6 February 2019 | Approved: 6 March 2019
Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Jon Cohen, Georgette Cole, Dave Hix, and Deb Mehlferber. Historic Preservation Commission Chair Bob Booher was in attendance. Also present were residents Robert Carter, Robert Johnson, John McClelland, Bud O’Connor, and Tom Ragland.
Approval of Agenda:
Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Dave Hix seconded the motion. A discussion about a use at the Commercial Corner will take place during Public Appearances. Approved: 5-0, as amended.
Building Permit Applications:
Dave Hix presented an evaluation of a permit for a shed at 15 The Circle. The permit package is complete. The shed was placed without a permit approximately one month ago. Dave Hix moved to approve the permit application for the placement of a small shed at 15 The Circle. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
John McClelland came to discuss two (2) proposed uses at the Commercial Corner.
Part 1 – John reported he recently heard the space across from his insurance business was going to be used as an artist space/studio. He expressed concern about fumes, noxious odors etc. He also expressed concern about whether or not this is a permitted use and he wants the Commission to follow this proposed use. He acknowledged the need for more details.
Part 2 – John brought up the proposed church use in 105 Washington Grove Lane which is directly below his insurance business. He expressed concern about the following:
- Congregation size
- Lack of insulation between his floor and their ceiling
- Unresponsive landlord
- Town notification process
John would like the Planning Commission to do further investigation about this proposed use. He also acknowledged the awkward position of being a tenant, a resident and former Chair of the Planning Commission. Chairman Nagrod encouraged John to write to the Board of Zoning Appeals about his concerns. The Commission further discussed materials received from Mr. McClelland which question the use, particularly citing Article VII, Section 8.23. Dave Hix moved to share this information with the BZA and the Mayor concerning a violation of Article VII, Section 8.23, Nuisances. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Tom Ragland and Robert Carter (3 Ridge Road) came to present plans to screen-in part of their porch. There was a discussion about the plans. Conclusion:
- Permit application must go to the Historic Preservation Commission for review
- This would be a minor permit ($10.00)
- Approval will happen in March
- The Commission could clearly see the setbacks would not be an issue
Tom will drop-off additional copies of the plan and the permit application.
Approval of the Minutes: Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the December minutes. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Georgette Cole moved to approve the January minutes. Dave Hix seconded the motion. There were some minor alterations. Vote: 5-0, as amended.
Amendments to Ordinance 2018-11; Authorizing Sale of Town land at 315 Grove Avenue:
Charlie Challstrom explained the additional amendments to the ordinance were refinements and enhancements. The Commission reviewed the following:
- When it would be necessary to obtain a building permit pertaining to historic features
- When it would not be necessary to obtain a building permit pertaining to historic features
- The role of the Mayor, Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission in approval of changes that effect historic features
Ordinance 2019-01; Deleting and Adding Definitions to Section 4.2 (Definitions) in Article VII (Zoning):
The Commission discussed the proposed language in the Zoning Text Amendment and the Town process for same. Charlie Challstrom moved the Planning Commission file, accept, and recommend Council introduction of Ordinance 2019-01, Zoning Text Amendment as drafted and amended. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Ordinance 2019-02; Amending Article IV (Building Permit Regulations):
Charlie Challstrom moved to recommend Council introduction of draft Ordinance 2019-02 as amended at this meeting. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Report from Town Council:
Charlie Challstrom reported the following:
Road Resurfacing Awards – The Council awarded two road repaving contracts to A.B. Veirs and M.T. Laney. A.B. Veirs will resurface segments of Ridge Road for a total cost of $29,181 and M.T. Laney will resurface segments of Brown Street and Hickory Road for $22,410.
McCathran Hall Floor Beam Reinforcement Proposals – The Council selected M. Taylor Enterprise LLC to reinforce floor beams in McCathran Hall for $16,000. It has been determined that no County building permit is required for this project. The contractor’s references consisted of Washington Grove residents, and all were positive and helpful for the Town’s contract.
Sale of Town Land under 315 Grove Ave – Council discussion focused on proposed edits in the introduced authorizing Ordinance which dropped provisions for review of future building alterations as stipulated in Article XVII. To move ahead with the authorizing Ordinance, we can update building permit regulations to incorporate “ordinary maintenance and repairs” involving general reconstruction, replacement or renewal of any part of an existing building with in-kind materials. Ordinances to accomplish this update have been drafted for PC consideration.
Forest Health Restoration Plan – Woods Committee Co-chair Joan Mahaffey presented results of the questionnaire on the Committee’s Forest Health Restoration Plan. A majority supports the three-pronged approach of non-native invasive plant control, deer control and reforestation. The Woods Committee is working on a timeline to enable deer culling next fall.
Traffic Calming – Darrell Anderson identified a portable speed hump to be tested at a location on Grove Road, and this speed hump has been ordered. The Chestnut Road speed bumps installed at stop signs will remain in place for now.
Stormwater Evaluation – Town consultant Doug Lohmeyer recently toured the East and West Woods to observe erosion issues caused by excessive stormwater run-off. He reported a local environmental engineering firm will provide a proposal for stream restoration.
Shady Grove Metro Master Plan – A Minor Amendment process for the Shady Grove Metro Master Plan has commenced that will bring suggested changes before the County Planning Board later this spring. The current Plan restrictions on commencing Phase II development will be reviewed, primarily regarding transportation and traffic issues, and possibly also the mix of units allowed. Mayor Compton will continue to monitor this Master Plan for the Town.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) – The County Council has a proposed zoning text amendment to modify County rules regarding accessory dwelling units. The issue of allowing an accessory dwelling unit on our properties is a recurring issue of interest in the Town, and should be followed closely. This may be an item of discussion during a Master Plan work session.
Master Plan – Update:
Georgette reported the agenda for the next meeting is ready for posting on the website. Information from the Border Committee will be addressed next month but Historic Preservation Commission material has been received with the promise of more to come. Georgette thanked Bill Saar for making all versions available on the website. The Commission reviewed a document created by Dave Hix concerning RR1 lots sizes. There was a discussion about lot coverage and future changes.
Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:
Nothing new to report.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM.
Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk