14 August 2006 | Approved: 11 September 2006
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Linda Baim, Georgette Cole, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Charlie Challstrom, Carolyn Sanford, Sarah Steel, Ray Swogger, Ken McCathran, Joli McCathran, Ed Roberts, Candi Byrne, Joan Mahaffey, George Paine and Maggie Range.
Ray Swogger, resident at 8221 Langport Terrace which borders the Town East Woods, came to discuss bow hunting. Mr. Swogger asked permission to retrieve any wounded deer that may run into the East Woods after being shot. State law requires permission to retrieve dead/wounded deer from adjacent property owners. A discussion about the bow hunting, experience, deer stand, time of day for shooting and killing for food ensued. The Mayor and Council delayed any decision until September 11, 2006.
Georgette Cole came on behalf of the Woman’s Club with a second design for the entrance. The Club would like to re-do the entrance in order to be accessible.
Carolyn Sanford came to ask the Mayor and Council to allow her to use an excess parcel of land purchased from the Town in a manner that is specifically prohibited in the deed. She needs 2 ½ feet to meet the setback requirements for a new home. Mayor Compton needs a diagram showing the lots and how the excess parcel was calculated etc…and what lot lines between Buckley and Sanford would look like with the parcel included in the calculation. David Stopak reminded the Council of the nominal price of the land, of the circumstances under which the deed was transferred, and of the long delay in finalizing the deal. Darrell Anderson said that the intent of the deed was very clear; no use of the land to calculate setbacks. Carolyn will return to the Council with the requested documents.
Approval of Minutes
David Stopak moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Town Council minutes of July 10, 2006 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
David Stopak brought up a drainage problem that exists from 102 Center Street to 10 Center Street. The question of how much Town property was involved at Hickory Road was asked. Jim Fletcher was asked to assess the situation and report back to the Mayor and Council. Jim reported that he investigated the purchase of a new Town tractor at Gladhill’s in Damascus. Jim also reported that he has been unsuccessful in getting the contractor who dug up Center Street by the Maintenance Shop to come back and fix the area. The job is not satisfactory and the Town may have to file a claim. The subject of yard waste was discussed. It was suggested that Bruce, Jim and Kathy make up a brochure to outline the procedures. Betsy Klinger suggested using a “Grove Groundhog” to get people’s attention.
David Stopak moved, Linda Baim seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for July be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
Re-adoption of Zoning Text Amendment 2005-07
Georgette Cole moved to re-adopt Zoning Text Amendment 2005-07, Darrell Anderson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Safety on 2nd Avenue and Access from Miller Drive
Mayor Compton reviewed past history of access to Grove Ave. via Miller Drive, land-locked properties of Range and Roberts, Ed Roberts’ health problems, emergency services access, and the compromise of the Miller Drive chain. Ed Roberts felt that the chain was a problem for emergency services. John Compton feels that the chain is an obstacle to Ed’s safety. Signs were added and the chain was removed to see if this solution would work for Ed and discourage vehicular access to Grove Avenue. A letter and petition from citizens asked for access to be limited.
Candi Byrne – First the Council made the decision to place posts to limit access, then the posts were removed and a chain was put up. Now the chain was removed. Is there a procedure set in the Grove for free access for health issues? Is this a liability issue? Mayor Compton responded that in his judgment this was a safety issue for Ed Roberts that caused him to over-rule the Council decision. The Mayor also stated that Ed was 3 years older, sicker etc… with a small number of vehicles on 2nd Avenue.
David Stopak – What is the solution?
Ken McCathran – Enforcement of the Town Ordinance which allows for vehicular access only for the unloading of household goods permitted on the avenues. Move to more appropriate housing when health will not permit living alone.
Ed Roberts – Thinks this is a vendetta and is asking for peace and freedom from harassment. Ed also stated that the placement of the McCathran’s propane tank is a safety issue.
Linda Baim – A chain might be preferable than poles.
Ed Roberts – Emergency vehicles do not go past the chain and think that they don’t have access.
Linda Baim – Could we clear out 2nd Avenue and leave the chain?
Candi Byrne – All access to avenues should be equal.
David Stopak said that he thought the Mayor’s decision was right.
Darrell Anderson asked about signage.
Georgette Cole suggested the possibility of an extra sign prohibiting access to Grove Avenue.
Candi Byrne stated that this was unbalanced treatment of Town residents.
David Stopak stated that safety is the primary concern.
Candi Byrne stated that the emergency equipment will not access 2nd Avenue.
Georgette Cole stated that the general philosophy in the U.S. is to protect the vulnerable but Mr. Roberts has not always been a good neighbor.
David Stopak proposed cutting off the discussion…he supports John’s decision as reasonable.
The sense of the Council was to endorse the Mayor’s decision. Residents will be consulted if the situation changes with more encroachment.
Georgette Cole reported that five (5) locations have been selected. Per federal regulations, none can be located in front of curves or intersections. Sarah Steel stated that the proposed humps will completely restrict her driving in her van and her motorized wheelchair. Sarah cannot maneuver the speed humps on Ridge Road. It was suggested that the Town be sure to leave one (1) clear access road at least. Discussion… The decision is to consider speed humps at Oak & Maple, Oak & Chestnut, and at Grove Rd. near 6th Avenue and to put a speed hump on Chestnut Road north of Acorn Lane. The Clerk will put a call for public comment in the Bulletin.
Ordinance Violation Procedure
The Planning Commission would establish the violations and the Town Council would enforce. The PC would like guidance about the process. The PC is also willing to further clarify roles. David Stopak moved to extend the notification period for ordinance violations (implementation section of Ord. 2005-08) from six (6) months to 12 months. Linda Baim seconded. Vote: 5-0.
- ICC Noise & Visual Impact – Mayor Compton reviewed the results of an early August meeting with representatives from the State Highway Administration concerning the impact of the Inter-County Connector. The Mayor believes that the Town has been short-changed on the visual/noise impact results. He also stated that the Maryland Historic Trust has been of little help on the issue.
- Casey Field Development – Mayor Compton reported that Toll Brothers Phase I Site Plan still needs a storm water management pond which triggered a revision of the site plan. He also reported that M-NCPPC expressed concern about the condemnation of the LOS property. It was reported that the State Highway Administration wants a maintenance depot and is considering Casey tracts 6 & 7 as possible locations.
- Deer Park Bridge – As of August 2, 2006, the Town is in receipt of the report from our consultant.
see Maintenance Report.
Historic Preservation Commission – David Stopak reported that the HPC re-examined the plans for 206 Grove Avenue. The Commission is still struggling with how to get sufficient information for an adequate review.
Darrell Anderson reported that in order to provide an accurate record of the intent of an ordinance change, the Planning Commission recommends that a more formal document describing the purpose, intent, and reasoning for the change be used. This type of document will help answer future questions, should any arise.
Darrell Anderson reported that the MML did not meet in July or August. Regular contact with State Delegates has been maintained regarding Town issues.
Forestry & Beautification
The Forestry Committee has been on hiatus largely due to temporary health issues of Chair, Carol Uhlendorf. Georgette Cole reported that two (2) meetings with Asplundh occurred in August. The meetings took place in an effort to beautify the Ridge Road bus stop and the fenced area around Asplundh. They were very encouraging.
Roads & Walkways
Georgette Cole reported that, at their request, she met with some residents who were concerned about the removal of the chain at Miller Drive and Grove Avenue. Georgette advised them that the best means of communicating their concerns would be a letter to the Mayor and Council and/or a public appearance at the next Council meeting. Georgette also reported that she had been contacted by Sarah Steel regarding the proposal for new speed bumps in Town. She has valid concerns relating to access for wheelchairs and vehicles modified to accommodate wheelchairs.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Committee met on July 26, 2006 and adopted a new method of assigning responsibilities for events. Each member with adopt two (2) events and carry out all responsibilities (“soup to nuts”) of the adopted events. That way all members aren’t responsible for all things at all events. The Committee will continue to meet every other month with the next meeting being September 27, 2006.
Safety – Betsy Klinger reported that she had written a letter to DPWT requesting pedestrian crossing signs for Washington Grove Lane. To date she has received no response.
Linda Baim reported that the playgrounds and the tennis courts are being well used this summer. Water on the clay courts continues to be a difficult maintenance issue. Bruce added more stones to the gulley around the hard court.
Maple Lake – Linda Baim reported that although the Lake is in great shape; security continues to be a problem. Fixed holes in the fence continue to be cut and the new combination gets out within a few days. The Lake Committee is looking at new security ideas.
Darrell Anderson gave the Town the final Urban Forest Management Plan. Mayor Compton also reported that he had talked to the new realtor. He also reported that a date for a public hearing about the zoning proposed by Town Attorney Bill Roberts.
David Stopak moved to introduce Ordinance Number 2006-03: Creation of an optional method of development for subdivisions in the Residential Zones of the Town and Ordinance Number 2006-04: Subdivision Ordinance Amendment. Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
At 11:10 PM, Darrell Anderson moved to close the meeting and go into Executive Session, Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
At 12:15 AM, Darrell Anderson moved to adjourn, Georgette Cole seconded. Vote: 5-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 a.m.