Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 06.09.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the May Council meeting included:
- approval of Ord. No. 2014-01: To Adopt the Town Budget for FY2015 and to levy an ad valorem on all assessable property within the Town (effective June 19, 2014).
- approval of Ord. No. 2014-02: To Amend Town Article XIII, “Application of the County Legislation,” Section1, “Exemption from County Legislation” to exempt the Town of Washington Grove from the application of certain provisions of the County Code Chapter 8 and Chapter 19, to add Chapter 31C “New home warranty and builder licensing” as a County law applicable in the Town, and to revise certain references to the County Code (effective Jun 19, 2014).
Town Election Results
Joli McCathran » 121 votes
Council: 3-year term
Georgette Cole » 119 votes
Audrey Maskery » 115 votes
John McClelland » 87 votes
David Hix » 45 votes
Ed Roberts » 10 votes
Write-ins (1 vote each):
Georgette Cole » 1 vote
John McClelland » 1 vote
Ed Roberts » 4 votes
John Tomlin » 1 vote
Shelley Winkler » 1 vote
Vinny Negin » 1 vote
Council: 3-year term
Larry French » 1 vote
David Hix » 1 vote
Terry Kirtz » 1 vote
Tom Land » 1 vote
John McClelland » 3 votes
Vinny Negin » 1 vote
Ed Roberts » 3 votes
Town Meeting Adopts FY 2015 Budget
The property tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will remain at $0.30/$100 assessed valuation. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, will remain at $97 per dwelling. Budget details are posted on the Town website with hard copies available at the Town Office. Please contact Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Mayor Joli McCathran at 301-869-5358 JMcCathranWGMD@gmail.com if you have questions.
New Mayor and Council Areas of Responsibility and Contact Information:
- Joli A. McCathran: 301-869-5358
- Georgette Cole: 301-330-6740
Historic Preservation Commission, WG Conservation Park, Shady Grove Crossing Liaison
- Audrey Maskery: 301-977-0582
Forestry and Beautification, Memorials
- John McClelland: 301-963-3328
Planning Commission, McCathran Hall
- Carolyn Rapkievian: 301-519-2021
Maple Lake, Safety, Website
- Bill Robertson: 202-497-6359
Maintenance, Roads & Walkways
- Greg Silber: 301-926-1854
Contracts, Recreation, Playgrounds
Notice of Public Hearing
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance No. 2014 03: To Authorize Permanent Easement for Main Buildings Initially Constructed in Part on Land Owned by the Town. The Planning Commission recommended introduction of this ordinance at the Town Council meeting on May 19, 2014.
Playground in Woodward Park
During the Town Meeting on June 10, 2014, it was proposed to set aside $5000 in the Capital Improvement Projects for FY 2016 designating these funds for play equipment in the Woodward Park playground. There is a need for upgrading playground equipment as well as consideration for possible removal and/or installation of playground equipment. Jenn Hix has agreed to chair a Playground Committee. The goal of the Committee is to provide the Mayor and Council with the information for review of a comprehensive playground plan. If you are interested in being a member of this committee, please contact the Town Office at 301-926-2256. Young people are encouraged to join.
CSX Announces Bridge Project Schedule
The signage for the East Deer Park Bridge reconstruction traffic plan will be set in place over the next couple of weeks. The Town and Montgomery County have approved permits for this project to increase vertical clearance under the bridge for double-stacked freight containers. The bridge is scheduled to close at 8:00 pm Friday evening, June 13, and remain closed through most of August. Removal of the existing bridge is expected to take until the end of June. Preparation of the bridge abutments follows, with setting of the new curved girders expected the last week of July. All new wood decking and guardrails will then be added in August. Installation of the new guardrails will likely impact Railroad Street traffic, so one-lane closures on Railroad Street are expected during this later stage. If all goes as planned, the East Deer Park Bridge will reopen on August 22, just ahead of the start of the public school year. Questions may be directed to the Town Office.
It’s About The Yahoo Listserve
Please note the Yahoo listserve is not used for official Town business. This is because not everyone in Town has internet or has joined the group. The Yahoo listserve is not a government forum. It was developed as an informal way to communicate, share information discuss concerns etc… The Town is required to make sure all Town residents are informed equally. The Town’s official electronic notification tool is an e-mail called Grove Alert. Grove Alerts are sent from the Town Office to all residents who have shared an e-mail address with the Town. Those who do not have an e-mail receive hard copies of Grove Alerts which are sent via US Mail. If you are not receiving Grove Alerts and would like to receive these notices, please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256 or email@example.com).
The Town Council meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. Anyone can attend as all Council meetings are open to the public. Each meeting has a time (Public Appearances) where citizens may raise a concern or request assistance on a public issue. If you want to share an item and cannot attend a meeting, contacting the Town Office is appropriate. Please feel free to contact the Mayor or a member of the Town Council directly. Their contact information is included in this Bulletin. The address to send letters is P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 or an e-mail can be sent to the address mentioned above.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 06.04.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.The public is invited to attend.
PLEASE READ AGAIN!! Change to the Building Permit Application Process to begin June 1st
Prior to submitting a building permit application to the PC, the applicant must obtain a formal advisory review of the project by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Currently, a copy of the building permit application is submitted to the HPC immediately after receipt by the PC. This rule change would provide the HPC review at an earlier stage in the design process where it can be more effective in preservation of architectural features, compatibility with neighboring structures, and preservation of the visual character of the Town of Washington Grove. The HPC review (when applicable) must accompany the building permit application. The HPC’s process will be amended to reflect this change.
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. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 06.17.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.
More on Political Hill
By Wendy Harris, HPC member and volunteer Assistant Archivist
This year’s July 4th parade will include a stop at Political Hill. Thanks to efforts by Joli McCathran, Steve Werts and Audrey Maskery, this historic site has now been restored and landscaped. For those not familiar with Political Hill, it is a small rock outcropping located at the edge of Wade Park. During Washington Grove’s Camp Meeting Era (1873-1936), politicians would gather here to talk to voters. As described by Town Archivist Patricia Patula, its location "kept the secular (political) speakers away from the Sacred Circle and the Tabernacle, the central gathering places for the Methodist Camp."
We are continuing to research Political Hill’s history. Recently I turned to “Early American Newspapers,” an online database containing newspapers from 1690 to 1922. There, in the August 17, 1885 edition of Washington DC’s The Critic-Record, I came across an article entitled “A Busy Time, How a Sunday at Washington Grove is Passed.” The relevant section is presented below for readers’ enjoyment:
"That the forthcoming campaign in Montgomery County, Md, will be unusually warm and exciting was manifest by the large number of politicians who concentrated on "Candidate Hill" yesterday. The day seemed a gala one for them and they seemed oblivious of the fact that the camp was for religious purposes and not a political purpose. It is quite safe to say that not a word in either prayer or sermon was heard by these men, whose only interest was who will be the next sheriff or State Senator. The canvas was quietly conducted. The conversation in whispers did not in any way interfere with the services."
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 07.16.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.
Music Weekend 2014
- FRIDAY, JUNE 13
Swing Time Big Band
McCathran Hall, 7:30 to 10 pm,
P I Z Z A !!
Music for your dancing and listening pleasure!
Bring your favorite brew to share!
- SAT. JUNE 14
Children’s Recital & Reception
McCathran Hall, 10-11:30 a.m.
Come hear our talented young musicians and
- SAT. JUNE 14
The Critton Hollow String Band
Gazebo, 7:30 to 10 pm, a favorite returns –
Check them out at www.crittonhollow.com
Bring your own picnic, chairs, blankets and enjoy wonderful music under the stars!
- SUN. JUNE 15
Baroque Breakfast with
Homewood Brass at the Gazebo, 10:30 a.m.
Bring a brunch dish large enough to feed your
family/party to share. Don’t forget a blanket
or a chair. Paper products and coffee provided.
In case of rain, all events in McCathran Hall.
Sponsored by the Recreation Committee.
Woman’s Club News
There was Beatlemania at the Clubhouse for this year’s Flower Show! As with all of our events, it takes the whole Town to make this show a success, but special thanks go to those who worked behind the scenes. This year, Carol Samour joined Georgette Cole and Joli McCathran as co-chairs of the event; the judges were Margaret Binns, Madeleine Brincka, Kari Salmonsen and Carolyn Picardi. Among the many others who contriubted their time and efforts were Jamie Amagai, Joan Mahaffey, Elaine Covard, David Harmon, Meredith Horan, Betsy Klinger, John Klinger, Bill Robertson, Jessica Jones, Margot Bohan, Mimi Bolotin, Jen Hix, Shelley Winkler, the Suzich family JoAnn Suzich, Nick Suzich, Peter Suzich, Timothy Suzich, Cynthia Werts, Janet Lottero, Pat DiBella, John Hagedorn, Ken McCathran, Ned Cyr, Melanie Davison, Travis Davison, Sylvia Favret, Chuck Kershaw, Mimi Styles, Sandy Styles,Deb Tarasevich, Annabel Kaufman, Porter Egan-Frei and everyone who contributed from their gardens. Without helping hands like these, we could never have an event like this!
Once again, Craig English donated one of his signed, framed and numbered pieces as the Best of Show Award, which was won by Carol Samour for her arrangment, centered around her grandmother’s Ticket to Ride to America, in 1903. The other winners were Best Youth to Christina Hammett, Best Speciman to Georgette Cole, and Best Arrangement to Carol Samour.
This year, a special award of one of Leigh Partington’s pottery leaf plates was given to Jan Davis in appreciation for all the years she has designed and made the lovely ribbons given to the first and second place winners of all categories. We also handed out five door prizes donated by local businesses.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our third Annual Progressive Porch Party on June 21st, starting at 6:30 PM and going until everyone’s full of good food and good fun! Everyone’s invited to come meet the members of the Woman’s Club and spend a nice evening with your friends and neighbors
- Appetizers about 6:30 – on Don & Jean McCathran’s porch – 109 Maple Ave.
- Main meal about 7:00 – on the Clubhouse porch – 316 Grove Ave.
- Dessert about 8:00 – on the Appleby’s porch – 112 Chestnut Ave.
July 19th will be the Woman’s Club yard sale. You can start putting your contributions on the Clubhouse porch any time after the June 21st.
Maple Lake News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 06.18.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
There will be lessons…Swimming lessons will start on July 1, 2014. To register, please fill out the enclosed form and return it to Emily Brown.
Maple Lake Is Open for Business!
Maple Lake is now open for weekend use and will be open for daily use from June 13 – Sept., 2014. Lifeguards will be on duty from Noon – 6:00 PM. Regulations for Maple Lake can be found on the website or at the Town Office.
WG Meadow Park News
Calling for volunteers for a Friends of the Washington Grove Meadow Group! Would you like to be part of protecting and improving the Meadow Park? Installing the milkweed is a great start but brainstorming on what else would be good for our park is the next step. These people will also be able to work in the meadow along with a Parks Department trained "Weed Warrior." We have three Weed Warriors in Town now, but you don’t have to be one to help out in the meadow.
From the Parks Department: Several Magnolias have been installed around the kiosk to help beatify and provide a "green" screen. In addition to the plants a temporary sign with the name of the park was installed. This temporary sign will serve to identify the park while the permanent sign is on order. Also, contact numbers for Park Police, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and the Poacher Hotline were added to the existing No Hunting sign. Residents noted possible hunting activity recently and should use these resources if they are concerned about illegal hunting or suspicious activity.
When you walk your dog in the Park, don’t forget to pick up after them! Montgomery County code requires removal of dog waste by the walker or owner of the dog. This is for the comfort and safety of everyone. Please remember dumping in the Park is not allowed. This includes leaves, dirt, or grass clippings. Also not permitted is mowing or maintenance outside what Parks Dept. or Town maintenance personnel provide. Bird baths, bird houses, or other structures are not permitted and should be removed.
Fourth of July Parade
This year, the Town is celebrating the restoration of Political Hill. Toward this end, the parade route will be a little different. There will be a brief stop at Political Hill where there will be a short history lesson. Then back to McCathran Hall for more fun!
Independence Day Schedule (Friday, July 4th)
- 11a.m. – COSTUME JUDGING – Woodward Park
- NOON – FLAG RAISING & PARADE – Woodward Park
- 12:30 p.m. AWARDS ETC… at McCathran Hall
FROM THE HPC
Early HPC Review FAQs
As a follow-up to the Planning Commission’s recent announcement of a change in the Building Permit application process, the Historic Preservation Commission has prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions about these changes and about Historic Preservation Commission reviews in general:
- Why is there a change in the building permit review process so that now an advisory Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) review is required prior to submitting an application to the Planning Commission (PC)? The best time for an applicant to consider the advice of the HPC is before the design has been finalized and when different options are still being considered. Too often, under the current procedures, the HPC sees the project after final plans have been drawn and the budget is set. This is not an optimal time for additional advice to be heard. The objective of the rule change is to allow the HPC to be involved earlier in the process, when its advice can be best considered by the applicant and incorporated into the final plans.
- Why do we have to consult with the HPC when we are planning a building project? Washington Grove is an extraordinary community. As residents, we are reminded of this when we ask ourselves why we moved here or if we have lived here for a long time why we stay. While the Town’s Woods Group and Forestry Committee act as stewards of the natural environment, it is the job of the HPC to protect and preserve the Town’s many historic buildings as well as an historic landscape created by past inhabitants. This historic landscape includes such elements as Washington Grove’s open spaces and its unusual street layout. In 1980, nearly all of Washington Grove was declared an historic district and listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. In 2001, the Town established the HPC in order to oversee the historic district’s unique scale and character. In 2013, Preservation Maryland placed Washington Grove on their list of Maryland’s “Most Endangered Historic Sites,” demonstrating the heightened urgency for the Town to safeguard its heritage. Perhaps the most important way the HPC assists the Town in doing this is by reviewing building permit applications. When residents consult with the HPC, they not only receive free advice (based upon HPC members’ knowledge of the Town, its history and prior project reviews) but also help sustain the Town’s historic character, allowing it to be passed on and shared with future generations.
- Do all building projects require an HPC review? Most projects will require an HPC review as well as a building permit. This would include additions, sheds and other accessory buildings, as well as any structural changes (e.g. dormers, porches). New residences also require both an HPC review and a building permit.
- What does the HPC look for in their design reviews? The HPC’s advisory design reviews deal only with the exteriors of structures (private, public and accessory buildings), focusing primarily on “notable elements of the Town’s architectural heritage,” as described in the Town’s nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. During any individual review, the HPC compares the project design with written guidelines that are based upon the special character of the Washington Grove Historic District. Issues addressed by the guidelines include the overall scale of a project (i.e. how the rooflines and other parts of the building relate to the modest scale of neighboring houses) and how an individual building relates to the lot within which it sits and to the adjoining walkways and alleys. Because we are a “Town within a Forest,” the guidelines also address building materials, emphasizing those that facilitate the structure’s integration with the surrounding trees. Washington Grove takes pride in the “eclectic composition” of its architecture. As a result, sections of the guidelines help with decisions on window design and placement, as well as the ornamentation and detailing of porches and gables.
- What are the specific steps involved in the HPC review? Applicants should begin by submitting early-stage design plans to the HPC for review. The HPC conducts its project reviews on the third Tuesday of every month. To ensure that their building project is reviewed in a timely manner, it’s helpful for applicants to leave their documents with the Town Clerk a week or so before the next scheduled HPC meeting. This enables the HPC chair to place the review on the meeting agenda. Applicants are encouraged to attend the meeting in which their design plans have been scheduled for review, which will allow them to participate in the discussion and ask questions directly. In many cases, applicants have found that HPC comments and suggestions have enhanced their building projects. Following the meeting, an HPC member will prepare a written review, which must then be attached to the permit application prior to its submittal to the PC.
TUNE UP FOR TENNIS
beginner ….intermediate …. anyone who wants to work on the basics
June 16 – 19; 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
$20 to the Town of Washington Grove
Please contact Linda Baim 301-926-8767 (h) or 240-997-1701 (c) if you would like to participate.
Adult and Junior Camps:
TBA in the July Bulletin. They will take place after July 9th. Stay tuned
Three cheers for Steve, Bruce, Terry and anyone who has helped refurbish the Town dirt courts. Go check them out (not yet ready for play), you won’t believe the difference. Step two (2) is the lines.