/* The Divi child theme test */ Planning Commission Meeting Minutes August 2017 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net

2 August 2017 | Approved: 6 September 2017

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Georgette Cole (Alternate), Dave Hix, John McClelland and Deb Mehlferber. Others in attendance were Council member John Compton, Woods Committee Co-Chairs Pat Klein & Joan Mahaffey and residents Tom Appleby (112 Chestnut), Charlie Challstrom (503 McCauley) and Tad Stahnke (113 Chestnut).

Approval of Agenda:

Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Public Appearances:

There were no public appearances.

Approval of the Minutes:

John McClelland moved to approve the July minutes. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Building Permit Applications:

111 Chestnut Avenue – Deb Mehlferber reported all paperwork requirements, including a boundary survey, were complete. She explained the proposed fence on the sides of the lot are 6 feet in height and the proposed front and rear fences are 4 feet in height. The application complies with the Town Ordinances and Deb recommends approval. The Commission discussed the following:

  • Visibility problems for neighbors exiting the driveway at 113 Chestnut
  • Potential problems in cases where a six (6) foot fence meets a four (4) foot fence
  • Possible slanting of the fence from the six (6) foot section to the four (4) foot section at the property corners

Neighbors Tad Stahnke and Terry Strother wrote a letter expressing their concerns to the Mayor and Town Council. The entrance to their driveway will be compromised and the character of the area will be changed by a six (6) foot fence. They also expressed their discontent with a gate which would open onto their property. It would be a gate that could not be used. There was additional discussion about boundary surveys, safety, pine trees that may die, preserving ones property values and fixing this long-standing problem with the Town’s fence ordinance. Georgette Cole volunteered to talk with the Toscano’s (111 Chestnut) about possible amendments to their fence plan.

John McClelland moved to approve the fence permit for 111 Chestnut Avenue as presented with strong recommendations regarding the sections on the side lot lines to be graded from six (6) feet to four (4) feet in the rear and four (4) feet instead of six (6) feet high from the front of the home to the front property line. This recommendation is based upon safety, property values and aesthetic appearance. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0, approved.

112 Chestnut Avenue – Deb Mehlferber reported all paperwork requirements, including a boundary survey, were complete. The proposed fence is a continuation of the Board of Zoning Appeals approved, dog-eared fence along Hickory Road. It will continue along Hickory Road to Brown Street, turn the corner and run approx. 85 feet along Brown Street to a gate where a split-rail fence will continue along Brown Street and Chestnut Avenue. The six (6) foot sections proposed along Hickory and Brown will require another BZA hearing. After some discussion, the Commission decided to approve the four (4) foot split-rail sections (in green on the drawing) and deny the six (6) foot dog-eared sections (in red on the drawing) at the corner of Hickory and Brown. John McClelland moved to approve the four (4) foot split-rail sections and deny the six
(6) foot dog-eared sections of the proposed fence application. Dave Hix seconded the motion. The vote was 5-0.

125 Grove Avenue – Dave Hix reported there was still no boundary survey completed on this property. The permit application was denied by unanimous decision.

Discrepancy in Designation of Park, Forest Reserve and Forest Recreation Zones as found in the new East Woods Boundary Survey:

Resident Charlie Challstrom provided a history of the area in question. He referenced a 2002 memo from him, Don McCathran and Mary Challstrom. He also referenced a local map amendment process. This memo contains a recommendation to make the East Woods all one parcel. The Commission discussed the following:

  • Articles I and VII of the Town Code
  • Long-term goals of protection and preservation
  • Use of the terms Forest Preserve and Forest Reserve
  • Preservation of both public and private land
  • Use restrictions in areas labeled Forest Reserve
  • Use restrictions in areas designated as wetlands
  • 1975 Forest Policy intention – protect and maintain the health of the woods with passive recreation
  • Permissible and desirable uses of the woods
  • How to reconcile the pre-existing zoning discrepancy in the East Woods
  • Creation of a buffer zone at the forest edges
  • The competing interest (Dog Park) causing this to move forward faster than anticipated
  • Woods Committee Co-chairs Pat Klein and Joan Mahaffey asked for a reconciliation of the discrepancy between the new boundary survey and current zoning so the Woods Committee could continue the work under their charge. In conclusion, Chairman Nagrod believes this issue will be cleared up during the upcoming Master Plan updates and suggested this item be placed on the agenda for September. The bottom line is zoning does not apply to Town use of public land.

Review PC Role with Public Property in the Town:

Covered in previous discussion.

Master Plan Update:

Peter Nagrod, Joli McCathran and Charlie Challstrom will meet on August 9th to discuss this process.

Cator Property Development – Update:

Deb Mehlferber there was no new information.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:

Georgette Cole reported the group has finished Washington Grove Lane including Boundary Street and Daylily Lane. A total of 129 homes have been completed.

Report from Town Council:

John McClelland reported Resolution 2017-04; Resolution Regarding Establishing a Public Dog Park Facility on Town Property was approved on 10 July 2017. The Mayor will select members for the Task Force.

Other Business:

There was no other business.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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