9 April 2018 | Approved: 21 May 2018
Mayor Joli McCathran called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council Members John Compton, Pat Klein, Audrey Maskery, John McClelland, Greg Silber, Shelley Winkler and Treasurer Mary Challstrom. Also in attendance were over 24 residents and District 39 candidate Gabriel Acevero. Potomac Disposal’s Vice-President, Rick Levine arrived shortly after the meeting began.
Approval of Agenda:
Pat Klein moved to approve the agenda. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Pat Klein asked to make a Woods Committee statement under Item #9. Vote: 6-0.
Charlie Challstrom presented a sample of the retro-reflective tape for marking Town fire hydrants. He did this as a representative of the Emergency Preparedness Committee. The Council gave their concurrence for this trial hydrant marking.
Mayor McCathran introduced Potomac Disposal’ Vice-President Rick Levine. Mr. Levine distributed a hand-out to the Mayor and Council. He then explained how the refuse and recycling will be handled under the new contract. Rick fielded a few questions from the Mayor and Council. They thanked Rick for attending the meeting and for clarifying the refuse and recycling collection procedure.
Approval of Minutes:
Shelley Winkler moved to approve the minutes of the Town Council meeting on March 12, 2018 and post them to the website. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Treasurers Report 2018-March pdf
The Treasurer’s Report for March was accepted by general consensus. Greg Silber moved to transfer $5K from savings to checking in order to pay bills. John McClelland seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Finalize Recommended FY 2019 Budget and Tax Rate:
Shelley Winkler moved to accept the Annual Budget for FY 2019 Draft #2. Pat Klein seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, accepted.
There was a brief discussion about the change made last month to the Woods Committee budget and the need to look forward to forest restoration projects. The Council put $20K in the Capital Improvement Program for FY 2020. Roll call vote (4-2): John Compton – aye; Pat Klein – aye; Audrey Maskery – aye; John McClelland – nay; Greg Silber – nay; Shelley Winkler – aye.
FY 19 Budget Ordinance 2018-03 – Introduction:
Shelley Winkler moved to introduce Ordinance 2018-03. John Compton seconded the motion. There was a brief refresher about the constant yield tax rate, the use of reserves, and the State requirement for use of an ordinance.
Dog Park Work Group Report – PC Approval of Site 3-A in West Woods:
Woods Committee Co-Chair Pat Klein read a statement from the group. Pat made a motion stating if a dog park is located at site 3-A in the West Woods as presented by the Planning Commission, it shall be contingent upon a written, non-binding referendum by Town residents at the Annual Town Elections on a separate ballot. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. After a discussion about a referendum process, whether a referendum would represent binding or non-binding resident votes, requirements and stipulations of Special Town Meetings and Annual Town Meetings, decision-making authority base on referendums and other actions/votes, Town Charter requirements, written ballots, costs, and the Planning Commission approval of the Dog Park Work Group’s recommended location, Pat Klein moved to withdraw her motion. Audrey Maskery agreed to withdrawal her seconding of the motion.
Pat Klein moved to approve the Planning Commission’s approval of proposed site 3-A in the West Woods as the potential location for the Dog Park. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. The Council and assembled residents discussed uncertainties about the cost of constructing and maintaining a dog park, acting favorably upon the presented petition to create a dog park and Resolution 2017-04. The question was called, and a roll call vote was taken. (6-0) John Compton – aye; Pat Klein – aye; Audrey Maskery – aye; John McClelland – aye; Greg Silber – aye; Shelley Winkler – aye.
Greg Silber made a motion to convene have a Special Town Meeting to discuss, provide information, and possibly vote, on construction of a Dog Park. Pat Klein seconded the motion. There was a discussion about specific requirements and stipulations, including voting procedures, for a Special Town Meeting. A roll call vote was taken. (5-1) John Compton – nay; Pat Klein – aye; Audrey Maskery – aye; John McClelland – aye; Greg Silber – aye; Shelley Winkler – aye.
A Special Town Meeting on the subject of a Dog Park in Washington Grove will take place on April 30, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall.
Ordinance 2018-02; Ordinance to Establish a Process for Sale of Surplus Properties for Main Buildings constructed in Part on Land Owned by the Town of Washington Grove – Review Town attorney’s draft:
John McClelland moved to introduce Ordinance 2018-02. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. John McClelland reported the Planning Commission supports this enabling ordinance. He also explained why 404 4th Avenue appeared on the list of properties considered to encroach on Town land. The group discussed the language in F (1) and the use of the January 2018 date to include 203 2nd Avenue, a newly built home. Since, 203 2nd Avenue was already included in the list of applicable properties the clause to include other (unspecified) structures built before January 1, 2018 was removed. Vote: 5-1 (Shelley Winkler). The public hearing will take place on 11 June 2018.
Local Map Amendment for the East Woods – Adopt Opinion:
Shelley Winkler moved for approval of the Application for Local Map Amendment Requesting Forest and Recreational Zoning (FR Zone) Classification for the East Woods will enhance recognition of the East Woods as one property for the following reasons:
- The East Woods comprises 41.28873 acres as shown on Plat No. 25307 dated April 2017, which was approved by the Planning Commission and filed in the Land Records for Montgomery County, and prior to this rezoning action, the East Woods had a combination of FR Zone and RR-1 Zone classifications;
- The Application for Local Map Amendment, accepted and filed by the Planning Commission on February 7, 2018, requested FR Zone classification for the entirety of the East Woods;
- A public hearing was held by the Town Council on March 12, 2018, after posting of signs on the East Woods, and after notices of the public hearing were provided in a newspaper and the Town Bulletin; and
- The Town’s Zoning Ordinance specifies the following as permitted uses in the FR Zone: Arboretum, Forest Reserve, publicly-owned and operated buildings and uses, including community buildings and parks, playgrounds and other recreational areas.
Pat Klein seconded the motion. As required, a roll call vote was taken: John Compton – aye;
Pat Klein – aye; Audrey Maskery – aye; John McClelland – aye; Greg Silber – aye; Shelley Winkler – aye. Vote:6-0.
Professional Conduct Guidelines:
John Compton suggested this item be pushed to the new Council. Pat Klein explained she wanted to share information from training in which she recently participated describing bullying behavior and asked the Council to consider adopting a policy that uncivil and bullying behavior not be tolerated in Washington Grove Town government.
Greg Silber moved to approve and post the Council Reports. Shelley Winkler seconded the motion. John Compton brought up the upcoming WSSC work and expressed the Historic Preservation Commission’s concern about the satisfactory restoration of our roads and walkways, including the use of the appropriate size gravel on the walkways. Town Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts will oversee the WSSC work and report back to Audrey Maskery.
Vote: 6-0, accepted.
Mayor McCathran reported a tree fell near the Town Crest apartments and damaged some fencing. She stated it was in the best interest of the Town to repair this fence. Ari, from Towne Crest stated they submitted an insurance claim for damage. John McClelland suggested to inquire as to if the fence damage was being claimed. Joli will follow up with Ari.
Rather than writing a letter about the Bike Path to Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) regarding the proposed bike trail networks near the Town as previously indicated, Mayor McCathran reported she communicated with the planner at MNCPPC by phone.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will visit the Town on April 13, 2018 for a short walking tour. He specifically requested to visit Political Hill.
John Compton shared the updated street sign spread sheet with the Council. He also thanked Kathy for the good working relationship with Potomac Disposal and to Marc Hansen for being the Chair of the Dog Park Work Group.
Pat Klein recognized Joli’s decision to invite Potomac Disposal’s manager to the Town Council meeting to provide company updates and to answer any questions.
There being no further business, the regular meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.
TC REPORTS – May 2018