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11 September 2000 | Approved: 9 October 2000

Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Paris Pacchione, Nick Suzich, Dodie Tippens and Allen Winter. Town resident Charlie Challstrom and Gaithersburg Gazette reporter Karen O’Keefe also were present.

Public Appearance

Historic Preservation Committee Chair George Paine reported on the Committee’s formation. George suggested appointing a Council liaison to the HiP Committee.

Approval of Minutes

Allen Winter moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Town Council minutes of August 14, 2000 be approved. Vote: 5-0.

Treasurer’s Report

Paris Pacchione moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for August be accepted. Vote: 5-0. Nick Suzich moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds to pay bills in September. Vote: 5-0.

Mayor’s Announcements

Mayor Compton announced the following:

  • Legacy Open Space Functional Master Plan is being reviewed by the Planning Board. The Casey property along Ridge Road has been placed in “sites for additional study” category.
  • Shady Grove Metro Station area planning charrette October 26-28. The public is invited to participate in planning to create a high-quality live-work environment in the vicinity of the Shady Grove Metro Station. The Town will participate in the charrette to protect our interests in retaining open space and adequate transportation in our area.
  • Ann Briggs has agreed to chair the group charged with reviewing the Master Plan section on the Commercial Corner.

Bid Opening

Maple Lake Drainage Repair/Dock Replacement Dodie Tippens reported that one bid had been received from Environmental Quality Resources (EQR). An employee of Busy Ditch looked at the dock but did not bid. This person said that it was not necessary to replace the entire dock, but that cross supports should be added. He also suggested using a camera to determine the condition of the valve and overflow pipe. EQR proposed to replace the valve and the dock for $11,590. Alternatively, EQR proposed to replace the valve, the overflow pipe and the dock for $14,776.35. The Council agreed that Dodie Tippens should consult first with the Lake Committee and then again with EQR, to see if the need for repairs is immediate, and if not, how long we may expect the dock and drainage system to last.

Town Memorials Policy

Allen Winter moved, Nick Suzich seconded, adoption of the Town of Washington Grove Memorials Policy. Mayor Compton suggested that the policy be flexible enough to permit individual touches to memorials. Darrell Anderson expressed concern that the policy is too general but said that the layers of required approvals should protect the Town from inappropriate memorials. Vote: 5-0.

Council Reports

Planning Commission

Allen Winter reported that Bailey-Thompson, contract purchaser of the WSSC property, has submitted the forest stand delineation and the Forest Conservation Plan for the project. However, the Forest Conservation Plan can only be approved in conjunction with approvals for the subdivision plat and Declaration of Covenants that are not yet final. Allen reported that the Public Improvement Agreement would be executed in two parts because Bailey-Thompson is not buying all the lots at one time. Bob Ellis and Jack Kontgias showed a concept drawing of the three houses they propose to build on lots 3 and 4 in Washington Grove Hills (DeIuliis property). They plan to develop in the Town’s RR-4 zone (18,000 minimum square foot lots) and the forest conservation easements will be on private property. The Planning Commission plans to explore a change in Town ordinances to permit covered front porches up to 8 feet deep to extend into the front setback.


Dodie Tippens reported that Sharon Hurst distributed a survey to lake users to assess interest in volleyball at the lake, lifeguard hours, and interest in Friday night swims. The outer lake gate will continue to be opened on weekends in the near future.

Recreation Events

Dodie Tippens reported that she is trying to facilitate a ticket exchange for those who find they cannot use Mousetrap tickets. Mary Challstrom said that there would be free folk dancing lessons in McCathran Hall on Saturday evenings in October.

Recreation Facilities

Nick Suzich reported that there would be a playground workday on Saturday, October 21, in conjunction with Community Service Day. The Woman’s Club will sponsor this community project which will include spreading surfacing material throughout the play areas. A Playground Improvement Committee will meet soon to make short- and long-range plans for the Town’s playground. A backboard is being considered for the hard tennis court and could be installed at the same time as the new tennis court fencing. A notice will be put in the Town Bulletin to get comments from neighbors and other interested residents about the backboard.


The Council discussed the pros and cons of having both trash and recyclables collected on Wednesdays. It was decided that because the collection is going smoothly and there might be some confusion as to whether items were intended to be trash or recyclable if both were put at the curb on the same day, that the current Tuesday/Wednesday collection schedule would not be changed. Mary Challstrom said that contracts for leaf collection and snow removal would be finalized soon.

Public Safety

Paris Pacchione said that he would call County transportation planner Dave Loughery again about repainting the crosswalk and installing a speed limit sign on Railroad Street. Paris reported that Chris Van Beek’s vehicle had been vandalized. Paris reported that PEPCO’s contractor is not replacing all street light bulbs when requested to do so. Mary Challstrom will contact Michael Yoder for cost to contract privately for street light maintenance.


Paris Pacchione noted that the maintenance shop and the shop restrooms had been painted and barley bales have been replaced at the lake.


Darrell Anderson reported that the Forestry Committee reviewed landscaping plans for McCathran Hall. The Committee also discussed a request to plant a barrier to buffer Brown Street houses from Railroad Street traffic and train noise. The Committee is also studying the strip of land between Railroad Street and the tracks for a possible planted buffer. A maintenance schedule is being developed for Railroad Park.

Town Hall Improvements

Darrell Anderson reported that requests for proposals for refurbishing the windows in McCathran Hall would be sent out soon. Consideration will be given to replacing the bottom windowpanes with safety glass.

Other Business

Paris Pacchione reported that a movie screen has been purchased for McCathran Hall. There was discussion about problems caused by the burgeoning deer population in Washington Grove.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

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