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13 April 2015 | Approved: 8 May 2015

Mayor Joli McCathran called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 8:07 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Georgette Cole, Cindy Frei, Audrey Maskery, John McClelland, and Greg Silber. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, residents Wendy Harris, David Stopak, Shelley Winkler and property owner Dennis Kane. John McClelland arrived at 8:08 p.m.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved by general consensus.

Public Appearances

  • Shelley Winkler and David Stopak reported they are bringing something new to Washington Grove; a Little Free Library. They will ask Grove artists to paint it and it will contain books for adults and kids. They provided a photograph of one of these structures that is being used in another location.
  • Wendy Harris spoke of concerns about the potential dangers associated with the proximity of Roberts Oxygen to the railroad tracks and given hazardous materials pass by the Town via CSX on a daily basis. Both Wendy and Shelley have been exchanging emails with elected officials expressing their concerns about the location of Roberts Oxygen (adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks and the busy at-grade crossing) posing a threat to public safety. See Exhibit A attached. There was a discussion about the following:

    • Increased number of trains coming through carrying crude oil to market
    • Lack of regulations concerning certain types of crude oil
    • Lack of disclosure of the contents of the railroad cars
    • Volatility of the cylinders
    • Moving Roberts Oxygen to one (1) of its other 16 locations
    • What might be allowed to operate in that space (EOF Office Use)
    • Involvement of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue
    • Developing a plan (Roberts, Town, and Fire & Rescue)

    Shelley stated this situation is bigger than the Town and believes a safety evaluation from the government is in order. Shelley would like to see the City of Gaithersburg get involved as well. Greg Silber praised Shelley and Wendy for doing their “homework” and thanked them for presenting to the Council and asked what action they hoped the Town might take.

Approval of Minutes

Georgette Cole moved to approve the meeting minutes for March 2015. Greg Silber seconded the motion. The Council made a number of changes for clarity. Georgette Cole moved to accept the minutes as amended. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion.
Vote: 5-0, as amended.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Georgette Cole moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report for March 2015. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
  • John McClelland moved to transfer $5K from savings to checking. Greg Silber seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2015-May pdf

Finalize Proposed FY2016 Budget

Treasurer Mary Challstrom fielded a few questions about the second draft of the proposed FY2016 budget. The Mayor and Council thanked Mary for her work on the budget. It was moved and seconded to approve the proposed FY2016 budget for presentation at the Annual Town Meeting on May 9, 2015. Vote: 5-0.

Introduction of Ordinance 2015-04 for Adoption of FY2016 Budget

Georgette Cole moved to introduce Ordinance 2015-04. Greg Silber seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0. The public hearing will occur on May 18, 2015.

Action on Zoning Text Amendment 2015-01

John McClelland moved to approve ZTA 2015-01. Greg Silber seconded the motion. The Mayor and Council discussed some public comment received after the introduction and made a few additional changes. These changes were not of such magnitude to trigger the need for another public hearing.
John McClelland moved to add the changes as discussed paying particular attention to newly non-compliant decks, patios, pergolas etc… for rebuilding or repair. There was a second. Vote: 5-0.

John McClelland moved to approve 2015-01 as amended. Greg Silber seconded the motion. The Clerk took a roll call vote; Cole – Yes, Frei – Yes, Maskery – Yes, McClelland – Yes, Silber – Yes. The Ordinance passed as amended 5-0.

Action on Ordinance 2015-03; Ordinance Adopting Amendments to Article IV, Sections 1 and 10 Regarding the Issuance of Permanent Easements for Main Buildings Initially Constructed in Part on Land Owned by the Town of Washington Grove

John McClelland moved to approve Ordinance 2015-03. Cindy Frei seconded the motion. HPC members David Stopak and Bob Booher voiced their opinions about the inadequacies of the ordinance as currently written. After some discussion, Bob Booher summarized the three (3) conditions under which a resident could apply for a permanent easement;

  1. Part of the main building was built on Town land (Ex: 315 Grove Ave.)
  2. Part of the main building was built on Town land, however, the building was destroyed and resident would like to re-build on Town land. This would require a permanent easement AND a building permit application (Ex; 203 2nd Ave.)
  3. A permanent easement was previously granted and the resident would like to change something on the easement which would require a building permit application. This condition is for future generations.

The proposed ordinance, as written, is difficult to apply to all three (3) conditions. David Stopak asked for Section 10 to be separated; Section 10(a) and Section (b). One part would be for granting the easement and the other would be for alterations with a building permit. The Council discussed allowing/seeking another round of written comments from the HPC and the Mayor asked for a timeframe by which the HPC would deliver such language. Given the upcoming Annual Town Meeting, this item will not be revisited until the June meeting of the Town Council.

John McClelland moved to table action on Ordinance 2015-03 until the June 8th meeting of the Town Council. Cindy Frei seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.

Council Reports

  • Georgette Cole moved to approve the April Council Reports for posting on the website. John McClelland seconded the motion. There was a brief discussion about snow removal on 2nd Avenue. Vote: 5-0.

Mayor’s Announcements

Mayor McCathran reported receiving a letter of resignation from Councilor Carolyn Rapkievian. This leaves the following openings for the upcoming elections:

  • Two (2) three-year terms
  • Two terms each with one year remaining.

There was a discussion about an appointment of someone to fill the vacancy left by Carolyn’s resignation. Georgette Cole moved to approve the Council’s appointment of Alison Faupel to fill the current vacancy until the next election on May 9, 2015. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.

New Business

There being no further business, the regular meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 10 p.m.

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