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5 August 2020 | Approved: 2 September 2020

Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, this meeting took place via ZOOM videoconference. In attendance were Commissioners Georgette Cole, Charlie Challstrom, and Robert Johnson (Alternate), and Deb Mehlferber. Also in attendance were residents Jamie Ayoub, Mimi Bolotin, Brennan Cebula, Betsy Klinger, Ann Phillips, Paula Puglisi, and Sita Strother. Joan Mahaffey arrived at 8:00 PM and David Stopak arrived at 8:47 PM.

Approval of Agenda:

Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Charlie Challstrom added preparation for the WSSC project and removal of structure partially on Town property at 409 Chestnut Avenue. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Building Permit Applications:

  • 107 Pine Avenue – Brennan Cebula would like to change the size of his proposed patio roof as suggested by the Historic Preservation Commission review. Charlie Challstrom moved to approve as amended. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0, as amended.
  • 328 Ridge Road – the plans for a new home on this property were received via e-mail. Mr. Golden also sent a tree-save plan.

Public Appearances:

Paula Puglisi thanked the Planning Commission for their hard work. She proposed reviewing the Town Code of Ordinances to help promote needed diversity. She mentioned historical covenants that appeared on deeds and suggested using the ordinances to promote change and allow for more diversity. Mimi Bolotin agreed with Paula’s comments and added the need to revisit Master Plan goals and language about auxiliary apartments, mother-in-law suites, single family dwellings, affordable housing, and parking concerns. She believes we should acknowledge our history and clarify things. Betsy Klinger and Sita Strother support both Paula and Mimi. Ann Phillips would like to see language about multi-generational housing and accessory structures. David Stopak believes our ordinances should be more inclusive. Chairman Nagrod stated the Commission has been wrestling with these issues for a long time. He is happy to have help from the ad-hoc committee. Charlie Challstrom stated time is needed to review the exclusionary covenants. He referenced new housing elements in the Master Plan, parking requirements, and community goals. Additional discussion repeated parking concerns.

Public Ways & Property Permit: 414 Brown Street:

Charlie Challstrom reported the measurements for the proposed driveway are fine and there is no tree disturbance. The Commission discussed the proposal and reviewed some pictures. The resident’s intention is to make are real front entrance to his home. There was a discussion about the following:

  • Drainage & Sheet flow
  • Topography
  • Materials
  • Visibility
  • Safety
  • Rocks on Town land (asked Jamie to move them)
  • Bushes on Town land (worked out maintenance with Steve Werts)
  • Other homes with two (2) driveways

Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the proposed driveway apron at 414 Brown Street. Robert Johnson seconded. Chairman Nagrod expressed his disappointment in the tenor of the discussion. The resident has room on his property to do what he is proposing. It presents a solution to a problem. Charlie stated Jamie made adjustments to his first plans which made for a safer arrangement and he meets Town requirements. Vote: 4-1 (Johnson).

Approval of the Minutes – July 1, 2020:

Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the July 1 minutes. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. The section concerning the connection to Ridge Road from the new development was re-written to include more detail. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Excessive Vehicle Exhaust Noise:

Charlie Challstrom reported the Montgomery County Code for noise control has been adopted by the Town. Loud vehicles are a police issue. Perhaps the Commission could ask Mayor Compton to bring Town concerns to our MC Police Liaison.

Report from Town Council:

Charlie Challstrom reported the following:

  • The Town Council enacted Ordinance 2020-01
  • The Town Council adopted Resolution 2020-08
  • A new ad-hoc committee is being formed to look at social justice, current attitudes, Town history, racism, and racial equality intown
  • Still in search for an HPC alternate
  • Mayor and Town Council discussed developing guidelines for re-opening Town facilities, including McCathran Hall for November elections

Master Plan Work Session – Report & Update:

Georgette Cole reported the next meeting will take place in two (2) weeks. The following items are up for discussion:

  • Updates to Section 8
  • Use of permeable surfaces
  • A catch basin on Acorn La.
  • Section 4.5
  • Section 10
  • A housing element

Annexation Possibilities – Discussion: There was nothing to discuss.

Other Business:

WSSC Project on Ridge Road and on Grove Avenue – Charlie Challstrom showed a “before” video of the Grove Avenue location where the sewer rehab with take place.

Band Stand on Town property @ 409 Chestnut Avenue – The structure has been removed from Town land.

Public Ways & Property Permit as applied to driveways – The Commission discussed the idea of using a “Notice to Neighbors” signs for these permits. This will be incorporated into the process. The entire PW&sPP package is in need up updating to include new language from Georgette Cole, Mayor Compton, and Gail Littlefield. The addition of notification requirements will also be included. The fee for the PW&PP should be reviewed. PW&PP will be on the agenda for September.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:28 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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