7 November 2007 | Approved: 5 December 2007
Chairman McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Peggy Ebner and alternate Joe Clark. Also in attendance was Town resident Ralph Hurst.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for October were approved.
The following building permits were reviewed by the Planning Commission (PC):
- 215 Washington Grove Lane – Shed approved unanimously per Article VII, Section 9.
- 119 Grove Avenue – Ralph Hurst presented an addendum to Howard Harary’s already approved plans to add a one foot adjustment towards Grove Road for a total increase of 17 square feet. This change was approved unanimously.
Building Permit Time Limits
Chairman McClelland started a discussion regarding an ongoing home construction project and building permit that was approved on February 10, 2004 at 352 Ridge Road. Ordinance change was proposed that would require building projects to start within 6 months and finish within 2 years of the approval date on the building permit. Additional information regarding current Montgomery County permit time limits is being sought. A formal proposal to amend the ordinances will then be presented to the TC.
Easement of Town Property
The owners of the Hanagan’s auto repair shop adjacent to the railroad tracks on Railroad Street have expressed an interest in helping to keep clean the strip of Town property that runs behind their property and the property next to them. Commissioner Challstrom spoke with Kevin Hanagan about the Town granting them an easement that would allow them to fence the area to keep unauthorized cars and people out of that area. The Town would benefit by keeping the property clean and reduce liability issues at no cost to the Town; the Hanagans would benefit by keeping their property cleaner and by keeping out unauthorized traffic.
The commissioners went on to discuss the leasing of the property behind the Town park in the same area to Rob Herbert for his storage shed. The PC proposed investigating comparable lease arrangements in the area and, if applicable, raising the lease fee when it is renewed to be more in line with other commercial property leases in the area.
McCauley/Washington Grove Lane Turn
The commissioners expressed concern over the TC’s proposed changes to the turn restrictions for the McCauley/Washington Grove Lane turn. The commissioners were surprised that the TC had proposed allowing turns during certain times of the day without the PC’s input or approval. The PC feels that allowing turns at this intersection at any time would increase Town cut-through traffic and speeders by introducing more people to the Town cut-through option. The PC also noted that the turn is dangerous not only for vehicles but also to pedestrians and bicycles using that area. The commissioners discussed ways to make the turn more difficult with physical barriers like a boulder or a barrel to discourage use. Commissioner Clark motioned that the PC not support the TC’s proposal for easing turn restrictions at the McCauley/Washington Grove intersection and would like to make recommendations to make the turn more restrictive and self-enforcing. The motion passed unanimously and will be presented to the TC by Charlie Chalstrom.
HPC Role in Building Permit Applications
The commissioners discussed the current role of the HPC in the building permit process and ways to make the HPC’s role more relevant and speed up permit application approval. It was noted that the Ordinances do not state that the HPC has to review permit applications before they can be approved. Chairman McClelland suggested putting the HPC consultation at the beginning of the process before the application is submitted. This will allow the HPC to make recommendations before the applicant has finalized their plans and provide more opportunity for input and not hold up permit approval. The commissioners decided to ask the HPC how they would suggest getting potential applicants to consult with them earlier in the process.
Chairman McClelland motioned to recommend Joe Clark to a full time position on the PC and Missy Yachup as alternate. The motion was approved unanimously.
Missy Yachup resigned as PC Secretary but will continue in that role until a replacement is found.
Missy Yachup – Secretary
The meeting was adjourned at 9:09 p.m.