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6 July 2016 | Approved: 3 August 2016

Chairman Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Brenda Gumula, Dave Hix, John McClelland, Deborah Mehlferber, and Steve Werts. Others in attendance were Mayor Joli McCathran, Council Member Georgette Cole and residents Emily Brown, John Compton, Vernon King, Lisa Kokes, Mary Warfield, Missy Yachup, and Kit Young. Architect Ralph Hurst arrived at 8:40 p.m.

Approval of Agenda:

Brenda Gumula moved to approve the agenda. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Public Appearances:

Mary Warfield, acting spokesperson for the ad hoc dog park committee, presented a plan for a dog park in Woodward Park. She explained that Mayor McCathran directed her to the Planning Commission. Mary distributed copies of the first draft. She then gave a brief history of the development of dog parks nationwide and listed why they are beneficial to both the dog and the owner. The PC discussion included the following:

  • Location
  • Noise
  • Maintenance
  • Management
  • Costs
  • Liability

The Commission expressed concern about why this was being brought to the PC before going to the Town Council. Mayor McCathran explained because this was a public land use concern she thought it best the presentation be made to the PC first.

Mayor McCathran reported she learned of a new “hot button” issue at the recent Maryland Municipal League Convention. Dead Zone Antennas on top of telephone poles (adding 20 ft. to height) and on private homes are materializing in many places. These antennas are to enhance communication where a Dead Zone once existed. Private citizens are being offered a monthly fee for allowing the placement of these antennas on their homes. Mayor McCathran asked the Commission to research whether Town zoning code covers this type of thing. She also offered to call the City of Gaithersburg and report back to Peter and Dave.

202 Ridge Road: John Compton came with revised plans for a trellis feature that was previously denied. Architect Ralph Hurst presented the new plan which moves the supports two (2) feet inside the 10 ft. setback. The Commission reviewed the plan. The Commission will review Article VII, Section 4.2 Definitions, specifically the definition of a shelter, the next time there is a zoning text amendment.

John McClelland moved to expand the prior approval for a deck and trellis at 202 Ridge Road to include the new relocated trellis. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

108 Pine Avenue: Dave Hix presented the building permit application and an evaluation of the plan. The resident needs to build a temporary wheel chair ramp to provide egress for his wife. He is hoping the condition is only temporary.

Dave Hix moved to approve the building permit application for a temporary wheel chair ramp on the front of 108 Pine Avenue. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Approval of the Minutes:

Brenda Gumula moved to approve the June minutes. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Building Permit Applications:

407 Acorn Lane: Brenda Gumula reported this building permit application is on hold per the resident. It will be tabled until next month.

411 Washington Grove Lane: Dave Hix reported he originally was just working to do some minor fixes to his stoop when in the process he discovered some safety issues. His new plan is a replacement in-kind with the exception of the safety issues. Dave requested the minutes reflect his 18 inch encroachment into the side setback is “grandfathered” for the record.

Steve Werts moved to approve the building permit application for a stoop and steps at the side entrance of 411 Washington Grove Lane per Articled VII, Section 5.31. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Dave Hix recused himself. Approved: 5-0.

Block 11 Survey of Residual Town Land – Update/Status:

Ralph Hurst gave a brief update on the construction at 203 2nd Avenue in Block 11. He stated the plumbing and electrical are nearly finished and another inspection is coming. Things are moving forward again. There was a discussion about the height of the porch roof. Chairman Nagrod stated the porch had to be perfect because of the easement.

Block Corner Survey Project – Update (re: joint effort w/ Woods):

Peter and Dave attended a recent meeting of the Woods Group. In an effort to be fair with the budget expenditures, the survey that will de-plat the East Woods will come from the PC budget and the West Woods Boundary project will come from the Woods Group budget. The Planning Commission will work on an RFP for the work in the East Woods.

House Files – Status Report:

Deb Mehlferber and Georgette Cole met once in July. The group will meet twice in August. They have completed 62 properties. The name has been changed to the Washington Grove House Records.

Report from Town Council:

nothing new to report.

Other Business:

Chairman Nagrod volunteered to head a group to work on the beautification and delineation of Town border properties. He hopes to have major representation from residents along Washington Grove Lane. Mayor McCathran will put something in the Town Bulletin.

There was a brief mention of the annual report due to the State of Maryland.

The new wood fence and the old chain link fence around Roberts Oxygen were also noted.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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