8 January 2001 | Approved: 12 February 2001
Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Dave Gumula, Paris Pacchione, Nick Suzich, Dodie Tippens, and Allen Winter. The following Town residents also were present: Vicki Andrews, Charlie Challstrom, Tom Clifford, Marilynn Frey, Don and Bobbie Gallagher, Gary Gordon, Audrey Maskery, Jean Myers, Jean Potmesil, Ken and Tom Stricklett.
Gary Gordon strongly urged the Council to continue to allow ice skating at Maple Lake with or without the present sign which cautions “Skate at Your Own Risk.”
Approval of Minutes
Paris Pacchione moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Town Council minutes of December 11, 2000 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
The Treasurer’s report for December was accepted by consensus.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- Casey Trust offices confirm that negotiations are underway to sell the fields along Ridge Road adjacent to the Town. The Town has asked Mrs. Casey to notify us when and if there is a new owner. The County planning office will be asked about the procedure for filing a development plan.
- The ELLIS Group has requested sign permits to place "For Sale" signs on their lots in Washington Grove Hills and on the WSSC parcel. The Council has given preliminary approval for these signs because they are of sufficient size to require Council approval, and permits will be given when details about size and placement are approved.
- Inquiries are being made to find a volunteer(s) to assume the role of Town Webmaster(s).
- A letter will be sent to upper Ridge Road residents asking for their comments on the County’s proposal to renumber existing street addresses to allow for new addresses.
Discussion: Speed Hump Issue/Washington Grove Lane
Mayor Compton gave a brief history of the Washington Grove Lane speed humps and specifically the problem hump in front of 125 Washington Grove Lane. Affected residents spoke about issues surrounding this section of Washington Grove Lane including inappropriate truck traffic, continuing high vehicular speeds, poor roadway drainage and pedestrian safety. Suggestions included:
- Removal of incorrect signs directing traffic to State Route 124
- Installation of a raised pedestrian crosswalk at Railroad Street/East Diamond Avenue
- Correction of poor storm drainage pooling at hump near 208 Washington Grove Lane
- Reflective paint on front of first hump at 125 Washington Grove Lane with markings designed to slow vehicles
- Modify hump at 125 Washington Grove Lane to eliminate drop off the other side
- Request police enforcement of the prohibition against trucks over ¾ ton
- Approach County legislators to lobby for local control of Washington Grove Lane citing Gaithersburg’s changes to their transportation Master Plan which has had negative impact on the traffic in this corridor. When the Town agreed to the transfer of Washington Grove Lane from the State to Montgomery County, these changes were not anticipated
- Deed Town-owned land in Washington Grove Lane right of way to adjacent homeowners
- Improve signs to warn drivers of speed humps
A push button pedestrian crossing at the Railroad Street/East Diamond Avenue intersection
Jean Potmesil, 213 Washington Grove Lane, said that the series of humps have slowed traffic and made it safer for pedestrians to cross the road. She was concerned that removing the problem hump without putting one in elsewhere would reduce the effectiveness of the humps.
Bobbie Gallagher, 125 Washington Grove Lane, said that her house shakes with every large truck that goes over the hump and after living with this problem for over two years, believes that only removal of the hump will solve the problem.
The Council agreed that the hump should be removed but will ask Montgomery County to explore options for retaining the speed reduction that the current series of humps has achieved.
The Council discussed Gary Gordon’s memo urging them to continue to allow ice skating at Maple Lake. The Local Government Insurance Trust, the Town’s insurer, will be asked to evaluate the Town’s position with respect to skating from a risk management viewpoint. A sign “Use of Maple Lake is at Your Own Risk” was suggested to cover both swimming and skating. Dodie Tippens reported that a Lake Committee meeting would be held in February.
Dodie Tippens announced that volunteers are needed to direct the children’s choir and to be Santa Claus for the Holiday Concert on December 16.
Paris Pacchione reported that the maintenance staff has been collecting Christmas trees and working on new reflective street signs.
Paris Pacchione reported that the County has installed a sign with directional arrows at the foot of the humpback bridge on Railroad Street but will not reinstall the guardrail for safety reasons. The Town will redouble efforts to put sand containers at icy intersections.
Forestry and Beautification
Darrell Anderson reported that PEPCO employee Dan Landry appears to be a good candidate for Town Arborist. The Forestry Committee will decide how to make the best use of an arborist’s expertise in managing the overall health of the forest canopy. How much detail to include in the tree inventory needs to be determined.
Darrell Anderson reported that he, Carol Uhlendorf, and Paris and Diane Pacchione, attended the annual dinner with State legislators organized by the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League. Darrell reported that District 39 legislators Charles Barkley, Paul Carlson and Joan Stern appear eager to help Washington Grove.
Nick Suzich described the new playground equipment planned for Town toddlers.
Mayor Compton displayed a map illustrating the address numbering scheme proposed by County planner Fred Flaharty for upper Ridge Road addresses. This scheme would allow additional address numbers for new houses anticipated as lots are subdivided. The Council provisionally endorsed the proposed re-numbering scheme
The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 p.m.