10 April 2000 | Approved: 8 May 2000
Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 8:40 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Paris Pacchione, Nick Suzich, Dodie Tippens, Carol Uhlendorf and Allen Winter. Also present: Town residents: Charlie Challstrom, Jim Leng; Washington Grove Hills residents: Tony and Connie DeIuliis, Karen Lottes, Mike Voigt; Jon Burrell, Executive Director of the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) and Linda Burrell; Robert Clark, Sales Manager, You Call-We Haul.
Jon Burrell from LGIT presented Dodie Tippens with the Town’s Safety Grant award of $1,500. The grant will be used to defray the cost of dredging a diving well at Maple Lake to increase safety for divers.
Approval of Minutes
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Town Council minutes of March 13, 2000 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. Vote: 5-0. Paris Pacchione moved, Carol Uhlendorf seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds to pay bills in April. Vote: 5-0.
Budget Work Session
The Council scheduled a budget work session for Wednesday, April 26.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- Congratulated Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Carol Uhlendorf, and Forestry Committee volunteers on a well-planned and executed Arbor Day tree planting celebration.
- Gaithersburg Community Development Corporation (CDC) members met with Town representatives to discuss development plans for the East Diamond corridor connecting Washington Grove with Olde Towne Gaithersburg. Suggestions include:
- a letter from the Town to Gaithersburg officials opposing the self-storage use planned for Williams Feed property,
- a Town liaison to the CDC to participate in discussions about East Diamond corridor development, and
- include a vision statement in the revised Town Master Plan about the East Diamond corridor.
- Montgomery Preservation, Inc. has requested that the Town support a County Heritage Tourism Initiative. Karen Lottes, 307 Ridge Road, strongly urged the Town to support this initiative. She said that this funding could be critical to preservation of historic structures in Montgomery County. The Town Council agreed to send a letter of support.
- Town has entered into discussions with David Shepard, owner of Prime Choice Caterers, and representatives of commercial corner property owner Atlantis Associates. The discussion centers on a binding agreement for renovation of the commercial corner and continuation of The Prime Choice Caterers as a permitted business at the commercial corner. The property owner is preparing detailed plans and a renovation schedule for Town review.
Allen Winter moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, to confirm the appointment of Ralph Hurst to the Washington Grove Board of Zoning Appeals. Ralph will complete the term of Peggy Odick which ends in July of this year. Vote: 5-0.
Local Map Amendment to Rezone WSSC Property
The Council agreed to take no action on Ordinance No. 2000-02 adopting a local map amendment with conditions to rezone the WSSC parcel on Ridge Road from RR-3 to RR-1C. The public record will be held open until May 8.
Zoning Text Amendment to Add Low Density RR-4 Residential Zone
Allen Winter moved, Paris Pacchione seconded, enactment of 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. The ordinance establishes a width of 15 feet at street line and a width of 85 feet at building line for the RR-4 zone. Vote: 5-0.
Annexation of Washington Grove Hills Proposed
Allen Winter moved, Paris Pacchione seconded, introduction of Resolution No. 2000-06 authorizing the annexation of approximately 13.55 acres of land including Washington Grove Hills subdivision lots 1 through 9, Parcel 238, Parcel 303, and Ridge Road right of way extending approximately 1,444 feet from its end at Bounding Bend Court to Washington Grove Corporate Limits. Consent to the annexation has been received from seven of the ten property owners. The Town Council scheduled a public hearing on the annexation resolution for Tuesday, May 30, at 7:30 p.m. Vote: 5-0.
RR-4 Zoning Proposed for Washington Grove Hills Annexation
Carol Uhlendorf moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, introduction of Ordinance No. 2000-07 establishing the zoning for the land to be annexed by Resolution No. 2000-06. The land is proposed to be classified as being within the Town’s RR-4 zone (18,000 square feet minimum lot size). The proposed zoning could permit subdivision of a 1-acre lot into two residential parcels while allowing land required to be set aside for forest conservation to be on public property. Vote: 5-0.
Bid Opening – Refuse and Recycling Proposals
The bids were tabulated as follows:
|B & B Refuse, Inc.
|BFI Waste Systems
|Contractors Disposal Service
|Montgomery County Sanitation
|You Call – We Haul, Inc.
B & B, BFI, and CDS were dropped from consideration because of high bids. The wisdom of awarding contracts to different bidders for refuse and recycling was discussed. Though this could result in some cost savings, managing separate contracts could be time consuming. Contract Administrator Nick Suzich will check references for the three lowest bidders and the Council will make an award in May.
Mayor Compton asked the Commission to move ahead with designing a driveway permit process to give the Town authority over new driveways onto Ridge Road. The Mayor also asked the Commission to continue investigating a way to provide relief from front setback requirements for those who would like to add a covered front porch. Garrett Park has enacted legislation to permit covered front porches to extend into the setback.
Recently, a vehicle had to be extracted from the culvert next to McCathran Hall at the intersection of Center Street and Chestnut Road. Paris Pacchione suggested that the Town look at putting low posts with reflectors in the culvert to make it more noticeable.
Roads and Walkways
Paris Pacchione reported that gravel alone will not solve the poor drainage along the portion of Oak Street leading to the tennis court parking lot and Woodward Park playfields. The road needs to be scraped and graded. Also, the Town needs to find a source for reflective visible street signs.
Paris Pacchione reported that Jim Fletcher drilled holes for the Arbor Day white oaks, picked up the Arbor Day trees and barley bales for the lake, cut and fertilized Railroad Park, fixed the outflow valve at Maple Lake, made directional signs for McCathran Hall and removed a tree in the west woods at the request of the Lake Committee. It was suggested that Jim ask PEPCO when they intend to remove the smaller poles made surplus when larger poles were installed to accommodate Starpower.
Carol Uhlendorf reported that gypsy moth spraying would occur around the first of May. Concern was expressed about the number of tent caterpillars. Folks will be asked to water any new Arbor Day white oaks near their property. Paris Pacchione will speak to Jim about a white oak that was planted very near the asphalt tennis court. Carol said that she and Jim Fletcher would look into buying trees to use remaining funds budgeted for reforestation.
Dodie Tippens reported that barley bales for the lake have been located for $4.75 each. Sand will be delivered to the lake parking lot and moved into the lake enclosure with a front-end loader. Lake Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 29.
Nick Suzich moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that Carol Uhlendorf be given the title Town Council Liaison to the Maryland Municipal League so that she may continue to use her valuable experience to represent Washington Grove in the MML. Vote: 4-0.
Town Hall Improvements
Mayor Compton reported that Jim Fletcher has devised a solution to revive the Hall pathway lights that will use the current wiring but will make the fixtures less subject to vandalism. Allen Winter proposes to replace the gravel shoulders along the Hall paths with sod. The request for proposals for refurbishing the hall windows will be ready to go out soon.
Nick Suzich reported that he and Jim Fletcher met with Kevin McLaren of U.S. Lawns to discuss the condition of the turf on the Woodward Park playing fields. Kevin prepared a proposal that includes weed killer, fertilization, aerating and seeding. The Council discussed the level of quality necessary for Town playfields. Carol Uhlendorf recommended that the Town use a slow release fertilizer. Turf improvement will be discussed in greater detail for next year’s budget. Nick said that he would prepare the application for Open Space funding for playground equipment due in June. New fencing for the asphalt tennis court will be moved into next year’s budget and will include funds for a gate wide enough for the tractor.
Dodie Tippens reported that a Hawk Talk will be given on April 16 and Critton Hollow will perform at the gazebo on Saturday, June 17 during Music Weekend.
Use of Town Funds to Purchase Wine/Beer for Town Events
Paris Pacchione moved, Carol Uhlendorf seconded, that Town funds may be used to purchase wine/beer for Town events. Town Attorney Bill Roberts reported that using Town funds for this purpose does not increase the Town’s liability. Vote: 5-0.
Mary Challstrom reported that there has been little interest expressed in the McCathran Hall Scheduler position.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 p.m.