301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday  »  09.08.08 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday  »  09.22.08 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

LOS Condemnation Lawsuit Update

Nothing much will happen in our lawsuit until after September 15, the day our lawyers submit their response to the M-NCPPC appeal. The hearing on the appeal will take place later in the fall. On another front, the Maryland Municipal League (an organization comprised of representatives from all Maryland cities and towns) is considering their level of support for our response to the appeal. We should know the results of their study in the next few weeks.

Why Do Grove Residents Volunteer?

A message from a neighbor

Beginning as far back as the Washington Grove Camp Meeting, and continuing after the Town was established in 1937, volunteers have given their time to make the Town what it is: a clean, livable community that takes care of itself and passes these concepts on to their children. This has not happened by chance or by direction of the Town government. It has happened by maintaining an environment that encourages and recognizes volunteers. It is, however, dependent on the continuing commitment of residents, especially those new to the Town, to step up when the Town needs help in governing itself and providing the livable community that most do not want to lose.

When I first moved to Washington Grove in 1994, my family saw how unusual this community was. The array of activities was impressive for a town of 500; the concerts, recreation activities, the lake and woods, celebrations of holidays, the numerous children’s activities, and outdoor activities such as the Labor Day events. (Where else can you get a hand-made, pottery-fired medal for participating in the egg toss?) Each of these activities is sponsored by Town committees that are populated by volunteers dedicated to making this a place families like to be.

This message is primarily for those who have moved to the Town in the past few years, but should also be a reminder to those who have lived here longer. We are blessed with residents who bring a wide variety of skills and interests. Neighbors are always offering their expertise and effort in helping others when they find out someone needs help or has questions (note the number of responses to almost any question on the Yahoo group). This is admirable.

I would like to recount, for those who may not know, how to volunteer and how to find out what volunteer opportunities are available. First, the Town has various committees that provide the planning and implementation of Town activities in specific areas. For example, the lake committee plans the summer activities at the lake by finding lifeguards, holding a spring clean-up, arranges for monitoring of the water so it is safe, and researching and purchasing lake equipment. This cannot be provided by the Town without the volunteers. Each of the committees needs volunteers. Second, contact the Town Council member who is the liaison for that committee (see the list following this article), and let them know you are interested and would like more information. There also are numerous “one-time” opportunities to volunteer, such as the McCathran Hall clean-up day held each Arbor Day or the day recently scheduled to cut ivy in the West Woods. Every volunteer who shows up to work half a day to make the Town nicer is participating in the Town tradition started more than a century ago.

So, take a few minutes to decide how you can give some time in the next year to carry on the Town’s volunteer tradition. You will like it, and the message to our young people is invaluable.

Council Areas of Responsibility

Intergovernmental & Planning Commission
Charlie Challstrom
[email protected] 301-926-4498
HPC, Safety, Memorials
Joe Clark
[email protected] 301-869-7944
Roads & Walkways, Forestry & Beautification
Georgette Cole
[email protected] 301-330-6740
Maintenance, Playgrounds
John Compton
[email protected] 301-330-8264
Trash, Leaves, Snow, Website, McCathran Hall
Kathie Evans
[email protected] 301-869-7816
Maple Lake, Recreation
Marida Hines
[email protected] 301-519-8730

Notice of Public Hearing

The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, September 22, 2008, 7:30 PM, in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Avenue, Washington Grove, Maryland. This hearing is to take public comment regarding Ordinance No. 2008-05; Declaring Certain Properties as Surplus to Public Use and Authorizing Sale of Said Properties to Designated Owners of Adjacent Properties. This ordinance pertains to 5 (five) properties along 2nd Avenue. The intent is to clean up the problem of private porches on public land and to help mitigate the impacts of the recently completed block corner surveys of Blocks 10 & 11. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available in the Town Office.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday  »  09.03.07 @ 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.

Master Plan Public Hearing

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 The Washington Grove Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the recommended Master Plan for the Town of Washington Grove on Wednesday, September 3, 2008. The public hearing will be held in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Avenue, in Washington Grove, beginning at 7:30 p.m. A copy of the Planning Commission Recommended Master Plan is available on the Town website or in the Town Office.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday  »  09.16.07 @ 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.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday  »  10.15.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Get Caught in The Trap!

The Mousetrap Concert Series begins its 10th Season in October. Flyers are in the mail. This year’s performances include a clarinet recital with piano, a vocal recital, a piano recital and wind quintet recital. For more information call Ann Briggs 301-926-6347 or Alice Negin 301-926-2858.

Film Society News

October 5: “The Man Who Would Be King” Directed by John Huston, 1975, USA, 129 Minutes. (Please note: In response to audience requests, English language films will be shown with closed captioning) Legendary director John Huston and stars Sean Connery and Michael Caine team up in this superb adventure, from a story by Rudyard Kipling. At the height of the British Empire, two ex-soldiers set out to become rulers of Kafiristan. A sweeping tale of friendship, loyalty, greed, and jealousy, rich in drama and comedy with vivid locales, this has been called the greatest “buddy film” of all time.

To Musicians living in the Town of Washington Grove

I’m inviting you to join me and other fiddlers from the Greater Capital Area for a music event at McCathran Hall on September 20th, 2:30-4:30pm. This will be the first meeting for our new “Spelmanslag”. “Spelmanslag” is a phenomenon that has been around in Sweden for more than a hundred years now. The main instrument in these music groups is the violin but everyone that can play an instrument is welcome. I will be teaching traditional music from Sweden for free, and I hope to see many young musicians sign up. Come and experience Swedish traditional music played together with many friends, and bring your music instrument, a note stand, and your musicality!

RSVP to me, Goran Olsson, ASAP at [email protected]

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:

July 25: Theft from vehicle. The Circle – Resident reported catching 2 teenagers breaking into his car at 3 am. They had an armload of stolen goods, which they left behind as they ran away. Police report was filed, but thieves escaped.
August 5: Peace Order. 10 block Center St – A Peace Order was filed in County court against a man who had been hired to do grass cutting, gutter cleaning and yard work.
August 10: Theft. 100 block Grove Ave – A bicycle was stolen from a garage while residents were on vacation.
August 11: Abandoned vehicle. Maple Lake parking lot – Vehicle left open and abandoned at the parking lot for several days. Tagged by police and presumed towed.
August 12: Assault. 300 block Brown St. – Police responded to a complaint around 1 AM about men screaming. A Poolesville man attending a party got into an altercation with two other known individuals and was assaulted.
The Montgomery County Police and Town Government would like to remind residents to use caution when hiring strangers who are not affiliated with a legitimate company to do grass cutting, gutter cleaning, yard work or other “Harry Homeowner”-type jobs. There have been some problems in Town this summer. For more details, contact Keith Gillis.

Lake Committee News

Next meeting: Thursday  »  09.11.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome! Call John Hutchinson (301-926-8767) if you have any questions or suggestions.

Safety at the Lake
As of Aug. 26th, Maple Lake no longer has full-time lifeguard services. It will be open with lifeguards during Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30, 31, and Sept. 1 from Noon until 6:00 PM. Residents are reminded that when no lifeguards are present, using the lake is permitted but on an “at your own risk” basis. Please continue to report suspicious behavior, vandalism or criminal activity to the police non-emergency number; 301-279-8000.

When parking at the lake, do not block vehicle access between Washington Grove Lane, the parking area and the inner lake gate. The road must be kept clear for emergency vehicles which may be needed at any time. Also, do not leave valuables in the car, and consider parking at the end of Hickory or in the Church Parking lot if you must drive. The upper gate will be closed and locked for the season after September 1, 2008.

Woman’s Club News

Next meeting: Friday  »  09.19.07 @ 7:30 p.m. “Pot Luck Supper” in Clubhouse.

All Town residents, especially families new to Washington Grove, are cordially invited to the Woman’s Club Annual Pot Luck Supper. Our speaker after the pot luck will be Philip Winter. Phil is a member of the Walker family, one of Washington Grove’s founding families. He will bring his photographic collection of historic Washington Grove cottages and public buildings, some from early Camp Meeting days. You are welcome to bring historic photos to share as well. We hope to see you there.


Spirituality/Meditation Class–Sept. 9th through Oct. 28th, 7-8:30 pm. Ecumenical leaders from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation will teach 8 classes in the church’s fellowship hall. One of our leaders, Ann Kulp, a Presbyterian, calls meditation “a deeper listening to ourselves, to one another, and to God.” Another class topic will be the spirituality of food and a simple meal will be provided at each class. Speech and song will be part of our gatherings along with meditation. Other class topics include the spirituality of: music; prayer; discernment; service; and scripture. A suggested donation for the teachers of $10 per class is optional. Catch your breath in the busy middle of the work week. “Contemplation is part of our deep belonging to a sacred Earth…” -Conrow Coelho

September 7th, Sunday service returns to 11 am, with Sunday school for pre-school and elementary children during the service, and for teens and adults at 9:30am. All are welcome at Washington Grove UMC. We mean it when we say “Open hearts, open minds, open doors–the people of the United Methodist Church!”

September 12th–Environmental Ethics discussion at 7:30 pm in the church lounge–now on 2nd Fridays.

September 18th–Interfaith Build with Habitat for Humanity Join Pastor Judy and friends in celebrating the International Day of Prayer with a Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build in Burtonsville, from 8:30 to 3:30. Call Judy so she can sign up the group–space is limited, but preference is given to interfaith groups like ours.

September 20th-Open House at the Parsonage–David and Judy Young welcome friends from Town and church to 101 Center Street, during the afternoon of Saturday, September 20th, from 1 to 5 pm. Good food and conversation available in the refinished parsonage. The new parsonage number is 240-912-9895, WG church: 301-869-3753.

Parking at the Post Office

The property manager at the commercial corner has agreed to mark a couple of spaces in the rear parking lot for Post Office parking only. Look for this to happen shortly.

Clerk’s Corner

Please note that complaints posted on the Yahoo Listserve are not seen in the Town Office and may not be seen by the appropriate Council person who would help with your issue. If you need to officially complain about something, please send an e-mail directly to the Town e-mail address [email protected] or call the office 301-926-2256. You may also e-mail or call councilors and/or the Mayor directly as well.

Cardboard Recycling Reminder

Please breakdown your cardboard boxes for the co-mingled recycling pickup. If you are leaving intact boxes and they are being removed, that is being done as a courtesy. Let’s return the favor!!

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