5 September 2018 | Approved: 3 October 2018
Peter Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Georgette Cole, Dave Hix, and Deb Mehlferber. Also present were residents Jon Cohen (potential Commission Alternate), Robert Johnson, and Historic Preservation Commission member Mimi Styles. New property owners Krista Zanetti and Dave Lutter (127 Washington Grove Lane) were also in attendance.
Approval of Agenda:
Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Deb Mehlferber seconded the motion. A fence at #3 Ridge Road was added to the agenda.
Approved: 5-0, as amended.
Building Permit Applications:
127 Washington Grove Lane: New owners Krista Zanetti and Dave Lutter are doing electrical work and other renovations to the home before they move in. They will be moving a load-bearing wall as well. A County permit but not a Town permit is required for this work, however, the County will not sign off unless the Town has approved the permit. The permit will be stamped by the Town in order to go through the County process.
3 Ridge Road: Residents built a new fence without a permit. Deb Mehlferber checked out the fence and it is compliant. Deb Mehlferber moved to approve the building permit application for a fence at 3 Ridge Road. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
There were none.
Approval of the Minutes:
Georgette Cole moved to approve the August minutes. Dave Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
Report from Town Council:
Charlie Challstrom reported on the following:
Zoning and Building Permit Ordinances Enacted – The Town Council enacted Ordinance 2018-04 (Zoning Text Amendment to Modify Special Rules for Fences and Carports, add Definitions for Clarity and Consistency and Modify Accessory Building Set Backs) and Ordinance 2018-05 (Ordinance to Amend Article IV Building Permit Regulations to Modify and Clarify Requirements for Building Permits), both to be effective September 13, 2018.
Town Hall Generator – The Town Council voted to award the contract to Generating Power LLC for a 22-kilowatt Generac generator, and the contract was signed on August 20. Audrey Maskery has submitted a request to the Maryland Historic Trust for project approval, including a diagram of the proposed generator location and a description of the surrounding sound fence (shingled to match the Town Hall).
Dog Park Status – The Town Council has two resolutions introduced and under consideration: Resolution 2018-06 to provide rules and regulations for a Town dog park, and Resolution 2018-09 to authorize the construction of a Town dog park. Revisions to both resolutions will be considered at the September 10 Town Council meeting.
Maple Lake Regulations – The Town Council adopted Resolution 2018-12 with updated regulations for Maple Lake.
Herbicide Application in the West Woods – The Town Council approved targeted herbicide treatment of wavyleaf basketgrass in the West Woods, before the plant goes to seed, following the manual removal of several small patches of this recently discovered invasive plant. A Special Town Meeting is proposed to get a sense of Town priorities concerning the use of herbicides and deer management.
Status of 107 Pine Avenue – The existence of a separate dwelling above the attached garage has been confirmed. The property owner is aware of the Town’s concerns. However Mayor Compton expressed his concerns that there is a lack of clarity in the ordinances governing this issue. He has consulted with the Town attorney who will respond further when she returns from vacation.
Railroad Street Safety Request for Crossing and new Light – Update:
Kutty Menon, Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations, Montgomery County DOT, responded to confirm receipt of the Town’s request for installation of a streetlight on Railroad Street to safely illuminate the painted crosswalk between the Ride-On bus stops/MARC station. Kutty reported DOT will work with Pepco on a cost and design for this streetlight, and the installation may take 3 months or more.
Request to Buy Town Land – 315 Grove Ave. – Status:
The following information was presented to the PC from Council liaison Charlie Challstrom. The PC has reviewed Jane Seegal’s request to purchase two parcels of Town-owned land on which portions of her home at 315 Grove Ave are constructed. The accompanying identification plat and description were prepared by Snider & Associates. The PC has determined: 1) the sale of the two (2) parcels of Town-owned land will not create an additional building lot, and 2) public ownership of the two (2) parcels of Town-owned land does not serve any present or foreseeable public use or function. To continue its review and evaluation, the PC used diagrams for this property retrieved from Town files, and confirmed vertical dimensions using new height measurements with the Town’s Bosch laser measuring device. The PC has determined the information submitted is sufficient to document the dimensions and the current degree of non-compliance as per the Zoning Ordinance, Article VII, Section 5.32, and as may be required for a building permit application for these portions.
The degree of non-compliance in the vertical was verified with the use of a new laser measuring device. The Commission discussed the process and the next steps.
Charlie Challstrom moved to recommend the Town Council introduce an ordinance authorizing conveyance of the Town-owned land as requested by Jane Seegal and set a date for the required public hearing in accordance with Article XVII, Sale of Town Land. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
Draft Procedures for Sale of Town-Owned Land – Status:
Ordinance 2018-02, effective July 11, 2018, created new Article XVII, Sale of Town Land, as part of the Town’s Code of Ordinances. The Procedures for Sale of Town-Owned Land, drafted July 12, 2018, uses the language from the new Article to outline the action steps, including who is the responsible party for each action. The PC recommendation will be presented to the Town Council at the meeting on September 10th.
Single Dwelling Unit Enforcement: see Status of 107 Pine Avenue under Report from Town Council.
Code Enforcement & Proposed Consultant Agreement: The following information was presented to the PC from Council liaison Charlie Challstrom. To follow up the PC request for engaging a Code Enforcement Inspector, John Compton would like a recommendation regarding selection of the individual based on a limited exploration of potential candidates and discussions with representatives of other jurisdictions.
The Commission reviewed Douglas Lohmeyer’s resume and the draft Consultant Agreement.
Charlie Challstrom moved to recommend the Town Council select Douglas Lohmeyer, Montgomery Consulting, LLC, as the Code Enforcement Inspector and use of the updated Consultant Agreement for Code Enforcement Services. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
Pedestrian Crossing at Commercial Corner:
Chairman Nagrod reported this issue was brought up at a recent Border Committee meeting by Eva Patrone. She made several phone calls to County officials and was able to meet with them to discuss possible improvements to the crossing.
Master Plan – Update:
Georgette Cole will work on the recent Master Plan Worksession minutes and send them to all before she leaves for vacation on the 12th. There has been a change in the schedule and the Draft MP will be available sometime after the 2019 Town Meeting. Chairman Nagrod reported the communication from Jay Everhart about the bike path is a clear, concise document for the Master Plan. Peter also stated the Town’s vision for the future should be included in the Master Plan.
Washington Grove House Records – Status Report:
The group has taken a break for now. The next step will be the database work.
County Hazard Mitigation Plan – Charlie Challstrom reported the Town is well represented and includes the Railroad Street drainage problem and storm water management. Upon approval of the Plan, the County will be responsible for solving the problems. There is concern for East and West woods as a fire hazard.
Border Committee – Peter Nagrod reported the Committee’s interest is Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street and to change the perception of Washington Grove Lane with signage. The group is also going to hold a sign contest.
203 & 205 Washington Grove Carports: Building permit applications for carports on these properties were turned-in too late for review at this meeting but the Commission has been made aware of them. They will go through the Town process.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.