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1 March 2006 | Approved: 5 April 2006

Chairman John McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Darrell Anderson, Peggy Ebner and Bud O’Connor. Also in attendance were town residents Charlie Challstrom, Georgette Cole and Bruce Rothrock.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes for February were approved.

407 Acorn Lane

Charlie Challstrom started the discussion by presenting new documentation from former owners of the 407 Acorn Lane that supports that there was no survey completed in 1988 by Light Elliott. Therefore, the markers that were shown on the Light Elliott survey were never set. John McClelland then suggested that another request be made to the Town Council (TC) for a boundary survey to be done to mark Johnson Alley in order to eliminate future encroachments. There are several residents along Johnson Alley that are currently making ownership claims. Bud O’Connor wondered if surveying the alley would “open a can of worms” by allowing other residents to make claims in other parts of Town and ask the Town to have surveys done. Charlie noted that Acorn Lane is another area where residents may make claims on Town property. Bud asked if the current surveyor, Snider and Associates, could add the Johnson Alley survey to their list. Charlie will look at the contract and see if there is any verbiage for adding tasks and then contact Snider to request a price.

Darrell Anderson reported that the TC has again requested the PC’s findings and recommendation for action on the 407 Acorn issue. The Commissioners concluded that 407 Acorn is non-compliant based on:

  1. Article 7, Section 9 – lot coverage square footage and front setback, and
  2. Article 7, Section 5.32 – increasing the non-compliance

Bud suggested that there might be some wiggle room for the TC because the lot coverage percentage is so close to the allowable 40% and they own additional property that they aren’t allowed to build on or use for lot coverage. Bruce Rothrock pointed out that the Johnson Alley issue really did not become clear until one week ago. Charlie added that it is the mayor’s responsibility (not the council’s) to make a decision on this issue. The PC’s role is to provide recommendations to the TC to clean up the ordinances so these issues don’t come up again. For instance, requiring boundary surveys for any renovations and new construction if it is a designated distance from the property line. John suggested that because of the lot coverage being so close (42%) and the front setback increase being on the second floor, the PC recommend to the mayor that 407 Acorn Lane go on the non-compliant list. John will email the mayor the PC’s recommendations.

Master Plan Revision

Bud O’Connor noted his recommended changes for the Preamble and Section 1. The PC will discuss more of Master Plan recommendations at their next meeting.

Building Permits

The following building permits were discussed and voted on by the Planning Commission:

  • 118 Ridge Road – Shed permit returned to resident for height and footprint dimensions.
  • 127 Washington Grove Lane – Deck complies with Article 7, Section 9. Approved unanimously.
  • 12 Center Street t- Fence complies with Article 7, Section 3.328. Approved unanimously.
  • 301 1st Avenue – Fence denied because the PC cannot approve anything on Town property.

PC Alternate – Jim Leng Retirement

PC alternate Jim Leng has retired from the PC after many years of service to the Town. The PC and the Town are grateful for the generous gift of his time and knowledge these many years. Thank you Jim!

Cator Property

The owners of the Cator property want the Town to annex the property in without any plans other than the RR4 zoning. The commissioners discussed the subdivision covenants that the Town would want to require of the developers: utilities buried underground, berm and noise abatement as required by Montgomery County, the WSSC properties covenants and the cost of moving Railroad street along the RR track in order to provide the Town with more of a buffer from the road and the tracks.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

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