301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 01.14.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the December 10th meeting included:

  • Introduction of Ordinance 2012-07; Ordinance to Amend Article III, "Traffic, Vehicles and Transportation" and Article XVI, "Schedule of Fees".


The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance No. 2012-07 which will amend Article III; Traffic, Vehicles, and Transportation and Article XVI; Schedule of Fees. The new amendment requires outside agencies (PEPCO, WSSC, Verizon etc. ) to obtain a permit from the Town before doing any work that affects our roads and public spaces. A provision for emergency work is included as is a provision for a Stop Work Order. This amendment is designed to protect Town interests and improve communication with these agencies. The amendment to Article XVI sets the fee for such a permit at $100.00.


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.

From Mayor Cole: The Groves at Towne Crest

The owners of Towne Crest continue to pursue their plans for redevelopment. Most Grove residents have now received the “Enhancing our Community” brochure regarding the proposed “The Groves at Towne Crest”. Additional information is available on their web site. According to their web site they have now reduced the number of units from 356 to 329. Unfortunately, they do not show where the reduction in units come from and there is no way to tell if they have addressed the need to provide legal setbacks (100 feet) from our homes on Daylily Lane.

They say "Community input is critical to the process and public comments continue to be welcome as county officials review the proposal and render decisions." I suggest that residents review the Towne Crest information at www.grovesattownecrest.com. The position of the Council (Resolution 2012-05 on 10 Sept 2012) and the more detailed Planning Commission Evaluation (6 Sept 2012) are both posted on the Town website. Residents who do not have internet access may call the Town Office for information.
Neither Charlie Challstrom as Planning Commission Chair nor I as Mayor believe the Towne Crest changes affect our posted evaluations. I know many residents sent letters back in October, but letters emphasizing that the new changes do not address the negative impacts on Washington Grove will still be needed. Please send your comments for the upcoming Office of Zoning Appeals Hearing (now scheduled for February 15, 2013) in a signed (your actual signature is required) letter to:

Martin Grossman, Director
Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings
Stella B. Werner Council Office Building
100 Maryland Avenue
Room 200
Rockville, MD 20850

Re: Local Map Amendment G-910, Towne Crest Apartments

Dear Director Grossman, 
Your opinion of the current proposal.
Your signature(s), then printed names and address

McCathran Hall News

In October Steve Werts, our Town Maintenance Supervisor, noticed that a gap had appeared at the top of a corner of McCathran Hall near the front door. We located a structural engineer with historic building credentials (David Wallace, referred by an Historic Preservation consultant) who did the preliminary assessment of the damage. He says that over time the eight corner columns, pressed by the roof trusses, have become out-of-plumb which has caused the roof to drop and the walls to bow. The skin separation we can see may have been aggravated by the recent earthquake, but is something that would have become apparent eventually anyway. Although the building does not appear to be in danger of collapse, it could get worse if steps are not taken to stabilize it. Steve Werts reports that between the time the report was written and the first week of December, the wall opposite the initially damaged one has separated as well. The Town Council discussed the engineering report at the December 10 meeting. The McCathran Hall Needs Committee recommended that the Town Council approve Mr. Wallace’s recommendations to study the damage by exposing all corners of the building, exposing the sill plates and determining what repairs are needed. This would be considered Phase One (1) of the project. The Council voted to approve this step. Although the Hall is considered safe for normal use, the Mayor and Council decided to limit use of the Hall while the study is being done. Once we have more information on what needs to be done and when it will happen, it will be possible to schedule Hall use appropriately.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 01.09.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

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. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or [email protected], or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Permits up for discussion/approval on January 9th:

  • 346 Ridge Rd. » Addition

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 01.15.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.

Plans reviewed at December 18th meeting:

  • 346 Ridge Rd. » Addition

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 01.09.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Three Cheers for the Holiday Show!

Many, many thanks to the amazing volunteers that made this year’s heart-warming Holiday Extravaganza happen. Every year we think it can’t be topped, yet every year it is even better! Special thanks to Pat DiBella and Judy Mroczka for leading the charge and organizing the Grove’s plethora of talents into a Grovey show! Ed Mroczka’s cottages were charming and authentic. The list of volunteers is too long to include here, so thank you to ALL who lent a hand. It is this spirit that makes our Town such a wonderful place to live.
Missy Yachup, Recreation Co-Chair

Zumba in the Grove!

Do your New Year’s resolutions include getting in better shape? Try ZUMBA in the Grove!!
Wednesday nights; 7:30-8:30 starting the New Year January 2nd in McCathran Hall.
Special offer: Your first class is FREE of charge for new “zumbasizers”! Join us for an energizing hour of low-impact but aerobic exercise. Move to salsa, hip hop, flamenco, merengue, and other fun high-energy Latin and international songs. No dance experience needed and all fitness levels are welcome at this drop-in class – no registration is necessary. Cost is $5.00/class payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Our instructor, Ingeborg McCright danced in her youth (jazz and hip hop) but her passion for zumba ignited recently in 2009. She teaches to a variety of fitness levels – classes are adapted to the participants to ensure that everyone is having fun while working out. Come, get in-shape with us, and discover that your energy levels will soar! Sponsored by the Recreation Committee. Contact Carolyn Rapkievian for more information (301-519-2021).

Washington Grove Dancers

These dance classes for ages 5 to 12 combine ballet, zumba, jazz and other dance forms to pop and world music. Classes are in McCathran Hall on Mondays from 4:30 to 5:15. $5 per lesson. Call Samantha Beres with any questions; 301-330-8509.

Film Society News

On January 13, 2013, the Film Society will show Kolya, (directed by Jan Sverák, 1996, Czech Republic, Czech with English subtitles, 105 minutes.) Meet Louka, a cynical, skirt-chasing cellist who loses his place in the Prague Philharmonic for political reasons just before the Velvet Revolution. He agrees to a sham marriage with a Russian woman to get some needed cash, but she scoots off, leaving her 6-year old son to upend Louka’s life. With a bit of satire, memorable performances, and cinematic flair, Kolya will help charm away January’s winter blues. Join us at 7 PM in McCathran Hall; tickets are $7 at the door.

Woman’s Club News

Our next meeting will be White Elephant auction, on SATURDAY, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Kathi Kershaw, 103 Brown Street. Were you recently presented with the best ever whatchamacallit? Don’t risk re-gifting it to the wrong person; let our auctioneers re-market it! Maria Montefusco and Collin Turner are masters of comic ingenuity. Come ready to laugh and bid. All are welcome!
The January meeting is also our official Annual Meeting at which annual reports for each committee will be presented and new officers will be installed.

Officers for 2013:

President » Sylvia Appleby
Vice president » Lynne Lucas-Dreiss
Treasurer » Cynthia Werts
Recording Secretary » Liz Robertson
Corresponding Secretary » Leigh Partington

An update to the 1994 edition of the Club’s bylaws has been drafted and will be available for inspection. Comments on the bylaws revision will be accepted up to and including the March meeting, at which time there will be a vote whether to adopt them.


We have a new website; https://www.washgroveumc.org

  • January 30th, 6-8 p.m. Come to a Family Network Night downstairs at the church. Enjoy a light supper and meet neighbors from the area, as we discuss local school and family needs.
  • February 6th, 7 p.m. The first of a series of Parents’ Support group meetings, downstairs in the church. We will invite specialists on issues of special interest to parents to provide brief informational 10 minute talks, followed by discussion. Ideas or offers? Share them with Judy at [email protected]

Thank you for another year of generous giving! This December your generosity helped the church to donate over $900 worth of gift cards and gifts to the Montgomery Co. Coalition for the Homeless, to buy over $700 of SERRV fair trade crafts that will support Third World crafters and help them educate their children, and to give the UM Board of Childcare over $800 for their children’s shelter and family programs. Also with your help we were able to contribute a $1000 donation to the Grove Relief project last May. As well as those who gave their labor to the rebuilding work we did, along with Beth Ami and Sharre Torah synagogues, your donations helped with new gutters, railings, paint, and handicapped ramp for the home of the needy Poolesville family. Throughout the year you also helped with collections of canned and dried food for the Gaithersburg Help food pantry, most recently by dropping off donations on Dec. 23rd and 24th in response to an emergency request from G’burg Help-which raised the number of items donated this fall in the Grove to over our goal of 500 cans and boxes of food! Last but not least, thank you for your support for hurricane Sandy victims in November. Stay tuned as we plan our rebuilding project for the spring, when we hope to rebuild for our neighbors in New Jersey.

General Information

YARD WASTE Collection is OVER for 2012
Per an amendment to our contract with Potomac Disposal, December 27th was the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste in your properly marked containers, big brown bags and bundled piles. This service will resume in early March. Please make a note of this.

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.

Lake Committee Heads’ Up!

The first meeting of the 2013 season will be on February 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. So far, no ice, no geese and no trash! Anyone interested in helping with Maple Lake is welcome to attend.

New Years Resolution #1

Drive 15, Enjoy the Scene !!

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