13 March 2000 | Approved: 10 April 2000
Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 7:47 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Dave Gumula, Paris Pacchione, Nick Suzich, Dodie Tippens, Carol Uhlendorf and Allen Winter. Town residents present: Vicki Andrews, Ann Briggs, Gary Gordon, Audrey Maskery, Jean Myers, George Paine, Paula Puglisi. Town residents Charlie Challstrom and Kathie Evans and Mike Voigt of Washington Grove Hills also were present, in addition to David Shepard, owner of The Prime Choice Caterers, Atlantis Associates attorney Harry Stone, and Gaithersburg Gazette reporter Karen O’Keefe.
Approval of Minutes
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Town Council minutes of February 7, 2000 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dave Gumula seconded, acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. Vote: 6-0. Carol Uhlendorf moved, Nick Suzich seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds to pay bills in March. Vote: 6-0.
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Nick Suzich seconded, to confirm the appointment of Peggy Odick to the Washington Grove Planning Commission to serve out the term of Bill Glass which runs until July 2003. Vote: 6-0. Ms. Odick currently serves on the Town Board of Zoning Appeals.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- Members of the Gaithersburg Community Development Corporation will meet with Town representatives next week to discuss development plans for the East Diamond corridor connecting Washington Grove with Olde Towne Gaithersburg.
- A lighting plan for the commercial corner parking lot is under review by the Town Street Lighting Committee. Committee concerns will be conveyed to the designer.
- A walking tour of the Casey property was taken with Sierra Club members and members of the Maryland Alliance for Greenway Improvement and Conservation (MAGIC). County Council member Phil Andrews has expressed support for including this property in the Legacy Open Space program.
- The Tree Improvement Advisory Committee will complete their report soon and make recommendations for the FY 2001 budget.
Plan for Coordinating McCathran Hall Use
Kathie Evans described a plan to coordinate McCathran Hall use by hiring a scheduler. The scheduler would be responsible for handling all inquiries regarding availability of the hall, showing potential renters the hall, maintaining the calendar for hall rental and handling rental agreements, deposits and rental payments. The scheduler would also work with volunteers who will assist in opening and closing the hall after each rental. In the future, a steward could be hired who would be available at the hall during private events to answer questions and to close up after the event. A notice will be put in the Town Bulletin to solicit interest in the scheduler position.
Zoning Text Amendment to Permit the Town to Place Conditions on the Zoning or Rezoning of Property
Allen Winter moved, Paris Pacchione seconded, adoption of Ordinance No. 2000-01 adopting amendment to Section 13 of the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to permit the Town to place conditions on the zoning or rezoning of property. Vote: 6-0.
Local Map Amendment to Rezone WSSC Property
Allen Winter moved, Carol Uhlendorf seconded, to introduce an application by Bailey-Thompson, contract purchasers of the WSSC property, to rezone the property from RR-3 to RR-1 with conditions. Vote: 6-0. The Town Council scheduled a public hearing on the application for Monday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Ordinance Authorizing Cable Television Franchise Transfer
Dave Gumula moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 2000-03 authorizing the transfer of a non-exclusive cable television franchise from Prime Communications-Potomac, L.L.C. to Comcast Cable of Maryland, with the proviso that the Mayor sign it only after municipal concerns have been satisfied. Vote: 6-0.
Zoning Text Amendment to Add Low Density RR-4 Residential Zone
The Council voted to defer action on Ordinance No. 2000-04 adopting amendments to Sections 2 and 9 of the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to add a low density RR-4 residential zone with a 18,000 square foot minimum lot size. Charlie Challstrom said that the ordinance as drafted would not permit subdivision of the one-acre parcels in Washington Grove Hills into two lots because of the requirement for lots to have a 75-foot width at street line. Charlie agreed to work on the changes necessary to allow these parcels to be subdivided.
Zoning Text Amendment to Add Permitted and Special Exception Uses within the Commercial Zone
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Nick Suzich seconded, to introduce Ordinance 2000-05 adopting amendments to Sections 4.2 and 8.2 of the Town Zoning Ordinance to add permitted and special exception uses within the commercial zone. Vote: 6-0. The Town Council scheduled a public hearing on the ordinance for Tuesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m.
Paris Pacchione introduced the policy drafted by the committee to establish guidelines for memorials on public property. It was suggested that a standing committee be formed to review written proposals for memorials. It was also suggested that a wish list of items be maintained for people who would like to make a tangible contribution to the Town in someone’s memory. A memorials policy statement will be included in the Town Bulletin.
Use of Town Funds to Purchase Wine/Beer for Town Events
Mary Challstrom reported that the Recreation Committee has found it increasingly cumbersome to maintain a separate account solely for the purchase of beer and wine served at Town events. This account is funded by T-shirt sales or other fund raising schemes and in earlier times supported a variety of recreation activities. In recent years, funds for recreation activities have been included in the Town budget. The Committee would like funds for beer and wine for Town events to be included in the Town budget as well. The Council asked that the Town Attorney be consulted about increased liability.
Roads and Walkways
Mayor Compton reported that Don Gallagher would like to have the speed hump in front of his house at 125 Washington Grove Lane removed because large trucks going over the hump cause his house to vibrate. Police enforcement of the truck restriction has not proven to be a viable option. The following suggestions were made: install another earlier hump, modify the existing hump, organize traffic monitoring to notify offending truck companies and suggest alternate routes, move the hump, flag the "no trucks over ¾-ton" signs to make them more visible, combine police enforcement with another option.
Dave Gumula reported that he is working on a Master Plan for street repair and street signs. To help identify houses for emergency vehicles, Mayor Compton suggested that five acceptable styles of house numbers be selected in the required size and that the Town make them easily available to residents.
Paris Pacchione reported that a water heater has been installed in the Maintenance Shop and hot water is now available in Woodward Park restrooms. Jim Fletcher has planted evergreens, mapped out Arbor Day plantings, picked up trash along Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street, and designed exterior directional signs for the Town Office and Council Room. Jim also designed, made and installed a "Washington Grove" sign for the Ridge Road entrance to Town off of Railroad Street.
Carol Uhlendorf reported that Arbor Day will be held on Saturday, April 8 (raindate: Sunday, April 9) There will be a picnic for volunteers in McCathran Hall following the planting of 25 white oak trees. Activities for children are being planned including painting a mural.
Dodie Tippens reported that lake cleanup will be April 29. The swimming instructor will be returning this year and the hunt for lifeguards has resumed. The valve controlling the water outflow from the lake appears to be working but contingency plans are being made to replace it as well as the dock structure that has deteriorated with age. Dodie reported that Darrell Anderson has been monitoring the outflow of Maple Spring for a number of months and has noted very little flow.
Carol Uhlendorf reported that the Montgomery Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League has recently met with the County Executive and will soon meet with the County Council. The County Committee to celebrate 2000 is planning a program for children that will include visits to historic sites.
Town Hall Improvements
Allen Winter reported that the request for proposals to refurbish the McCathran Hall windows is nearing completion. Another high priority will be to find a permanent solution to lighting the paths around the Town Hall.
Nick Suzich reported that he would find a source for wood chips for the playground. He is also working on a request for proposals to replace the fencing around the hard surface tennis court.
Dodie Tippens reported that the Grove Singers would begin to rehearse in April. Doris Gordon will direct and Ron Coleman from Washington Grove Hills has agreed to accompany the singers. A swing dance was held at the end of February and the final Mousetrap Concert will be held on April 2.
Paris Pacchione reported a break-in at 201 Chestnut Avenue. Concerns were raised about the number of non-functioning streetlights.
Paris Pacchione reported that the Washington Grove Film Society would have a test screening of a film in McCathran Hall on Sunday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 p.m.