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6 June 2018 | Approved: 3 July 2018

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Georgette Cole (Alternate), Dave Hix, Deb Mehlferber and Steve Werts. Peter Nagrod announced he would recommend Georgette Cole be appointed by the Mayor as a full member of the Planning Commission thus filling the vacancy left by Steve Werts’ stepping down after 10 years of service. This action will cause a vacancy in the Alternate position.

Approval of Agenda:

Dave Hix moved to approve the agenda. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Public Appearances:

There were none.

Approval of the Minutes:

Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the May minutes. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. One change was made. The Clerk asked if anyone knew the status of the work on the steps at 203 2nd Avenue. Peter volunteered to call the owner and ask for an update. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Building Permit Application:

201 Brown Street – Dave Hix explained the proposed deck. He also explained normally a request like this would require a boundary survey to verify adequate setback exists for the project. In this case the setback is twice that required for the rear yard and over four (4) times that required for the side setback so the margin for any error is adequate. He also used the safety factor to come to his decision. Dave Hix moved to approve proposed deck at 201 Brown Street. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

125 Chestnut Avenue – The Commission received an e-mail about the proposed cantilever/box bay window on May 8, 2018. The proposed plan removes an existing bay window and adds a cantilever/box bay window in its place. The Commission does not require a Town permit for this action, however, the architect will go to the County and needs the Town approval to move forward. Approved: 5-0.

105 Grove Avenue – Deb Mehlferber explained the proposed changes to the fence and addition of two (2) gates. The fencing is the same style as currently exists. Charlie Challstrom moved to approve a replacement/repair in place with the stipulation that PC approval is not certifying the location. The PC is not verifying the accuracy of the line between 105 and 107 Grove Avenue. Approval: 5-0.

Report from Town Council:

Charlie Challstrom reported on the following:

  • Darrell Anderson was voted in as Mayor Pro-Tempore
  • Charlie Challstrom was nominated to Planning Commission liaison
  • Two (2) ordinances were introduced and public hearings were scheduled
  • One resolution was introduced
  • The Council discussed priorities for the coming year
  • Council responsibilities were discussed but not verified

Code Enforcement Officer – update:

At the previous meeting of the PC, Mayor Joli McCathran mentioned she met two (2) men at an MML meeting who worked as a Code Enforcement Officers at nearby municipalities. She suggested the PC get in touch with either or both to see if they would be interested in working for the Town in that capacity. Charlie Challstrom pointed out these two (2) men work as Building Inspectors not Code Enforcement Officers. There was a discussion about the difference between the two (2) jobs, the difficulty of enforcement, use of the municipal infractions process, and the philosophy behind enforcement. Charlie will get the men’s names from Joli and contact them. It was also mentioned that the Commission should buy a laser distance measurer.

Railroad Street Safety Requests (speed humps, street light):

Charlie Challstrom reported the Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) would like to move forward with a streetlight at the crosswalk on Railroad Street and the installation of some speed humps. The area in question would also benefit from better signage. Charlie distributed information from Montgomery County about specific criteria for speed humps. The Commission discussed the pros and cons. The EPC would like the Mayor to write a letter to Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation (MoCoDOT) requesting speed humps on Railroad Street with a recommendation from the Planning Commission. Dave Hix moved to support moving ahead with speed hump request to MoCoDOT for Railroad Street. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Ordinance 2018-02 (Sale of Property) – PC input for June 11th public hearing:

A public hearing will be held on June 11, 2018. Charlie Challstrom gave some legal history behind the method of a sale of surplus property and distributed a draft memo to the Town Council for consideration at the Public Hearing. He also explained the PC and HPC are advisory only in their reviews and recommendations to the Town Council. It is the Council who makes the decision about declaring a parcel surplus. Dave Hix expressed concern about language which makes reference to completing the action recommended in the 1987 Policy. It doesn’t really do that. He suggested adding “follows the spirit of the policy for this limited set of homes” in place of original language. After a brief discussion, the Commission concluded that Charlie would make the changes to the document. Dave Hix moved to approve the memo dated June 6, 2018 for transmission to the Mayor and Town Council. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Ordinance 2018-04 (Zoning Text Amendment) – PC input for July 9th public hearing:

A public hearing will be held on July 9, 2018. The Commission reviewed the ZTA. Charlie Challstrom explained the legal requirements for ZTA’s. The Commission debated language and intent in Section 3.327 (Fences), made some changes to the new definition of “Main Building Line Extended”, reviewed repair & replace definitions and discussed the implementation of an expedited process for a building permit for a fence if a boundary survey exists and is in Town files. The discussion about the expedited process was brief and tabled to another date.

Ordinance 2018-05 (Building Permit Regulations) – PC input for July 9th public hearing:

A public hearing will be held on July 9, 2018. The Commission discussed Section 1(D) and the requirement for a boundary survey.

Deb Mehlferber reported a discussion with Will Percy (118 Chestnut Ave.) about installation of a gate on an existing fence. It was determined he did not need a building permit for this action.

Master Plan – Update:

Georgette Cole distributed a “Call for Recruitment” draft for the next Town Bulletin. A discussion about how to solicit more interest in the project ensued. There was also a discussion about the timeline; Public Hearing on March 6, 2019, Adoption by TC on April 8, 2019 and finalize before the 2019 Annual Town Meeting. In order to do this, recommendations should be in by early January 2019.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report: Georgette Cole reported 207 properties have been completed. There is still database work to be done.

Other Business:


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:44 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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