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3 October 2019 | Approved: 11 November 2019

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Georgette Cole, Dave Hix, Deb Mehlferber, and Alternate Jon Cohen. Also present was resident Mary Blake.

Approval of Agenda:

Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Code Enforcement Inspector was added to the agenda.
Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Building Permit Applications:

203 & 205 Washington Grove Lane: Dave Hiax reported both these permit applications are in order. Dave Hix moved to approve the construction of both carports at 203 & 205 Washington Grove Lane as presented. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.

127 Chestnut Avenue: Deb Mehlferber explained the placement of the proposed fence. Mary Blake explained there will be a truncated corner at the Oak Street/Chestnut Road intersection. Deb Mehlferber moved to approve the proposed fence at 127 Chestnut Avenue. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.

354 Ridge Road: Dave Hix explained the proposed plan to demolish the current shed and replace it with a smaller, prefab, Amish-style shed. There was a discussion about the lack of corner markers on the property. It was decided the lack of property markers is of no consequence because the lot coverage is decreasing and the lot is so large. Dave Hix moved to approve the new shed at 354 Ridge Road. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.

Public Appearances:

There were none.

Approval of the Minutes:

Georgette Cole moved to approve the September minutes. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Report from Town Council:

Charlie Challstrom reported on the following:

Town Hall Generator: The Town Council awarded a contract to Generating Power LLC for a 22-kilowatt Generac generator. This generator has been delivered to the Town and is stored in the Maintenance Garage. Audrey Maskery submitted a request to the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) for project approval as per the historic easement associated with State funding for the Hall renovation. We are awaiting confirmation of MHT approval before moving ahead with the generator installation beside the Town Hall.

Speed Bumps Update and Discussion: Three speed bumps were installed on Chestnut Road at Oak Street and Chestnut Road at Acorn Lane. At the September Council meeting, comments by residents confirm this speed bump experiment has deflected some traffic from Chestnut Road. Additional speed bumps were suggested for Hickory Road. Questions were raised regarding safety and compliance with State law. Discussion will continue at the October Council meeting.

West Woods Herbicide Spraying: Joan Mahaffey reported on wavyleaf basketgrass discovered in the West Woods, and a dual approach for its removal (manual and chemical). A group of volunteers manually pulled five small areas of the grass, and helped map the other remaining larger areas. The Council approved herbicide spraying, residents were notified via Grove Alert, and contractor IPC applied the herbicide Clethodim on August 24 on remaining areas. Mayor Compton plans a December Special Town Meeting on woods issues including deer management.

Town Hall Floor Beams: Using plans and scope of work drafted by Structural Engineer David Wallace, an RFP was issued for footers, lally columns, and steel I-beams to reinforce termite-damaged wooden supports. The bidders list was compiled using recommendations from the engineer, the eMaryland Marketplace, and other online resources. In response to the RFP, the Town received a single bid, from Rocky Gorge Construction. Mayor and Council discussed seeking more bids, the specialized nature of the work, and whether completion of the work could be delayed. Action was deferred pending further consultation with Steve Werts and others. Steve assisted with reviewing the project labor estimate, and he obtained an estimate of materials for the project from Ernest Maier. Council action is anticipated at the October Council meeting.

Dog Park: Resolutions 2018-06 and 2018-09 were adopted to establish rules and regulations for a dog park, and to authorize the dog park at the location in the West Woods as recommended by the Dog Park Workgroup and approved by the Planning Commission. A draft RFP for fencing is expected from the Dog Park Committee for review at the October Council meeting.

Code Enforcement Inspector: The Town recently signed an agreement with Douglas Lohmeyer, P.E. (Ret.) for code enforcement services, including inspections for zoning compliance and for building permit applications. Mayor Compton has requested the Planning Commission designate a member to have responsibility for the code enforcement inspections, and who the Mayor will then designate as the contract administrator for this agreement.

Request to Buy Town Land – 315 Grove Ave. – Recommendation:

Charlie Challstrom reported Mayor Compton asked for a formal recommendation from the Planning Commission concerning the request to buy Town land. Charlie Challstrom moved to recommend the Town Council approve the sale of Town land to Jane Seegal at 315 Grove Avenue as requested. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. There was a discussion about the following:

  • Process
  • Reviews by the PC and HPC
  • Restrictions
  • Covenants
  • Public Use
  • Maintaining the historic character of the front of the home.

Approved: 5-0.

Pedestrian Crossing at Commercial Corner:

The Commission examined some maps and brainstormed a few ideas concerning the area. Peter will get names of County contacts made by resident Eva Patrone and follow-up with some type of communication.

Master Plan – Update:

Georgette Cole reported draft text is slowly coming in and will have more by the end of the month. Things will ramp up again in mid-November. Peter suggested the Master Plan include a proactive vision for the Commercial Corner and will add that item to the agenda of the upcoming work session. There was additional discussion about the following:

  • Zoning at the Commercial Corner
  • Vision for the property
  • Town’s commitment
  • Potential leverages
  • Redevelopment
  • Sustainable use for the property
  • Expectations of tenants
  • Work Sessions – November 28, 2018 and January 16, 2019.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:

Nothing to report.

Other Business:

203 2nd Ave. Steps: Chairman Nagrod reported Eva Polston’s contractor for her porch steps hasn’t been able to schedule this job. She is still working on it.
Code Enforcement: Georgette Cole volunteered to be the liaison between the Town and the Code Enforcement Inspector. Mayor Compton will discuss and assign the work.
Morgan Park Drainage: Charlie Challstrom reported the Montgomery County Hazard Mitigation Plan contains eight (8) projects that involve the Town. Railroad Street and storm water management are included. The new Code Enforcement Inspector has vast experience with storm water issues and the Town will ask for his advice about Washington Grove Lane and the paved ditch in the church parking lot.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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