301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday  »  08.11.08 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday  »  08.25.08 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the July Council meeting included:

introduction of Ordinance 2008-05; Declaring Certain Properties as Surplus to Public Use and Authorizing Sale of Said Properties to Designated Owners of Adjacent Properties. (see summary below)
passed Resolution 2008-06; Resolution Requesting Maryland Municipal League Participation in a Matter of Litigation. Copies of this resolution are available in the Town Office.
authorization for the Lake Committee to spend an amount, not to exceed $4,000.00, in order to find a solution to the security problems at Maple Lake.

Notice of Public Hearing

The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, September 22, 2008, 7:30 PM, in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Avenue, Washington Grove, Maryland. This hearing is to take public comment regarding Ordinance No. 2008-05; Declaring Certain Properties as Surplus to Public Use and Authorizing Sale of Said Properties to Designated Owners of Adjacent Properties. This ordinance pertains to 5 (five) properties along 2nd Avenue. The intent is to clean up the problem of private porches on public land and to help mitigate the impacts of the recently completed block corner surveys of Blocks 10 & 11. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available in the Town Office.

Humpback Bridge Load Limit Drops from 34,000 to 8,000 GVW

What Does It Mean? Many Grovers may have noticed the new signs and altered old signs indicating the allowable vehicle weight on the Humpback Bridge has been reduced to 8,000 GVW (gross vehicle weight) from 34,000 GVW. In a practical sense, the weight limit change would mean that trucks and school buses would no longer be allowed to cross the bridge. As Washington Grove begins a new round of meetings with Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), Division of Engineering, on the future of the bridge, this seemed an ominous change to possibly force the issue of doing something NOW to replace, restructure, or redesign the bridge. This, it appears, is not the case. According to the MCDOT, the change is a short-term fix to keep large trucks from using the bridge and avoid situations such as the one in March when an 18-wheeler became stuck on the bridge. The MC engineers have assured the Town that school buses have been given a waiver to continue crossing the bridge, and that structurally, the bridge is able to safely support vehicles up to 34,000 GVW (buses are rated at approximately 12 GVW). MCDOT just doesn’t want large, long truck and trailers to use the bridge because of damage being done to the guard rails on the Railroad St. end of the bridge caused by a lack of turning radius. So for now, there appears to be no broader goal in reducing the weight limit than to keep these trucks off the bridge (a good idea).

“Stay” Issued in LOS Lawsuit
After having the Town’s position regarding the condemnation of the LOS field affirmed as our lawsuit worked its way through succeeding levels of the Maryland court system, in June the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) asked for and received a stay of the lawsuit from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Not too much should be read into the stay action; it gives the court time to review all previous court proceedings to determine if they should be reviewed again, or sent back to lower courts for clarification. This means that the condemnation trial, originally scheduled for October 6, to determine the value of the land for condemnation purposes has been delayed. The Town is vigorously opposing the stay and subsequent filings by M-NCPPC. The Mayor and Council will keep everyone updated as these proceedings continue.

The Cutting of the LOS Field

Many Town residents have noticed the LOS field was recently cut by Montgomery County Department of Parks and Recreation. This caused some concern because of the ongoing LOS lawsuit. After discussions with the County, and protests that the Town should have been informed before this maintenance action, it was agreed that the Town will be involved in any further actions regarding cutting the field. Given the concern about animals in the overgrown field, the County–as an interim maintenance agreement–will not cut the entire field, but cut sections at a time to allow movement of animals to safe areas. The County would like to come to Town sometime in late August or early September to meet with the Mayor and Council members, walk the field, and come to some consensus on what maintenance to perform during the period before the lawsuit is settled.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday  »  08.06.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.

Building Permits

If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. The Town zoning ordinance governs setbacks, lot coverage and height. Applications are available at the Town Office at 301-926-2256. The permit fee for a major building permit (addition/renovation) is $40.00. The fee for a minor building permit (fence/shed) is $10.00. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. A shed requires a County permit as well. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Master Plan Public Hearing

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The Washington Grove Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the recommended Master Plan for the Town of Washington Grove on Wednesday, September 3, 2008. The public hearing will be held in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Avenue, in Washington Grove, beginning at 7:30 p.m. A copy of the Planning Commission Recommended Master Plan is available on the Town website or in the Town Office.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday  »  08.19.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public. The HPC encourages residents to come for an early consultation when planning a renovation.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday  »  10.15.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Attention Painters

Are you interested in attending an intermediate oils & acrylics class on Tuesdays from 2:30 – 5:00 in McCathran Hall beginning in September? The Recreation Committee is considering sponsorship of this art class. It will be open to Town residents and non-residents as well. The class will focus on individual instruction for individual projects. It will last 14 weeks and will cost $70. Please call/e-mail Sandy Klingenberg to express your interest or if you have questions; [email protected] or 301-977-1194.

Get Caught in The Trap!

The 10th Season will start in October. Flyers will be in the mail in early September.

Neighborhood Watch News

Report Crimes & Suspicious Activity!
Mont. Co. Police non-emergency: 301-279-8000
Town Office: 301-926-2256
Joe Clark: 301-869-7944
Keith Gillis/Leigh Partington: 301-208-1437

Incident Report:

June 25: Burglary. 100 block Grove Ave – Resident reported a home break-in and theft. Someone slashed a bedroom screen to gain entry between 7:15 am and 4:45 pm. Two piggy banks and a digital camera were stolen. Incident reported to police.
June 26: Mischief / vandalism. Casey field – Residents have reported that on several occasions kids have been partying in the second field just beyond the trees, drinking beer, and leaving a fire going all night. Mess left behind. Cars parked on Ridge Road. A similar incident occurred again on July 3rd.
July 7: Mischief. Maple Lake – Paintballs shot into the lake from over the fence at Newport. No one hit or hurt.
July 7: Speeding. 400 block Grove Rd – Resident reported a vehicle speeding (35 – 40 mph) down Grove Road toward the tennis courts / soccer field.
July 7: Car crash. 300 block Washington Grove La – Shortly after 10 PM, a driver in a stolen Honda Accord traveling northbound on WGL lost control of his car and drove off into the woods just before the crosswalk to the lake. Driver of the vehicle fled on foot. Police responded to the scene.
July 8: Gunshots. Newport Estates – Residents along Washington Grove Lane heard a series of 10 – 20 gunshots about 2 AM coming from the townhouse complex near Maple Lake. This is the third incident of gunfire in this same neighborhood in the past 2 months.
July 14: Domestic dispute. The Circle – A disagreement between the homeowner and a couple of visitors. Police and ambulance were called to the scene.
July 15: Car break-in. Maple Lake parking lot – Resident reported that their car had been broken into between 1 pm and 3:30 pm. The rear windshield was smashed and the car ransacked. Nothing taken.
July 19: Car break-in. 400 block Fifth Ave, The Circle, 400 block Fourth Ave – At least three vehicles were broken into and ransacked. Nothing significant stolen. One vehicle was locked.
July 19: Theft. 400 block Fourth Ave – Landscaping rocks stolen from yard.
July 19: Gunshots. 400 block McCauley St – Resident reported hearing 5 gunshots around 9 PM.
July 21: Car break-in. 400 block Sixth Ave – Resident reported that someone entered and ransacked an unlocked vehicle sometime after 3 AM. Nothing taken. Door was left open.
Please report criminal or suspicious activity to your Neighborhood Watch Block Captain or Coordinators. Filing a police report, too, helps the police department keep track of criminal incidents and is necessary for police to take action. Of course, for emergency situations call 911.

Lake Committee News

Next meeting: Aug TBA,  »  08.??.08 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
New members always welcome! Call John Hutchinson (301-926-8767) if you have any questions or suggestions.

Safety at the Lake
Please report every incident of suspicious behavior, vandalism or criminal activity to the police at their non-emergency number: 301-279-8000. In case of any emergency – threat to people or property, call 911. They have asked us to report all incidents. Please also alert NW (Neighborhood Watch) to any such incidents. (Contact is Keith Gillis, Phone 301-208-1437) To minimize problems with vandalism, outside visitors and other issues, we will be monitoring the lake more frequently checking on the fence and surrounding area. Please do NOT tell young children or outsiders what the combination is, and always lock, and spin the tumblers on the lock after opening it. Call John Hutchinson, Jim Fletcher, or Bruce Rothrock if you notice any maintenance problems.

When parking at the lake, do not block vehicle access between Washington Grove Lane, the parking area and the inner lake gate. The road must be kept clear for emergency vehicles which may be needed at any time. Also, do not leave valuables in the car, and consider parking at the end of Hickory or in the Church Parking lot if you must drive

Woman’s Club News

Next Regular Meeting: September TBA, 2008; at the Clubhouse. There is no August meeting of the Woman’s Club. Our annual Town Pot Luck will be Friday, September 19, at 6:30 at the Club House. Mark your calendars!


Spirituality/Meditation Class – Sept. 9th through Oct. 28th, 7-8:30 pm. Visiting practitioners of meditation and spiritual practices will teach and lead 8 (eight) classes in the church’s fellowship hall. Teachers come from various traditions, with several who are associated with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation a member of the Washington Theological Consortium. Meditation is a deeper listening to ourselves, to one another, and to God. Among the themes for the classes will be the spirituality of food (a simple meal will be provided), the spirituality of meditation, the spirituality of music, the spirituality of scripture, the spirituality of community, the spirituality of service, and the spirituality of prayer. A suggested donation for the teachers of $10 per class is optional. Come, lay aside the pressures of modern life, and sink into the peace of meditation and song in the middle of the work week.

Fall Sunday Schedule – On September 7th, Sunday services return to the 11 a.m. schedule, and Sunday school starts up again for pre-school and elementary children during the service, and at 9:30am for teens. Our Bible study for adults will also start at 9:30 am on Sept. 7th. “Open hearts, open minds, open doors–the people of the United Methodist Church” — All are welcomed at Washington Grove UMC.

Environmental Ethics restarts Sept. 12th – Our fall Environmental Ethics discussions will start on 2nd Fridays, beginning with September 12th, at 7:30 pm in the church lounge.

David and Judy Young welcome friends from town and church to 101 Center Street, during the afternoon of Saturday, September 20th, from 1 to 5 pm. Good food and conversation available in the refinished parsonage. FYI…Judy and David’s new phone number is 240-912-9895.

Parking at the Post Office

The property manager at the commercial corner has agreed to mark a couple of spaces in the rear parking lot for Post Office parking only. Look for this to happen shortly.

Clerk’s Corner

Please note that complaints posted on the Yahoo Listserve are not seen in the Town Office and may not be seen by the appropriate Council person who would help with your issue. If you need to officially complain about something, please send an e-mail directly to the Town e-mail address [email protected] or call the office 301-926-2256. You may also e-mail or call councilors and/or the Mayor directly as well.


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