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12 August 2013 | Approved: 10 September 2013

Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Bill Robertson, and Greg Silber. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom, property owner Dennis Kane and residents Ann Briggs, David Hix and Peter Nagrod. Carolyn Rapkievian participated via speaker phone with the understanding that she could not vote or be counted in the quorum.

Approval of Agenda

Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the agenda be approved. Mayor Cole added a Towne Crest update. Vote: 4-0, as amended.

Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

Approval of Minutes

Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the meeting minutes for July 8, 2013 be approved. Vote: 4-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Greg Silber moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for July 2013 be accepted. Vote: 4-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2013-08 pdf

Proposal for Appointment of New Member to the Audit Committee

Mayor Cole brought forth the appointment of Deborah Tarasevich for the Audit Committee. Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Mayor’s appointment be approved. Vote: 4-0. Deb will fill the vacancy left by the death of long-time member Carolyn Luxford Sanford.

Ordinance No. 2013-05

Mayor Cole explained the errors in process that occurred in the recent passage of Zoning Text Amendment Ordinance (ZTA) No. 2013-05 and what needed to happen in order to fully complete the formal ZTA process. She directed the Council to review the document called "Decision and Order of the Council of the Town of Washington Grove". Greg Silber moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Decision and Order of the Council of the Town of Washington Grove be approved. Joli McCathran asked why this had to be done when it is clear that the vote was unanimous. Mayor Cole explained that the steps in the ZTA process had not been done correctly; therefore, Ordinance 2013-05 was not legally enacted. This is a process problem only. Vote: Audrey Maskery – yea; Joli McCathran – yea; Bill Robertson – yea; Greg Silber – yea; (4-0).

Mayor Cole explained the changes made by Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson to the ZTA Ordinance 2013-05 wording. Joli McCathran moved, Bill Robertson seconded that ZTA Ordinance 2013-05 be enacted as amended. Vote: Audrey Maskery – yea; Joli McCathran – yea; Bill Robertson – yea; Greg Silber – yea; (4-0).

Woodward Park Permit Form – Continued Discussion

Mayor Cole said that this resolution addresses both one-time and multiple use permits. She explained that requiring a Town sponsor for a non-resident leaves the Town open to legal challenges. If the Town wishes, we could charge a higher user fee to non-residents because residents pay taxes that cover their use. However, the main concern is still use by large groups. Greg Silber moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that Resolution 2013-07 be introduced. The Mayor and Council discussed the following: privately owned land vs. publicly owned land, face-to-face meeting with the user, meeting over the phone, enforcement, carrying out trash, noise regulations and signs in Spanish.

The form was amended to allow more flexibility in the meetings with the Park Coordinator and to be more specific about carrying out trash. There was a lengthy discussion about how this could affect use of the tennis courts. The decision was made not to include language about the tennis courts at this time. Vote: 4-0.

Joli McCathran moved, Bill Robertson seconded that Resolution 2013-07; Usage of Woodward Park, be adopted as amended. Vote: 4-0.

Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the new permit be approved. Vote: 4-0.

Council Reports

  • Bill Robertson moved, Greg Silber seconded that the July Council Reports be approved for posting on the Town website. A few corrections were made. Vote: 4-0, as amended.
  • Town Council Reports – August 2013 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements:

  • Deer Park Bridge Update – Mayor Cole reported that a meeting with CSX could happen in early September. Because this will be a contract negotiation concerning the expansion of CSX’s presence on Town land, the meeting will be closed to the public.
  • Town Crest Development: Mayor Cole asked that the following information be put in the record;
  • In early July Towne Crest LLC tried to have their application “withdrawn without prejudice” which would have allowed them to immediately apply again, but the request was deemed “not in the public interest” by the Hearing Examiner and was not allowed by the County Council. Although the Planned Development (PD) zoned plan has been tabled, we remain strongly in favor of the redevelopment of the Towne Crest property as the revitalization of this area is long overdue. We hope that Towne Crest LLC will choose to redevelop under the current zoning and are willing to work with them on such a proposal. Mayor Cole also reported that Wedgewood resident Carla Weinberg sent an e-mail to the Town thanking everyone for their hard work and efforts in fighting the plans to develop the Town Crest property.

New Business

  • Greg Silber asked for an update on the start of the McCathran Hall renovation. The Clerk reported that they are now scheduled to start on August 19th. There was a brief discussion about road closures during that time.
  • Bill Robertson asked what kind of leave Steve Werts should use for the time that he took after the tragic accident and death of Nicholas Lembesis on August 6, 2013. He did not think that Steve should have to use either vacation or sick leave for this. Mayor Cole asked Bill to remind Steve that meetings with officials after the accident count as regular work time.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

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