6 December 2017 | Approved: 3 January 2018
Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Georgette Cole (Alternate), Dave Hix, John McClelland, Deb Mehlferber and Steve Werts. Others in attendance were residents Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark, Jay Everhart, Mary Ellen Perry, and Barbara Raimondo. Historic Preservation Commission member Gail Littlefield and Mayor Joli McCathran were also in attendance. Bud O’Connor arrived at 8:20 PM.
Approval of Agenda:
John McClelland moved to approve the agenda. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. Building permit for a fence at 106 Pine was added. Approved: 5-0, as amended.
There were no public appearances
Approval of the Minutes:
Dave Hix moved to approve the November minutes. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
Building Permit Applications:
106 Pine Avenue – Deb Mehlferber reported receipt of a boundary survey and all required paperwork. She also showed pictures of the proposed new fence. Deb Mehlferber moved to approve the application for a fence at 106 Pine Avenue. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
410 Center Street – Deb Mehlferber reported all paperwork requirements were complete with one exception. The residents presented a signed contract for a boundary survey but the survey has not been completed to date. The fence configuration as presented would be denied because of a 6 foot high section facing Center Street. In order for this section to be 6 feet high it must meet the accessory building setback of 50 feet. The Commission discussed the complications and challenges of the fence ordinance. John McClelland moved to approve a fence at 410 Center Street with the section facing Center Street at 4 feet high rather than 6 feet. Or this same section could be at 6 feet high if moved back an additional 12 feet. Steve Werts seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Report from Town Council:
John McClelland reported the Council held a Special Meeting on November 27th to address a petition presented by residents at 409 5th Avenue. The petition asks the Council to change the designation of the strip of land under their porch from public use to surplus and then allow the residents to buy the land. They ask this of the eight (8) identified properties listed in the ordinance which created the permanent easement process. John explained the residents at 409 5th Avenue feel the language in Exhibit C is an over-reach and an effort to give the Historic Preservation Commission more power and control over some historic properties. There was a discussion about the following:
- Wording of the petition
- Easements and control
- The use of covenants with a sale of land
- Spending Town funds
- Next meeting date – January 4, 2018
The discussion changed to personal opinions, the creation of a shorter Exhibit C by the HPC and rules concerning ex parte communication. John McClelland continued his report saying the Council also discussed herbicide spraying in the Woods, speed bumps on Chestnut Road and the number of cars seen regularly parked at 201 Washington Grove Lane.
Request for WG Planning Commission to contact Montgomery County officials about a detailed study of a potential paved trail from the Town to the Shady Grove Metro Station:
Jay Everhart began the discussion referencing the letter submitted by him, Charlie Challstrom, Barbara Raimondo, Joe Clark and Margo Bohan. The letter requests the Commission ask Montgomery County to conduct a detailed study of a potential paved trail (as preparation to building a trail) from the Town to the Shady Grove Metro Station. This would be in conjunction with the County Bike Trail Master Plan. The Town is on record as being in favor of such a connection. The group has come to the Planning Commission because use of Town land requires PC approval. There was a discussion about the following:
- Trail location
- Possible tree disturbance
- Trail width
- Use of Brown Street
- Town interest/participation in the project
Mayor McCathran reported a meeting took place today. Present with her at the meeting were Shelley Winkler, Greg Silber and MoCo reps. Mr. Thomas and Ms. Shepherd. Joli reported the project is in the Capital Improvement Plan for study. She also reported various details concerning the configuration of the path and potential locations. Mr. Thomas and Ms. Shepherd indicated they would be interested in having an informational meeting for the Town. In conclusion, Chairman Peter Nagrod will write a letter to Montgomery County in support of the study.
John McClelland moved to approve sending a letter to Montgomery County endorsing the study of a potential paved trail (as preparation to building a trail) from the Town to the Shady Grove Metro Station. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Peter Nagrod reported he attended the November Town Council meeting and presented the idea of identity signs on Railroad Street and Washington Grove Lane. The Council members asked for additional study of the idea. Peter will attend the next Woods Committee meeting to discuss the identity signs.
Cator Property Development – Update:
There was a brief discussion about the contractual obligation to water the newly planted trees. The Plat of Survey will be signed after tonight’s meeting.
Master Plan – Update:
Peter Nagrod, Joli McCathran and Charlie Challstrom will meet on the 18th. There was a discussion about a special meeting of the Planning Commission and the benefits of small group work. A strategy must be formed.
Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:
Georgette Cole reported 146 properties have been completed. The group is currently meeting once a month. Ordinance revision work could start soon.
Next Block Corner Survey Location:
The Commission discussed the following:
- The cost of a recent boundary survey at 410 Center Street ($1,200).
- Morgan Park
- Town Borders, specifically Block 1
- The purpose of the project (prevent encroachments and delineate Town land)
- Should the project continue (most of the remaining blocks are rectangles)
- John McClelland moved to authorize the survey of Block 1. Dave Hix seconded the motion.
Mayor McCathran asked about the following:
- Permit at 125 Grove Avenue – Resident obtained a permit
- Permit at 401 Brown Street – Resident obtained an electrical permit from Montgomery County but nothing from the Town for the dormers yet.
Land under the Woman’s Club – John McClelland asked about an easement for the Woman’s Clubhouse which is situated on Town land. This will be discussed again.
15 The Circle – Peter Nagrod asked for clarification concerning the number of versions of Exhibit C. There will be one (1) version used for Taunton Paine’s permanent easement application. Completion will likely be in mid-January.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.
Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk