3 January 2018 | Approved: 7 February 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, Jay Everhart, Mark Fredericksen, Marilynn Frey, Marco Mendoza, Bud O’Connor, Carolyn O’Connor, Maria Ortiz, and Kitty Seiferlein. Also in attendance was contractor Bryce Blair.
Approval of Agenda:
Steve Werts moved to approve the agenda. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
416 Center St. – Mark Fredericksen and Kitty Seiferlein explained a recently discovered bow in their basement walls. It will be repaired with rods and holes will need to be dug around the foundation. The contractor will have to get a permit from Montgomery County, therefore, approval from the Town is needed.
John McClelland moved to approve a building permit for foundation work at 416 Center Street. David Hix seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
123 Washington Grove Lane – Contractor Bryce Blair presented preliminary plans for an addition to the Commission. They discussed the side setbacks, enclosed space restrictions, and height requirements. The Commission thanked the residents (Ortiz & Mendoza) and the contractor for coming early in the process. Mr. Blair will attend the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on January 16, 2018.
Approval of the Minutes:
Steve Werts moved to approve the December minutes. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
Building Permit Applications:
107 Pine Avenue – Mayor McCathran reported an unfortunate conversation with the property owner. The Montgomery County inspector reported to Mayor McCathran the existence of two (2) full kitchens in this residence. Although this is not a violation of any County code, the presence of two (2) kitchens in the home constitutes a multi-family dwelling and is a violation of the Town ordinances. There was a discussion about the following:
- Definition of a single family dwelling unit
- Use of Municipal Infractions for enforcement of violations
- Notification to real estate agents
- Wiring and HVAC work completed without a permit from Montgomery County
- Number of unrelated persons allowed to live in a home
- Number of cars/trucks etc. allowed at a home
- Compliance by 1/15/18
- Registration process for room rentals
- Failure to obtain required dumpster permit
- Town and County inspections
Mayor McCathran asked for support with enforcement at this property. In conclusion, Mayor McCathran will consult with the Town attorney and take appropriate enforcement actions.
304 Chestnut Avenue – Mayor McCathran reported she has not done the final inspection. She would like someone to accompany her. Peter Nagrod volunteered.
Report from Town Council:
There was no report.
Permanent Easement – Updates:
15 The Circle – Mayor McCathran reported the Town attorney will have the final version to her by Friday for presentation at the Monday meeting of the Town Council.
The Woman’s Clubhouse – There was a brief discussion about ownership of the building and the land. The discussion moved to the sale of surplus parcels. Both Dave Hix and John McClelland expressed their opinion that a sale of surplus land, including covenants for preservation, is the cleanest way to resolve the current issue of private porches on Town land. Charlie Challstrom explained the process involves an ordinance to declare properties surplus and an ordinance for each abandoned property, including covenants. This can be done as residents ask for it. The 1989 ordinances (89-1, 89-2, 89-3) could be used as a template. The Planning Commission endorsed the concept of selling public land that exists under private main buildings.
Signs at Commercial Corner:
John McClelland gave a history of signs at the Commercial Corner. There is some room for another sign requested by Orvile Haye (Groomed by Haye) but it is unclear who approves the sign.
Shared Use Bike Path – Letter/Follow-up:
Peter Nagrod explained he had not yet written the letter to Montgomery County asking for the study of a shared use bike path to be given priority. Mayor McCathran reported about a meeting with Gaithersburg officials concerning this subject. Jay Everhart stated the letter would afford an opportunity for the Town to, again, go on record as in favor of a bike path.
Cator Property Development – Update:
The Town Clerk reported receipt of a phone call from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation about proposed addresses for the three (3) new homes to be built on this property. The current home is 17050 Railroad Street. The new homes with be either 17052, 54, 56 or 17048, 46, 44. The Commission asked the Clerk to call Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission to determine the next step.
Master Plan – Update:
The Master Plan 2019 Strategy (Draft 1/2/18) was distributed to the Commission. There was a brief discussion about forward thinking and looking toward the future.
Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:
Georgette Cole reported 149 properties have been completed.
Georgette Cole presented documents showing changes that needed to be made on the information that accompanies each building permit application. This will also go out in the next Town Bulletin.
John McClelland asked the Mayor if she had heard from the engineer who will help with the plans for mitigating the termite damage in the Hall. She had not. John expressed the urgency to do something soon.
203 2nd Avenue: A building permit for a fence on the North and East sides of the property was submitted too late for consideration at this meeting. It will be addressed at the February meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:34 PM.
Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk