301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 12.13.10 @ 7:30 p.m.There will only be one meeting of the Town Council in December.
The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the November Council meetings included:

  • Adoption of Resolution No. 2010-10; Resolution Calling for the State of Maryland to Reinstate Highway User Revenues and State Aid for Police Protection
  • Endorsement of an education effort by some residents concerning wildlife and cat safety.
  • Adoption of Resolution No. 2010-11; Resolution of Intent to Enter the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Adoption of Resolution No. 2010-12; Resolution to Adopt Certain Flood Protection Measures to Join the National Flood Insurance Program for a Non-Flood prone Community.

Update on Our Meadow

Representatives from the Town met with members of the Park staff of the Maryland-National Capitol Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) in November to begin discussions on their maintenance of the field we purchased in October. As noted in previous bulletins, M-NCPPC is responsible for the cost of maintaining the field. However, the maintenance will depend on Town input and approval. We began our discussions on a very positive note. After our meeting, the next steps will be for M-NCPPC park staff to develop a short-term and long-term plan for maintaining the field at their expense. After meeting with them again in December, we hope to have a public meeting during January to present the plan to residents. At that time, residents will be able to ask questions and make suggestions.

A Field Committee is Needed

In viewing how the Town should organize itself to oversee the LOS field and to work directly with M-NCPPC, a standing committee will be formed that will have the equivalence of our other standing committees that are appointed by the Mayor and Town Council. To form the committee, the Mayor is requesting those interested to submit their names to Kathy in the Town Office by December 20; the Committee does not have a name yet, but we are open to suggestions. Although the oversight of the field will involve expertise we already have on the Forestry and Beautification Committee and some of the other ad-hoc committees (such as the Woods Group), this committee will have the opportunity to start something new that will live on long after all of us are gone. We want to do this right, from the start. It is envisioned as a group comprised of 6 residents and a Council liaison. Preference will be given to those who have expertise in areas related to the field (biology/botany/planning) and to those not currently serving on other committees. There will be an attempt to have a mix of residents from every area of the Town, not just those directly affected by nearness to the field. Please consider this volunteer opportunity.

Deer Park Bridge/At-Grade Crossing Updates

Representatives from the Town met with CSX in November and it was a sobering exchange. Although no decisions have been made, the Deer Park Bridge volunteer group is mulling over what we heard and deciding how to respond. Two things are relatively clear: it is unlikely that CSX will agree to lower the tracks, however, a mix of lowering the tracks AND raising the bridge may be possible. The Town group will be meeting in December to formulate a response and determine what the best course is for the Town moving forward. It must be noted that in our Special Town Meeting of January 2010, the Town went on record in a policy matter that the representatives of the Town meeting with CSX could only negotiate lowering the tracks; there is no mandate for any other option. This means that if the Town is to negotiate any other solution with CSX, we will have to have another Special Town Meeting to broaden the scope of negotiations. Although this may be painful to many, the alternative is to do nothing and CSX will raise the bridge without our input because, in reality, they can do what they want. In the next month, we will have a better idea of what direction this is taking. If you have further questions, please speak with a Council member or the Mayor, or anyone on the Deer Park Bridge group. Decision time may be coming soon.

Council to Move to One Meeting a Month

At the current time, the Town Council meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month. Because of the holidays in December (fourth Monday is December 27); the Council will not meet except once in December. Because of the settlement of the LOS lawsuit, the Town Council has decided to go back to one meeting a month, which will always be the SECOND Monday of the month. This will be a trial to see if we can get all Town business conducted on one night. One meeting a month was the way it was always done in the past until the LOS litigation, Casey 6 and 7, Deer Park Bridge, and other major time-consuming issues made one meeting too long to be productive (unless midnight is an appropriate time to conduct Town business). The trial is likely to last through May, when a new Council and Mayor will be seated after the May elections.

This also will mean that beginning in January, the Town Bulletin will be delivered a week or so after the meeting of the Town Council.

Destruction on Lower Ridge Road

If you have not done so already, please take a walk down Ridge Road to the site of the Phase I construction on the Toll Brothers site. It is horrifying to see how quickly and completely they have deconstructed the forest, with the loss of habitat and protection for those living alongside it. The Town has been working with Toll Brothers to reduce the impact short-term and long-term, but no one is happy about what is happening there. It is going to take some patience for the residents to allow construction to proceed and the plans for buffering the development from Ridge Road residents that will begin to take place, probably after the winter. It then will take a few years for the planted barrier to take hold and produce the shield we hope will return lower Ridge Road to a reasonably protected area. It will take a lengthy effort by the Town to make sure the barrier is completed as planned and that residents are reasonably sheltered from the new development. It is a work in progress, and unfortunately, this phase is the naked part of the plan that is an overwhelming shock to neighbors and everyone in Town. Please try to have some patience with the process and help us monitor what is being done. Just a reminder, trespassing on the Toll property, which is a monitored construction site, is both dangerous and illegal.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 01.05.11 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. At the November meeting, there were several permits presented for approval.

  • 415 Grove Ave. – lowering accessory building roof – approval pending.
  • 317 Brown St. – fence – approved.
  • 315 Brown St. – demo/addition – approval pending.

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. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or [email protected], or see the Town website for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 12.21.10 @ 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.

Some Historic Food for thought…

Q:Why do the original windows of my older home matter? What do they contribute to my home?

Reason #3: Old Windows Can Be Repaired
Traditional windows are made from individual parts. Each piece – the rails, stiles, muntins, stops, sill, stool, jamb, etc. – can be individually repaired or replaced in kind. Vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and composite windows are manufactured as a unit, and the components generally cannot be repaired. When a part fails, or the insulated glass seal breaks, or the vinyl warps, the entire unit must be replaced. In addition to being a “green” alternative, repairing and increasing the energy performance of existing wood windows is good for the local economy, as hiring a window repair specialist to refurbish windows creates skilled local jobs.

Reason #4: Old Windows Perform Well and are Energy Efficient
A growing body of studies is demonstrating that a historic wood window that is properly maintained, weather stripped, and has a storm window can be just as energy efficient as a new window. While additional testing will provide more evidence, many people find that using a window-storm combination is even more efficient than having a new double-pane window unit alone. This is because the air space between a historic window and the storm provides several inches of added insulation.
Stay tuned for additional reasons in the next WG Town Bulletin

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 12.15.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.


Saturday, December 18th at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall
Come out and be a member of WGR Radio’s “studio audience” for “The Grove Home Companion-Holiday Special”, this year’s Washington Grove Holiday Show. The variety show will feature original skits and musical acts performed by Town talent and friends of Washington Grove…….and a visit from a “very special holiday guest”.


The Motorcycle Diaries January 9, 2011
Directed by Walter Salles, from a book by Che Guevara, 2004, UK, Spanish with English subtitles, 126 minutes
In 1952, Ernesto Guevara and a fellow medical student roam from Argentina to Peru on a dilapidated motorcycle. They befriend and struggle alongside farmers, workers, lepers, doctors. The journey upends Ernesto’s middle-class faith in political systems that leave so many in poverty. Is this hagiography of the man who would be Che or an insightful film about political awakening? You decide. Starring Gael García Bernal.


  • December 5th, 11 am–Brenda Gumula, will sing during worship on the 2nd Sunday of Advent, the Sunday when we light the candle of Peace.
  • December 19th, 11 am–Family Friendly Christmas Cantata! Especially for families, put on by the Washington Grove Sunday school and teachers, on the 4th Sunday of Advent, when we light the candle of Joy.
  • December 24th, 7:30 pm–Candlelight Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols!

Maintenance Committee News

Next meeting: Monday » 12.06.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. All are welcome to attend these meetings. Please bring your suggestions and ideas. Please direct any questions to Joe Clark at; [email protected] or 301-869-7944.

Woman’s Club News

The Woman’s Club Annual Auction will be on Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Appleby’s home at 112 Chestnut Avenue. Maria Montefusco will be our esteemed auctioneer. Ernie Kawasaki will be our beverage server. Please bring items to auction off and be prepared to bid. Also be prepared for a great evening. All are invited to attend. Please contact Joli McCathran, 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected] if you have any questions. The funds raised are earmarked for our community service projects which include supporting Summer in the Parks, Acorn Library, the McCathran Hall Player Holiday Show, Washington Grove United Methodist Church and other community activities. A great evening of laughter and happiness is promised!

Recyclable Yard Waste Reminder

Per our contract, November 26th was the last date for collection of your recyclable yard waste in paper bags and properly marked containers. This service will resume in early March. Town Maintenance WILL NOT collect your brush piles.

Reminder: No leaf blowers before noon on Sunday. Please and thank you!

Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee

This new committee had a great first meeting. For more information about participating please contact Carolyn Rapkievian at [email protected]

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for the removal of leaves in bulk each autumn. US Lawns will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six feet of any walkway or roadway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins November 1 and ends January 1, 2010, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is complete. This is your opportunity to have leaves removed without the additional work and expense of bagging.
Weather frequently affects this process, as rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues. Also, one or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually see most of us raking at the same time. As the contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming, if you rake when most other people rake the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. If you feel that a particular pile has been ignored for an inordinate amount of time, please call Bill Robertson at 240-912-6080 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Please place your windrows along the side of the road or walkway (keeping in mind, traffic & pedestrian flow), and don’t include brush or limbs that foul the vacuum. Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.

Caroling in The Grove

Come join the fun on MONDAY, December 20, 2010. Meet at McCathran Hall at 7:30 PM. Return to the Town Hall after caroling for refreshments. For more details, please contact Amy or John Porter at 301-977-6768.

Christmas Tree Disposal

Beginning in late December, Christmas trees will be picked up roadside by Town Maintenance staff. When you place your tree out for collection, please remove all tinsel, ornaments, the stand and any other metal.


Clerk’s Corner

The Town Office will be closed on Friday, December 24th and open limited hours from the 27th through the January 1, 2011.

Happy Holidays!

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