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4 December 2019 | Approved: 8 January 2020


Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Jon Cohen, Georgette Cole, and Robert Johnson (Alternate). Also present was Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) member Gail Littlefield. Deb Mehlferber arrived after the approval of the agenda.

Approval of Agenda:

Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion.
Approved: 4-0.

Building Permit Applications:

  • 121 Chestnut Avenue – Jon Cohen explained this phase of the plan was totally internal with the exception of removing the balcony and the steps. Jon Cohen moved to approve the building permit application for interior renovations and demolition of the balcony and steps. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.

Public Appearances:

There were no public appearances.

Approval of the Minutes – November 6, 2019:

Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the minutes for November 2019. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Robert Johnson suggested the addition of more detail would be appropriate under the section concerning the Zoning Text Amendment. There was a lengthy discussion about the language that was changed and the purpose of meeting minutes. The Planning Commission Secretary volunteered to clarify the language and send it to members for their blessing. Tenative approval upon review of more detailed language: 5-0.

Approval of Public Ways & Property Permit – WSSC Sewer Rehabilitation:

Town process for this type of permit requires approval by the Planning Commission. Mayor Compton signed the PW & PP due to time constraints. A discussion ensued about the following:

  • Removal of large trees
  • Proper notification
  • Process

Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the PW & PP for WSSC work as shown on their application. There was more discussion. Motion died for lack of a second. Motion withdrawn. The Commission amended the PW & PP with the addition of two (2) items; a representative of the Town of Washington Grove must be on site at the time the work begins, especially if the removal of a tree is being considered and advanced notice from WSSC (48 hours) before any work begins. Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the PW & PP for the aforementioned WSSC sewer rehabilitation provided those two (2) conditions are added. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0. Gail Littlefield reminded the Commission of the Historic Preservation’s involvement due to the Historic Register Nomination.

DRAFT Resolution 2019-19; Criteria for Driveways & Parking Areas:

Charlie Challstrom presented the draft resolution to the Commission and explained it goes with a newly enacted Ordinance 2019-15 which amends Article III of the Town Code. Changes were made to Section 3; (a) addition of the work “new”, (b) was removed, (c) minimum apron width removed, (h) bushes/shrubbery restrictions removed. Charlie will update the draft document and send it around for review. Charlie Challstrom moved to approve Resolution 2019-19 as amended for presentation to the Town Council. Jon Cohen seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0, as amended.

Report from Town Council:

The Commission reviewed Charlie’s report. See summary below:

  • Council enacted Ordinance 2019-15, amending Article III, Section 14, Public Ways and Property (PW&P) permits to add applicability for residential driveways and parking areas.
  • Council enacted Ordinance 2019-17, confirming requirements for PW&P permits for small wireless telecommunication facilities, and establishing process and criteria for PW&P permits and agreements for such facilities.
  • Council introduced Ordinance 2019-18, with zoning text amendment from the PC to modify the minimum lot size standards for the RR-3 Zone, and set public hearing date as January 13, 2020.
  • Mayor and Council reviewed and commented on Stormwater Consultant RFP, and then referred the RFP back to the Stormwater Committee for revisions.
  • Council did not review the West Woods Plats and Boundary Marking RFP; it was deferred to December due to the length of the November Council meeting agenda.
  • Mayor announced he signed a PW&P permit for WSSC sewer work along Ridge Road and Grove Avenue during 2020. The permit contains a caveat stating should a tree be in danger, WSSC has agreed to consult with the Town before doing the work impacting the tree. Note that PC approval is also required for this PW&P permit as per Article III, Section 14.

Master Plan Work Session – Report & Update:

Georgette Cole explained the sections that were addressed at the last meeting; (Sections 2.1.3, 3.4; Subsections 6.2.2, 6.3.2, 6.3.3, 6.4; Sections 7.1, 7.3). They stopped at Section 8 and decided it needed a sub-committee of 5 or 6 people to continue with this section. Section 9; Historic Preservation Commission will be addressed at the January meeting.

Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:

Nothing to report.

Other Business:

  • 112 Grove Ave. – Fence. The Commission members expressed concern about the locations of the replacement fence at this property. They also expressed concern about the permit. After reviewing the approved permit, the Commission agreed a conversation with the property owner about the location was in order. Chairman Nagrod will make the call.
  • Forest Conservation at the Cator Property (17050 Railroad Street) – Deb Mehlferber reported 27 of the required 30 trees are still living after two (2) years. The required 10 shrubs are no longer there.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM.

Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk

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