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13 August 2012 | Approved: 10 September 2012

Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:31 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Bill Robertson and Greg Silber. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom and residents Marilynn Frey, John Hutchinson, Tom Land, Marty Long, Alice Negin, Barbara Raimondo, Carolyn Rapkievian, Jim Snyder and John Tomlin.

Approval of Agenda

Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the agenda be approved. Mayor Cole added one (1) item; a letter from Barbara Raimondo about the location of the proposed bike path connection to Crabbs Branch Way. Vote: 4-0.

Public Appearances

  • The Mayor and Council decided to hear Barbara Raimondo as a public appearance. They reviewed her letter. Barbara gave a history of the bike path project as she knew it. She came to encourage the Mayor and Council to support the most direct route from the Town to Shady Grove Road. A discussion ensued. The Mayor thanked Barbara for her letter and her interest.
  • Jim Snyder came to discuss the Town-owned land and RR1 set-backs on his property. Mayor Cole explained that she wanted to hold off on any discussion about this until after Mr. Snyder’s hearing with the Board of Zoning Appeals on September 15, 2012.
  • Alice Negin came to talk about two (2) things; 1.) The trails in the woods are now passable due to an unknown volunteer with a chainsaw. She asked if the Council would consider approving funds for additional clean up from an outside company. She stressed the fact that she was not asking that Town maintenance do this work. She understands that the Maintenance schedule is busy due to storm clean up. 2.) The new 23 watt streetlights installed at McCauley & Acorn and McCauley & 4th Ave. are considerably better than the 40 watt bulbs. She said that the one with the shield (McCauley & Acorn) has made a huge difference and would love it if a shield could be put on the 4th Ave. bulb. She urged the Mayor and Council to go look at the two (2) bulbs near her home. There is a dramatic difference between the shielded and the non-shielded bulbs. John Tomlin mentioned that the lights in the Toll Brothers development are horrible. The Mayor thanked Alice for her feedback.

Approval of Minutes

Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Town Council minutes for July 9, 2012 be approved as amended. Vote: 4-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Bill Robertson moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for July 2012 be accepted. Vote: 4-0.
  • Joli McCathran moved, Bill Robertson seconded the motion to transfer $15,000 from savings to checking in order to pay bills. Vote: 4-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2012-08 pdf

Resolution 2012-04 Budget Transfer

Greg Silber moved to introduce, adopt and make effective Resolution 2012-04 (final for FY 2012). Audrey Maskery seconded the motion.
Vote: 4-0.

Mayor’s Appointments to the Historic Preservation Commission

Joli McCathran moved, Greg Silber seconded the approval of the Mayor’s reappointments of Bob Booher and David Stopak to the HPC. Vote: 4-0.

416 5th Avenue

Mayor Cole explained that she was in receipt of a letter from Barbara Hawk (property owner) requesting that the Town sell her a piece of land between her home and Wade Park that was once an alleyway. Her brick patio has occupied this parcel for more than 35 years. Upon receipt of the letter, Mayor Cole referred the request to the Planning Commission for analysis and recommendations. The PC recommended that the Town deny the request to purchase the land for reasons noted in the following motion. Bill Robertson moved to support the PC’s recommendation that the proposed sale of the land would be inconsistent with the precedent of alleys between private properties that were sold to those adjacent property owners, the Policy for Sale of Surplus Parcels (specifically with regard to public use of this parcel) and the 2009 Master Plan. Greg Silber seconded the motion. Vote: 4-0.

Review Draft Lighting Documents

Mayor Cole summarized the perceived disconnect between the Council’s charge to the Lighting Committee and the Committee’s original mission statement and goals. She went on to say that she liked the Committee’s idea of developing standards and the use of a form when requesting shielding and addition or removal of streetlights. Lighting Committee Chair Carolyn Rapkievian thanked her members and stated that good lighting should satisfy all – both those who want more and those who want less. She asked for the Council’s support of this philosophy. There was a lengthy discussion about the charge/mission of the committee, clumsiness with communication, protocol, conflicts between two (2) of the current lighting documents, standards for shielding, types of shielding, changing technology, long and short term goals and the development of a process. The discussion resulted in the following three (3) priorities;

  • Short-term goal – Validate current requests for shields (*)
  • Intermediate goal – Develop a process for random requests for shields, additions and removals of streetlights.
  • Long-term – Develop a Town lighting plan.

(*) Once all of the 23 watt bulbs are installed and have a two (2) week settling-in period, Tom Land volunteered to make phone calls to people who originally requested shields in order to be sure that the residents still want them.

Council Reports

  • Bill Robertson requested that last names be used in the Council Reports. A paragraph about recycle bins was removed. Joli McCathran moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Council Reports for July 2012 be approved for posting on the Town website. Vote: 4-0.
  • Town Council Reports – August 2012 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements

  • MARC Letter – Mayor Cole presented a letter written to the Maryland Transit Administration concerning the changes to the MARC commuter train schedule and their effect on the Town of Washington Grove. She and the Council signed the letter. Copies will be sent to various elected officials on both the County and State levels.
  • Deer Park Bridge Update – The Bridge Committee is working on a draft of a potential agreement which will be reviewed by the Town attorney before going to CSX.
  • Towne Crest Redevelopment – A new site plan for this property has been filed with the Area 2 planners. It appears to be much the same as the original PD44 plan which the Planning Commission and Town Council do not feel meets the criteria for a Planned Development designation. The new plan still infringes on the setbacks required for the homes on Daylily Lane and will still kill or damage many Town trees in our West Woods. This new site plan shows no increase in the amount of open space provided yet says that they have met the 50% open space requirement. Our attorney has sent letters to the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearing concerning these issues. The plan goes before the Planning Board on September 13, 2012 and the Hearing Examiner on October 5, 2012.

New Business

There was no new business.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

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