2 January 2019 | Approved: 6 February 2019
Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Jon Cohen, Georgette Cole, and Dave Hix. Also present were residents Robert Johnson, Eleni Khan and Bud O’Connor.
Approval of Agenda:
Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Dave Hix seconded the motion. The Commission added Pedestrian Crossing to Public Appearances. Approved: 5-0.
Building Permit Applications:
There were none.
Eleni Khan (15 The Circle) – Eleni came with a question concerning permit requirements. She and her husband are creating a parking space for the home and they have erected a small shed in which they will store bicycles. Her neighbor informed her she must have a permit for both actions. The Commission explained the Town did not have a driveway permit but she would need to apply for a permit to erect the shed. The shed is already up and too close to her neighbor’s fence and will have to be moved. Eleni was given a copy of a plat for the property and she will turn in a permit for the shed.
Bud O’Connor came to discuss the documents presented which request the purchase of Town land under his front porch. He shared his information with Eleni Khan because she also has a porch on Town land. In order for new Commissioner Jon Cohen and new resident Eleni Khan to better understand the policy, Charlie Challstrom gave a history of the policy for the sale of Town land. The discussion included the following:
- Historic character
- Correctness of surveys
- The possible inclusion of covenants
- A separate ordinance for each sale
- Public hearing on February 11, 2019 for 315 Grove Avenue request to purchase Town land
- The process for allowing the Town Council to sell Town property.
Approval of the Minutes:
With apologies, the Town Clerk stated the minutes from the December meeting were not completed. Georgette Cole stated she could add approval of these minutes to the agenda for the January 16, 2019 work session.
Report from Town Council:
Charlie Challstrom reported the following:
PEPCO and Street Lights – PEPCO External Affairs Specialist Tony Ruffin attended the December Town Council meeting to introduce himself and offered to meet again later to discuss LED streetlight conversions. The Mayor and Council discussed planning an informational meeting and role of the new lighting group in recommending options to the Council.
Election Law Improvements – Largely as recommended by the Elections Modernization Committee, Ordinance 2018-13 was enacted to make absentee balloting easier and clarifying election official conflict of interest. Follow-up discussion is anticipated to consider if absentee balloting is appropriate for Town Meetings.
Road Resurfacing – Two sealed bids were opened and discussed, each structured to propose costs for repaving up to nine road segments as identified in the Town’s Request for Proposals. Further evaluation will consider road segment priorities and splitting the work into two contracts. Action was deferred until the January Town Council meeting.
Traffic Calming – The test speed bumps on Chestnut Road have been installed for about 3 months and appear effective at reducing excessive speed. The safety of these non-standard speed bumps remains an issue. Requests have been received for speed humps on Hickory Road, Grove Road and Brown Street. A trial of a speed hump was approved for Grove Road, and the Town will purchase and install one speed hump for evaluation.
Dog Park – Discussion included observations from a revisit to the Dog Park site in the West Woods by Woods Committee, Dog Park Committee and Town officials. The site has been cleared by Myers Tree Service, and the Council approved a Request for Proposals for fence construction.
Jane Seegal’s Request to Purchase – Ordinance 2018-11 was introduced to authorize sale of land occupied by the main building at 315 Grove Avenue initially constructed in part on land owned by the Town. The Ordinance version introduced, and available on the Town’s website, includes additional language suggested by the Historic Preservation Commission aimed at preserving historic features. The Council set a public hearing date for February 11, 2019.
Planning Commission Annual Report Preparation:
State law requires all Planning Commissions complete an annual report and all Planning Commissioners take training. Training can be done online. Charlie Challstrom distributed previous annual reports to the Commission for review.
Master Plan – Update:
Georgette reported the Commission should have the draft Master Plan documents. She is still waiting for sections from the Border Committee, Storm Water Management, and Municipal Growth. The assignment sheet is coming soon. Georgette asked the Commissioners to look over the documents before the work session on the 16th. There was a discussion about how to get the Master Plan documents and highlighted changes on the website. The PC goal for the work session is to get through Sections 1 and 2. She concluded the submissions have been very good and things are moving along nicely.
Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:
Nothing new to report.
Charlie Challstrom distributed copies of the Mayor’s mid-year updates.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.
Kathryn L. Lehman, Town Clerk