301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 10.12.09 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday » 10.16.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the September Council meeting included:

  • adoption of three (3) new policies; Unlawful Harassment, Progressive Discipline, and Debt Management.

Humpback Bridge—Again!

CSX, on the very day that we celebrated the opening of the refurbished Deer Park Humpback Bridge, notified the Town that they would like to talk to us about changes to the bridge. Can you believe it? The Mayor and former-Mayor Ann Briggs met with CSX, Gaithersburg officials, and Montgomery County Transportation officials to discuss “what to do with the bridge.” It seems CSX has an initiative to remove the 61 obstacles in the East Coast and Chicago train lines that are keeping them from running double-stacked freight trains. According to them, our bridge is the last obstacle to their success. They presented four options-remove the bridge, raise the bridge, build a new bridge, or lower the tracks. Our preferred option, lower the tracks, was not feasible according to CSX. We will be meeting with Gaithersburg and the County to develop a plan before we meet with CSX again soon.

Update on the LOS

On September 15, Judge Bernard set a trial date for the LOS condemnation suit for December 2010. This was not what we had hoped, because we expected the trial to be this winter. On another front, Toll Brothers is/has submitting/submitted a plat plan to the Planning Board for Phase I of the development-this is the phase abutting Ridge Road. Distressingly, along with the plat submission, Toll is giving the fee to M-NCPPC, which means they are transferring ownership to M-NCPPC. If you remember from the history of the LOS, and from the statements made by M-NCPPC in our lawsuit, at the time of plat approval, Toll was supposed to give an EASEMENT to M-NCPPC in dedication for the LOS field. An easement would mean Toll would keep the underlying fee and ownership of the field. However, documents we have seen from the plat submission indicate that Toll will be transferring the fee to M-NCPPC, which means M-NCPPC will OWN the field outright. This raises and answers a few questions.

  • For those who thought the “Deed of Dedication” Toll gave to M-NCPPC in 2007 giving them the easement was real, we now know that that deed wasn’t worth the paper it was written on, as characterized by our lawyer.
  • It is clear that M-NCPPC will now try to claim that our lawsuit should end because they “own” the field.
  • By taking the ownership of the field, rather than the easement, the LOS may no longer apply, which should confirm what the Town has known all along about M-NCPPC’s future plans for the field (i.e., not an open meadow).

These legal twists and turns do not derail the lawsuit at this time, but the Town is opposing the plat plan through an administrative process. We don’t know where this goes from here, but I will keep you up-to-date as things unwind.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.07.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Building Permits

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. The permit fee for a major building permit (addition/renovation) is $40.00. The fee for a minor building permit (fence/shed) is $10.00. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. A shed requires a County permit as well. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 10.20.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

Joint HPC/PC Work Sessions

The Town Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission have begun work sessions to identify how the Town may be challenged by the threat of Mansionization and what steps may be advisable to mitigate those threats. We have set up a regular meeting the last Wednesday of each month to review research and ideas the members have uncovered and assemble the ones most applicable to our unique Town. We will share those soon in a presentation to the Town to get feedback and other good suggestions. In the meantime, feel free to come to the meetings and see what ideas we are grappling with.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.21.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.


Sunday, October 11th, 3:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall. Renowned pianist Valery Kuleshov displays his musicality and dazzling technique on Bach, Mussorgsky, and Liszt. Cellist Tanya Anisimova joins him in a beautiful duet by Brahms. Don’t miss this first concert of Mousetrap’s 11th season. Advance tickets $17, sales at the door $20. Tickets for the four concert series, an even better buy at $60.00. For more information, call Alice Negin (301-926-2858).

Playground Volunteers Needed on October 10th

We’re bringin’ in wood chips and mulch for the playground on October 10th and would appreciate your people power, shovels and most importantly wheelbarrows! We are asking as many of you as possible to devote four to six hours of your day on October 10th so we may get the playground in place to “weather the winter” and be fresh and ready for the spring! (The more people we have, the shorter amount of time it will take!) Jim Fletcher will be the ever efficient leader of the project. We really appreciate your consideration and volunteer efforts. I am sure the kids who play on the equipment (and adults too) appreciate it as well.

This effort will begin at 9:00 a.m. Volunteers will be kept hydrated with water! Please let us know your availability and commitment via email or telephone: [email protected] (301) 963-8107 [email protected] (301) 330-9485.

Halloween Parade/Party

Please join us on October 25th from 1-3 p.m. for the annual costume parade and Halloween party at McCathran Hall. We will have treats, crafts, games and ghost stories. If you are interested in volunteering or have questions about the party please contact Emily Cavey at 240-632-9587.

Calling All Town Talent!

Plans are underway for this year’s “Holiday Revels” (December 12th). Our theme this year is “The Polar Express” and it’s sure to be a magical show. Adults and children – actors, musicians, dancers, and others who are interested in performing should contact Carolyn Rapkievian at [email protected] by October 15th. (Email is best but call if you cannot email.) Pre-existing ensembles of Grovers or friends of Grovers are welcome. Individuals may be organized into ensembles or group numbers by the planning team. Rehearsals will begin in November. We welcome all to join us for this year’s event!

Athletic Field Schedule Now on the Web!

The schedule for permitted use of the Athletic Field in Woodward Park is now available on the Town website; Select “Athletic Field” and a calendar will pop up. Thank-you, Bill!!

Half-Price Sale

Buy Washington Grove note cards at the Town Office for $3.00 per pack or 2 packs for $5.00.

Labor Day Kudos!

Beautiful weather and a festive crowd contributed to another successful Labor Day weekend full of field events and fun. Congratulations to this year’s Super Grove, Elise Cavicchi. Many, many thanks to Craig English and Joli McCathran for making it all happen again this year. And of course, Birgit’s wonderful medals and Craig’s Triathlon T-shirts will help us remember the fun for many years to come. Thank you for all your hard work!


Golden Door (Nuovomondo)
November 8, 2009
Directed by Emanuele Crialese, 2006, Italy, subtitled, 118 minutes.
Golden Door traces the emigration of a peasant family from Sicily to the U.S. in the early 20th century. The film interweaves gritty realism and dreamlike sequences as the Mancuso family makes the hard decision to leave home, braves a treacherous voyage, and copes with mystifying rites of passage in Ellis Island. Understated acting, spirited music, and exquisite photography result in unforgettable scenes and images.

Forestry Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.21.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Come join us for a discussion about fall tree planting, past year’s work/future plans, sapling planting in new deer exclusion areas and possible rejuvenation of the Sacred Circle.

Call for Volunteers: October 31 Work Day for Reforestation in the East Woods

The Forestry Committee and Woods Group are co-sponsoring a reforestation project in the East Woods on Saturday, October 31 (rain date Sunday November 1).
Three new deer exclosures were installed by Long Fence in September. These will protect trees in designated test areas along the old Cherry Avenue trail. We will be able to see how well the fences work to keep young trees protected from the deer browse. These areas have also been subject to severe erosion and we expect an added benefit as less traffic and more vegetation improves the flow of water in the area.
Please join us to get the new exclosure areas up and running. Bring leather gloves, clippers, loppers, shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows. Protective clothing is advised, but there appears to be little in the way of poison ivy in those areas. Brown paper lawn bags and bottled water will be provided. We will clear existing invasive plants and then plant 5-6 new trees per area. We’ll barrow in extra soil from Mulch alley for the new trees (oaks, serviceberry and holly) and then water them in.

For our youthful volunteers: Children are encouraged to bring acorns to scatter in the first (smallest) fence area near Center Street. This is going to be a bumper year for acorns. There are already a few baby oak trees there and we’ll plant a 5-gallon red oak tree. This will be a great place to compare the growth of the larger tree to the baby trees and the acorns that sprout.

Neighborhood Watch News

Report Crimes & Suspicious Activity!
Mont. Co. Police non-emergency: 301-279-8000
Town Office: 301-926-2256
Joe Clark: 301-869-7944
Keith Gillis/Leigh Partington: 301-208-1437

Incident Report:

  • September 1: Reckless driving. 100 block Ridge Rd – A white vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed south on Ridge Rd (from the dead end) swerved and ran over a neighbor’s front lawn to avoid hitting a resident, who was walking along the street. The driver did not stop.

Reminder: This time of year we often experience a rise in incidents, especially break-ins and theft. Please remember to lock your home doors and accessible windows when you are away even for a short time. Lock your car doors. Do not leave any valuables in your car. Small electronic devices are prime targets.

Please report criminal or suspicious activity to your Neighborhood Watch Block Captain or Coordinators. Filing a police report, too, helps the police department keep track of criminal incidents and is necessary for police to take action. Of course, for emergency situations call 911.

The Montgomery County Police Department has implemented a new online system for residents to report non-emergency crimes. The new system called On-Line Citizen Reporting System went into effect September 21. Note that you must have a valid email address to file a report online. You may file an online report for a crime if: (1) it is not an emergency, (2) it occurred within Montgomery County, (3) it is not motor vehicle accident, (4) property stolen is valued less than $10,000, (5) there are no known suspects, and (6) it did not occur on the interstate. The new reporting system may be accessed at;

Woman’s Club News

Next meeting: Thursday » 10.15.09 @ 7:30 p.m. in Clubhouse.

Subject: Putting Your Garden to Rest for the Winter


  • November 25th, 7:30 pm Thanksgiving Eve–Our annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service provides the opportunity to give thanks for the blessings of this country, and of Washington Grove, with music and pictures from various faith traditions, and the annual reading of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation…
  • Play Group–Play group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, at 9:30 am downstairs in the church, so little ones can play and parents and grandparents can talk! In October we’ll meet on the 14th and the 28th, starting at 9:30.

11 am United Methodist worship services each Sunday. Classes include Sunday school for adults and teens at 9:30, and for pre-school and school-age children during the 11 am service. Also, discussions of what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century are held over lunch in the parsonage every few Sundays, at 101 Center St, 12:30 pm. Call for dates at 240 912 9895.


Trick or Treating

will take place on, October 31, 2009 between 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Be safe and have a great time!

Bulk Trash Pick Up Scheduled

A bulk trash pickup is scheduled for Saturday, November 7, 2009. Collection may include furniture, appliances (nothing with freon like air conditioning units), rugs, large toys, small auto parts, etc. Materials may NOT include construction by-products, large automotive parts, or tires. Items should not contain gasoline or motor oil. Please place all items “curbside” by 7:00 a.m..

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 Charlie Challstrom at 301-926-4498 or e-mail him at [email protected]

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 the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.

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