/* The Divi child theme test */ Planning Commission Meeting Minutes February 2011 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net


2 February 2011 | Approved: 2 March 2011

Commission Chair Eric Gleason called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Samantha Beres, Georgette Cole, Brenda Gumula and Steve Werts. Also in attendance were residents Charlie Challstrom and David Stopak.

Approval of Agenda

Samantha Beres moved to approve the agenda. Brenda Gumula seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Approval of the Minutes

Georgette Cole moved to approve the minutes from January 2, 2011. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

Building Permit Applications

There were no building permit applications. There was a brief discussion about Samantha Beres taking over the permit review duties and keeping the database up-to-date.

Zoning Text Amendment – Amending Article VII; Sections 3 & 4 (Anti-Mansionization)

Eric Gleason gave a brief overview of the most recent joint PC/HPC meeting. The Commission reviewed the draft zoning text amendment. This document can now move forward to the Town Council for review and possible introduction. There was a discussion about a joint PC/HPC comment letter that would become a part of the public comment record that will clearly explain the intent of the ordinance, its current limitations and recommendations for future joint efforts to further address the issue of mansionization in later ordinances. The Commission also discussed FAR (Floor Area Ratio), homes made non-compliant by the legislation, the 500 ft. base value, how to calculate square footage accurately, the definition of “enclosed area”, ambiguities of the Maryland State records and the need for a new building permit checklist.

Georgette Cole moved to apply to the Town Council for a Zoning Text Amendment as embodied in Draft Ordinance No. 2011-01; Amending Article VII; Sections 3 & 4 (Anti-Mansionization). Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Georgette Cole moved to accept Draft Ordinance (ZTA) No. 2011-01 and present it to the Town Council for introduction at the meeting on February 14, 2011. Brenda Gumula seconded the motion.
Approved: 5-0.

Fence Update

Samantha Beres reported that the fences at 115 Washington Grove Lane and 352 Ridge Road are compliant. There was a brief discussion about the Forest Conservation Law. Samantha offered to talk to Mr. Chisholm (352 Ridge Rd.) to explain what Town government understands about the law.

Boundary Survey vs. House Location Survey – Definitions/Discussion

Brenda Gumula presented information from licensed surveyor Joe Snider concerning the standard definition of a house location survey, a boundary survey, a lot line survey etc… The Commission decided to add these definitions to the Building Permit Application Instructions.

PC Priorities for the Future

After some discussion, the Commissionagreed on the following items;

  • Continue with the block corner surveys at the rate of two (2) per year (including one rectangular block).
  • Continue to use the Code Enforcement Officer, when needed, during the permitting process.
  • Continue to explore what to do about encroachments on Town property.
  • Stay vigilant concerning the threats to Town borders.
  • Research driveway permits, parking on Town property and the placement of bushes (permanent obstructions) in a manner that causes a safety hazard at intersections.
  • Continue to work on ways to combat bulk, mass and scale of new and remodeled homes.
  • Continue working on ordinances in order to further clarify non-compliance, exemptions for special structures, permitting for structures less than 3 feet tall and the definition of grade.

There was a brief discussion about the shifting of PC duties. Samantha Beres will now check the permits and Brenda Gumula and Georgette Cole will do the fence checks. The Commission will also add clarifying language to the Building Permit Instructions concerning fines if a fence or other structures are found to have been located in a place other than what the approved permit states.

Report from the Town Council

The Commission briefly discussed speed cameras and the Casey 6 & 7 properties.

Other Business

Georgette brought up the card and Certificate Of Appreciation for former member Bob Evans who died on January 16, 2011. These will be given to his wife Kathie and daughter Sarah to honor Bob’s work on the Planning Commission.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

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