301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 02.09.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the January Council meeting included:

  • scheduling of Public Hearing for Zoning Test Amendment No. 2015-01.


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 23, 2015, 7:30 PM, in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave. Washington Grove, Maryland. The purpose of this meeting is to take public comment regarding the proposed Zoning Text Amendment No. 2015-01; Ordinance Adopting Amendments to the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance Article VII, Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, to Add a Vertical Component to the Definition of Degree of Non-Compliance, Make Other Updates to Increase Clarity and Consistency, and Delete Outdated Provisions. A copy of the proposed amendment is available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, Maryland 20880 (301-926-2256) and on the Town website (www.washingtongrovemd.org).

Joint Work Session Scheduled

There will be a joint work session with the members of the Town Council, Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission on February 18, 2015 at 7:30p.m. in McCathran Hall. This work session is to discuss issues of mutual concerns. If you have items you wish to have these groups discuss together, please contact Mayor McCathran via e-mail at JMcCathran@[email protected] or 301-869-5358.

Mayor to Attend MML Conference

During the first week in February, our Mayor will be attending the Maryland Municipal League’s Conference in Annapolis. This is a wonderful opportunity to network and share experiences with mayors from other Maryland municipalities both large and small. The Maryland Municipal League is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpartisan association controlled and maintained by city and town governments. MML works to strengthen and support municipal governments through advocacy and the development of effective leadership. Mayor McCathran is pleased to be serving a second term as a member of the League’s Communication Committee.

Important Message for Washington Grove Taxpayers

Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because our residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. It is critical that all Washington Grove residents (including renters!) designate "Washington Grove." For Maryland iFile, under "Name of county and incorporated city, town, or special taxing area in which you were a resident on the last day of the taxable period," select "Montgomery, Washington Grove" from the drop down menu. This block is separate from the address blocks. Turbo Tax and H&R Block software also include drop down menus where you may select "Montgomery County" and then "Washington Grove." Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer if appropriate. 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! Questions, call Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498

Homestead Property Tax Credit

To assist homeowners who are affected by large assessment increases, the State of Maryland, Montgomery County, and municipalities limit the annual taxable assessment increase to 10% for principal residential properties. This limit, called the Homestead Credit, is not applicable the first year following the purchase of a home, and therefore the taxable assessment may be higher than it was for the previous owner. Property owners are required to file a one-time application with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation which administers this credit. Qualified homeowners have until May 1, 2015 to submit an application. To complete an application or find out if you have already submitted the one-time application, go to the Department’s website at www.dat.state.md.us to look up your property by County name and street address.

Town Elections

Town Elections are coming up! Nominations for Mayor and Council must go to Chair Meredith Horan at PO Box 337 or 127 Maple Ave. by April 13, 2015. The candidate must agree to being nominated and have been a Town resident for at least two (2) years for the position of Mayor and at least one (1) year for Town Council.

Thank you, Missy!!

The long-time Chair of the Town’s Recreation Committee, Missy Yachup, submitted her resignation. It was accepted with much regret. Missy, for many years, was an outstanding chair and ensured Town events all went off without a hitch. Thank you, Missy! The Town is seeking more residents to join the Committee and a resident to serve as Co-Chair. If you are interested in joining in the fun, please contact Mayor McCathran via e-mail at JMcCathran@[email protected] or 301-869-5358.

Town Website Changes Ahead!

The Town has entered into a contract with Town Resident Marida Hines to revamp the Town’s web site. The Town is seeking several volunteers, young and old alike, to serve as testers for the site. If you wish to participate, please contact Town Clerk Kathy Lehman at the Town office. We are seeking feedback on use of the site from residents.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 02.04.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. 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 call the Town Office for details pertaining to deadlines and submission requirements.

Historic Preservation Commission News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 02.17.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

HPC Reminder!

Residents are reminded of the change in the Town building permit process. You must first obtain a formal advisory review of your project from the HPC before turning in your permit application. Please see the HPC requirements listed on the documents that accompany the building permit application. The HPC review (when applicable) must be attached to the building permit application.

Help Wanted

The Town is seeking a Recording Secretary for the Historic Preservation Commission. This paying job requires attending one meeting per month, on the third Tuesday of each month in McCathran Hall. In addition, hours are paid for writing up the minutes to present at the next meeting. The approximate required time commitment is 5-7 hours monthly. If you are interested in filling this position, please contact Mayor McCathran at 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected]


By Wendy E. Harris, HPC Volunteer Archivist

The Town’s Journey to the National Register

As noted in the Congressional Record (Volume 126, No. 84), Washington Grove, in its entirety, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 1980. By this action of the federal government, the Town now joined other sites and communities on what the National Register’s website calls the official list of the nation’s places worthy of preservation. Recently, we in the Archives have been delving into the Town’s records to see how this came to pass and what, over the years, National Register designation has meant for the Town.

Although the National Register had been established in 1966, Washington Grove residents did not begin compiling historic data for a nomination until the late 1970s. So far, what we’ve learned about their efforts comes from a series of Planning Commission meeting minutes. In the earliest of these, dating to November 22, 1977, we find Planning Commission Chair, John Pentecost, handing out National Register literature and informing Commission members of nomination submission deadlines. The members responded by suggesting that a nomination be prepared and submitted as soon as possible. The explanation for the Planning Commission’s urgency can be found elsewhere in the Archives, where records from these same years indicate Washington Grove was experiencing the early waves of suburban development that would eventually transform the surrounding countryside. Indeed, according to the meeting minutes, the Planning Commission felt that that National Register designation was "likely to have important effects on preservation of the Town’s borders."

Today, many former and active camp meeting grounds have been placed on the National Register. Only a handful of these (including Wesleyan Grove, a designated National Historic Landmark located on Martha’s Vineyard) share Washington Grove’s most unusual landscape element,its radial concentric street design. At Washington Grove, this layout is anchored by the Sacred Circle, with its plaque commemorating the first camp meeting held here in 1873.

In upcoming Town Bulletins we will write more about the effort it took ("It Takes a Village") to list Washington Grove on the National Register of Historic Places and what the nomination has to say about the Town’s history, architecture and the unique design of its streets, walkways and open spaces.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 04.15.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.

Light Weight Workout

  • Where: McCathran Hall
  • When: Fridays, 6 – 6:45 p.m., beginning February 6.
  • What: Full body workout. Using light weights we’ll do three 15 minute sets. Each set will work out your chest/arms/biceps/triceps/back. For each set we will also do the plank/pushups/sit-ups and a few minutes of cardio. All exercises can be modified.
    Bring yoga mat, water, 3 and/or 5lb weights to start
    Suggested donation: $1.00 – $5.00 per class.
  • Who: For more information call Samantha Beres at 301-330-8509.

Sponsored by Washington Grove Recreation Committee

Winter Film Project with Zach Fletcher!!

A great way to explore acting and filmmaking in a playful and familiar setting!

  • Who: Grove Kids Ages 5-12
  • What: Zach’s Winter Film Project
  • Where: McCathran Hall
  • When: Saturday afternoons; 2/7/15 through 3/28/15 from 2:00-3:15 p.m.
  • Fee: $96.00 ($12.00 per class)

Screening for Friends and Family on April 4, 2015 in McCathran Hall at 7:00 p.m. Call Zach with any questions; 301-938-5459
Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.

Irish Dance Workshop for Beginners

  • McCathran Hall
  • Saturday, February 28, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Shake off the wintertime blues and learn the basics of Irish set dancing.
Marilyn Moor will teach assisted by Ring of Kerry members.
This is a free event.
Sponsored by Washington Grove Recreation Committee

Mark Your Calendars!

Music Weekend 2015 is June 19, 20, 21, 2015.

ADULT TALENT SHOWCASE Friday, June 19, 2015. It’s time the adults took back the stage!

Music Weekend is approaching fast and this year we are happy to announce a new venue for our Town’s adult performers! Come share your talents with us during our ADULT RECITAL! Do you twirl a baton? Toot the oboe? Tap a tambourine? Start noodling on a routine and brush up your skills (if need be) and we will see you in June!

Film Society News

Calling all film lovers to see Chop Shop, the Film Society’s next showing on February 15 February 22, at 7 PM. Twelve-year old Ale and his sixteen-year old sister live and work in the Iron Triangle 75 acres of auto part shops next to Shea Stadium. Undaunted by their surroundings, Ale has a plan to escape. All he needs is enough money for a used food truck so they can start a business. Roger Ebert called this film "miraculous" and one of the best of the decade. Directed by Ramin Bahrani, 2007, U.S., screened with English subtitles, 84 minutes. Discussion to follow the film; $7.00 at the door.

Woods Group News

The Town Woods Group Next meeting: Monday » 02.02.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.

Woman’s Club News

Plan to join us February 21, 2015 at McCathran Hall for the Annual Chili Supper!
The White Elephants were, as always, funny, beautiful or unusual and the bidding very spirited. The evening was a great success because of all of you who came, donated and bid!

Special thanks for this year’s sale go to Carol Samour and David Harmon for graciously welcoming us into their beautiful home; to our fun red-tie and tails auctioneer Joli McCathran and her assistants Collin Turner, Erica Turner and Marilynn Frey; to Ernie Kawasaki our talented bartender for the evening; to Cynthia Werts for keeping track of everything sold, who bought it and for how much; to Barbara Engle for organizing the evening; to all the pot luckers who brought delicious foods; and to everyone who worked hard to make the evening a success. It takes a lot of hands to create such a fun night!

Our next event is the ever popular Annual Chili Supper, Saturday February 21, 2015, starting at 6:00 PM at McCathran Hall. If you have a favorite pot of chili or a pan of cornbread to share with everyone, please contact Sylvia Appleby at 301-926-9094 or
([email protected]). Sylvia will be reaching
out to volunteers soon.


  • Community Supper: Feb. 18th at 6:30 p.m. Church Fellowship Hall. This free event comes with no strings attached. Just bring your smile, share food with the community and appreciate "togetherness."
  • Ash Wednesday Service with Imposition of Ashes: Feb. 18th 7:30 p.m. Church Sanctuary. Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten journey of 40 weekdays
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