301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday  »  03.13.06 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the February Council meeting included:
Delegating the supervision of a Trash Brigade (for litter pickup) to the Forestry and Beautification Committee.
Discussion of the results of an Inter-County Connector Noise Abatement Study conducted by the State of Maryland. This could involve bringing in a professional.
Continued working on ZTA2005-07 which will adopt general revisions to the zoning code.

Casey Field

Nothing new to report on the Phase I site plan of the development. However, the condemnation process continues. Protecting the preliminary plan process and the passive recreational use of the land are big concerns for all parties involved. Park & Planning and the Town are drafting a maintenance management agreement for this property.

Deer Park Bridge

The County and Department of Public Works and Transportation have raised the possibility of turning over ownership and maintenance of the bridge to the Town of Washington Grove and the City of Gaithersburg. Stay tuned…

Mayor and Council “Rule” on Unreasonable Brush Piles

The Council continues to support curb-side pickup of seasonal brush by Town Maintenance as a convenience to residents. Specifically excluded from this service, however, are contractor cuttings and unreasonably large brush piles. After a long discussion by the Council Monday night it was decided that Town Maintenance pickup will be limited to a pile that can be removed in one pickup truck load or less. Larger piles will be the resident’s responsibility. The Mayor and Council would also like to remind residents that dumping brush in Morgan Park or any park is prohibited.

Slow Down or Get Bumped…

Speeding and cut-through traffic were the subject of renewed resident complaints last month and at the Council meeting. With other solutions unlikely to succeed, the Mayor and Council are entertaining the installation of new speed bumps on Maple Road, Chestnut Road, Hickory Road, and Ridge Road., possibly located as follows:
Maple Rd: 2 speed humps, midway between Brown and Oak St. and at the Oak St ped. crossing.
Chestnut Rd: 2 or 3 speed humps, at the stop signs at Acorn, Center and Oak.
Hickory Rd: 1 speed hump between Railroad and Oak, where the pavement narrows.
Ridge Rd: 2 humps, at the “top of the hill” near #334 and at the curve between #306 and #326.

Also discussed was reconfiguring the intersection of McCauley Street and Washington Grove Lane in order to make the illegal turns from McCauley and from WG Lane more difficult. Most believe that both of these remedies will be for the greater good of Town residents.

What do you think? Comments will be accepted by snail mail (PO Box 216), e-mail ([email protected]) or by phone (301-926-2256). It’s your Town. What would you like to see happen to help with the increased speeding and cut-through traffic?

Tax Reminder – Washington Grove – 1612

Please fill in Washington Grove 1612 in the appropriate box on your State income tax form. If someone else prepares your tax forms, include this notice with your tax information and if you file electronically; be sure to select Washington Grove under City, Town or Taxing Area. This DOES NOT increase your taxes, but DOES help ensure that the Town receives its proper share of local income tax revenue. Thanks for your help!

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday  »  03.01.06 @ 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 is $10.00, 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 permits as well.

Building permits were issued for the following:
352 Ridge Rd.  »  Deck
Neighborhood Watch News

Keep Your Eyes Open…

Our playground equipment in Woodward Park is being damaged by people skateboarding and/or rollerblading down the yellow spiral slide. There has also been damage to the clay tennis courts and to the ice skating rink liner. If you see someone doing “the wrong thing” on the playground equipment or in other places, please tell them to stop and/or call the Police. We must take care of our property and policing ourselves is the first step.

Report Crimes & Suspicious Activity!
Mont. Co. Police non-emergency: 301-279-8000
Town Office: 301-926-2256
Betsy Klinger: 301-977-3517
Keith Gillis/Leigh Partington: 301-208-1437

Fewer and fewer incidents are reported to Neighborhood Watch and we recently discovered several that we would never have known of had there not been a discussion on the Yahoo circle that prompted others to post there. Part of the purpose of the Watch is to keep a good log (which Keith Gillis has been diligently compiling) so we have an accurate overall picture of incidents in the town, from minor annoyances to the more serious.

It would be helpful if residents took the time to report even less significant incidents that may not warrant a call to police so that we can recognize patterns. We request that residents report all thefts, vandalism, loose dogs, and breaking & entering and other problems to Keith & Leigh (or to your block captain who will pass it along) and if necessary leave a brief message on a machine so your call can be returned. (See Keith & Leigh’s number above.)

Incident Report:
Approx. Jan. 14: 400 block McCauley St., 400 block Grove Ave, 500 block WG La, 400 block 4th Ave – A young male visited numerous homes asking for money to get to D.C. Police were not called.
Jan. 20: 5 butchered deer carcasses found in the far Casey field.
Jan. 21: 300 block McCauley St. – Police were called to investigate possible break-in of the vacant house.
Jan. 21: On Daylily Lane – Around 7 p.m., a black male with a crutch (or crutches) knocked on a resident’s door asking for “Jerome.” He was acting suspiciously, so police were called.
Jan. 24: 100 block and 300 block Ridge Road – Two residents report hearing what sounded like 3 gunshots at about 10 p.m..
Jan. 24: 100 block Pine Ave, 100 block Ridge Rd, 400 block Brown St. – Five separate residents report having their cars broken into late at night. A purse was taken from one car; a camera and empty CD cases were taken from another car. The others were ransacked. At least two of these cars were left unlocked.
Approx. Jan. 24: 400 block McCauley St. – Car broken into, radio stolen.
Jan. 27: Police activity at Ridge Rd. & Brown St. at 9 p.m.; two men handcuffed; no further details.
Jan. 30: Maple Lake – Lock missing, picnic table thrown in the lake.

Your Neighborhood Watch Coordinators, Keith and Leigh, pass on this advice:
lock your cars, especially at night
do not keep valuables in your car, put items that might be tempting out of sight
lock your homes when you are away and while sleeping
use common sense and good judgment when answering the door, especially after dusk. Utility workers and delivery persons should be wearing official uniforms and be driving official (well-marked) company vehicles.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday  »  03.22.06 @ 7:30 p.m. at the home of Leila Keese; 118 Grove Ave.
The public is invited to attend.

T’ai Chi Anyone?

T’ai Chi is an exercise to improve our health in such daily issues as flexibility, balance, pain, stress etc… T’ai Chi uses slow, smooth turns and steps, along with mental concentration, so almost anyone can participate and benefit. All exercises are done in a standing position. No special equipment or clothing is required.

The T’ai Chi Center of the Metro Area will offer a one hour, 12 week session in our Town Hall for $187.00 per person. This program is sponsored by the Recreation Committee and the first class is tentatively scheduled to begin Saturday, March 4th at 11 a.m.. The class size is from 12 – 25 people, so get your registration in PDQ. If you want to sign up, please call Mary K DuBois (301-926-8941) or e-mail Ann Briggs ([email protected]). Checks should be made payable to The Town of Washington Grove and send to; Mary K DuBois, General Delivery, Washington Grove, MD 20880 Let us hear from you! If you want to learn more about T’ai Chi, visit TaiChiCenter.com.

Chase Winter Away!

St. Patrick’s Day Ceili at McCathran Hall
Blackthorn and Ring of Kerry Dancers.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Dance Workshop from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Ceili 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.

Music by the Common Ground Ceili Band… Donations to help pay the band will be accepted at the door. Soda Bread & Tea will be available during the first break. Bring snacks and desserts to share. Soft drinks will be available. Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.

Summer In The Parks 2006

With snow on the ground, it’s hard to believe that it is time to think about Summer In The Parks. Our areas of focus will include nature, arts & crafts, outdoor sports, play, community service, and theatre/filmmaking. The morning program, for kids entering grades K-5, runs weekdays from 9 a.m. – 12 Noon. The afternoon program, for kids entering grades 6-12, runs weekdays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.. Both programs will be held at McCathran Hall beginning July 5th and ending on Thursday, July 27th.

The annual cookout/campout finale will be on Friday, July 28th starting at 6 p.m.. Children participating in the evening activities and sleep-over must have a designated adult who will be responsible for him/her and will stay on- site. Please complete the attached registration form and return it to Tami Williams by March 31, 2006.

Parent meetings will be held on Sat., March 4th and Sat., April 1st from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.. Parent involvement and support is what makes this program work. Please consider coming if you can. Meetings will be at the home of Tami Williams; 213 Grove Ave. If you are unable to come to a meeting but would like to be involved, please feel free to contact Tami by phone, 301-869-8541 or by e-mail; [email protected].

Maple Lake News…

Yes, it’s time to start getting organized to make this the best year ever for Maple Lake! Come to a meeting on Wednesday, March 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the old Council Room in McCathran Hall. Please use the door that faces Center Street. Topics will include Swim Lessons, Life Guards, Geese, Clean-Up, Increased Beach-front, Water Quality, Fish, Algae, and anything else that needs attention. New members are welcome and encouraged! Call John Hutchinson (301-926-8767) if you have any questions or suggestions.

Woman’s Club News…

The Woman’s Club “New Residents” Chili Supper will be held in McCathran Hall on Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. Start time is 6:00 p.m.. This event is FREE and open to all Town residents. New residents are encouraged to attend. Non-alcoholic beverages will be served however, BYOB is fine.

The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove was created to promote greater sociability and a betterment of civic and cultural conditions in Washington Grove. We come together to meet with and get to know our neighbors, enjoy interesting programs, catch up on town news, and take a short break from our busy lives. The Woman’s Club also donates funds to the Washington Grove Elementary School. We need your participation to keep the Woman’s Club a strong and energetic organization.

Participation can range from being a hostess to helping out once at an event to more regular involvement. There are currently opportunities available for hostessing (two people provide light refreshments at a monthly meeting), chairing the Community Outreach Committee (to influence the charitable focus of the Woman’s Club), and chairing the Neighborhood Committee (to greet our new neighbors and make them feel welcome to our wonderful town). You are also very welcome to participate on other committees as well. If you are interested in hostessing or volunteering for a committee, please call Jamie Holtzclaw at 301-330-1336.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday  »  03.21.05 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.
Summary of HPC Questionnaire

A total of 84 responses were received from the HPC questionnaire. This survey polled residents on two issues-1) “mansionization” or the problem of the scale in new homes or remodeling of older ones and 2) preservation of the character of the Town. Many thanks to all who responded and to the thoughtful answers that were received. The full tabulation of the responses will be posted on the Town’s web site. Here is a brief summary.

The results indicate a broad consensus:
90% agreed that it was important for new construction “to reflect the scale and character of that neighborhood.” 85% agreed with the statement “the construction of more massive homes” was of concern.
65% expressed a willingness to place limits on the scale of their own construction and the same percentage expressed an expectation that the Town’ ordinances would protect them from construction that was not in scale with their homes.
61% disagreed with the statement that our current ordinances provide sufficient protection or that no further efforts towards preservation should be attempted.
On the question of “retaining the existing character of the town”, 86% responded that it was very important. A combined total of 91% agreed that it was important and only 2% said that it was not important. 94% identified neighborhoods of Town where it was important to retain their character. On retaining the characteristics of older homes, 88% considered it important for houses built before 1900 and 84% for homes built up to 1937.

Finally, 75% responded positively to further exploration of these issues. 23 residents offered to volunteer to work on a committee looking into these matters (and there were 26 maybes).

General Information…

Bulletin Deadline is the 12th of the Month

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