8 July 2002 | Approved: 12 August 2002
Mayor John Compton called the public hearing to order at 7:39 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Betsy Klinger, Peggy Odick, David Stopak, Nick Suzich and John Tomlin. Representatives from Montgomery County’s Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs gave a short presentation on the benefits of the Town adopting Chapter 29 of the County Code into the Town’s Article XIII. Also present for this meeting were Tom Appleby, David Neumann, Ed Roberts, Ken McCathran, Mary Challstrom and Jim Fletcher. Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 8:13 p.m.
Tom Appleby voiced his support for the hiring of a Code Enforcement Officer and his concern about speeders and litterbugs.
Approval of Minutes
Peggy Odick moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Town Council minutes of May 13, 2002 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
Peggy Odick moved, David Stopak seconded, that the Treasurer’s report be accepted. Vote: 6-0.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- A plan for a new development on Central Avenue, “Four Chimney’s” was sent to the Mayor. The plans are available in the Town Office.
- The newest version of “The Casey Property at Mill Creek” is also available in the Town Office. Mayor Compton and others met with developers and engineers again last week. The Town is still enjoying a working relationship with all involved.
- The Shady Grove sector review of the Master Plan has begun. A new procedure of taking lots of information from all parties involved and offering several charettes will be tried this time. Mayor Compton thinks that the Town’s participation is essential and will appoint some representatives in the near future.
- Betsy Klinger moved and Peggy Odick seconded the re- appointment of Clare Cavicchi to a 3-year term on the Historic Preservation Commission. Vote: 6-0
- Nick Suzich moved and Peggy Odick seconded the re-appointment of Marc Hansen to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Vote: 6-0
- Nick Suzich moved and Darrell Anderson seconded the re-appointment of Pat Deely and Don Henninger to the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove FireBoard. Vote: 6-0
- David Stopak moved and Peggy Odick seconded the re-appointment of John McClelland to the position of Chairman on the Planning Commission. Vote: 6-0
Proposal of Hourly Rate for Rental of McCathran Hall
The Council was presented with a proposal to rent the Hall for less than the full day currently available, for example a string quartet rehearsal or Girl Scout meetings. David Stopak suggested that we set a fee for the first 2 hours of use and then an hourly one after that. Other discussion ensued including an exchange of Hall rental for services rendered to non-profit groups. The Council will review a new proposal and then revise the McCathran Hall regulations accordingly.
Discussion of Encroachments on Town Property
After a meeting with Ed Roberts on July 6th, Mayor Compton decided that a Bulletin item stating that planting of trees on Town property would have to be approved by the Mayor was in order. Ed Roberts expressed his concern with untrimmed shrubbery on 2nd Avenue hindering access by emergency vehicles to his property. He also expressed his desire to be treated equally with regards to the use of Town property for his patio. There was a lot of discussion about permanent (porches) and non-permanent (plantings) uses of Town property. Mary Challstrom asked for clarification of the issue. The Roberts’ property is one of the few in that area that does have all 4 corners marked. Why can’t the Town find the 2 on 2nd Avenue and tie a string between them to prevent the encroachment of Mr. Roberts’ patio? Mayor Compton agreed that that should happen and stated that the patio could not be built on Town property. Based on the amount of time already taken from the meeting, Mayor Compton suggested that we table the issue until next month. He also suggested that the neighbors, Anne Marie Murphy, Nancy Haskett, Betty Knight, Ken & Joli McCathran and Ed Roberts meet with him to try to work on reasonable uses of Town property in that area. No actual meeting date was set.
Code Enforcement Officer
Mayor Compton and the Council think that this is a good idea. Mayor Compton would like to appoint a group to work on this and will come up with suggestions by our next Council meeting. Mary Challstrom said that we have Municipal Infractions information on file that will help address the penalties issue.
Town Speed Limits
After much discussion, Peggy Odick moved and Darrell Anderson seconded a proposal to change the text of Article III, Section 7, part b of the Code of Ordinances, from twenty-five (25) miles per hour to fifteen (15) miles per hour. The Public Hearing will be set for September 9, 2002. Vote: 6-0
Montgomery County Landlord-Tenant Affairs
Peggy Odick moved and Darrell Anderson seconded to adopt Chapter 29, the Montgomery County law for Landlord-Tenant Relations, into Article XIII of the Code of Ordinances for the Town of Washington Grove. Vote: 6-0
Maintenance & Intergovernmental
John Tomlin reported that brush pick-up was taking a ridiculous amount of staff time. He proposed that we put a blurb in the Bulletin explaining the County recycling program again. It was also proposed that Jim Fletcher pick-up brush one day per week only. John will write something for the July Bulletin.
Nick Suzich reported that the first phase of Program Open Space was finished and that Amy Porter would be helping with the acquisition of playground equipment.
David Stopak reported the following incidents: stolen truck, stolen wallet, stolen car found inside upper Lake gate and the shooting on Washington Grove Lane.
The pond weed is high and continues to be treated. The Lake combo has been changed to 1682.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Forest Reserve Plan for 342 Ridge Road was approved.
Trees on Silver Dollar Court – Town will write a letter and tell resident to prune the limbs that hang over her property if she wishes.
Accessory Apartments – tabled until next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:12 p.m.