/* The Divi child theme test */ Town Council Meeting Minutes June 2014 | Town of Washington Grove
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9 June 2014 | Approved: 14 July 2014

Mayor Pro-Tem John McClelland called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery, Carolyn Rapkievian and Bill Robertson. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, Historic Preservation Commission Chair Bob Booher, property owner Dennis Kane and residents John Hutchinson, Allan Janus, Peter Nagrod, Bud O’Connor, Carolyn O’Connor, Eva Polston, Ed Roberts, Bruce Rothrock, Jane Seegal and David Stopak.

Public Hearing

Ordinance No. 2014-03; Authorize Permanent Easements for Main Building Initially Constructed in Part on Land Owned by the Town
Mayor Pro-Tem McClelland called the Public Hearing to order at 7:34 p.m. Chairman Challstrom distributed a one-page document which contained four (4) words added by Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson during the afternoon. The changes were to clarify who was requesting an easement and why. Charlie gave a history of the ordinance (from first draft to introduction on May 19, 2014) and explained the ordinance would clean up a long-standing problem for residents and the Town. Charlie also explained the addition of "and using a unique line-type" as an assurance the property in question will remain easily identifiable even if the drawing were reproduced in black and white. Three (3) additional words and a phrase in the "whereas" section were added after the June 9 text from the Town Attorney was reviewed. There was input from the HPC in terms of historical integrity and compatibility as well. Comments from the public included;

  • Rebuilding in a different location on the lot (specific to 203 2nd Ave.)
  • Removal of “same footprint” language
  • Degree of non-compliance definition
  • Required yard definition
  • Public vs. Private interest
  • Loss of the use of Town land
  • Safety (specific to 203 2nd Ave.)
  • Rebuilding as is
  • Vague language (one resident’s perception)
  • Guidelines
  • Implied additional scrutiny by the Town (one resident’s perception)
  • Historical integrity and compatibility – Who determines this?
  • HPC review of the entire rebuild project vs. the part on the Town easement
  • Complications created by the “and the whole renovation” language
  • The need to move forward with this ordinance (specific to 203 2nd Ave.)

The Public Hearing ended at 8:31 p.m.

Approval of Agenda

Georgette Cole moved, Carolyn Rapkievian seconded that the agenda be approved. It was suggested to move action on Ordinance No. 2014-03 to the third item on the agenda in order to allow residents who were attending for this specific propose to be dismissed earlier.
Vote: 4-0, as amended.

Action on Ordinance No. 2014-03

Georgette Cole moved, Carolyn Rapkievian seconded, that Ordinance No. 2014-03 be approved with amendments as presented. These were: all wording sent on June 9 by Suellen Ferguson, addition of ‘and using a unique line type’ at the end of Section1-1, and addition of ‘as evaluated by the formal review of the Historic Preservation Commission’ at the end of Section 1-2. The Mayor and Council reviewed the amendments again for correctness. Vote: 4-0. There was a brief discussion of the need for a draft application document, for application procedures and if one could apply for an easement on land that flanked a porch on either side in order to make the porch larger.

Public Appearances

Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts came to ask about two (2) things;

  1. The home at 304 Chestnut Avenue may be a foreclosure and has not had the grass mowed this season. Steve would like a courtesy letter written to the property owner asking for the grass to be cut. He asked if Town Maintenance could do the cutting so the neighbors wouldn’t have to live with it so high. There was a discussion about the neighbors chipping in and mowing as well. John McClelland said he would talk to the neighbors and try to reach the resident directly.
  2. Steve would like to divorce himself from all responsibilities at the lake with the exception of regular mowing. He is concerned about personal liability because of the chemical applications and the lack of water testing for the past nine (9) years.

There was a lengthy discussion about how to get the water tested. This task had been delegated to Committee members but no follow through. Treasurer Mary Challstrom volunteered to look for invoices from the past in order to find out who we used. As soon as the name of a company is found, the Town will schedule water testing. Two (2) signs will be made (Water Not Tested, Swim At Your Own Risk) for immediate posting at Maple Lake. There was a brief discussion about personal liability and the Town’s umbrella policy.

Peter Nagrod stated the crosswalk to Maple Lake needs attention. The warning signs are inadequate, pruning is needed and it is very dangerous. The Town Clerk volunteered to call Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation and ask for assistance.

Approval of Minutes

Georgette Cole moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the meeting minutes for May 19, 2014 be approved as corrected. Vote: 4-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Audrey Maskery moved, Carolyn Rapkievian seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for May 2014 be accepted. Vote: 4-0.
  • Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Georgette Cole seconded the motion to transfer $10,000 from checking to savings in order to pay bills. Vote: 4-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2014-06 pdf

Budget Transfer Resolution

Georgette Cole moved, Bill Robertson seconded, that the Budget Transfer Resolution be approved. Vote: 4-0.

Confirmation of Mayor’s Appointments to the Planning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals

Georgette Cole moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the Mayor’s appointments of David Hix (PC Alternate), Gail Littlefield (HPC Member), Satoshi Amagai (BZA Member) and Kathie Evans (BZA Alternate) be approved. Vote: 4-0.

Traffic Calming in Washington Grove

No one attended the meeting to discuss this topic. Charlie Challstrom distributed documents from 2007 when this subject was last studied. Mayor McCathran will again put a notice asking for volunteers for a Traffic Calming Committee in the July Town Bulletin.

Council Reports

  • Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the May Council Reports be approved for posting on the Town website.
  • Carolyn Rapkievian talked a bit about the recent website survey conducted through Survey Monkey. A new platform and search engine are high on the list for the renovation. Vote: 4-0.
  • Town Council Reports – June 2014 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Deer Park Bridge Updates: The Mayor and Council briefly discussed the current status noting no signs about the closing have been posted, to date. The signs should have been posted last week. It is time to make a few phone calls about the schedule. Charlie Challstrom gave John McClelland his list of contacts. There was also a brief discussion about notifying the Montgomery County Police of the closing, in order to eliminate the potential for problems like those experienced earlier in the year due to inadequate signage. The Clerk will contact Officer Scott Zimmerman in order to keep them in the loop.
  • Playground Updates: There were no playground updates.

New Business

There was no new business.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:43 p.m.

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