301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 03.12.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the February Council meeting included:

  • approval of Resolution No. 2012-01; Resolution Regarding Usage of Woodward Park.
  • approval of the removal of the permanent soccer goal posts.
  • authorized attorney David Podolsky to represent the Town in Comcast Franchise negotiations.
  • authorized expenditures, not to exceed $5,000, to explore/investigate the Towne Crest redevelopment/rezoning plan.

Woodward Park Use Policy

On February 13th the Council voted to approve Resolution 2012-01. We hope that the changes will encourage the use of Woodward Park as a local community park. In support of this the Council voted to remove the permanent soccer goal posts. The new resolution affects the permit process for adult groups of 10 players or more. The weekend permit days are the first and third Saturday. Permits are issued for a four-hour time period as required by Ordinance 2008-02. Once permits are issued they will be posted at the field and on the calendar of our web site. If you click on a calendar entry you’ll get a pop-up with all the info on the event and sponsor. As of now we do not yet have a volunteer for the post of Woodward Park Coordinator. Until a Coordinator is found we won’t be able to issue permits for adult team sports. Please consider helping out!

Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee

We expect the conversion of our streetlight bulbs from incandescent to induction in the next few weeks. Ninety-three lights will be converted. The resident-formed ad hoc Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee has been asked to become a Council-sanctioned committee to help with the streetlight conversion. Our Council member for Safety, Sylvie Favret, will act as liaison. Carolyn Rapkievian has agreed to continue as the chair of this Committee. The Committee and the Council liaison will address requests to add/remove poles, fixtures and shields. If you have a request please submit it to Kathy Lehman at the Town Office.

Town Elections

So far we have one nomination for Mayor (Georgette Cole) and one for Council member (Greg Silber). Additional nominations can be submitted until April 9. If you wish to nominate someone, please send the nomination to Board of Supervisors of Elections Chair Meredith Horan (PO Box 337 or at 127 Maple Ave). If you are interested in running and would like to know more about what is entailed, please feel free to talk to any Council member or the Mayor.

Homestead Credit Reminder

Most Town residents recently received their three year assessment for property tax. This is the time to file for the Homestead Tax Credit if you have not already done so. If you need to file, your assessment should have included the form you need to fill out otherwise it can be found on-line. If you have done this previously you do not need to do it again.

Attention Washington Grove Taxpayers

Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State 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.

Budget Work Session Scheduled

On Monday, March 26th the Mayor and Council will hold a budget work session at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. Observers welcome!

Firewood – We Need Your Help!

Residents are reminded that firewood for personal use should be stored on your own property. With our very narrow streets, firewood stacked next to a roadway is a vehicle safety hazard. Firewood stacked on a walkway can present a pedestrian hazard. Both could be a liability for the Town. Please stop stacking your wood on Town property.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 03.07.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. 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 the Town website: www.washingtongrovemd.org for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Permits up for discussion on March 7:

  • 201 Maple Road Garage

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 03.20.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

Early Consultations with the HPC

Are you starting to think about a change to your home? Please consider coming to a monthly meeting of the HPC for an informal discussion of your thoughts and goals. Sketches, photos or written descriptions are welcome, but not necessary. Just contact the Town Clerk or the HPC to be added to the agenda for the next meeting. Such Early Consultations may help in the preparation of formal architectural drawings. Ideas or suggestions at this stage may enhance compatibility as well as save time and money in developing your architectural plans. The Historic Preservation Commission meets on the third Tuesday of each month. Meetings are at 7:30 p.m.in the Council Room.

Third in a Series

The Historic Preservation Commission Design Guidelines for Exterior Changes are being included in the Bulletin, over a series of months, in easy-to-digest segments. We hope this will deepen your appreciation of our Town’s unique physical characteristics. You may gain a new perspective for your next walk around Town!

This month’s segment examines features of our built environment that are worthy of preservation and emulation.

Design criteria used to evaluate building applications

This document describes architectural features that the HPC regards as character defining and hence important to preserve. The Nomination Application describes certain characteristics as "notable elements of the Town’s architectural heritage". These provide a basis for the following list. Though the range of style includes Carpenter Gothic, Victorian, Dutch Cottage and Art & Crafts elements, the overall nature of this heritage is "one of adaptive reuse coupled with an eclectic spirit". Modifications to existing houses should in all cases be compatible with each individual house as well as the overall character of the Town. In our comments and recommendations to those proposing to modify the exterior of their houses or construct new ones, we are reviewing the proposed designs in light of the features listed below that we seek to preserve.

Scale and Massing

One of the most common features of Grove houses is the steep pitch of the roofs (6:12 or greater). In referring to Carpenter Gothic Cottages, the Application takes as one of the most notable elements of Town architecture the "high-pitched, steep gable ends, with their attendant high narrow interior spaces." It goes on to note that "the high-pitched roof has as its most direct antecedents in the Grove the tents used by the early Methodists for their summer retreats."

  • Modest height with the dominant eave lines at one or one & one-half stories, preserving the scale of the original cottage and compatibility with adjoining houses.
  • First floor lines close to the ground, encouraging a close relation to the outdoors.
  • The overall form of the house consisting of a primary “high-pitched roof with lower additions off to the sides” or to the rear, the rooflines of which are designed to break up the overall mass of the house and be secondary in effect to the original roof.
  • Multiple rooflines and features such as dormers that reduce the scale of the roof surfaces.
  • Porches around the front and/or sides that bring together the different parts of the house. “This porch motif…is even more sensible in the Grove, since the use of the porches was and is so much a part of the total social fabric of the Town.”

Next month’s topic will be the contribution of materials, siting & orientation to the Town’s character.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 03.21.12@ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Washington Grove Film Society

The Washington Grove Film Society thanks the town for this year’s enthusiastic audiences at our films. In the spring, we will start planning for next year’s season and we invite suggestions for films as well as recruits to our Film Society Committee. Join this group of film buffs–we have fun talking about films and even watch lots of them. Contact Freda Temple (301-926-3066) if you are interested in joining us. We close out this season with the March movie, Adaptation. Fiction and nonfiction tangle in Charlie Kaufman’s mind-bending comedy about a screenwriter named Charlie Kaufman, who, desperate with writer’s block, stoops to using trite and sensational plot devices. Nicholas Cage plays both Kaufman and his twin brother, Meryl Streep has a steamy role as an author involved with her subject, and Chris Cooper plays the wily real-life character John Laroche, who was arrested in 1994 for poaching the endangered “ghost orchid.” Directed by Spike Jonze, 2002, US, 115 minutes. The movie airs on Sunday, March 11, 2012, 7:00PM, in McCathran Hall–discussion to follow.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s in the Grove!

Blackthorn St. Patrick’s Day Céilí
Friday, March 16, McCathran Hall
Céilí – 7 to 11 p.m.
Music by the Martin Family Band
Free to Town residents, but donations gladly accepted to help pay the band. Bring a dish or dessert to share. For more info call: 301-990-0184. Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.

MOUSETRAP Concert Four:

JAZZ in the HALL
Sunday, March 25 – 3 pm
Piano, bass, drums
and Hendrik Meurkens, harmonica

Call Alice Negin (301-926-2858) for tickets: $20 in advance, $22 at the door

Dancercize in the Grove!

Work off those mid-winter blues and move to the music! Wednesdays 7:30-8:30 in McCathran Hall. These informal sessions for adults will initially be led by Carolyn Rapkievian but we are exploring the possibility of Zumba and other guest teachers. And if you are willing to co-lead or teach, your help is very welcome! No experience or fitness is required.

Forestry News

Next meeting: Thursday » 03.22.12@ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Gardeners and aspiring gardeners welcome! Under discussion; the re-design of the daffodil garden at the main entrance to Town on Grove Road and plans for Arbor Day including new plantings for around McCathran Hall.

Forestry & Beautification applied for and received approval from the Maryland Historical Trust to rework the drainage swale on the corner of Center Street and Chestnut Road. The work will be undertaken by Town maintenance in the next few months.


March 25th 9:30 am: Children’s Book Collection in the Grove! New or gently used children’s books for Washington Grove Elementary School’s summer reading program will be collected by the WG church Sunday school on a morning walk thru Town, as well as at 11 am worship services at Washington Grove UM Church thru the month of March. To participate in the Mar. 25th “Book Drive” please leave books in a plastic bag marked "WGES" on the street side of your house by 9:30 am. There will also be a rain-proof container beside the front door of the church, where you can leave children’s book donations during the month of March. Many thanks!

Easter Season Events:

  • April 5th–6:30 pm Soup and Bread Lenten supper, 7:30 pm Maundy Thursday service.
  • April 8th–Easter Sunrise service in the field on Ridge Road, followed by breakfast at church, then 11 am Easter service at church.

WANT TO HELP OUT WITH OUR GROVE RELIEF REBUILDING PROJECT THIS YEAR? Let Judy know, [email protected] , that you are interested. Through Rebuilding Together of Montgomery County, we are in the process of arranging the building of a ramp for a handicapped person in Poolesville. Stay tuned, the project will probably take place on the May 19th weekend.

Woman’s Club News

Next meeting: Thursday » 03.15.12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Clubhouse.Meet and chat with the parents who do the behind-the-scenes planning for Summer in the Parks (SITP). Find out how the Woman’s Club contributes to this fantastic Washington Grove program and see a photo collage of this past summer. Also, (if we can secure it) we will share
a film: The History of Washington Grove, a comedy featuring many Grove residents and produced to kick off a SITP event.

Clubhouse – Not just for Woman’s Club meetings

Do you ever wish you could invite all your friends to dinner, but your dining room isn’t big enough? Want to throw a birthday party for your grandchild, but don’t have enough room in your house for a game of musical chairs? Looking for a quiet setting to hold your business retreat? Consider the clubhouse. Its big room, screen porch and kitchen make it the ideal setting for a variety of events. It is terrifically charming, too. See the town website for rental information, or contact Joli McCathran ([email protected]) with inquiries.

Save the date

The annual Egg Hunt will take place on Saturday, April 14. Watch for more details in next month’s bulletin.

$15.00 is all it takes…

to join the Woman’s Club. You can pay dues at any club event, or mail them to the Woman’s Club of Washington Grove at PO. Box 354.

Lake Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 03.21.12@ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.

Lake Clean-up Day Scheduled

The annual Maple Lake clean up will take place on Sat. April 21st at 10:00 AM. Please join in and bring your leaf rake, shovel, clippers and wheelbarrows if you have one. Rain date is Sunday the 22nd at Noon. Call John Hutchinson for more info. 301-926-8767.

Lifeguards Needed

Lifeguards are needed for the upcoming season at Maple Lake. We have several applications but are still in need of more applicants. You must have a current certification in Lifesaving, CPR and First Aid. The season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day and the hours are 12:00 – 6:00 PM daily.

Swimming Instructor Needed

Applications are being accepted for a Swimming Instructor to teach at Maple Lake this summer. The dates are July 3 – 26 (no lessons on July 4th), The hours are weekday afternoons for about 4-5 hours. Instructor will teach children ages 3 – 14 years and the pay is GREAT!! Please Contact Tom Land at (301)-869-4334, or (202) 577-7093


Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee Meeting

Next meeting: Thursday » 03.22.12@ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.


  1. Sylvie Favret will serve as Town Council liaison to the Committee – thank you Sylvie!
  2. Christine Dibble gave a fascinating presentation about new laws and choices regarding residential bulb choices at our February meeting. Christine’s informative hand-out will be available on the town website.
  3. The Committee is exploring options for shielding to mitigate light trespass from street lights in town. If you would like to request a shield for a particular street light, please contact the Town Office (noting the location of the street light with pole number) BY MARCH 15th.
  4. The Committee approved language regarding outdoor lighting for the proposed Towne Crest Apartments redevelopment.
  5. Charlie Challstrom will be a liaison to the County Department of Transportation regarding concerns about street lights in the Shady Grove Crossing development.
  6. MARCH LIGHTING WALK – All are invited! Residents are encouraged to join the Committee on a walk-around-town assessment to plan for possible streetlight removals, additions, or shields. Thursday, March 22, 7:30 pm. We’ll rendezvous at McCathran Hall (rain or “shine”) and try to cover as much of the town as we can by dividing up into groups. Contact Carolyn Rapkievian for more information.


Volunteers are needed for a trash removal effort on March 17, 2012 from 9:00 – 11:00 AM. Meet at the Lake parking lot and help clear out unsightly and "un-woodsy" debris. We will work from the Lake path to the Towne Crest border. We will separate trash from recyclables. Student Service Learning Hours are available for kids. Students should contact Tami Williams (301-869-8541) for more information about those hours. Please help with this effort to clean up our precious treasure.

Clerk’s Corner

Recyclable Yard Waste Starts –
Recyclable yard waste pickup by our contractor begins again on March 1, 2012. Our trash contractor will pick up recyclable yard waste from your properly marked containers and/or large brown bags. You may also bundle your brush and tie it with twine. Bundles should be no larger than 30" in diameter and 4 feet in length. No individual pieces larger than 4 inches in diameter, please.

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