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3 October 2012 | Approved: 7 November 2012

Chairman Challstrom called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Brenda Gumula, Peter Nagrod, Steve Werts and David Young. Also in attendance were Mayor Cole, HPC Chair Bob Booher, Jamie Amagai, Terry & Laura Kennett, Mike Schank and Freda Temple.

Approval of Agenda

Peter Nagrod moved, Steve Werts, seconded that the agenda be approved. Charlie Challstrom added two (2) general announcements to Other Business. Approved: 5-0.

Approval of the Minutes

Steve Werts moved, Peter Nagrod seconded that the Planning Commission minutes for September 5, 2012 be approved. There were two (2) changes made. Approved, as amended: 5-0.

Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

Proposal for Parking Area Partially on Town Property

Charlie Challstrom presented a history of this request and then a history of Town the process, citing Town Ordinances, State Code and the 2009 Master Plan language (see Exhibits A & B). He made reference to the Town’s historical struggle with this issue and he credited former Mayor Ellsworth Briggs with the finalization of the 2009 Master Plan language in Section 3.3. He further explained his understanding of what the Kennett’s were requesting. There was also a reference to language in the State Code which stressed what is reasonable and practical. Charlie stated that when he first saw this project he was shocked by this large encroachment on Town property. He thanked the Kennett’s for pulling up the plastic, thus not killing the grass, while waiting to resolve the problems with the project. The following items were mentioned in a lengthy discussion; setbacks, existence of a driveway on Washington Grove Lane in the 1950’s when the house was built, letters written by neighbors in support of the project, the new sidewalk, turn-around space, safety, moving the railroad ties closer to the house, many other occurrences of crossing Town land to park on private land, strips of Town property along McCauley Street and along Maple Road, apron widths, maintenance of the area, property values, compromises, other areas where residents regularly park on Town land, narrowing the driveway that is on Town property and Charlie’s concern about moving the parking to the front yard. The Kennett’s will revise their plan and come back to the Planning Commission next month. The plan will show a 20 – 22 ft. driveway where it meets Washington Grove Lane with a gradual widening to the Kennett’s property line. Once on their own property, they can build an area that is as wide as they originally proposed.

Building Permit Applications

  • 302 Ridge Road – Charlie Challstrom explained to the Commission that the permit application had come in with two (2) items on it; a fence and a garage. He noted that, because of the difference in approval times for both items, it made sense to do two (2) separate permits. Because there is no HPC review involved, the fence could be approved now but the garage would have to go through the usual process.

    Mr. Schank questioned the purpose of waiting, the Town process, ordinance requirements, the timing of the submission, document inconsistencies and the need for more clarity concerning the Town process. A discussion ensued.

    Steve Werts moved to approve the building permit application for a fence at 302 Ridge Road. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0. The building permit application for a garage will be on the November agenda.

County Subdivision Staging Policy

Charlie Challstrom stated that this policy will go to the PHED Committee on October 8th. He went on to say that he did not think that the proposed “urban” label for the area in question would be approved.

Deer Park Bridge Update

There was nothing new to report.

New Business

  • Mayor Cole reminded the Commission about a Planning Board Open House on October 6, 2012 in Silver Spring. She said that there was a lot of information online and urged the members to review it.
  • Charlie Challstrom announced that the City of Gaithersburg’s Planning Commission has invited Town PC members to joint webinar with State planners on April 13, 2013.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

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