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11 April 2005 | Approved: 9 May 2005

Mayor John Compton called the meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:40 p.m.. In attendance were Councilors Linda Baim, Betsy Klinger, Tom Land, John Tomlin, Treasurer Mary Challstrom and Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher. Town residents Charlie Challstrom, Patricia Deely, Nancy Helme, Ann Briggs, Bud O’Connor, and Ed Roberts were also present.

Public Appearances

Patricia Deely (415 Grove Ave.) came to ask the Town to study the daily use of the Washington Grove United Methodist Church. She is concerned that the WGUMC will rent to other congregations as a money-maker and then we will see use of the building and our roads seven days per week. Mayor Compton led a discussion about the proposed ordinance change and the sub-committee that has been meeting with WGUMC. Patricia Deely also came to complain about the inconvenience of having to change to meeting place for the Annual Egg Hunt because of the floor refinishing project in McCathran Hall. Discussion… Ed Roberts (#6 The Circle) came to about trash pickup. Mr. Roberts reported that he had been missed for an entire month. He was displeased that his efforts to notify people this week seemed to fall on deaf ears. A discussion about notifying the Town the first time he experiences a miss ensued. Tom Land will e-mail Waste Management and follow up with a phone call. Ann Briggs came to discuss the McCathran Hall needs committee findings. She also reported that the replacement chair for the upper hall had been selected and that she would like the Council’s opinion/approval and go-ahead to order 100 new chairs. Discussion…

Approval of Minutes

David Stopak moved, John Tomlin seconded, that the Town Council minutes of March 14, 2005 be approved. Vote: 5-0.

Treasurer’s Report

John Tomlin moved, Tom Land seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for March be accepted. Vote: 5-0. Tom Land moved, John Tomlin seconded a motion to transfer funds. Vote: 5-0. The Mayor and Council scheduled the Budget Work Session for April 26, 2005.

Maintenance Report

Jim Fletcher reported that he continues to monitor the large amount of materials stored by the S & J Enterprises (WSSC contractor) at the Maintenance Garage. The contractor has assured Jim that the area will be restored to good condition at the end of the water main replacement project. Mayor Compton asked Jim to talk to the contractor about repairing the hole in road just beyond the intersection of Ridge and Brown. Jim asked the Mayor and Council for budget priority with regard to the drainage issues at Pine Road and Brown Street and at Chestnut Road and Acorn Lane. Jim also reported that he completed the installation of a new climbing wall on the orange & yellow piece of equipment, installed timers on lights in the public bathrooms at the Maintenance Garage, replaced hose bibs at Clapperton Courts, replaced "Do Not Enter" signs at Center Street & Washington Grove Lane and did some repairs to the soccer field which was severely damaged by someone doing "donuts" in an automobile. Jim also suggested the need for a policy dealing with what to do if/when the McCathran Hall alarm sounds. Jim is concerned about the company that monitors our system and would like to explore another company. Tom Land suggested that we talk to Guardian. The Mayor and Council gave Jim the go-ahead to look into another company. John Tomlin asked Jim if the tree house was still in the East Woods. Jim said that the expansion had come down but the actual tree house was still there. Discussion… Mayor Compton asked the Clerk to remind him to write a letter to the parents of the tree house builder.

Report on discussions with the WG United Methodist Church

Betsy Klinger and John Tomlin reported about a meeting with people from the WGUMC. The goal of the church is to grow. They have big problems with Section 11.324(c) which limits vehicular arrivals. At the meeting, Bill Miller proposed that the WGUMC and the Town of Washington Grove enter into a covenant. He also stated that the proposed ordinance was completely out of the question. Betsy reported that Town Attorney Bill Roberts said that a restrictive covenant that runs with the church and the land might work but that we are on solid ground with the proposed ordinance. A lengthy discussion ensued.

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Shady Grove Master Plan – Mayor Compton discussed a "Summary of the Shady Grove Master Plan" that was prepared by the staff at Park & Planning and presented to the County Council. Staging is very important and tied to major intersection problems within the sector. The elementary school site is still not completely settled.
  • Deer Park Bridge – Mayor Compton reported that a work session with the County Department of Public Works & Transportation, the Mayor and Council of the City of Gaithersburg, the Mayor and Council of the Town of Washington Grove and the interested public is scheduled for April 25th at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the City of Gaithersburg. Gail Littlefield is working on an historic designation of the Deer Park Bridge. Nancy Helme and Ann Briggs have been showing the Town to various people from Park & Planning. The Town Deer Park Bridge Committee has prepared "talking points" for the Mayor and Council to take to the April 25th work session in Gaithersburg. Discussion…

Ordinance to Revise Fees Schedule

A lengthy discussion about the proposed draft ordinance resulted in the Council’s request to table the introduction of this item until the May meeting of the Town Council.

Municipal Infractions Ordinance: Discuss Draft

The Mayor and Council discussed the draft ordinance prepared by Town Attorney Bill Roberts. The discussion ended with questions concerning the fee for minor vs. major violations and how to treat current violations. The Mayor and Council will ask for comments from the Planning Commission and take this up again in May. Tom Land volunteered to review the Town ordinances for any mention of fees.

Council Reports


see item #5.

Historic Preservation Commission

David Stopak reported that the HPC design guidelines for exterior changes are finished. The Commission would like them to go with the documentation that is handed out with all building permit applications. The owners of 352 Ridge Road came to the HPC for an early review. The Commission sees the plans as inappropriate. The HPC also reviewed plans for 107 Grove Avenue. In contrast, this is a very thoughtful plan. There was a brief discussion of the property at 103 Brown Street.

Roads & Walkways

John Tomlin reported that the bids for road repairs will go out before the next Town Council meeting. IntergovernmentalJohn Tomlin reported that the local chapter of the Maryland Municipal League is a dinner with the County Council. Mayor Compton will attend this meeting. John also reported that municipal aggregation for the purchase of electricity is still alive.

Planning Commission

Darrell Anderson was unable to attend the meeting but sent a PC report in his absence.

  • The Planning Commission reviewed the suggested ordinance changes regarding fees and offered the following fee structure:
    • Simple Building Permit: $ 10.00
    • Major Building Permit: $ 40.00
    • Sign Permit: $ 10.00
    • Business License: $ 25.00
    • Minor Subdivision: $100.00
    • Major Subdivision: $100.00
    • Sections 7 & 8: Town costs plus 10%(for each 1st & subsequent)
  • The Planning Commission discussed the issue of deer fencing, allowing it on a seasonal basis and how to address it. They determined that the Mayor and Council should decide on this issue.
  • The Planning Commission discussed the on-going, block corner survey that is being done by Snider & Associates. They are concerned about encroachments. The Commission thinks that letters identifying the encroachments should be sent to the property owners along with a statement about what would be allowed in the event of damage, fire or reconstruction.
  • The Planning Commission approved building permits for a deck, a deck railing and a fence. A building permit for another fence was denied.


Linda Baim reported that the old rollers had been removed from the tennis courts. She also reported that the climbing wall was completed. David Stopak asked why we couldn’t paint lines on the basketball court. Linda said that she would talk to Jim Fletcher.

Recreation Committee

Betsy Klinger had nothing to report in any of her areas.


Tom Land reported that the final spring leaf pickup was completed.

Maple Lake

Tom Land reported that the Lake Committee is going strong and that the goose patrol is on the case.

New Business

Betsy Klinger asked if there was a policy about storage PODS.

David Stopak wants a "rainy day fund" in the budget and will present it at the budget work session on the 26th.

342 Ridge Road seems to have a number of cars parking on the street. Is there a business going on there?

Mayor Compton asked about the annual visit by the State legislators. The Clerk will set this up for the May meeting.

Betsy Klinger moved to adjourn. Linda Baim seconded. Vote: 5-0.

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