TOWN COUNCIL NEWS
Next meeting: Monday, March 12, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the February meeting include:
- Setting March 12, 2018 as the date for the public hearing on the Local Map Amendment to Rezone the East Woods.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 12, 2018, 7:30 p.m., in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave, Washington Grove, Maryland. The purpose of this hearing is for public testimony regarding the Application for Local Map Amendment requesting Forest and Recreational Zoning (FR Zone) Classification for the entirety of the East Woods property. The East Woods property comprises 41.28873 acres of land as shown on Plat No. 25307 filed in the Land Records for Montgomery County in September 2017, the same as shown on the Identification Plat filed with this Application. The East Woods property is owned by the Town of Washington Grove, and currently has a combination of Forest and Recreational Zoning (FR Zone) and Residential One Family Detached Zoning (RR-1 Zone) Classification. A copy of the Application and Identification Plat will be available for public examination in McCathran Hall during Town Office hours for the 14-day period prior to the public hearing by contacting the Town Office at 301-926-4498.
This Application from the Woods Committee follows Planning Commission approval of the East Woods Plat of Subdivision, Plat No. 25307, which removed the previous lot and block pattern, and established the East Woods as one property. The intent of this rezoning is to protect and maintain the integrity of this Town forest preserve, enhance recognition of the East Woods in its entirety, and ensure a consistent management policy for this property.
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.
From the Mayor…
On March 22 I attended, along with approximately 75 Maryland Mayors, the hearing before the House of Delegate’s Environmental and Transportation Committee for the restoration for highway use revenues for municipalities throughout Maryland. Comments were well received, and I plan to attend the Senate hearing on March 7.
Kudos To Steve!
Our Maintenance Supervisor, Steve Werts, has done an outstanding job in removing the floor in the Old Council Room in McCathran Hall. The area was treated for termites and Steve upgraded the joists and installed new flooring. Thank you, Steve, for a job expertly done!
Steve Werts is an outstanding, dedicated and hardworking employee. Please refrain for contacting Steve on the weekends and while he is not on the job. He starts his workday early in the morning and ends his work day at 2:30 p.m. If there is an emergency, please contact the Mayor first. Thank you for respecting Steve’s time while not at work.
Multi-Family Dwelling Units
Concerns have been expressed about multi-family dwelling units and transient guests such as bed and breakfast establishments in Washington Grove. Our Ordinances state, Article VI – Zoning 4.2 defines dwelling units as: Building arranged or designed to provide living facilities for one family and containing not more than one dwelling unit.
- Dwelling Unit — A building providing complete living facilities for not more than one family, including, at a minimum, facilities for cooking, sanitation, and sleeping.
Article VI – Zoning: Transient Rentals — Rent or lease of rooms or other living space for consideration for less than 30 days or one calendar month. Persons renting on a transient basis shall not be considered as members of a household. Occupancy in connection with purchase of a residence shall not be considered transient.
The Town is a single-family dwelling unit community. This helps to maintain the character and uniqueness of our community.
Gaithersburg Cluster School Site
The Site Selection Advisory Committee, of which I was a member, chose Kelley Park as its first choice for a site for a new elementary school within the Gaithersburg Cluster. I expressed strong concerns about the loss of much needed recreation locations for people living in the area, the geography of the site being not level for the size of the structure and additional concerns. If you wish to view superintendent of schools Recommended Amendments for the FY 2019 – FY 2024 Capital Improvements Budget, which includes school construction within the Gaithersburg Cluster visit: www.boarddocs.com/mabe/mcpsmd/Board.nsf/files/AW8SN97375EB/$file/Rec%20Amend%20Rqstd%20FY2019%20Cap%20Bdgt%20FY2019-2024%20CIP.pdf.
The elected officials in Town are here to serve the Town residents. Your ideas and views are important and highly valued. Please do call or contact me if you have any questions or concerns. My phone number is 301-869-5358 and my e-mail is JMcCathranWGMD@gmail.com.
Town Elections Will Be Here Soon
Town elections will be held on Saturday, May 12, from 4:00-7:00 PM. Any Town resident registered to vote in Montgomery County is qualified. Any qualified voter who has lived in Town for two years immediately preceding the election is eligible to run for a one-year term as Mayor. Any qualified voter who has lived in Town for at least one year immediately preceding the election is eligible to run for Town Council.
This year there are four Council seats open: two three-year terms, one two-year term and one one-year term.
Nominations must be submitted in writing to the Elections Chair, Meredith Horan, at PO Box 337, 127 Maple Ave., on or before Monday, April 9. Nominations require signature by two residents as nominators as well as acceptance by the nominee. Council nominations must be to a specific term length.
Absentee ballots are available from the same address upon written request explaining the voter’s unavailability during the election hours. Applications for absentee ballots will be accepted only until ten days before the election, in this case May 2.
The nominees so far: John Compton, Mayor; Charlie Challstrom, Council, three-year term; Marida Hines, Council, three-year term. Darrell Anderson, Council, one-year term.
Planning Commission News…
Next meeting: Wed, March 7, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
Modification to Building Permit Process
The Planning Commission is changing the building permit application deadline to the 2nd Wednesday of the month prior to the PC meeting at which the permit will be reviewed (this will be in the following month). This timing ensures the HPC will be able to complete a formal review before the PC meeting as this review is required for the PC to approve the permit in a timely fashion.
If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process.
Historic Preservation Commission News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, March 20, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
Street Sign Rehab Update
The volunteer street sign group, headed by Susan Van Nostrand, has completed, and Steve Werts has mounted, 40 rehabbed street signs. The signs have reflective paint and beads in the routed letters and still show Jim Fletcher’s original flora and fauna paintings. Six new signs, routed by Mike Schank and with flora and fauna painted by Leigh Partington, will go up soon. Work on cleaning and rehabbing signs continues! Enjoy them!
Maple Lake News…
Lake Committee Meetings
Third Thursday of each month starting March 15th at 7:30 at the Town Hall. We need to plan for swim lessons, life guards, and making the lake even better for this summer. New members welcome and encouraged! Call John Hutchinson if you have any questions or suggestions.
Lifeguards Needed for Maple Lake This Summer
We have a couple of applicants, but need one or two more lifeguards. Hours are from 12-6, seven days a week. Lifeguards must be certified in Lifesaving, CPR, and First Aid. (We can help you pay for the training.) Pay is $11 to $12 per hour. Call John Hutchinson at 301-926-8767, for details.
Maple Lake Cleanup
The annual cleanup will be on Saturday, April 21st at 10 AM. It will be a joint project with the Woods Committee which is also having a West Woods clean-up. Please join in and bring your leaf rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow if you have one. Rain date is Sunday, April 22nd at Noon. Call John Hutchinson at 240-997-5820 for details or questions.
We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. They drive away the other geese during nesting season and then leave when their eggs do not hatch. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call Ann Philips or John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!
Recreation Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wed., April 18, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.
St. Patrick’s Day Ceili – Friday, March 9
The Blackthorn Ceili Dancers and the Washington Grove Recreation Committee will sponsor a dance at McCathran Hall from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9. Grovers are welcome to join in the dancing or come to enjoy the live music. There will be a potluck supper about halfway through.
Free to Grove residents though contributions to pay the musicians are always welcome!
Summer In The Parks
Enroll in camp this summer and make friends and life long memories! This year camp will be held from July 3rd through the 26th and we would love to have every child in the Grove with us! Enrollment forms are due by April 30, 2018 and can be found on the Town website
Film Society News…
Last film of the season. On Sunday, March 11, at 7 PM, the Film Society will show Ida, nominated in 2015 for Oscars for best foreign film and cinematography. In post-Stalinist Poland, (1962), Anna, an orphan, is about to take vows as a nun when she learns from her aunt that her parents were Jewish. Austerely beautiful, with evocative black and white images, the film follows the two women on a journey to the aunt’s childhood village in search of meaning and identity. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013, Poland, Polish with English subtitles, black & white, 82 minutes. Tickets are $7 at the door.
Help us plan the 2018/2019 season (our 19th)! Starting in April, the Film Society will begin planning next season’s film selections. You can contribute to this process in the following ways:
- Send comments about this year’s season and ideas for future movies to email@example.com. Categories of movies include recent independent films, American classics, and foreign films.
- Join the Film Society. We always welcome new members. The first planning meeting for next year’s season will be in April. Stay tuned for announcement of the date.
Mark Your Calendars!
SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2018; 2:00 PM
Colorful and exotic live animals presented by fun and friendly wildlife educators.
Forestry & Beautification News…
Next Meeting: March 14, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public. We will be making plans for spring planting, always an exciting time of year. Please join us!
Woods Committee News…
Next meeting: Monday, March 5 at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
Our April meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 2.
The Woods Committee and Lake Committee are planning a joint Arbor Day workday on Saturday morning, April 21 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. (Rain date is Sunday, April 22 at Noon.) Please hold the date to help with clean-up and maintenance at Maple Lake and in the West Woods. Bring work gloves and wear sturdy boots. Trash bags and bottled water will be provided. Student Service Learning hours will be available. Details will follow in the April Bulletin.
The Woods Committee is developing a process to assess herbicide treatments in the East Woods, with an initial focus on wisteria. We will use our grid map of non-native invasive plants in the East Woods as our base data. This map was prepared as our initial needs assessment. We will select grid sections and develop a ratio of change over time. We have chosen to begin monitoring wisteria because it emerges earlier than other non-native invasive plants, such as stilt grass or mile-a-minute. We are also working on our 2019 budget request to continue our work to restore and preserve our Town’s forests. As you visit the woods and observe signs of spring splendor, please share your discoveries with your neighbors. Post photos or descriptions on line or send them to Joan Mahaffey and Pat Klein, Woods Committee Co-Chairs for distribution. Our woods are a treasure for all to enjoy.
Woman’s Club News…
Please join us for our Annual Egg Filling and Hunting!
Thursday evening, March 15th, at 7:00 PM is our annual Egg Filling Night at the Clubhouse and as always, we need lots of help including many bags of small, wrapped candies (no bigger than Hershey’s kisses) to go into the eggs.
Please join us for our Annual Egg Hunt!
Saturday, March 31st, at 12:30 PM is our annual Egg Hunt at McCathran Hall. This event is for your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and young friends. Starting at noon, helping hands are needed to hide the eggs. Then we need help supervising the hunt and craft events afterwards. It’s always fun for the teenagers who hunted eggs as kids to come hide the eggs and help the little ones with their hunting. Please contact Sylvia Appleby (firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-926-9094) to let her know what you can do to help.
We are starting to collect toys, large and small, for our Annual April Birthday Bags and Treasure Chest Rewards outreach program. On April 19th, we’ll meet at the Clubhouse to fill Birthday Bags and wrap Treasure Chest items, to be distributed by Interfaith Works to needy children. Birthday Gifts should be for boys or girls ages 1 to 9, and the values should be about $5. Treasure Chest Rewards can be pencils, erasers or small, party-favor type things, and should have a value of about $1 or less. As always with our Outreach Programs, you can drop items off in the plastic bins on the Clubhouse porch or leave them in the decorated cans on Wendy Weisbard’s porch (119 Grove Ave.). If you’re not sure what to get, we’ll happily take donations and do the shopping for you ??.
Washington Grove Methodist Church News
Our joyful family worship services are Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-947-0532).
Emergency Preparedness Committee
Next Meeting: Thursday, March 22, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All are welcome to attend. We are also looking for new committee members. If you are interested in helping the Town be prepared for emergencies, please join us! Our recent discussions included topics such as an emergency generator for the Town Hall, installing reflective street signs, rebooting the neighborhood watch, and evaluating emergency communication systems.
Dog Park Work Group
The next meeting of the Dog Park Work Group will take place on MARCH 3RD at 3:30 pm in McCathran Hall. This is the final meeting of the Dog Park Work Group. The meeting is open to the public.
Washington Grove Cares
Although we may still be in winter’s grip, the February thaw put us in mind of upcoming warm-weather joys and chores. Use WGC to ask for or offer help with getting bikes in shape for spring, or to learn egg dying techniques, or get suggestions for planting a flower bed. If you’ve recently moved to town, WGC is a good way to meet your neighbors and get to know what’s going on in Town. Check out the calendar at washingtongrovecares.org or call 240-813-3316.
Budget Work Session
The Budget Work Session has been scheduled for Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Observers welcome!
FINAL BULK LEAF COLLECTION
Per our contract with US Lawns, the spring 2017/18 leaf pick up must be completed by close of business on Friday, March 30, 2018. Residents have one final opportunity to have their spring leaves picked up by the vacuum truck. Please be mindful not to block traffic with leaves on our narrow streets.
Recyclable Yard Waste Pick Up Returns
Recyclable yard waste pick up by Potomac Disposal resumes on March 1, 2018. 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 keep in mind your container is being picked up by a human being and should not be too heavy.
Meet the Candidates and Town Leaders
On Sunday, May 6, six days before the Town elections, we hope to have a lively candidates forum in McCathran Hall at 3:00 P.M. Please join us!
This is your chance to meet the candidates as well as officeholders not currently up for re-election. Come with your questions, get a feel for Town government, put a face to a name and enjoy light refreshments.
This event is sponsored by Town residents.
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