Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 02.09.09 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday » 02.23.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the January Council meeting included:
- endorsement of April 15, 2009 as the opening date for the athletic field.
- endorsement of specific dates for the acceptance of permits for use of the athletic field (see article below).
- enacted Ordinance 2008-09; Ordinance Adopting Master Plan.
2009 Master Plan Adopted
On January 26 the Town Council enacted Ordinance No. 2008-09 to adopt the updated Master Plan. This ordinance will be effective on February 25, unless a petition signed by 25 qualified voters is submitted to the Mayor and Council, requesting a referendum. A copy of the 2009 Master Plan will be posted on the Town’s website and can be requested from the Town Office.
Nominations for Mayor and Town Council must be sent to Mary Kay DuBois by March 9, 2009. So put on your thinking caps and call Mary Kay at 301-926-8941.
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!
Homestead Tax Credit Application
Washington Grove property owners recently received an assessment notice from the State of Maryland. Included with that notice, is an Application for Homestead Tax Credit Eligibility. If you have not already done so, the owner(s) of the residential property identified in the assessment notice who uses it as his or her principal residence must complete and submit this one-time application in order to receive continued eligibility for the Homestead Tax Credit. The Homestead Tax Credit law limits the amount of assessment increase on which an eligible resident homeowner actually pays county, municipal and State property taxes each year. If you choose to file your application electronically, please have your “Access Number” at hand. It’s located on the reverse side of the paper application at the top.
Applications for use of the Athletic Field
At their January 12, 2009 meeting, the Town Council voted to use the following dates as the earliest time that a permit for use of the athletic field can be submitted.
- Spring Permits: January 15th
- Summer Permits: April 15th
- Fall Permits: July 15th
- Field closes on November 1st.
Woodward Park Fencing Discussed
As many may have seen, the athletic field in Woodward Park was the “victim” of vandalism late this fall. This is particularly disheartening because of the fact that a good deal of money was spent on the field not 11 months earlier. There is a move afoot to consider fencing (short, telephone pole style) along Grove Road in order to protect the field. The Mayor and Council would like to know what you think. Send your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Town Office at 301-926-2256. Thank you!
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 02.04.07 @ 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.
Proposal to Combat Mansionization
Proposed ordinance modifing building coverage standards based on lot size was initiated by the Washington Grove Planning Commission to deal with the potential for mansionization – that is, infill development where large homes or additions are built in a manner that puts them out of character with existing housing. At the Public Hearing on December 8, 2008, Town residents expressed concerns regarding the 40% building coverage, and how this limit, if implemented across the RR-1 and RR-2 zones, could result in too many larger homes potentially changing the character of our residential areas. There was also testimony received that a proposed realignment of building coverage based on lot area rather than zone is a very modest and careful way to improve the Town’s ability to handle the mansionization issue. And there was testimony at the Public Hearing that we need to sustain a diversity of home sizes, specifically noting that Washington Grove offers a unique collection of smaller homes due to the smaller lots distributed throughout the Town. Based on this testimony, it has been recommended that the Town Council:
- Reduce the maximum building coverage allowed in any residential zone from 40% down to 34%.
- Realign building coverage standards based on lot area rather than zone, with 3% increments for four lot size categories.
- Leave the record open for Ordinance No. 2008-07 for at least an additional month to permit further review and comment.
The Town has four residential zones: RR-1, RR-2, RR-3, and RR-4; and this proposal would not affect the larger lot zones, RR-3 (minimum lot area 20,000 square feet) and RR-4 (minimum lot area 18,000 square feet). This proposal would affect maximum building coverage for the RR-1 and RR-2 zones where there is a wide range of lot sizes. Within the RR-2 zone (with the former limit of 40% coverage) there will be: 34 homes with a new limit of 34%, 9 homes with a new limit of 31%, 3 homes with a new limit of 28%, and 3 homes with a new limit of 25%. Within the RR-1 zone (with the former limit of 25% coverage) there will be: 2 homes with a new limit of 34%, 30 homes with a new limit of 31%, and 15 homes with a new limit of 28%. The proposed amendment does not affect existing minimum setback requirements. A copy of the listing of each property showing property area and proposed maximum building coverage is available on the Town’s website and from the Town Office.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 02.17.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. 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!
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!
Osteoporosis, Yoga & Bone Building
Kay Hawkins, a certified yoga instructor and yoga therapist, will conduct an all-day workshop at Town Hall on Saturday, February 7. Topics will include medical facts about bone density, how diet and lifestyle affect the health of your bones, how to perform a range of yoga postures to affect critical factors in maintaining bone integrity, and how to incorporate the postures into a regular yoga practice. The workshop is open to people of all levels from beginners to advanced. Cost is $65. Bring a yoga or pilates mat, blanket(s) and wear layered comfortable clothes. The workshop will run from 9:30 to 4:30, with a break for lunch (bring your own). Contact: Judy Mroczka at email@example.com & 301 990-3771 or Kathi Carey-Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org & 301-330-9485. Advanced sign-up (with Judy) is required, as the workshop is limited to 18 people. This event is sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee. Please make checks payable to, Town of Washington Grove.
Film Society News
Free Family Film: Children of Heaven
February 8, 2009, 6:30 p.m. (Note the early time)
Directed by Majid Majidi, 1997, Iran, subtitled, 89 minutes.
When Ali loses his younger sister Zahra’s shoes, they hide the predicament from their impoverished parents by sharing one pair between them. The movie captures a loving family in contemporary Tehran and reflects the tenderness, innocence, and determination of the children. Kids and adults in the audience will be rooting for Ali and Zahra from the first scene to the last. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy this heartwarming film.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s in the Grove!
Blackthorn St. Patrick’s Day Céilí
Friday, March 13, McCathran Hall
Dance Workshop 6-7 p.m.
Céilí from 7-11 pm with Common Ground Céilí Band!
Free to Town residents, but donations gladly accepted to help pay the band. Bring a dish or dessert to share. Soda bread, tea, and soft drinks available. For more info call: 301-990-0184. Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.
Embrace the mouse!
Concert No. 3 Piano Recital
March 22, 2009; 3p.m. @ McCathran Hall
Master Mime Mark Jaster Returns!
Sunday, March 29, 2 pm, McCathran Hall
Mark your calendars and invite your friends and family to view “Piccolo’s Trunk”. Mark Jaster presents wildly popular shows worthy of his teachers Marcel Marceau and Etienne Decroux. Put aside whatever you expected from mime, and prepare to enjoy brilliantly articulate gesture, playful interaction, gentle, inclusive humor and witty musical surprises. A hands-on workshop will follow the performance. Presented by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.
Lake Committee News
Next meeting: Thursday » 02.19.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Please come and help get the lake ready for the new year. Important items are: Geese control, Security (Guards?), Life Guards, Swim Instructors.
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
- January 8: Vandalism. 400 block Grove Ave – A side-view mirror was smashed in an apparent attempt to break it off. Police report filed.
- January 25: Breaking/entering. 200 block Ridge Rd – Resident reported that their unlocked car had been entered and ransacked sometime after 7PM. Trunk was left wide open. Nothing taken. Police report filed
- January 25: Theft from vehicle. 400 block Center St – Resident reported their two unlocked cars were entered and ransacked. CDs and a power inverter were stolen from one car, nothing taken from the other. Police report filed.
- January 25: Breaking/entering. 500 block Brown St – Resident reported their unlocked car was entered and ransacked. Trunk was left wide open. Nothing taken. Police report filed.
- January 25: Breaking/entering. 300 block Brown St – Resident reported their unlocked car was entered and ransacked. Nothing taken. Police report filed.
- January 25: Theft from vehicle. 100 block Maple Ave – Resident reported that a locked car was broken into. Entry was gained by smashing front passenger window. Digital media player that had been left in plain sight was stolen. Police report filed.
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 » 03.19.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Clubhouse.
Woman’s Club Annual Chili Supper
Spice up those winter doldrums by coming to the Woman’s Club Chili Supper on Saturday, Feb.21, 2009! This is a FREE event; however, donations are GREATLY appreciated. Start time is 6:00 p.m. and ALL Town residents are invited, especially those new to the Grove. Non-alcoholic beverages will be served, but BYOB is fine. The menu consists of chili, cornbread and coleslaw. If you can donate one or more of these dishes, please contact coordinator Pat DiBella at 301-869-1907 or email@example.com. Volunteers are needed for set-up, serving and clean-up.
- February 4th–Playgroup for parents and little ones will meet at 9:30 am in the fellowship hall, in the church basement. Come and enjoy chatting with other parents while the kids play!
- February 25th–A Pancake Supper from 6 to 7 pm, in celebration of the traditional “Shrove Tuesday” will precede our Lenten 7:30 pm Ash Wednesday service. You are welcome to both or either, donations given at the supper will support “Grove Relief” rebuilding efforts and the church.
- March 7th–Silent Auction and Bake Sale for “Grove Relief” Rebuilding will take place in McCathran Hall at 7 pm. Returning musicians from last year include David Rapkievian on the fiddle and Bob McInturff with guitar and voice. Work by Grove artists and items from local businesses will be auctioned, while neighbors chat, snack, and listen to music. This year, proceeds of the auction and bake sale will provide access and support for disabled community members as town and church members volunteer with Montgomery County’s “Rebuilding Together,” and continue ongoing “Grove Relief” projects. Need more info? Residents on the Silent Auction Committee include Barbara Leng, Kitty Vogan, and Emily Cavey (numbers in the directory), and David Young at 240 912 9895. Enjoy a fun evening for a good cause!
- April 18th & 19th, 25th & 26th–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. Want to help out in April? Call the church or Judy, at 301 869-3753 or 240 912 9895.
Gaithersburg HELP thanks Generous Grovers!
Pounds and pounds of foodstuffs were donated by generous Grove residents on Inauguration Day and delivered along with $350 in cash contributions to Gaithersburg HELP on Wednesday. To all a huge thank you for reaching out to our neighbors at this difficult time.
Brush Pick-up Reminder
Our trash contractor’s obligation to pick up your recyclable yard waste ended on November 30th and will resume on March 1st. If you put brown bags out for pick-up, they will sit until March 1st. You may, of course, leave your brush in a reasonably sized pile and Town Maintenance will pick it up.
Upcoming hikes planned by the Grove Outdoors Group
We welcome all ages, all paces. Just show up at McCathran Hall and we’ll carpool from there!
- Sat., February 7: South Mountain– Meet at McCathran Hall at 11 a.m.; Rain date: Same time on Sunday. Contact: Tom Land for details.
- Sunday, February 22: Black Hills Regional Park– Meet at McCathran Hall at 2 p.m.; Rain date: the following Sunday (3/1) 2 p.m. Contact Leigh Partington for details.
- Saturday, March 7: Harper’s Ferry– Meet at McCathran Hall at 10 am; Rain date: March 14, 10 am. Contact Nancy Helme for details.
Snow & Ice…bring out the salt/sand buckets!
You may have noticed some gray trash cans sitting along the side of the roadway at various intersections. These containers have a salt/sand mixture for your use if you find an intersection to be slippery or if you get stuck. If you are able, please use this, not only for yourself but for the next person that may come along! If you find that a container is empty, call Town Maintenance at 301-963-5850.
Those who drive 15, really enjoy the scene!!