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6 September 2017 | Approved: 4 October 2017

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 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, Kathie Evans, Jay Everhart, Jane Seegal, Linda Winter and Warren Winter. Historic Preservation Commissioner Mimi Styles and Mayor Joli McCathran were also in attendance.

Approval of Agenda:

Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Chairman Nagrod added permanent easement application from 15 The Circle and a fence discussion to Other Business. John McClelland seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Public Appearances:

Kathie Evans (317 Brown Street) came to ask about activity (car repair) at #1 The Circle. She has seen a car on blocks, a canopy very close to the road and several other cars as well. All of this activity is on Town property. She asked what rules are in place to govern this use of Town land and wondered if he was running a business. Peter Nagrod (#1 The Circle) stated it was his son doing the work on the cars and he was not running a business. The activity is a hobby and is a once-in-a-while thing. There was a discussion about the following:

  • Various things found on Town land; wood piles, flower barrels, rocks, cars
  • The pitfalls of allowing private, personal use of Town land
  • Private personal use vs. Permanent easement
  • Consistency and difficulties in the RR-2 section of Town
  • Defining what is allowable on Town land
  • Temporary use permit

Kathie Evans stated, for the record, her complaint was not about how the activity at #1 The Circle looks. Her main concern is the rules are being followed.

Mayor Joli McCathran informed the Commission she had received some complaints concerning a new gravel parking pad at 407 5th Avenue. She stated this is problematic because it requires vehicular use of 6th Avenue. The Commission discussed the following problems with 6th Avenue:

  • Signage
  • Partial paving
  • Inconsistency
  • Driveway apron permit
  • Disputed property lines in the area
  • A diagonal access compromise

In conclusion, Peter and Joli will have a conversation with the new residents.

Approval of the Minutes:

Dave Hix moved to approve the August minutes. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Building Permit Applications:

315 Grove Avenue – Deb Mehlferber reported all paperwork requirements, including a boundary survey, were complete. She explained the proposed fence/edging and asked Commissioner’s if a permit was really needed. The Commission discussed the merits of having a permit on file. Deb Mehlferber moved to approve a permit for fencing/edging at 315 Grove Avenue. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

334 Ridge Road – Deb Mehlferber reported the paperwork was in order but a boundary survey was not included. A house location drawing showed rear property corners. Charlie Challstrom suggested the Commission allow the new residents to use the subdivision record plat which clearly marked the rear property lines. The Commission will verify the markers and allow use of the subdivision record plat for Washington Grove Hills 2. John McClelland moved to approve the building permit for a fence at 334 Ridge Road contingent upon the location of the rear property markers with the magnetic locator. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 4-0; Deb Mehlferber abstained.

201 Grove Avenue – Dave Hix reported the paperwork requirements were met but there was a mathematical error on the plan. The error was corrected. Dave Hix moved to approve the building permit application for a shed at 201 Grove Avenue. John McClelland seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

409 6th Avenue – Mayor McCathran reported resident Steve Shannon sent her the Montgomery County demolition permit issued for partial demo of the accessory structure. She wondered if the PC should approve this. Dave Hix moved to approve the partial demolition of an accessory building at 409 6th Avenue. John McClelland seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

PC Annual Report to State of Maryland:

Chairman Nagrod reported he delegated this responsibility to Georgette Cole this year and it is complete. He thanked her for her work. John McClelland moved to approve the report and send it to the Town Council. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0. Upon approval by the Town Council, the report will be sent to the State.

Cator Property Development – Update:

Peter Nagrod reported he signed the final subdivision plat yesterday. We are waiting for the surveyor’s signature. David McKee (the property owner’s representative) will get the signature and take it to the County Land Records. The Commission discussed the process, building permits, forestry plan and requirements for a public walkway and shared driveway. The owners have not yet presented the bond. Chairman Nagrod will call real estate agent Kathi Kershaw and Charlie Challstrom volunteered to call David McKee. The Town will hold the signed copy of the subdivision plat until the bond is delivered.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:

Georgette Cole reported the group has finished a total of 134 homes. Charlie Challstrom will help with spreadsheet updates.

There was a discussion about future uses of this information particularly in reference to ordinance revisions.

John McClelland offered to revise ordinance language pertaining to fences, carports and accessory buildings using the new information from the Washington Grove House Records project when it becomes available.

Report from Town Council:

John McClelland reported the following:

  • Sample street signs are up
  • Mayor McCathran selected the seven (7) members for the new Dog Park Work Group and their first meeting took place on August 26, 2017
  • The number of cars parked at 201 Washington Grove Lane and the number of people living at the same address
  • The number of cars parked on Boundary Street and problems with that shared County/Town road

Other Business:

The Commission discussed the apparent renovation of 107 Pine Avenue and whether the work required a Town permit. Commissioner Werts will talk to the contractor about the Town’s Temporary Use Permit for the dumpster.

Chairman Nagrod reported he had been contacted about the final inspection at 304 Chestnut Avenue. The Commission agreed the inspection by the Town should be done either in conjunction with the Montgomery County Inspection or after the County completes their inspection. Joli will check with the County.

The Commission will work on a permitting process for renting rooms in private homes.

Mayor McCathran expressed concern that with all the discussion about fixing, repairing and replacing fences, there still appears to be no conclusion to solving the inconsistencies with our fencing ordinance. She asked the Commission to come up with some recommendations in the next few months.

Charlie, Joli and Peter met twice about the Master Plan updates. The Mayor will ask for feedback and invite residents to join the committee in a Town Bulletin announcement.

An application for a permanent easement at 15 the Circle has been received. All groups (TC, PC, HPC) have copies of the documents. This will require a legal review before approval.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:31 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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