Bike Path: The Maryland National Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) has changed their recommendation for the Shady Grove Metro connection with Washington Grove and Gaithersburg from Tier 3, meaning construction between 15 and 25 years in to the future, to Tier 1 which, according to staff, is “as soon as possible, 5 years or so to construction.” This is good news for the Town. The Town continues to work with the MNCPPC, Montgomery County and Gaithersburg on this plan. To date only one half of the bike path plans throughout Montgomery County are now dedicated to any tier levels. This is a positive step for the sector of the bike path plan involving Washington Grove.
Signs: As signs appear in yards around town, please remember our charter requires all signs by residents to be located on private property. Keep in mind that signs should not be placed near the road in the public right-of-way (alongside the road).
Legislative Update: The Maryland Municipal League’s (MML) Legislative Committee is proud to announce the three priorities for the 2018 Session have all passed. They are listed below:
Highway User Revenues (HUR): Both the Senate and House passed an HUR bill which is awaiting the Governor’s signature. This bill permanently restores municipal Highway User Revenues, not only to meet current road maintenance needs, but more importantly, to provide a long-term, stable funding source for municipal transportation projects. The financial restoration will occur over a period of years.
Public Information Act (PIA): MML’s priority PIA bill requiring the denial of a distribution list containing physical addresses, e-mail addresses, or telephone numbers of individuals that are used for routine or emergency notifications passed the full House of Delegates. Now that both the Senate Bill and a House Bill have passed their respective chambers, they will be heard by the opposite body. This is to protect personal information municipalities have for emergency notifications.
Cell Tower Siting: Due to the complexity of this legislation, it was pulled out of consideration. This issue is anticipated to be discussed over the summer. The idea is to protect the authority of a municipality to assert local control over the siting and installation of small cellular towers and antennas and to impose a fee for permit review and rental of space in a municipal right-of-way. The Town may want to consider an ordinance to prevent cell tower siting within Washington Grove.
As a member of the Maryland Municipal League’s Legislative Committee again this year, it is refreshing to see these pieces of legislation coming to fruition.
Joli A. McCathran, Mayor