Town Council Notes
Next meeting: Monday August 12, 2002 7:30 p.m., McCathran Hall.
The public is invited to attend.
July Council actions included:
Adopted Chapter 29, the Montgomery County law for Landlord-Tenant Relations, into Article XIII of the Code of Ordinances for the Town of Washington Grove.
Proposed a change to Article III, Section 7, Part b of the Code of Ordinances lowering the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph. The public hearing is set for September 9, 2002.
Made the following re-appointments:
– Clare Cavicchi; Historic Preservation Commission, 3 year term
– Marc Hansen; Board of Zoning Appeals, 3-year
– Pat Deely & Don Henninger; Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Fire Board Rep., 1 year
– John McClelland; Planning Commission Chairman, 5-year
Casey Field Development Update
Or “A Rock and a Hard Place”
The latest development plan proposed for the Casey property by Oxbridge Development and Sami Totah is available for examination at the Town Office. Town representatives have been negotiating over the past 2 months directly with the developer to achieve the least impact on the Town from development of the Casey property. These discussions have reached a critical juncture. Utilizing the community design efforts of our design team (Frank, Bennett and McCarthy), our central goals have been to maintain, undeveloped, as much of the Field (designated a class II Historic Resource) and its defining tree-line as possible and to moderate the impact of the incompatibility of high density subdivision along lower Ridge Road.
The present development plan accommodates a number of our suggestions. It also retains undesirable features (largely needed to meet the minimum density of lots insisted upon by the developer). Some important features of the latest plan are, the preservation of 12 acres of the Field, including 2/3 of the tree-line extending from the end of Brown St. to the wetlands/ravine (a wildlife corridor connecting the Field with the wetlands/streambed), a 30 ft natural buffer and parallel road separating most of lower Ridge Road from the new homes and about 16 high-density lots behind our “WSSC lots” on a cul-de-sac from the new development. Oxbridge has indicated their intent to proceed with submission of a revised Preliminary Plan of Subdivision for decision by the Planning Board in September. The present version of the plan, with its problematic and attractive features, is likely to substantially represent this final plan. The staff of Park and Planning will again weigh in during the review process, but some of the Town’s key issues will have been addressed in the submitted plan.
The developer is very interested in having Washington Grove support key aspects of their proposal. Indeed, it may be to the Town’s benefit to reach an agreement to do so, while “agreeing to disagree” on other aspects of the plan. If such a proposal comes before the Town Council, its likely that a public hearing or Special Town Meeting will be scheduled. It is important to determine the sentiment of Town residents on the existing issues.
Shady Grove Sector Master Plan Review
This sector Master Plan was last revised as a whole in 1977. The land-use decisions for this sector are of critical interest to Washington Grove. Especially as it includes the Casey Property, Robert’s Oxygen, the light industrial end of Oakmont and even the Cator property. The Mayor is looking for help from several interested individuals to keep the Town informed and to insure that our input is provided throughout the revision process. The Park and Planning team responsible for this review, led by Karen Kumm Morris, has proposed a different, “fast-track” process for this Master Plan revision. No advisory committee will be proposed. Instead, with the Shady Grove Metro Area Charette of 2 years ago as a running start, the plan is to take input from community, government and other interests in a series of meetings this Fall. These meetings will be followed by several multi-day charters to brainstorm on visions for the future of the sector. More information can be found at the website: http://www.mc-mncppc.org/shadygrove/index.shtm The draft “Purpose and Outreach Report”, and a map showing the area encompassed in the review is available at the Town Office.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: August 29, 7:00 p.m. Council Room
Building permit applications were reviewed for an exterior staircase on the studio at 128 Chestnut St. and for a house & garage at 217 Ridge Road.
The application and review process was discussed along with suggested changes to the submission form and application instructions. The HPC continues to discuss the classification of contributing and non-contributing structures using, as a starting point, the list from the National Register Application which used the year of incorporation, 1937, as the determining date. The list will be published for public input when it is adopted. Modifications to the list and its use in review of applications will evolve as the procedures are developed.
Full minutes of all meetings are available on the Town Website.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: August 6, 7:30 p.m. Council Room
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 is $10.00, payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will also review ALL permits. Because of the changes in the review process, please allow at least 30 days for the review and approval.
Maple Lake News
Big Jim is back! Jim Leng will be at the lake afternoons from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. six days per week during the rest of July, and possibly August, as well. The Lake Committee has decided that since so many people go to the lake in the late afternoons after the lifeguards leave at 5:00 p.m., they would feel safer with Jim there. Jim’s presence will discourage vandals and fence climbers as well. He is going to take one day off each week and we will announce that day later.
Some of our newer residents need to be reminded that children under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult over 18 when going to the lake. Also, parking inside the lower gate is reserved for lifeguards and handicapped vehicles only. If you are having a party (with a permit, of course) you may drive down to unload supplies but the vehicle must be returned to the parking lot. The gate at Washington Grove Lane is locked every evening. Please do not leave your car in the parking lot after dusk.
The padlock combination is for Town residents only! Passing it on to friends or acquaintances causes problems.
Copies of the complete Maple Lake rules are available at the Town Office. The abbreviated rules are included on page 2 of the Town directory.
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: September 4, 7:30 p.m. Council Room
Labor Day is coming. This year it is September 2nd! Mark you calendars and get ready for the events.tennis included! More to come.
Let Waste Management Have It.
.your yard waste, that is! In the past, the maintenance staff has always taken care of our brush trimmings. When brush piles are being picked-up, one of the other maintenance duties gets ignored. Waste Management will pick up yard waste under the following conditions:
Brush trimmings are not to exceed 4 inches in diameter by 4 feet in length.
Brush trimmings must be tied securely in bundles and must not exceed 30 inches in diameter.
Put your brush trimmings out for Waste Management to collect by 7:00 a.m. Wednesday mornings. The Town will now pick up brush on Fridays ONLY. Let’s try this and see what happens! Thanks for helping.
To The Muskrat Band for another marching memory! Carol Gordon, Greg Herold, Dylan Hodges, Patrick & Stephen Keese, David & Nathaniel Klinger, Kathy Lehman, Emily McCathran, Todd Sahlroot, and Sam Steel. A special thanks to Elly Briggs and Eric Selby!
To Nick & JoAnn Suzich and Mary Kay Dubois for making the Hot Dog Picnic happen again and to all those who helped set-up and clean up.
What is Universal Dances for Peace?
Universal Dances for Peace is a worldwide organization. The dances are spiritual in nature but are non-denominational and are led by a trained individual. They consist of simple lyrics and dance steps. The lyrics are taken from many different religious/spiritual traditions. Participation is free and open to the public. No refreshments will be served in McCathran Hall however; potluck dinners may take place after the dances at 304 Chestnut Ave. For more information call Jan Davis 301-208-2356.
TV Workshops for County Residents
County residents, as individuals or as representatives of their associations, have the opportunity to make their own televisions shows at Montgomery Community Television. Workshops, using professional television production equipment, begin the week of September 9, 2002. Everyone successfully completing certification workshops is eligible to use MCT’s equipment to create their own programs and have them shown, for free, on The Open Channel, Cable 19. Residents must be age 13 or older. For registration kits and more information, call MCT Training 301-517-8620.
County Landlord-Tenant Relations Law
to Apply in Washington Grove
Town landlords and tenants will now be able to get County assistance in resolving disputes and other aspects of landlord-tenants relations. Specifically, the County licenses all rental facilities; ensures that all rental units meet basic property maintenance standards; provides information on landlord-tenant laws; investigates and conciliates landlord-tenant disputes; and refers complaints which are not conciliated to the Montgomery County Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs. For single-family homes, the annual licensing fee is $95 and inspections are made on a complaint basis. The ordinance adopting the County law is effective on August 7, 2002.
Notice to Swimmers
Because of a missed deadline and a lack of interest, the $5.00 Red Cross Certificates will not be given out this year. However, Courtney will be making her own certificates and distributing them at the end of the swimming session.
Summer in The Parks is happening all over Town. Please be mindful of stray children.
Notice of Public Hearing
Text Amendment to the Code of Ordinances Article III, Section 7, Part b. Proposed ordinance would lower the Town speed limit from 25 to 15 mph.
Date & Time: Monday, September 9, 2002 @ 7:30 p.m.;
Place: McCathran Hall Council Room;