8 October 2001 | Approved: 12 November 2001
Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Dave Gumula, Tricia Knox, Peggy Odick, Nick Suzich, and Dodie Tippens. Town residents Charlie Challstrom and David Neumann also were present.
David Neumann reported on a meeting with Joe Snider of Snider and Associates Land Surveyors. Vicki Andrews, Don McCathran, Mary Challstrom and David met with Mr. Snider on September 27 to discuss a survey project for blocks emanating from the Circle beginning with Block 17. The goal would be to monument block corners and file correction plats for those blocks suspected of having surveying errors. Mr. Snider was given plats and data gathered from previous surveys and has completed initial work for the purposes of making a proposal. He proposes to survey Block 17 for $ 5,000 with Blocks 12 and 14 to be surveyed subsequently for $ 2,000 each. The Town Survey Committee will further refine the proposal before submitting it to the Council for approval. Dave Gumula volunteered to serve on the Committee.
Approval of Minutes
Peggy Odick moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Town Council minutes of September 10, 2001 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
Nick Suzich moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for September be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- Montgomery County will remove the speed hump near 125 Washington Grove Lane. After the Town reached an agreement with the County to modify the hump, a higher County transportation authority vetoed the action on liability grounds. Removal appears to be the only solution left to solve the problem. The County will try to remove the hump this fall.
- Commended Peggy Booher for her help in resolving issues concerning permitted use of the soccer field.
Casey Field Development Issues/Status Report
Mayor Compton announced that Oxbridge Development plans to put forward a revised subdivision plan moving housing away from the Town. County planning staff has, therefore, delayed presenting to the Planning Board their Legacy Open Space proposal for preserving the upper field. In early September, a Natural Resources Inventory/Forest Stand Delineation was filed for the Casey industrial parcel. The County’s first productivity housing complex, the same kind of affordable housing proposed for the Casey industrial parcel, has been approved for a 5-acre site near the County airpark. The Town asserts that development plans for both Casey residential and industrial parcels should be reviewed as a whole. A bound, illustrated packet entitled “Preserving the Historic Character of Washington Grove” has been assembled by resident volunteers to educate decision makers and others about the threat to the Town of dense and incompatible development. Town representatives have met with five County Council members in recent weeks to express concern about development of the Casey field. A petition to preserve Ridge Road and the field has been circulated and over 500 signatures collected for presentation to the Planning Board. On September 25, the County Council chose John Robinson of Kensington to serve on the County Planning Board. Town residents and friends have written many letters to the Planning Board in support of preserving the upper field. County Council member Phil Andrews wrote a letter encouraging Planning Board members to visit Washington Grove.
Resolution Endorsing Master Plan Guidelines for the Town’s Eastern Boundary
It was moved and seconded that Resolution No. 2001-05 endorsing Master Plan guidelines for the Town’s eastern boundary be adopted. The guidelines, which had been recommended for adoption by the Washington Grove Planning Commission, had been adopted by the Town at a Special Town Meeting on residential development of the Casey fields held on April 2, 2001. Vote: 6-0.
Historic Preservation Commission Ordinance
It was moved and seconded that Ordinance 2001-04, establishing a Historic Preservation Commission and clarifying the existing Building Permit Regulations, be enacted. It was then moved that Ordinance 2001-04 be amended to add paragraphs l. and m. to Section 5. Paragraph l. states that the Commission shall adopt guidelines relating to the exterior appearance of a structure to be applied in the Commission’s review. Paragraph m. states that as part of the guidelines, the Commission may exempt certain minor improvements from review and comment by the Commission. It was also moved that the time period in Section 5 e. be changed from 60 days to 30 days. The amendments were seconded and adopted. Vote: 6-0. A vote was taken on the main motion. Vote: 6-0. The Mayor stated that nominees for the five-member Commission would be sought before the November Council meeting.
Darrell Anderson reported that, in addition to preparing correction plats for Blocks 17, 14 and 12, survey points to delineate the forest preserve are needed. After discussion, the Planning Commission suggested that the Town not participate in the State of Maryland’s Forest Mitigation Program whereby the Town would agree to preserve the Town woods as forest in perpetuity. Allen Winter presented a possible work plan for the Master Plan review. A Planning Commission work session on the Master Plan revision was scheduled for October 25. Proposed Master Plan language to clarify the Commission’s intention for the Casey Property was passed by the Commission.
Darrell Anderson reported that Town Forester Landry reviewed 5 Town trees and prepared written summaries with suggestions for maintenance. Private consultations with residents will begin again in the spring. The tree inventory planning group met with Dan Landry to discuss the upcoming project.
Tricia Knox reported that begonias in front of the Town Hall had been pulled up and thrown at the door. Jenny Long replanted them. Tricia reported on her contact with County Emergency Management personnel who will send emergency preparedness information for the Town Bulletin. The pros and cons of an emergency generator for the Town Hall were discussed.
Tricia Knox highlighted some maintenance activities of the past month. In addition to regular items, Jim Fletcher purchased and supervised the planting of three trees as part of the continuing reforestation program, filled potholes and extended the overflow pipe in the sand filter pond at the end of Brown Street.
Peggy Odick reported that Hawkins Floors gave a price of $ 4,000 to sand and apply four coats of polyurethane to the Town Hall floor and another $ 300 to repair the broken boards. The Town will get additional estimates.
Dodie Tippens reported that the Lake Committee diligently continues to work on the dock replacement project. Finding environmentally safe materials without arsenic for the decking and pilings is a challenge. The Committee is working with A-J Marine to finalize plans.
Dodie Tippens announced that the first Mousetrap Concert for this year would feature the ProMusica Choir from Columbia Union College. Wednesday night yoga classes have resumed in the Hall.
Mary Challstrom reported that Mary Vitek will help Town Website Coordinator Diana Talbert with the website and Missy Yachup will serve as the new Planning Commission Secretary. The Mayor said that he has had no volunteers to serve on the Town Board of Zoning Appeals.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:07 p.m.