5 March 2002 | Approved: 2 April 2002
Chairman John McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Darrell Anderson, Vicki Andrews, Bob Evans, John McClelland, Bill Miller and Bud O’Connor. Town residents Mimi Bolotin, Peggy Odick, John Tomlin, Mike Voigt and Allen Winter were present. Also present were Shirl Harrison, owner of the Cator property at 17050 Railroad Street and Tom Maddox, Engineer representing the owner of 342 Ridge Road.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for February were approved as corrected.
Subdivision of 342 Ridge Road
Tom Maddox presented a preliminary plan for the subdivision of the property at 342 Ridge Road. The plan shows two lots, one behind the other with a pipestem driveway for the rear property on one side. Peggy Odick expressed concern that the pipestem driveway will look unattractive. John Tomlin and Mike Voigt expressed concern over the number of wells being drilled in the area of Washington Grove Hills and Mimi Bolotin asked if the large pine tree on the property would be removed. The Commission agreed that the preliminary plan meets current ordinances and informed Mr. Maddox that his next step would be to provide a Forest Conservation Plan to the Commission for approval.
All residents present inquired if there would be an opportunity for public input on the subdivision of this and other Town property. John McClelland said that the current procedures offer no opportunity for public input and if the plan meets the requirements of the ordinances, the plan is approved. Allen Winter pointed out that in the past there have been special Town Meetings called to address similar issues and that the Mayor, Town Council or a petition of Town residents could call a special meeting. John McClelland suggested working with the Town Council to review ordinances regarding subdivisions at the Town Meeting in June. Vicki Andrews noted that in August 2001 the Planning Commission expressed concern on the subdivision issue and a list of sixteen subdividable lots were identified in Town. John McClelland asked John Tomlin to bring copies of pertinent Montgomery County ordinances to the next Town Meeting. Peggy Odick suggested looking at other municipalities’ ordinances as a reference.
Forest Preserve/Town-Owned Lots
John McClelland raised a question regarding the town-owned lots bordering the Forest Preserve behind the English, Lembesis, Christin, Linscheid and Bush properties on Center Street. The Commission discussed whether the lots should be offered for sale to the owners of the properties to which they are adjacent or whether the lots should be designated as Forest Preserve. Vicki Andrews reported that the Town attorney, Bill Roberts, has been made aware of the situation and his advice has been requested. The Commission agreed to reopen the issue after his input has been received.
Shirl Harrison resubmitted a plan for the Cator property having changed the zoning to RR-1 as requested by the Planning Commission. The new plan consists of six houses surrounding a cul-de-sac. Ms. Harrison is requesting that the Commission approve the plan prior to the property being annexed into Washington Grove. John McClelland told Ms. Harrison that he would contact her regarding a Forest Conservation Plan and next steps.
John McClelland expressed concern that part of the setback requirements looked as if they were being satisfied by using property that is actually part of Railroad Street. Bill Miller suggested asking for an alternate plan that provides more of a buffer of trees and vegetation and perhaps allows the developer more density of housing. He also said he thinks there may be a county ordinance requiring a five-year waiting period on up-zoning properties that are annexed. Darrell Anderson reported that the Town Council has expressed concerns regarding the Cator property and has suggested reconsidering annexing the property under the current conditions.
Master Plan Review
Allen Winter submitted the Master Plan Review draft to the Planning Commission for approval. Bob Evans moved, John McClelland seconded, that the Planning Commission submit the Master Plan revision to the Town Council on March 11 subject to technical revisions.
Town Council Report
Darrell Anderson reported that Montgomery County is planning a Transportation and Environment Committee hearing on the Railroad Bridge this spring. The Town will oppose the Oakmont to Washington Grove Lane plan currently under consideration.
Building Permit Report
John McClelland reported that a permit for a shed and a fence has been granted for the McConnell property at 10 Maple Avenue.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:43 p.m.