301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 11.08.10 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday » 11.22.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the October Council meeting included:

  • changed areas of responsibility for some members of the Town Council (see pg.2).
  • approved Ordinance No. 2010-09; Ordinance to Authorize Acquiring The Legacy Open Space Property (see summary pg.2).
  • approved Mayor’s appointments to the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • accepted bid from A.B. Veirs for road work in Town.
  • approved contract from Lion Contractors (same as last year) for snow removal

It’s Our Meadow

As everyone should know by now, the Town purchased the LOS field from Toll on October 4, 2010. Part of the settlement of our lawsuit included granting of the easement to the Maryland-National Capitol Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Many people have been speculating on what the Town means to do with the field. I hope everyone reads this and understands that the field will be a Meadow, which is what the Town has worked for since 1999 when we began trying to protect our border.

The easement was granted to M-NCPPC under the 2007 Deed of Dedication, which expressly referred to the field as part of the preliminary plan for subdivision. The preliminary plan now drives the future discussion. It says:

"Protect as much of the 13-acre Ridge Road Meadow on the Casey at Mill Creek property as possible through the development review process, balancing site constraints and developer interests. It has been identified as a Class II Heritage site in the Legacy Open Space Functional Master Plan and provides a historic setting and open space buffer for Washington Grove. It should offer passive recreational opportunities including trails and nature observation. As much as possible of the meadow should eventually be acquired through dedication."

So, the Deed of Dedication affirmed that the meadow would be an open space buffer for WG for passive recreational use. This is what has been agreed to and now defines the use (and future use) of the field. M-NCPPC understands that and we understand that in writing.

The Town will be meeting with the planning staff of M-NCPPC to develop a maintenance plan for the field. The current plan-cutting one-half of the field every 6 months on an alternating schedule will maintain the field as a MEADOW. The small trees in the middle of the field will be removed-the edges of the field are part of the discussion. The County biologist will be working with the Town and M-NCPPC to determine how to best manage the field so it will continue to be a secure cover for wildlife and how to deal with invasive species.

Another aspect of the settlement is that the Town will not spend one red cent to maintain the field. It is solely up to M-NCPPC to maintain the field and foot the cost. This is not an option on their part or on ours.

So, the field will be similar to what it always has been, at least until the small cedars and other volunteer trees began to grow. The only way anything will change in this plan is if the Town and M-NCPPC agree in writing. I have no doubt that future Mayors and Town Council members will remain vigilant in protecting the field.

Deer Park Bridge/At-Grade Crossing Updates

The Town will be meeting with CSX the second week of November to continue ongoing discussions about the fix for the Deer Park Bridge. A further update and more detail will be added to the December bulletin. By now, we also have the at-grade crossing up to standards. Only time will tell if this fix is good for a reasonable length of time. It feels really good now.

New Council Areas of Responsibility 2010

Ordinance No. 2010-09 – Summary

Ordinance No. 2010-09, enacted by the Town Council on October 25, authorizes the Town’s acquisition of the Legacy Open Space property, approximately 12 acres, adjacent to the Town along Ridge Road. The Ordinance reflects the votes at Town Meetings for approval of this acquisition, acknowledges an easement conveyed to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for use of this property as Legacy Open Space Natural Area, and authorizes the Mayor to execute such documents as are necessary to complete the acquisition of this property.

LOS Meadow Acquisition Donations

Several Grove residents have expressed interest in making contributions towards the Town’s purchase of the LOS Meadow. The Town purchased this 12-acre parcel along Ridge Road from Toll Brothers on October 4 for $100,000. If you wish to contribute for this public purpose, please make your check payable to Town of Washington Grove with "purchase of LOS Meadow" on the memo line. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Checks may be sent to the Town at P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880. All donors will receive a written acknowledgment from the Town for their records. If you wish to contribute anonymously, checks payable to the Town may be sent directly to Treasurer Mary Challstrom at P.O. Box 271, Washington Grove, MD 20880. The Town is grateful for the generosity of its residents, both in volunteer time and financial support.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 11.03.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

At its October meeting, there were two (2) permit approvals. The Commission approved an application to enclose a porch at 110 Grove Ave. and an application for a fence at 352 Ridge Rd. The Commission will review a permit for a fence at 317 Brown Street.

2nd Town Forum On Mansionization

The Mayor’s work group studying protections against Mansionization presented several possible alternatives in the previous Forum conducted on June 16, 2010. We have further studied those alternatives and would like to present the progress made toward the application of what we feel is the most practical direction. We have concluded that a step-by-step approach to regulations will be beneficial, starting with establishing maximum areas to remove the most risk. We will be offering up a suggested Town Ordinance to this effect.

Please come to the McCathran Hall on Wed. Nov. 17th at 7:30p.m. to help analyze and comment, thus, aiding in the development of the most useful set of protections.

Planning Commission Alternate Sought

The Mayor is looking for a Town resident volunteer to fill this open seat on the Planning Commission. The alternate is a member of the Planning Commission but only votes if another member is absent. It is a great opportunity for someone who has an interest but would like to spend some time learning about Town ordinances and permits before taking on greater responsibilities in the future. Please notify Kathy Lehman in the Town Office if you are interested or would like more information.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 11.16.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. The HPC encourages residents to come for an early consultation when planning a renovation.

Some Historic Food for thought

Why do the original windows of my older home matter? What do they contribute to my home?
Reason #2: Old Windows “Fit” Their Openings
Historic windows were made and custom installed to fit their specific window openings. Each opening is probably a little bit different, especially because natural materials react to their environment. For example, wood typically shrinks during dry weather and will swell with increased humidity. Older windows may have shifted and changed with their openings as the building aged. After 100 plus years, they may no longer be exactly square, but they still fit the opening.

If new stock replacement windows are installed in historic openings, there is very little chance that they will fit well. The resulting gaps around the windows will be just as – if not more – drafty as the historic windows that were tossed. Often, the size difference between the stock window and the historic window opening is compensated for by reducing the overall size of the opening. The result is a smaller window, less light, distorted proportions, and trim that doesn’t match the opening.
Stay tuned for additional reasons in the next WG Town Bulletin

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 12.15.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Mousetrap Concert Series

Concert #2
Nov. 21, 2010 3:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall
Stephen Ackert – harpsichord Tanya Anisimova – Cello

Film Society News

On November 7, the Washington Grove Film Society presents Babette’s Feast. On the barren west coast of Denmark in the late 19th century, two elderly sisters uphold the beliefs of their puritanical clergyman father. Their housekeeper, Babette, a French refugee, decides to show her gratitude by preparing a true French feast for them, but can they enjoy it? Directed by Gabriel Axel, from a story by Isak Dinesen, 1987. Danish with English subtitles, 102 minutes.

Woman’s Club News

"Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House We Go!" Join the Woman’s Club on Thursday, November 18, 2010. Carolyn Picardi (the lady who demonstrated holiday decorating at our meeting last November) invites you to visit and view her house decorated for the holidays. Multiple Christmas trees, Santas, Santas, Santas, Noah’s Ark and more, more, more. See the eight-room New England Captain’s doll house, a treasure, and decorated for the holidays too! This is a way to catch the Christmas spirit and get motivated to decorate. All are invited! Meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club House and we will car pool over. Refreshments will be served.

The Woman’s Club also has magnetic green and white WG car magnets for showing Washington Grove pride on your vehicle, bike, or whatever. These are for sale for $6 each or 2 for $10. These magnets make great little holiday presents! Please contact Joli McCathran at 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected] or Margo Cavenagh at 301-963-0294 or via e-mail at [email protected] to purchase.

Holiday Craft & Art Show!!

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Washington Grove Woman’s Club
A group of artists and crafters will offer an unusual and creative holiday show. Several Grove artists and new crafters will tantalize you with outstanding and fun items. A percentage of profits will go the The Ronald McDonald House and to the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County.


Special Thanks from “Grove Relief” to Bruce Rothrock, who finished some extra work, as well as supervising a roofer, on the weekend following our October day of work on the trailer home of our handicapped friend Gustavo.

  • November 14th, 11 am – Come and celebrate History! November 14th is the official 100th anniversary of WGUMC. The Mill Creek Parish youth bell choir will play and former pastor David Stum will appear via the magic of video. Lunch follows the service. All welcome!
  • November 24th, 7:30 p.m. – Grove Interfaith Community Thanksgiving service. This is a very ecumenical event, an opportunity for people of all faiths and traditions to express gratitude for our national heritage, as well as for the beauty of this place. Cantor Susan Berkson will join David Rapkievian, Craig English, and Dick Cavicchi in providing special music for the occasion. Photos highlight the beauty of the Grove, and we’ll enjoy a reading of President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation, and a chance to sing the famous “This Grove is Your Grove…”
  • November 21st, 11 am – Our third Sunday of the month “Family friendly” service will include a Children’s Thanksgiving drama on November 21st. These monthly Family services are 40–minute casual-dress worship opportunities, especially designed for children.

Brush Pick-up by Trash Contractor Ends

Per our contract with Montgomery County Sanitation & Recycling, November 26th will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste. This service will resume in early March. Please make a note of this.

Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee

This new committee had a great first meeting. For more information about participating please contact Carolyn Rapkievian at [email protected]


Fall Back or Arrive Early

Clocks change on Nov. 7, 2010 fall back at 2 a.m..

Last Chance To Tell Us What You Like

The Town will soon be converting our streetlights from the traditional incandescent light bulbs to new induction bulbs. There are four (4) different induction bulbs on four (4) poles along Chestnut Road starting with the pole BEHIND 206 Grove Ave. and ending at the pole at Miller Drive. Each pole has been marked with a different colored block.

Contact the Town Office [email protected], 301-926-2256 with your pole choice. The deadline for comments is November 15, 2010.

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for the removal of leaves in bulk each autumn. US Lawns will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six feet of any walkway or roadway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins November 1 and ends January 1, 2010, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is complete. This is your opportunity to have leaves removed without the additional work and expense of bagging.
Weather frequently affects this process, as rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues. Also, one or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually see most of us raking at the same time. As the contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming, if you rake when most other people rake the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. If you feel that a particular pile has been ignored for an inordinate amount of time, please call Bill Robertson at 240-912-6080 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Please place your windrows along the side of the road or walkway (keeping in mind, traffic & pedestrian flow), and don’t include brush or limbs that foul the vacuum. Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.

Holiday Trash & Recycling Schedule

Trash and recycling pickup scheduled for Thanksgiving Day will occur on Fri. Nov.26, 2010.

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