9 November 2020 | Approved: 14 December 2020
The unprecedented emergency health crisis poses a challenge to all – individually and collectively. To protect ourselves and do our part to impede the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, the Public hearing on Ordinance 2020-11 and regular meeting of the Town Council was held remotely via ZOOM Video Conferencing. The meeting was recorded.
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Charlie Challstrom, David Cosson, Marida Hines, Patty Klein, and Gray Yachup. Also in attendance were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, HPC Chair Bob Booher, and residents Mimi Bolotin, Georgette Cole, Christine Dibble, Marc Hansen, Wendy Harris (HPC member), Joan Mahaffey, Audrey Maskery, Jean Moyer, Rebekka Popov, Barbara Raimondo, and Krista Zanetti. Gail Littlefield joined at 7:45 p.m. and Jane Seegal joined at 7:55 p.m.
Approval of Agenda:
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the agenda. Patty Klein seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Mayor John Compton suspended the Council Meeting at 7:32 p.m.
Public Hearing for Ordinance 2020-11; A Zoning Text Amendment Modifying Front Setback Requirements for Accessory Buildings.
The Public Hearing was called to order at 7:32p.m. Planning Commission liaison Charlie Challstrom reported the ordinance was initiated and filed by the Commission. He then gave a summary of the proposed legislation. Front setback restrictions in the RR-2 zone and for some RR-1 zone properties can make it impossible to place an accessory building in a compliant spot. The proposed ordinance retains the 50-foot front setback requirement for all zones, but for lots less than 50 feet deep allows a lesser setback to the middle of the lot. No additional testimony was received. After discussion among those present, the Mayor closed the Public Hearing at 8:40 p.m.
The Town Council meeting reconvened at 8:41 p.m.
Audrey Maskery (205 Washington Grove Lane) read a statement concerning a proposed driveway modification at 101 Center Street to accommodate four vehicles on the property. She asked that in the future the Mayor and Council ensure that tenants and new residents are informed of the Town’s limitation of four vehicles per residence, and also that this per household rule be enforced. The Council discussed the following:
- The number of cars regularly seen at the above address (seven).
- Pros and cons of the four-vehicle per household rule.
- Who has the responsibility to inform renters about Town restrictions, and providing a generic letter addressing the restriction.
- The Public Ways & Property Permit (PWPP) for the driveway expansion approved for the above address.
Bob Booher argued that the HPC should have an opportunity to review PWPP applications in the futures. Charlie Challstrom indicated he would look into the updates to the PWPP process currently under review by the Planning Commission (Resolution 2019-19; Evaluation Criteria for Driveways and Parking Areas Using Public Ways & Property Permit).
Approval of Minutes:
Patty Klein moved to approve the October minutes of the Town Council. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Mayor Compton thanked Council members for their input. Two (2) minor spelling corrections were made.
Vote: 6-0, approved.
- Kudos: Mayor Compton gave kudos to the Recreation Committee for organizing and managing safe Town Halloween celebrations. Thanks for keeping another Town tradition alive during this time of COVID-19.
- WSSC Sewer Project Update and Restricted Leaf Collection on Grove Avenue: Mayor Compton stated the sewer replacement project was progressing well, and complimented WSSC for their responsive manner and cooperation in saving trees. Leaf pickup will not take place on Grove Avenue between Center Street and Brown Street. As part of restoring the Grove Avenue to its original condition, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, rather than the WSSC contractor, will be responsible for spreading new gravel.
- Update on Request to Remove Certain Restrictive Covenants Originating from the Sale of Property by the Town from the Deed for 201 chestnut Avenue: Mayor Compton stated Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson sent a memo late this afternoon with advice on how to proceed with extinguishing the Covenants. The discrimination covenant is addressed in current law and can be removed through an administrative land records process, but the other three (3) covenants may require a petition to the court to remove. The Town could facilitate the process with a letter but there are legal requirements. Mayor Compton will distribute Suellen’s memo to Marc Hansen and the Council for review. March Hansen asked if he could touch base with Suellen Ferguson to discuss her memo. Mayor Compton agreed, but asked to be kept involved.
- Follow-up Letter to MCDOT on Their Response to EPSC/Town Safety Concerns on Washington Grove Lane: The letter is all but sent right now.
- Joan Mahaffey commented on the improvements to the intersection of Railroad Street and Washington Grove Lane currently in progress by the County Department of Transportation The sidewalk has been extended on both sides of Washington Grove Lane and crosswalk markings added. Charlie Challstrom reported there will be a pedestrian activated crossing light and the dumpster may have to be relocated to remove the obstruction to visibility. Krista Zanetti asked if they were moving the bus stop and, if so, where.
- Action: Mayor Compton will follow-up on the bus stop.
- Salt Barn Update: Mayor Compton reported no contact from the County Executive’s office to date. Gray Yachup reached out to someone he knew in the office and reported the Town should hear something soon.
- Washington Grove Bikeways Connector Study Update: A progress report has yet to be provided the Town.
- Action: Mayor Compton will reach out to the appropriate people and have a status report at the December Council meeting.
- Swing Time Big Band Proposal to Use the Hall for Rehearsals: The Mayor and Council discussed small group use of McCathran Hall. They expressed concerns about the following:
- The potential risks from wind instruments (blowing) and singing.
- The rate of air exchange in McCathran Hall.
- Montgomery County restrictions on number of people inside a building.
- Setting a precedent by allowing outside groups to use the Hall when Town groups have been denied.
- Who would be at risk, and the responsibility for protecting public health.
Action: The Council concluded that now was not the time to open the Hall for small group uses and denied the request. This subject will be revisited at another time as things change.
Treasurers Report 2020-October
Darrell Anderson moved acceptance of the October 2020 Treasurer’s Report. Dave Cosson seconded the motion.
Vote: 6-0, accepted.
Ordinance 2020-11 Zoning Text Amendment Modifying Front Setback Requirements for Accessory Buildings – Introduction and Set Date for Public Hearing
. Charlie Challstrom moved to enact Ordinance 2020-11 as it was Introduced. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. There was no discussion.
Vote: 6-0, approved.
Ordinance 2020-12 Amending Article I to Enable Regulation of Activity on Town Land by Resolution, to Prohibit Damage to or Removal of Vegetation, Minerals or Artifacts on Public Property, and to Require a Permit for Archeological Activities
– Discussion // PDF. Patty Klein thanked Dave Cosson and Wendy Harris for their help in creating a document with good, logical flow. Several opinions were expressed that the new Sections 14 and 16 proposed in the ordinance add emphasis and specifics in respect to damaging property in the Town Woods that are in fact encompassed, albeit more generally, within existing Section 2. There was general agreement to consider revised language that would encompass all Town property, rather than focusing exclusively on the East and West Woods. Further discussion included the applicability of existing Section 11 which specifically empowers the Town Council to issue rules and regulations for the use of Town recreation facilities. General approval was expressed for the proposed Section 15 addressing preservation of archeological and cultural artifacts wishing Washington Grove.
Action: Specific revision of Ordinance 2020-12 was deferred until the December Town Council meeting.
Forestry and Beautification Proposal for Contract Removal of Non-Native Invasive Species:
Mayor Compton explained the Forestry and Beautification proposal to contract with IPC for a two-step application of herbicides (Garlon, Rodeo and Blue and Red Polygon) to remove invasive species in a wooded section of Woodward Park (the roughly triangular area bounded by Maple Avenue, Center Street and the Maintenance facility) at a cost of about $3600. Treatments would take place in November -December, and in January- February.
Treatments will involve targeted spraying as well as cutting and painting invasive shrubs, and girdling, cutting and treating White Mulberry trees. Darrell Anderson expressed concern over the use of chemicals and the length of time warning signs are visible to the public. He proposed that signs stay up longer to inform Woods users who may make more educated decisions about potential exposure to residual chemicals (specified as degrading within 4-8 hours). The Council directed that sufficient signage be in place and present for 3-4 days following each treatment.
Patty Klein moved to allow the Forestry and Beautification Committee to administer the proposed contract from Invasive Plant Control, Inc. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Vote: 5-1, approved.
When asked if he minded explaining his objections to using chemicals in the Woods, Councilor Anderson stated the chemicals are banned in other countries and aren’t good for the soil, and because of this, he is no longer comfortable going into the Woods.
Improvements to the Stormwater Infrastructure at the Intersections of Chestnut Road and Oak Street, and of Hickory Road and Center Street:
Gray Yachup presented two (2) proposals for stormwater run-off mitigation.
- Replace the existing pipe with under Center Street at Hickory Road with a squash pipe (oval shaped) to increase capacity for water draining from Hickory Road Center Street. Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts proposed and supports this plan.
- Install a similar pipe under Chestnut Road at Oak Street to direct water into the drainage trough to the south side of Oak Street which drains into the culvert system at the Hickory Road/Oak Street intersection.
Krista Zanetti (127 Washington Grove Lane) told of her flooding experiences during heavy rain. Mayor Compton stated the proposed improvements are changes to existing systems and involve relatively small amounts of money, and that Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts proposes to do portions of both projects. The Mayor and Council discussed possible effects downstream, potential increase of volume, changing the flow, and potential budget impacts.
Action: Steve and Gray will put together a proposal with hard numbers to present to the Mayor and Council at a later date.
Road Safety on Lower Ridge Road
– Discussion. Councilors Patty Klein and Gray Yachup met John Tomlin (358 Ridge Road) to discuss his concerns about speed and safety on lower Ridge Road. It seems the neighboring community may have a home daycare center which may be allowing children to run and play on Ridge Road. The barrier at the end of the road is hidden by vegetation and lacks reflectors and a sign waring about the barrier. The Mayor and Council discussed various ways to improve safety and the following action items:
- Signage improvements along lower Ridge Road (both language and reflective tape).
- Clearing vegetation that is obstructing the barrier at the end of the road.
- Installation of reflectors on the barrier.
- Future consideration of a speed hump on Ridge Road.
Town Council Reports:
- Deer Management Bow Hunt Update – Patty Klein reported four deer have been harvested so far this season; two does in the West Woods, one doe and one buck in the East Woods. The late afternoon seems to be the best time for hunting and the hunters have said they may move the stand to a more deer-populated area.
- Reconfiguration of the intersection at Brown Street and Grove Road – Larry French (201 Brown Street) approached Gray Yachup about making some improvements to the intersection: moving the STOP sign on the North corner of Brown Street closer to the intersection to improve the sight lines, and also pruning bushes in that area to help with visibility. Town Maintenance will look into moving the sign, while the Forestry & Beautification Committee looks into pruning and/or plant relocation.
- Patty Klein suggested Dave Cosson’s report be slightly revised to reflect that no cause of death of the two fawns found dead (one in the Washington Grove Conservation Meadow and the other in the East Woods) was determined, and that the cause of death be indicated as “unknown”, rather the presumption of disease. This change was agreed to.
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the November Council Reports for posting on the website. Gray Yachup seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, as revised.
- Amendment of the August 10, 2020 Town Council Minutes: The final language for the revision of these Minutes being approved by all Councilors, the Amended August Minutes were posted on the Town website prior to this meeting.
- Removal of restrictive covenants from the Deed to 201 Chestnut Avenue: See discussion under Mayor’s announcements. The Planning Commission reviewed the request for termination of the setback restriction on the 25 feet strip of land imposed by the Town upon sale of the land and concluded that the setback restriction no longer serves any public purpose.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Kathryn L. Lehman
TC REPORTS – November 2020
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION – Darrell Anderson
The HPC held a virtual meeting on October 20; the next meeting will be held on November 17 at 7:30 pm by virtual means.
There were no new applications submitted; however, the HPC discussed projects at the following locations that had been undertaken in the past without permits: 106 Ridge Road (Handicap ramp and front porch installation), 118 Ridge Road (Deck construction), 412 4th Street (Shed), and, 414 Brown Street (Porch). The committee discussed whether to obtain permits after the fact to have a record of the improvements and to alert homeowners to the facts of building permit requirements. In some of these cases, a permit may not have been required.
The committee also discussed whether to get involved with construction of decks, ramps, and driveway aprons (such as at 3 Ridge Road), and whether owners are obtaining permits from Montgomery County. The point was made that Montgomery County will not issue permits to residents of WG unless WG signs off. The HPC agreed to look at the November meeting at a list of what the Commission actually is responsible for reviewing.
Guest Speaker on Demolition: Fred Stachura, Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions’ Board President, and currently the supervisor for Neighborhood Revitalization in the Prince Georges County Planning Department, was invited to speak to the HPC on various “properties of concern” and strategies to avoid demolitions in Town.
A wide-ranging discussion ensued regarding properties that might be listed as candidates for “demolition by neglect,” including the possibility of inviting owners of such properties to appear before the HPC to discuss plans for the property, inspection, etc. It was determined that the Town should strengthen the demolition process. The HPC will maintain contact with Mr. Stachura as we develop demolition plans.
Border Committee: The HPC received an update from the Border Committee. Krista Zanetti discussed ongoing efforts to create new signage at three Town entrances—Daylily Lane, Railroad and Ridge, and the Commercial Corner. A discussion of the types of signs, materials, and content was provided, and mock-ups will be produced once decisions have been made on these issues.
Master Plan Update: The HPC reviewed comments submitted to the Planning Commission on the Housing Section of the Master Plan. The HPC voted to send a letter to the County Council recommending against action on the Shady Grove Sector Plan staff recommendation regarding support for MTA’s plan to institute triple-tracking on MARC’s Brunswick Line.
LIGHTING COMMITTEE – Darrell Anderson
The Lighting Committee (LC) did not hold a meeting in October and will not meet again until January 2021 unless pressing business comes forward.
MAINTENANCE – Darrell Anderson
Regularly string-trimmed and cut grass around Town, including the field. Cut brush in various locations. Picked up leaves around Town. Made trips to the County dump when necessary.
Purchased gas when needed. Completed paperwork as required. Worked in the maintenance shop if needed.
Picked up trash in the park and fallen branches around Town.
Went to Home Depot to pick up posts for street signs. Fixed walkway sign on 6th Avenue. Installed new signpost at Brown Street and Grove Road. Installed new signpost at Hickory Road and Railroad Street.
Fixed drainage at Acorn Lane and Chestnut Road.
Went to Advance Auto to purchase oil and filters for the Town truck. Worked on truck to change oil and replace old filter.
Picked up welding material to weld equipment.
Met multiple times with Council members and WSSC on Grove Avenue. Removed concrete sidewalk in front of 122 Grove Ave so WSSC could continue work. Met with Bob Booher to go over gravel and grading issues on Grove Avenue. Met with Pat Kline, Richard Haskett, and WSSC to talk about trees in their front yards that may be impacted by the WSSC work
Watered eleven new trees for Forestry and Beautification Committee.
Blew leaves off roof at Town Hall.
Met with Myers and Laws to go over tree work on Grove Avenue (406 and 412).
Met with Guardian Fire at Town Hall (smoke detector test)
Cut bamboo on Grove Ave and Maple Ave.
Delivered new recycle bin to 407 Chestnut Avenue.
Welded broken hose on Trac Vac and worked on fixing rust hole in Town truck.
PLANNING COMMISSION – Charlie Challstrom
Public Ways and Property (PW&P) Permit Activity –
- 101 Center St – The PC approved a revised application for a proposed driveway apron on the Chestnut Road right of way that was received from Craig English on behalf of the Church. This application included required justification to support the need for a second driveway apron for this property.
Hansen Request re Deed Covenants – The PC has evaluated the request from Marc and Peggy Hansen to terminate four restrictive covenants for their property located at 201 Chestnut Avenue. These covenants resulted from 1950 and 1978 conveyances of this property that once belonged to Peggy’s father, Philip H. Winter.
The PC notes that in 1964, the Mayor and Council adopted and enacted the first Code of Ordinances, including Article VII, Zoning. The PC concurs with a statement in the Hansen request that the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance imposes uniform development and use rules for all property in Town. The PC concludes Town action is justified to terminate the first two 1950 restrictive covenants (re building cost requirement and home occupation prohibition) and all similar restrictive covenants affecting other properties within the Town.
The PC notes the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1948 that certain racially restrictive covenants were not enforceable, and in 1968, with the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, writing racially restrictive covenants into deeds became illegal. The PC concludes Town action is justified to terminate the 1950 racially restrictive covenant associated with the Hansen property, and all similar racially restrictive covenants affecting other properties within the Town.
With regard to the first 1978 restrictive covenant, the PC has reviewed the collection of Town documents concerning the 25-foot strip of Hansen’s property adjacent to Chestnut Road, now enclosed by the fencing of Hansen’s property. The PC concurs with earlier evaluations that this 25-foot strip is not required for any road widening project. The PC also finds this privately owned strip of land is different and distinct from the Town-owned strips along Town roads identified in the Master Plan as being held for maintaining open space, and notes that no other property along Chestnut Road has a similar 25-foot buffer. The PC concludes the Hansen property is being subjected to inequitable treatment and Town action is justified to terminate this 1978 restrictive covenant.
West Woods Plat of Survey – The Plat of Survey from the recently completed project for boundary marking of the West Woods was approved by the PC. This Plat of Survey includes 30 new property markers installed along portions of the West Woods boundary not previously marked. The Historic Preservation Commission participated in the review of this Plat of Survey to confirm the 1973 transfer of a small WSSC parcel in the West Woods to the Town. This Plat of Survey confirms the West Woods as one parcel and will be filed in the Land Records for Montgomery County. A copy of this plat will be shared with the County Department of Transportation, noting some of the new property markers along the Washington Grove Lane portion of the boundary are survey nails in the pavement, and the others are 24-inch rebars in the ground near the pavement edge accompanied by orange “Boundary” posts.
Comprehensive Plan 2020 Work Session – During a work session on October 21, the PC completed work on the draft Housing Element, reviewing edits recommended by the Racial Equity Committee, Historic Preservation Commission, and other residents. An updated draft of the Housing Element is included with the Comprehensive Plan Working Draft posted on the Town’s website. The next PC work session is scheduled for November 18 and will include discussion of the required reviews of specific Comprehensive Plan sections by the Maryland Department of the Environment and Department of Natural Resources.
Vehicle Noise – During the PC meeting, Jon Cohen reported the Montgomery County Police Department has established a Task Force to address the problems of street racing and vehicle noise. Residents have complained about excessively loud mufflers on cars and motorcycles, particularly on Mid County Highway and Washington Grove Lane. The police have started a program to pull cars over and cite drivers for excessive noise. The police report they are not allowed to pursue motorcycles due to safety issues. The police have requested that residents assist by providing information on instances of excessive noise, e.g. time of day, days of the week, and locations.
MCCATHRAN HALL – Charlie Challstrom
Holiday Show – McCathran Hall has been used for limited video recording sessions as part of the virtual Holiday Show. We are fortunate that a group of residents, led by Judy Mroczka and Marilynn Frey, and assisted by Montgomery Municipal Cable, are carrying this Town tradition forward.
Fire Alarm System Inspection/Repairs – McCathran Hall has a fire alarm system coupled with a fire suppression sprinkler system. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides code standards for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of these systems. During the November 2nd fire alarm system annual inspection, Guardian Fire Protections Service found one smoke detector (at bottom of stairs near side exit) and the horn strobe at the main entrance that must be replaced. The initial repair estimate of $555.96 will likely be increased to cover additional costs to upgrade the wiring connection to the non-working smoke detector.
MONTGOMERY MUNICIPAL CABLE (MMC) – Charlie Challstrom
MMC Board Meeting – The MMC Board of Directors and MMC Station Manager Melissa Aymold met on October 28 to review current operations by the three-person MMC staff, with regular programming and special events, latest analytics on viewership as reflected in the MMC Website and Social Media Update, and renewal of the lease agreement with the Town of Kensington (the MMC studio is on the lower level of the Kensington Town Hall). The Board also confirmed plans for the MMC Annual Meeting to be held via Zoom on January 27, 2021 to include election of officers, adoption of the 2021 budget, and scheduling development of a
CENSUS – Charlie Challstrom
Census Update – As a result of political intervention, the time for Census data collection was cut short, with an apparent intent to politicize the nationwide redistricting based on the Census population counts. Perhaps the 2020 political attempts to discourage Census responses provided extra motivation for Census volunteers who work in their communities to help ensure every household gets counted. Members of the County’s Complete Count Committee gathered via Zoom on October 29 to celebrate a successful 2020 Census here in Montgomery County, with self-response rates above those of 2010. Joined by a collection of our elected officials, we recognized a collection of “Census Champions” for their special efforts.
CONTRACTS – Dave Cosson
The Leaf Removal contract has been renewed for the coming year. Residents on the portion of Grove Avenue under WSSC construction were advised to move their leaves to the roads behind their houses. The recycling and trash contract will be going out for bid this winter. In order to fit the budget process neatly, bids should be opened and the award made by or at the March 8 Council meeting.
WOODS – Dave Cosson
The Woods Committee met on November 2 and discussed the following:
The Bow Hunters have taken 4 deer so far this season, 1 buck and 3 does. In addition 2 fawns are known to have died. Anecdotal statements from several residents reflect a possibly reduced deer population this year.
A further revised draft of the proposed Ordinance regarding regulation of The Woods was discussed. The proposal would provide that the Council may adopt regulations for use of The Woods (to include the wooded portion of Morgan Park) by resolution and prohibit removal of archeological artifacts, fossils, trees, plants or minerals from The Woods or any Town Park or land. The Historic Preservation Commission provided substantial input and advice on the wording of the proposal. It was noted during the discussion that injury to trees is currently prohibited by Section 3 of Article I of the Town Ordinances and that the Council may wish to consider whether these provisions should be combined. The Committee concluded to forward the proposal to the Council for it to begin the adoption process.
With respect to Trail Maintenance, the Committee received a report on a walk through with the representative of a sign company regarding preparation and installation of new signs that would both mark the trails and provide information as to regulations of use. A proposal is expected this week. The Committee recognized that if the cost exceeds $5,000 it may be necessary to develop and publish a Request for Proposals. Work has begun painting blazes on trees to identify the routes of trails, but temperatures above 50 degrees are required to complete the project.
Also discussed were measures to deal with wet trail areas. The application of brown gravel to the portion of Maple Ave. Extended that is often muddy will be explored after obtaining cost estimates from suppliers. For the portion of the Challstrom trail going downhill from the intersection of Grove Rd. and McCauley St., a “timber turnpike” is being evaluated to both direct runoff and provide dry footing. A culvert may be required at the intersection with the Pine Trail.
Several dead trees that are a potential hazard along trails in the East Woods have been marked with green tape and an estimate for their removal has been requested. There are also trees in the West Woods that threaten the Lake fence and the equipment sheds.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT – Dave Cosson
In the absence of a Chair and Secretary, the Committee did not meet during October. Efforts continue to obtain new leadership. A request was received from a resident who uses the parking area along Acorn Lane that the Town repair the erosion of the crushed rock which has left a substantial gulley that is hazardous to pedestrians. The request was copied to Mayor Compton and Councilor Yachup. While there are various long-term solutions, the Town could replace the eroded crushed rock in the short run to reduce the hazard.
RACIAL EQUITY COMMITTEE – Dave Cosson
The Committee met October 11 and discussed the following:
Committee members discussed whether there should be co-chairs or a leadership team and the time demands of taking on the responsibility. Ultimately it was determined to postpone the vote until the next meeting.
A draft of proposed changes to the Housing section of the Comprehensive Plan was discussed at length, including questions relating to Accessory Dwelling Units, and characterization of past discrimination. The Committee then voted to approve the proposed changes for submission to the Planning Commission for their consideration.
Finally, the Committee discussed the 2020 election, including sharing of resources and identifying organizations to support.
COMMUNICATIONS WORK GROUP – Marida Hines
Christine Dibble and Shelley Winkler are creating a new unofficial listserv on Google Groups to replace the current Yahoo listserv. Yahoo is no longer supporting this function. Current listserv subscribers will be migrated with no action required on their part but can opt out if they prefer.
To join or to get details on this new group visit the Town website at https://washingtongrovemd.org/whats-happening/announcements/new-community-listserv/.
DOG PARK – Marida Hines
Nothing to report.
RECREATION – Marida Hines
The next meeting of the Recreation Committee is Wednesday, January 20, 2021. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.
The production crew for the holiday show (Judy Mroczka and Marilynn Frey), working in collaboration with Montgomery Municipal Cable, is on schedule for final completion of footage for airing on December 12. A limited amount of filming will be done inside the Town Hall on Saturday, November 7. Social distancing and mask guidelines are being observed for this and all filming. Information on accessing the show appeared in the November bulletin and will run again in the December bulletin. In addition, the Recreation Committee will put up notices around town. (For the livestream, go to www.mmctv.org and click on Watch LIVE in the upper right-hand corner. Viewers can also watch this on TV if they prefer on Channel 16 on Comcast, Verizon and RCN.)
Eight Grove-based musical groups will be featured in the show, and several residents who have never been in the show before, appear in the cast. Supplementing the MMC videography are videos by Emily Cavey, Joanna McCrehan, Marida Hines, and Emily Brown.
WEBSITE – Marida Hines
Nothing to report.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & SAFETY COMMITTEE – Pat Klein
The Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee (EPSC) met on October 22nd and discussed the following topics.
Street signage along lower Ridge Road – safety concerns: A town resident contacted the EPSC Town Council liaison with concerns about traffic safety on lower Ridge Road. Specifically, the resident noted some motorists unfamiliar with our town streets do not know that lower Ridge Road is a dead end, not a through street to the adjoining neighborhood, and must reverse course. In addition, cars and delivery trucks cannot easily turn around in the narrow road so use private driveways. There also are issues of vehicle speeding and young children playing in the road. EPSC members noted the existing road signs along Center Street and Ridge Road are not well placed and could easily be missed by motorists. EPSC recommends adding reflector signs/materials and clearing the overgrown vegetation at the bottom of Ridge Road to alert motorists of the dead end and relocating or increasing the height of road signs for better visibility. Before deciding if a speed hump should be installed on Ridge Road to slow vehicle speed, the Town Council should survey all those neighbors to inquire of their concerns for a speed hump.
Recruitment efforts: Discussions continue on various strategies to recruit new EPSC members. A notice was posted in the November Town Bulletin to solicit new members and ideas for future activities. A similar message will be posted on the private Listserv and a flyer posted in the Post Office.
Ideas for future events: EPSC may host a virtual Zoom event on the topic of self-care/coping mechanisms/promoting resilience and community cohesion during the COVID19 pandemic. The Committee will reach out to Washington Grove Cares members for their ideas or potential speakers, and their interest to co-sponsor. The Maryland Municipal League also has a preparedness committee that could serve as a Town and EPSC resource on emergency planning activities.
The next meeting is scheduled on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
MAPLE LAKE – Pat Klein
The Committee is on winter hiatus and no meetings are scheduled until early March 2021.
FORESTRY & BEAUTIFICATION (Including Memorials) – Gray Yachup
The Forestry and Beautification committee has concluded their efforts for Fall planting season and will begin meeting again in the lead up to the Spring season.
IPC has also submitted a proposal for removal of Multiflora Rose and other non-native invasives in the area between the Maintenance Shed and Maple Ave. This is pending approval by the Council.
PLAYGROUNDS – Gray Yachup
Nothing to report.
ROADS & WALKWAYS – Gray Yachup
This month two main concerns were brought to the Town’s attention: re-configuring the intersection at the corner of Brown and Grove, and the placement of a speed bump along Ridge Road extended. Both are pending Council approval, although both projects would come in under RFP budgeting.
The potential addition of a drainage pipe under Chestnut as well as an expanded pipe under Center are also still awaiting Council approval.
MEMORIALS – Gray Yachup
The memorials committee is still processing the memorial bench in honor of the late Rich Hilpert, long-time Grove resident and beloved neighbor.
WASHINGTON GROVE MEADOW CONSERVATION PARK – Gray Yachup
Nothing to report.
SHADY GROVE CROSSING – Gray Yachup
I re-commenced talks with the SGXC HOA Board Members, will have more to report for next meeting.