Town Council Notes
Next meeting: Monday, November 12, 7:30 p.m., McCathran Hall.
The public is invited to attend. September/October Council actions included:
· approved reappointment of Bob Evans to Planning Commission
· adopted Ordinance No. 2001-04 Establishing a Historic Preservation Commission and
Clarifying Existing Building Permit Regulations
· adopted Resolution No. 2001-05 Endorsing Master Plan Guidelines for Town’s Eastern
Council Adopts Ordinance Creating Historic Preservation Commission
Following a September 6 public hearing and adoption of several clarifying amendments, the
Town Council enacted Ordinance 2001-04 establishing a Historic Preservation Commission at its
meeting on October 8. Creation of a Historic Preservation Commission is intended to promote
preservation of both the Town’s historic character and architecturally significant structures. This
ordinance, drafted with the help of Town attorney Bill Roberts, creates a Commission with
The Commission will help property owners, the Planning Commission and the Town Council
address historic preservation issues by reviewing from a preservation perspective plans
submitted for building renovations, demolitions, variances, subdivisions, zoning changes and
changes in neighboring jurisdictions. The ordinance does not change the criteria for approving
any of these activities, but does require that the Historic Preservation Commission have an
opportunity to comment where appropriate.
The ordinance amends the Town Code of Ordinances for the purpose of:
· Establishing a Town Historic Preservation Commission to safeguard the heritage of the
Town by encouraging the preservation of the historic nature of the Town and the
elements of its cultural, social, economic and architectural history; to stabilize and
improve property values; to foster civic duty; to strengthen the Town’s economy; and to
promote the preservation and appreciation of the historic nature of the Town as a whole
and specific sites and structures within the Town for the education and welfare of
residents of the Town and others.
· Adopting provisions for the appointment of members of the Historic Preservation
Commission, including staggered terms for initial appointments;
· Requiring prior review and comment by the Historic Preservation Commission on
applications for certain building permits, variances, special exceptions, subdivision plans,
zoning reclassification of property, and revisions to the Town’s Master Plan;
· Providing a source and repository of information, expertise and guidance regarding issues
of historic preservation within the Town; and
· Clarifying the existing Code of Ordinances to expressly include the demolition of any or
all of a structure as requiring a building permit from the Town.
Copies of the entire ordinance including an explanation are available at the Town Office. The
ordinance becomes effective 30 days after enactment if no petition for referendum is filed.
Historic Preservation Commission Nominees Sought
Mayor John Compton is looking for a few good women and men to volunteer to serve on the
Town’s new five-member Historic Preservation Commission. Each member should possess a
demonstrated special interest, specific knowledge, or professional or academic training in such
fields as history, architecture, architectural history, planning, archeology, anthropology, curation,
conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design or related disciplines.
One member may also be a member of the Planning Commission.
Each member shall be a resident of the Town of Washington Grove and shall be appointed by the
Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council. Members will be appointed for a three-year term.
For the appointment of the first members of the Commission after adoption of the Ordinance,
one member shall be appointed for a one-year term, two members shall be appointed for a twoyear
term, and two members shall be appointed for a three-year term. As initial terms expire, all
subsequent appointments shall be for three years. Please call Mayor Compton at 301-330-8264
to volunteer or to suggest a candidate. Specify your preference for a one-, two-, or three-year
Purchase Your Mousetrap Concert Tickets Now!
Treat yourself and a friend to Mousetrap tickets ? Top caliber performers in an intimate setting —
not to be missed!
Mousetrap Concert Series
McCathran Hall, Sundays, 3:00 p.m.
October 28, 2001: Pro Musica Choral Ensemble
November 18, 2001: Zurab Ninua, Tenor
March 17, 2002: Lumina String Quartet
April 14, 2002: Juliette Kang, violin; Thomas Kraines, cello
Adult tickets: 4 Concert Series ($50), single concert ($15)
Children: 4 Concert Series ($40), (under 12) single concert ($12.50)
Programs recommended for children only 7 and older. Call Alice Negin (301-926-2858) or Ann
Briggs (301-926-6347). Seating is limited.
Pro Musica Choral Ensemble
Sunday, October 28, McCathran Hall, 3 p.m.
The mixed voice choir from Columbia Union College, under the direction of Dr. James
Bingham, appears in major concert halls, cathedrals and churches around the world. Pro Musica
opens the 2001-2002 Mousetrap Series with some of the best vocal music of the past three
centuries. See ticket information above.
Kids’ Halloween Parade and Party
Saturday, October 27, 2-4 p.m.
Costumed children should meet at the playground in Woodward Park. A parade will be followed
by treats and games. Those interested in helping should call JoAnn Suzich at 301-869-9638 or
Susan van Nostrand at 301-216-1385. Come watch the parade!
Trick-or-Treating, Wednesday, October 31, 6-8 p.m.
Washington Grove Film Society Presents
“Daughters of the Dust” 1992, USA, color, 113 min
Sunday, November 4, McCathran Hall, 7:00 p.m.
In a film that takes place during a single day in 1902, director Julie Dash exa mines the lives of
three generations of women of the Gullah culture living on the gorgeously scenic Sea Islands of
Tickets available at the door for $7. Call Birgit Henninger at 301-670-0146 to purchase a series
subscription for $20.
Labor Day Kudos
Belated but sincere thanks to Craig English, John Hutchinson, Joli McCathran, Birgit
Henninger, Linda Baim, Phil Adams and all the other volunteers who made the Labor Day
weekend so memorable. Congratulations to this year’s SUPER GROVE Molly Debelius !
A History of the Woman’s Club of Washington Grove
This comprehensive history, lovingly compiled by Sylvia Tate Horan, is available for $20.
Please call Kitty Vogan at 301-840-9416 or copies are available at Town Office.
Leaf Pickup to Begin
New and long-time residents alike are reminded that the town contracts for the removal of leaves
in bulk each autumn. U.S. 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
Avenue, 3rd Avenue, 4th Avenue, 5th Avenue, and Boundary Street. This service begins
November 1 and ends January 1, 2002, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is
complete. This is your opportunity to have leaves remo ved without the additional work and
expense of bagging.
Weather frequently effects 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 Nick Suzich at (301) 869-9638 or, preferably, e- mail at
Please place your windrows with an eye towards traffic visibility and flow, and don’t include
brush or limbs that foul the vacuum. Happy raking! It’s a rite of autumn, particularly in a town
graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.
Planning Commission to Hold Work Session on Master Plan Review
Thursday, October 25, at 7:30 p.m., Council Room
This work session will be held to organize the required six- year review of the Town’s Master
Family Disaster and Emergency Preparedness
Saturday, October 27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Want to be prepared for any type of emergency, explosion, winter storm, hurricane, hazardous
material evacuation or gas leak in your neighborhood? Learn things you and your family can do
to be better prepared. Be confident that your family’s needs are taken care of in case you and you
neighbors are without power or water. Learn how to put together a family plan for community
emergencies, how to manage your own utilities, and where to call for help, radio stations to listen
Sponsored by the Office of Emergency Management, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue
Service. Location: Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Call Luy Ong at
240-777-2300 for further information or to register by October 24th.
Relax Your Body and Center Your Spirit
Yoga Classes Continue
Come relax your body and center your spirit with yoga classes led by Integral Yoga instructor
Terry Strother. Classes are held at McCathran Hall from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday
except for October 31 (Halloween) and December 12. Bring a mat and towel or blanket and $10
in cash or check made out to Town of Washington Grove.
Hazardous Materials Disposal
Sunday, November 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shady Grove Transfer Station
Planning Commission Meeting
Tuesday, November 6, 7:30 p.m., Council Room. The public is welcome 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. The Town zoning ordinance governs setbacks, lot
coverage, and height. Applications are available at the Town Office at 301-926-2256. Please
allow at least 10 days for review by the Commission. Call John McClelland at 301-963-3328 if
you have questio ns about zoning code requirements. Interior renovations, which involve
electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. The Town must
first sign off all applications for County-required building permits.
Building Permits Issued:
· Bailey Thompson LLC, 338 Ridge Road, new house
· Holley Ave Inv Group, 340 Ridge Road, new house
· Neumann, 402 4th Avenue, renovation
· Pacchione, 128 Chestnut Avenue, garage
· Poblete, 334 Ridge Road, addition
Recreation Committee Meeting
Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m., Council Room
Rent the Woman’s Club House!
Planning a surprise birthday bash, family reunion, graduation gala, wedding reception, planning
session or business meeting . . . consider the charming wooded setting, spacious main room,
screened porch, kitchen and restroom facilities of the Woman’s Club House. For information or
reservations call Kitty Vogan at 301-840-9416. Heat and air conditioning!!
Come Sing Along!
The Mom’s Club of Great Seneca will host music time for children at McCathran Hall on
Wednesdays, October 17 and November 14 at 10:30 a.m. Mark your calendars! All Grove
children are invited to participate. Please call Lawren Selby at 301-963-7073 for more
information or if you plan to attend.
To the thoughtful organizers and participants in the Candlelight Vigil for victims of the
September 11 attack.
To Rev Patrick Malone and the Washington Grove United Methodist Church for service to our
To the dedicated Casey Field Volunteers, who have created information packets, circulated
petitions, conducted tours for public officials, met with planners and politicians and kept the
focus on this project of vital importance to Washington Grove.
To super craftsman Ed Mroczka for repairing Town Hall doors.
To Peggy Booher for using her Spanish-speaking ability and excellent people skills to explain
Town rules for using Woodward Park fields.
To Marida Brinkworth for the fresh professional new format of the Town Bulletin.
Mary Vitek has joined Web Coordinator Diana Talbert in helping to keep Grove residents
informed via the web. Check out the transportation info link! We are also grateful to Nathaniel
Klinger for his assistance.
Applicant Sought for Board of Zoning Appeals
If you are interested in serving on the Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals, please call Mayor John
Compton at 301-330-8264. The Board is authorized to grant variances from strict application of
certain zoning regulations, and to hear and decide requests for Special Exceptions. The Board
consists of three members and an alternate, all appointed for three-year terms. Meetings are
infrequent and held on an as-needed basis.
Washington Grove Lane Clean Up
Saturday, October 27, 9:30 a.m.
As part of Community Service Day, Town volunteers plan to pick up trash and debris from the
section of Washington Grove Lane that runs through the Grove. Amy Porter, Woman’s Club
volunteer coordinator, is organizing this campaign which we hope will have a continuing benefit
to the Town. Please bring gloves and come to the Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. Trash bags and safety
equipment will be supplied. We hope to have two teams of adults and young adults. Please call
Amy at 301-977-6768 if you are able to help on October 27 or would like to help on a future pick
The Nutcracker at the Holiday Concert
All children of Washington Grove are invited to dance in the “Trepak” scene from the
Nutcracker Suite at the December 15 holiday concert. Rehearsals will be on Saturday, November
3, 10, & 17 and December 1, 8, & 15 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in McCathran Hall. Carolyn and
David Rapkievian (301-519-2021) will lead this activity but it will be a group effort ? please
plan to help your child participate, volunteer to make costumes, etc. You must call Carolyn by
November 3 if you cannot come to the first rehearsal because each child will be given a specific
role in the dance choreography.
South Mountain Creamery Delivery to Grove?
If 50 Grove families are interested in having milk, eggs and other dairy products delivered to
their homes, South Mountain Creamery has agreed to deliver. Call them at 301-371-8565 or visit
them on the web at www.southmountaincreamery.com for more information. Hormone and
preservative free dairy products.
Speed Hump to be Removed
After almost three years of trying to find a solution to problems caused by the first speed hump
on Washington Grove Lane, a decision to remove the hump has been made jointly by
Montgomery County and the Town. Trucks and other vehicles traversing the hump cause the
house at 125 Washington Grove Lane to shake. It’s possible that the hump will be removed this
Woman’s Club Chili Supper Fundraiser
Friday, November 9, McCathran Hall, 6-8 p.m.
Please support Woman’s Club projects and enjoy delicious chili with cornbread and coleslaw.
Adults – $6, children 2-14 – $4, under 2 – free! Volunteers are needed to help set up and clean up.
Please contact Kathi Higdon at Kathi @ md-realestate.com or call 301-948-8004.
Church Fall Luncheon, Craft & Bake Sale
Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.,
Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 305 Chestnut Road. Lunch is served from 11 a.m.
to 2 p.m. Ham, chicken salad and all the trimmings!
Daylight Savings Time to End
Turn clocks back one hour Saturday night, October 27.
$$ Found Along Grove Road Near Split in Road
Call Town Office at 301-926-2256 to tell Mary how much you lost.
Contractor Generated Yard Waste
Please ask your contractor/landscaper to take away yard trimmings generated from their work.
Town maintenance staff is not equipped to handle the large amount of debris from this kind of
activity. Thanks for your cooperation.
A huge dead oak was taken down by the Town at the corner of Oak Street and Chestnut Road.
Residents are welcome to cut and haul away the wood.
Woman’s Club Meeting
Thursday, October 18, 7:30 p.m.
Come to the Clubhouse to hear speaker Janet Maltbie from the Montgomery County
Commission for Women Career and Counseling Center.
Your Letters Have Been Noticed!!
Many thanks to all those who expressed themselves so eloquently to the Planning Board on
preservation of the field adjoining Ridge Road and related planning issues. It is clear that this
subject is close to the heart of Washington Grove residents.
Mayor’s Report on Casey Fields Activity
Delay in the presentation of the LOS proposal for Historic Resource Class II status for part of the
The LOS proposal intended for the Planning Board agenda on September 20th, was withheld
when Sami Totah and Oxbridge Development expressed their intention to the Park and Planning
staff (as told to me by Malcolm Shaneman) to revise their development plan, moving housing
“away from the Town.” In addition, he was told this would include “giving 10-13 acres” to
Washington Grove!??? I received the same message from lawyer Steve Kaufman communicated
via our lawyer Bill Chen, and also was told something similar by Peggy Erickson in
Councilperson Nancy Dacek’s office (16 acres this time!). Apparently the P&P staff would prefer
not to bring the LOS proposal to the Board if the revised development plans meet the intent of
Preliminary subdivision plan filed by Oxbridge Development
Citing a need to meet a deadline of some sort, Mr. Totah filed a preliminary subdivision plan in
late September which was identical to the pre-preliminary plan already reviewed and criticized
by the Development Review Committee (DRC). Review of this submission will NOT proceed,
however, until Oxbridge submits a significantly revised plan expected in a matter of weeks. This
plan is presumably the one that will leave more open space between the Town and the
development. Mr. Shaneman told me that the revised plan would be scheduled for another DRC
session (at which we will participate!), and the rest of the review process at Park and Planning.
Affordable housing at Airpark receives OK
The County’s first productivity housing complex, which is intended to provide rental housing for
people who make below the County’s median income level of $85,600, has been given approval
to be built near the airpark in Gaithersburg. According to the builder, the target market is income
levels between $26,000 and $36,000, potentially serving teachers, policemen and workers in the
Airpark. The 106-unit complex will be built on about five acres of land. The County Board of
Appeals, which had to approve the zoning change from light industrial to residential, determined
that the need for affordable housing outweighed noise concerns. KSI Services Inc. plans to build
productivity housing (about 900 units) on the Casey industrial tract which is located generally
between Shady Grove Road and Roberts Oxygen.
Development plans for the I-1 zoned Casey property
A Natural Resources Inventory for the Casey industrial property was filed in early September.
As yet, no development plan has been submitted. The Town adamantly maintains that
development plans for both Casey parcels should be reviewed as a whole, and not piecemeal.
“Preserving the Historic Character of Washington Grove” packet prepared for distribution
A bound illustrated document has been assembled by resident volunteers to use to educate
decision- makers and others about the threat to the Town of dense and incompatible development
(by Dave Stopak, Bob Booher, Shelley Winkler, Chris Brown, and others…). This packet
presents the case for protecting Washington Grove from development of the Casey property
through a significant open space buffer. It includes brief sections on the following topics: Town’s
borders; architecture and layout; community life; the Legacy Open Space proposal for Historic
Resource class II status for the upper field; Washington Grove history; placement on the
National Registry of Historic Places; an evaluation of the inadequate Master Plan process for this
property; and importantly, a list of the potential effects of inappropriate neighboring
development on Washington Grove.
Meetings with County Council members
Informational meetings have been held with five of the nine County Council members or their
staff since September 12. Town representatives expressed concern over development in the
Casey field, cautious optimism for the planning process protecting the Town, and recognition
that the County Council might become our last resort. The Mayor with Dave Stopak met with
Mr. Andrews and with Mr. Berlage, spoke to Mr. Subin’s aide Lou D’Ovidio (with Darrell
Anderson), and the Mayor met with Mr. Silverman. David Stopak and Tricia Knox met with
Mr. Leggett. Each Council member was presented with the “Preserving the Historic Character of
Washington Grove” packet and a separate collection of drawings and letters from the Kids of
Petition to preserve Ridge Road and the field is ready for presentation to the Planning Board.
County Council appoints new County Planning Board member
On September 25, the Montgomery County Council chose John M. Robinson of Kensington to
serve on the County Planning Board. The five-member Planning Board currently chaired by
Arthur Holmes, Jr. will ultimately approve development around the Grove.
Antique/Classic Car Buffs, Owners or Wannabes?
Antique/classic car buffs, owners or wannabes interested in forming a Grove Classic Car Club,
please contact John Tomlin at 301-869-5854 evenings or weekends or by email at
How’s Your House Number?
Montgomery County’s police officers and those who drive our fire and rescue equipment
frequently think about house numbers. They’ll tell you that hidden, unlighted or non-existent
house numbers can be major time wasters when seconds count. When emergency equipment
arrives on your street, properly displayed house numbers will help guide them to the house where
their services are needed. Does your house number measure up to these simple guidelines?
· House numbers are large enough to be easily seen from the street
· House numbers are set on a background of contrasting color.
· When the house is some distance from the street or when the view of the house is blocked
by trees or shrubs, house numbers should be on a sign attached to a tree, fence, gate or
· On a corner lot, the house numbers should face the street named in the address.
· House numbers should be illuminated OR easily visible at night.
· House numbers should be plain block numerals, not script or written numbers.