loud enough and persistent enough to disturb another person’s quiet enjoyment.
Christmas Tree Disposal
Beginning in late December, Christmas trees will be picked up roadside by Town Maintenance staff. When you place your tree out for collection, please remove all tinsel, ornaments, the stand and any other metals.
It is still illegal to turn right from McCauley Street on to Washington Grove Lane and to turn left on to McCauley Street from W.G. Lane…even if you are a resident.