/* The Divi child theme test */ Planning Commission Meeting Minutes November 2009 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net

4 November 2009 | Approved: 2 December 2009

Chairman McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Georgette Cole, Bob Evans and Eric Gleason. Also in attendance were residents Min Bent, David Bent, Charlie Challstrom, Kathie Evans, Eric Gompf, Soledad Gompf, Ralph Hurst, Bill Uhlendorf and Susan Uhlendorf.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from October were approved. Vote: 5-0.

Public Appearances

Mr. & Mrs. Gompf (517 Washington Grove Lane) presented plans for the addition of a front portico and new dormers to their home. The Commission determined that a permit was necessary because the new dormers were structural (not cosmetic) and the portico extended further into the front yard and was no longer cantilevered (support beams were added). Mr. McClelland noted that a prior inspection of the property showed that the portico had already been completed without a permit. He also noted that this information had been turned over to Mayor Anderson for appropriate action. Mr. Gompf was asked to submit a plat or house location survey of his property to verify the setbacks for the newly constructed portico. After a lengthy discussion, the Gompf’s were advised that the Historic Preservation Commission would have to review the permit application which would come back to the Commission for approval at the December meeting. The Gompf’s were advised that this type of construction would also require a permit from Montgomery County.


  • 317 Brown Street: Architect Ralph Hurst presented plans for an addition. Questions about height, setbacks and lot coverage were addressed. With the new addition, the lot coverage will come in at 24.86%. All applicable aspects of Article VII, Section 9 (Schedule of Standards) appear to be in order. This property is owned by Commissioner Evans, therefore, he recused himself.
  • 319 Brown Street: The Commission approved an application for a 6 ft. high, board-on-board fence between this property and 317 Brown Street per Article VII, Section 3.328. Vote: 4-0 Commissioner Evans recused himself.
  • 407 4th Ave: Min and David Bent returned with a house location survey from 1995 and asked that the Planning Commission reconsider the denial of a permit for a fence on the property line between their home and the home at 17 The Circle (Uhlendorf). After a lengthy discussion, the Planning Commission stood by their original decision to deny the permit because of the known discrepancy concerning the exact location of the property line. The Commission suggested two options to remedy the problem:
    1. Using a licensed surveyor, produce a line by agreement deal and record it at the County land records.
    2. Have a licensed surveyor do a complete boundary survey.
  • 215 Washington Grove Lane: The Commission approved a permit application for the enclosure of a small porch at this home. It was noted that this property has a fence half of which is located on Town property. The Commission discussed adding a provision to Article IV that would allow the Planning Commission to withhold approval of building permit application for any property with an outstanding code violation. The existing violation would have to be corrected in order for any new building permit to be issued for the property.

344 Ridge Road

Chairman McClelland gave a brief review of the current problem with this property. He asked for comments from the Commission. Charlie Challstrom noted that he believed that Montgomery County had over-stepped in their denial of the wallcheck. After some discussion, the Commission agreed to present Mayor Anderson with the following suggested enforcement options:

  1. Property owner Terry Arnold is fined a substantial amount ($20K) for building into the setbacks, the violation is noted in the Town files and the issue is resolved.
  2. Mr. Arnold buys 1 ½ feet of land from his neighbor (348 Ridge Road) in order to correct the violation and records this purchase in the land records of Montgomery County.
  3. Mr. Arnold moves the wall that extends in to the setbacks to meet the approved 10’6″ setback.

108 Maple Ave

Chairman McClelland reported that the residents were still trying to get their landscaper in to complete the re-grading of the area in question. John will request that the Mayor write a letter which gives the residents a maximum date by which this project is to be completed.

103 Brown Street

Chairman McClelland stated that this project’s completion date was December 15, 2009. The Mayor informed the residents via letter. A discussion about the similarities between this property and 415 Grove Ave. ensued as did one about the need for a fair, consistent process to deal with ordinance violations.

Ordinance Revision

There was a brief discussion about the progress made in the joint PC/HPC meetings. Charlie Challstrom presented a handout (Exhibit A) and Eric Gleason reminded the Commission of an earlier tools e-mail that he distributed.

Report from the Town Council

Georgette Cole sent her report to the Commission via e-mail (Exhibit B). There was a brief discussion about the use of State Program Open Space funds for updates to the playground. Mr. McClelland expressed his ongoing personal concern that accepting any amount of these matching funds does not justify the 20 year restrictions and regulations imposed by the State, which can be unilaterally changed at any time as well.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

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