9 May 2000 | Approved: 10 July 2000
Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Dave Gumula, Paris Pacchione, Nick Suzich, Dodie Tippens, Carol Uhlendorf and Allen Winter. Also present were Town residents Darrell Anderson, Marida Brinkworth, Charlie Challstrom, Amy Gussack, Terri Johnson, Jim Leng, Kermit Moyer, Peggy Odick, George Paine, and Kristin Perry. Washington Grove Hills resident Mike Voigt also was present.
Kristin Perry and George Paine voiced concern about possible demolition of historic structures. The Forquer house at 102 Center Street and the Rynex house at 112 Chestnut Avenue are possible candidates for demolition. The Town currently has no permit process to prevent demolition. Kristin described several routes the Town could take including establishing an Historic Preservation Commission, agreeing to come under the County’s Historic Preservation Commission, or creating a demolition permit process. Mayor Compton said that the Town Planning Commission had been drafting a demolition permit and a Historic Preservation Ordinance but had tabled further work on them. The Town had chosen not to form a Historic Preservation Commission in 1980 when the entire Town was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. George and Kristin said that they believe sentiment for preservation is strong and that this issue should come before the Town at the annual meeting in June.
Marida Brinkworth demonstrated how articles in the Town Bulletin about important issues requesting public comment could be better conveyed.
Approval of Minutes
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Town Council minutes of April 10, 2000 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dave Gumula seconded, acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. Vote: 6-0. Nick Suzich moved, Dave Gumula seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds to pay bills in May. Vote: 6-0.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- Congratulated members of the Tree Advisory Committee chaired by Joli McCathran on their five-month effort and comprehensive written report.
- Ann Briggs circulated a petition asking the Montgomery County Council to fund the new Legacy Open Space Program at a high level.
- Letters have been sent to Gaithersburg City Manager Dave Humpton and County traffic engineer Dave Loughery requesting that truck traffic be rerouted from Washington Grove Lane. Other issues concern speed humps and signage on Washington Grove Lane.
- Regarding the commercial zone, Town Attorney Bill Roberts has suggested that the Town create a new zone entitled “office professional buffer zone.” Anyone applying for inclusion in the new zone, e.g. owner of the commercial corner, could be granted the new zoning with conditions attached. Conditions may include renovation of the exterior of the commercial buildings and a plan for the continued operation of The Prime Choice Caterers under specific circumstances. Town residents will be invited to share their views on the future of the commercial zone at a joint meeting of the Town Council and Planning Commission on Monday, June 26.
- An organizational Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 19.
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dave Gumula seconded, to confirm the appointment of Robert DeFilippis to the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Local Fire Board. Charlie Hawk has resigned for health reasons. Vote: 6-0.
Local Map Amendment to Rezone WSSC Property from RR-3 to RR-1C
Mayor Compton noted that letters had been received and entered into the public record from Kermit Moyer and Amy Gussack (301 Ridge Road) and Peggy Odick (419 Oak Street). Eighteen nearby residents had attached their signatures to the letter from Ms. Odick. The Mayor polled the Council about their views with regard to a change in zoning that would permit five houses rather than three on the parcel currently owned by WSSC. Paris Pacchione suggested a compromise of four houses. Nick Suzich said that although he understood the concerns of nearby residents, he felt that it was important to trust the Planning Commission’s support for the rezoning and the significant control they feel the conditions would permit over the development. Carol Uhlendorf and Dodie Tippens said that although they would prefer three, they could support a compromise of no more than four houses with conditions attached. Dave Gumula said that he doesn’t believe the zoning for the WSSC property and Washington Grove Hills should be different than the rest of Town and therefore doesn’t have a problem with five houses. Paris Pacchione moved, Allen Winter seconded, that conditions attached to the developer’s application be amended to allow no more than four houses to be constructed on the WSSC property. Vote: 5-1.
Contract Award for Refuse and Recycling
Nick Suzich moved, Carol Uhlendorf seconded, that the Town accept the proposal of Waste Management to provide curbside collection of refuse and recyclables for the period from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2003. The combined proposal for both refuse and recycling was the lowest of six bids and references were favorable. Vote: 6-0.
Adoption of Recommended FY 2001 Budget and Tax Rate
Paris Pacchione moved, Carol Uhlendorf seconded, that the recommended FY 2001 budget and tax rate be adopted. Vote: 6-0.
Paris Pacchione reported that a lawnmower had been stolen and suggested that the Town make an engraving tool available for use by residents.
Dodie Tippens reported that lake clean up was successful and that EQR had returned to move dredged material. Sand has been delivered and samples have been taken from the lake in preparation for treating pondweed.
Nick Suzich reported that major work is slated for the playground in the coming months. A workday will be scheduled to spread wood chips. Nick asked if maintenance staff time might be used on playground renovations. Equipment enclosures need to be enlarged.
Dodie Tippens reported that the Washington Grove Film Society plans to sell subscriptions for a film series in McCathran Hall.
The Council scheduled a meeting for Monday, June 5 to take action on two proposals: the annexation of Washington Grove Hills and a request to rezone the WSSC Parcel 360. A public hearing on the request to rezone the WSSC Parcel will be held immediately prior to the meeting on June 5. Comments will be taken on the Council amendment to permit no more than four houses to be constructed on the property.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:04 p.m.