/* The Divi child theme test */ Planning Commission Meeting Minutes September 2010 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net

1 September 2010 | Approved: 6 October 2010

Georgette Cole (substituting for Chairman Evans) called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Samantha Beres, Eric Gleason, Jane Seegal and Steve Werts. Also in attendance was resident Ed Roberts and property owner Kent Williams (415 Grove Ave.).

Approval of Minutes

Jane Seegal moved to approve the August minutes. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Public Appearances

Ed Roberts asked the Commission if permits were necessary for the construction of a handicapped ramp and an overhang at his door that faces 2nd Avenue. He was told that he did need a permit from the Town and the County for the overhang but did not need a Town permit for the ramp. Although the ramp would be less than 3 feet high, thus eliminating the need for a Town permit, he was urged to get a County permit because of the safety issues involved with handicapped ramps.

Discussion of 415 Grove Ave. Proposal

After review of the proposed landscaping plan, Georgette Cole stated that it does not fit with the options presented in the letter from the Mayor dated 3 February 2010. The Commission agreed. Ms. Cole also pointed out that the building in question is in violation of the setbacks for an accessory building as well; however, because this issue seems to have been overlooked by previous Commissions it would not be addressed now. A discussion about the two (2) options in the Mayor’s letter; 1) Lowering the roof, 2) Connecting the accessory building to the main house with a breezeway using the current ordinance standards for this type of connection. There was also a discussion about; determining the height of the building by averaging the four (4) corners at finished grade, the cost of lowering the roof, a perceived lack of clarity in the ordinances, pre-development grade, non-compliance vs. non-conformance, the Town Board of Zoning Appeals process, the Town building permit requirements, options for lowering the roof, consistency, drainage and grading to the current slab. Mr. Williams was informed of the following conclusions;

  • The roof will be lowered to 20 feet as measured from the finished grade to the peak of the roof
  • Finished grade height is one (1) inch below slab level on all four (4) corners
  • A building permit is required for lowering the roof
  • No permit required for window replacement, tree removal or fence repair

Mr. Williams will write up his understanding of the things agreed to at this meeting and send it to the Town via e-mail. Mr. Williams was informed that the permit requirements and application can be downloaded from the Town website.

Building Permits

  • 110 Grove Avenue: John McClelland presented a building permit application for the enclosure of a small back porch. Because there are no setback, height or foundation issues, it was determined that this permit would be in the category of a minor building permit ($10.00). A house location survey was accepted in lieu of a boundary survey since the building footprint was not changed. Mr. McClelland was advised to get a permit from Montgomery County in order to verify his footers and any structural issues with the removal of the interior wall. This permit application will be up for approval at the next meeting on October 6, 2010.

Discussion of Non-Complying Structure Ordinance

After a brief discussion about Article VII, Section 5; Non-Conforming Uses and Non-Complying Buildings, the Commission agreed that the spirit of the ordinance was that a non-compliance could not be increased in any direction, including up. It could be repaired, remodeled or re-constructed to the original standards only.
There was a brief discussion about the need for residents to obtain permission to gravel, cement or plant on Town property. Eric Gleason brought up the use of a “Right of Entry” where the Town would be held harmless.

There was also a brief mention, by Georgette Cole, of the Roadside Tree Law and the Town’s efforts to comply with State regulations.

Mansionization – Next Steps

Georgette Cole reported that the meetings continue. The FAR sub-group will meet on Sept. 14, 2010.

Report from the Town Council

Georgette Cole presented a written report (Exhibit A). There were no questions.

Other Business

Jane Seegal reported that she had come to a dead end on the propane tank placement issue. Jane will follow up with a phone call to the Fire Marshall.

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

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