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1 November 2017 | Approved: 6 December 2017

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Georgette Cole (Alternate), Dave Hix, John McClelland, Deb Mehlferber and Steve Werts. Others in attendance were residents Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark and Ralph Hurst. Historic Preservation Commission Chair Bob Booher and Mayor Joli McCathran were also in attendance.

Approval of Agenda:

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

Public Appearances:

Charlie Challstrom distributed documentation concerning Peter Nagrod’s recently replaced fence along Locust Lane. The survey used for approving this fence was a block corner survey prepared by Snider and Associates. The PC representatives used this survey in good faith when approving the building permit application. They discussed the following:

  • Block 9, Lot 11
  • Survey discrepancies and misinterpretations
  • The land swap of 2009
  • Purpose of the Town Block Corner Surveys (to mark public not private land)
  • Reliability of the Town Block Corner Surveys
  • Spending money on surveys that don’t reflect modern day reality
  • The previous proposed land swap from 2007 (never fully executed)
  • The need to look at the bigger picture

For the record, Charlie Challstrom asked if the Planning Commission would be willing to retract the fence permit. The Commission would not retract the permit. Georgette Cole stated the building permit for the fence was approved in good faith based on Snider’s survey markers. The PC believed the Town’s block survey markers completely encircling 1 The Circle negated the need for a boundary survey. Any future fence replacement would require a boundary survey.

Joe Clark reported significant construction projects at both 125 Grove Avenue and 401 Brown Street. His concerns were of a public safety nature if there was no permit for electrical work. He suggested the Town check into permits obtained for work at both properties. The structural alterations at 401 Brown Street need a building permit.

Ralph Hurst presented changes to the building permit application at 125 Grove Avenue. The property owner decided against the covered entry porch plans and is only doing work on the inside of the home. Foundation problems (insufficient footers) were discovered and corrected without a permit. Montgomery County was alerted and a stop work order was issued. Fines were also imposed. A “Restore and Repair Permit” was obtained from Montgomery County. Ralph Hurst presented new drawings for the interior work. John McClelland moved to approve the permit application based on the new footers remaining in the exact same location and contingent upon receipt of new drawings and the completion of Town inspection by Steve Werts & Dave Hix.

Bob Booher discussed the building permit process and the effect of the two week PC deadline on the Historic Preservation Commission. To assist the HPC the PC changed the deadline for building permit submission to the 2nd Wednesday of the month. This change will be noted in the Town Bulletin and in the Instructions for Building Permit Applicants.

Approval of the Minutes:

Dave Hix moved to approve the October minutes. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Building Permit Applications:

125 Grove Avenue – see Public Appearances
107 Pine Avenue – The dumpsters have been removed but there has still been no reply to the Mayor’s inquiry concerning the in-law suite.

Border Committee:

Peter Nagrod reported he will update the Town Council at their meeting next week. He will also request the clearing of a 10 ft wide strip along Washington Grove Lane and installation of a split rail fence.

Cator Property Development – Update:

Mayor McCathran reported receiving a phone call from the City of Rockville about our Forest Conservation form. No such form exists. She also reported the Forest Conservation bond is coming.

Master Plan – Update:

Peter Nagrod reports many residents are talking about the Master Plan.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:

Georgette Cole reported 140 properties have been completed.

Next Block Corner Survey Location:

This item was tabled for another meeting.

Report from Town Council:

John McClelland reported the Council discussed the following:

  • Street sign issue continues.
  • 16950 Oakmont Avenue – the cars have been removed but the dump trucks will be allowed to stay. Sidney Katz was very helpful in getting this done.
  • The saga of the sink hole in front of 302 Chestnut Avenue continues. The smoke test performed by WSSC netted nothing. The next step is the use of ground penetrating radar.
  • Taunton Paine applied for a permanent easement at 15 The Circle.

Other Business:

Mayor McCathran expressed concerns regarding additional legal expenditures on the newly submitted easement for 15 The Circle while the current petition requesting the sale of Town property currently located under privately owned main buildings remains outstanding. The Commission stated they did not think the permanent easement application for 15 The Circle should be slowed down by the pending petition.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:28 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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