301-926-2256 [email protected]

In Memoriam

The Town of Washington Grove mourns the passing of Nicholas Lembesis, a valued member of our Town Maintenance team. Our deepest sympathies go to his mother, Meghan O’Connell, his father, Paul Lembesis and his brother Alex Lembesis. Nicho was not only a highly regarded Washington Grove employee, but a well loved member of our close-knit community. Each of us grieves at the passing of a remarkable young man and also for the loss his family is suffering.

The outpouring of sympathy and support has been remarkable as well. It has been heartwarming to see the enormous amount of both physical and emotional support for Nicho’s family. Another facet of this has been the many donations to "Nicho’s Trees". In keeping with Nicho’s reverence for nature, the "Nicho’s Trees" project will help to protect and sustain the forests of Washington Grove. If you would like to contribute to "Nicho’s Trees", please make your checks payable to the Town of Washington Grove, put “Nicho’s Trees” in the memo and bring them to the Town Office or send them directly to Mary Challstrom at PO Box 271.

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 09.09.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the August Council meeting included:

  • approval of the Mayor’s appointment of Deborah Tarasevich to the Audit Committee.
  • approval of “Decision and Order of the Council of the Town of Washington Grove” concerning ZTA Ord. No. 2013-05.
  • approval of ZTA Ordinance No. 2013-05; Amending Side Setbacks in Residential Zones (see summary below).
  • approval of Resolution 2013-07; Regarding Woodward Park Use.

Summary of Ordinance No. 2013-05

This Zoning Text Amendment modifies the side yard set-back requirements for main buildings within the RR-1 and RR-2 residential zones. The ZTA changes the sum of two sides from 25 ft. to 20 ft.

New Woodward Park Coordinator

Peter Nagrod has graciously volunteered to take on the Woodward Park Coordinator duties for the Town. One-time and multi-use permits will be issued by Peter. Contact information is; [email protected] or 301-512-5771.

New Woodward Park Resolution & Permit Form

On August 12, 2013 the Council adopted Resolution No. 2013-07; Resolution Regarding Usage Of Woodward Park. This document supersedes Resolution No. 2012-01. The Council also approved changes made to the permit application. Both documents can be found on the Town website or at the Town Office.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 09.04.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited 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. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or [email protected], or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 09.17.13 @ 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.

From the Archives

By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

"Sirens and Signals"

In 1942, during World War II, a number of Grove volunteers served as the Grove’s air raid wardens. Their responsibility was to ensure black-out compliance during practice air raids until an all-clear signal was given. The Town was divided into sectors and blocks. Sector Wardens oversaw the Block Wardens assigned to patrol the Town during the black-outs. When a yellow signal was reported to the District Warden (presumably by phone), he then called the warden who lived closest to the Assembly Hall to go to the Hall, wait until he heard Gaithersburg’s signal, and then sound the Grove’s siren for the required amount of time. When the residents heard the siren, they had to extinguish all lights until an all-clear signal from Gaithersburg.

On February 23, 1943, after an air raid drill the previous night, Irving L. McCathran, serving as District Air Warden, reported to Frank Severance, Chief Air Raid Warden, Gaithersburg District, that "the sounding of a continuous signal for two minutes has proven to be too much for our (the Grove’s) siren, and our siren last night quit blowing before the switch was released. I believe the siren gets too hot."

The wardens did not carry radios and had to listen for the all-clear signal from Gaithersburg. As a result, this lack of communication caused some frustration and confusion–especially on the night of February 22, 1943. When some of the citizens turned their lights back on, the dedicated wardens started knocking on those doors saying the black-out was still in effect. Some arguments followed. As all learned later those who had been listening to their radios heard the “all-clear” from Washington and responded accordingly. The rest of the community hadn’t heard the all-clear from Gaithersburg because a freight train passed through at the same time blowing its loud horn all the way from Derwood until it approached the Grove.

More on the air wardens in another issue.

If anyone served as an air warden or other Civil Defense organization, please share your story with us.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.16.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Clay Courts Committee

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.08.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Your participation is encouraged as the group addresses; "To clay or not to clay". Please come and voice your opinion/concerns.

Washington Grove T-shirts!

Back by popular demand! The Recreation Committee is considering creating and selling WG t-shirts. To come up with a design, we have decided to have a t-shirt design contest. We know we are NOT a competition kind of town, but we have so many creative and talented folks, we thought it might be fun to see what we get.

Here are the rules:

  1. No age limits. We will consider designs from 0-100 year olds so long as it is “Grovey-ish”
  2. The design must be simple and easy to reproduce. Must not be more than 1-2 colors. One (1) is preferable because it will be cheaper to reproduce. But we will consider 2 colors.
  3. Can be in any medium.
  4. No bad words or inappropriate language or images.
  5. Recreation reserves the right to choose a design, or not choose any of the designs. If we get 2 or 3 that we think might work, we might put them out for a Town vote.
  6. We will not change the design without permission from the artist.

If your design is in an electronic format, you can email it to [email protected]. If it is in another medium, you may drop it off at the Town Office. To be considered, please have your designs turned in by September 30, 2013.

Questions? Email: [email protected].

Bluestoberfest in September

This year, the date for Bluestoberfest is September 28, 2013. Mark your calendars and find your boogie shoes!! See attached flyer for details.

First Annual Pumpkin Carving Festival

Saturday, October 26, 2013
Plans and details are being worked out as we speak (or read)! All will be revealed in the October Bulletin.

Woman’s Club News

Join us for our annual Pot Luck Dinner – September 20th at the Clubhouse!! As summer winds down, the Woman’s Club is gearing up for a Town favorite tradition…our annual Pot Luck Dinner! This year’s dinner will start at 6:30 PM at the Woman’s Club. Everyone’s invited, so bring your favorite dish and your biggest appetite, for this is always a fun & food filled evening!

The Woman’s Club is looking forward to a busy fall season of sharing activities with the Town. After the September 20th Pot Luck Dinner comes the October 12th Talent Show and the November 14th evening of Painting Holiday Decorations, for all the kids and their parents. Be sure to mark you calendars!!


  • Sept. 8th – Back to School: Wishing everyone well, as children and teens head back to school! At Washington Grove UM Church, classes focusing on current issues in relationship to God’s call to compassion and justice start again on Sept. 8th. Our classes for adults and teens are on Sundays at 9:30 a.m., and children’s classes meet during the 11 am service.
  • Oct. 2nd – 7:30 pm our study of the Bible looking at scholarly perspectives resumes at 101 Center St. We’ll review some best known stories of the gospel of Mark, looking at how the same stories are retold in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. All viewpoints and traditions welcome!
  • Oct. 27th – Annual “Trick or treat” canned food drive for Gaithersburg Help, the Sunday school walks through Town picking up your donations.
  • Nov. 26th – Interfaith Thanksgiving service, 7:30pm. Note this year we give thanks together from all traditions on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, to avoid conflicting with the first day of Hanukkah.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

If you have a question or problem with a Town item/issue, please remember your first call should be to the Council member in charge of that area. See below for contact information;

From the Post Office

Our postmaster, Mrs. Lee, has asked that residents remember to include their PO Box number on all correspondence and packages. Not doing so slows down the delivery of your mail because they have to look up your number. The Post Office is aware of the difficulties that PO Box customers have with other carriers and they suggest that you address mail in the following manner;

Ms. Jean Doe
600 Grove Ave. #000
Washington Grove, MD 20880



Please contact the Town Office 301-926-2256 or [email protected] to report a miss by our refuse/recycling contractor. Misses must be reported by 11AM the next day.

Maintenance Phone # (301-963-5850) Is Kaput

The long-standing phone number for the Town Maintenance Garage no longer exists. Residents who need to contact Town Maintenance should call Bill Robertson 240-912-6080 or the Town Office.

What Is Grove Alert?

Grove Alert is an e-mail notification system that Town government uses to communicate important information to residents quickly. The Town does not share the notification list with any outside groups and
only uses this method for very important information. Those who do not have e-mail, receive Grove Alerts via US Mail or, sometimes, via telephone. If you do not receive Grove Alerts and want your email address added to the list, please contact the Town Office.

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