13 March 2006 | Approved: 10 April 2006
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:36 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Georgette Cole, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Charlie Challstrom, Peggy Odick, Glen Pierce, Steve Wertz, Ann Briggs, Jack Cayouette, Kathi Kershaw, and two students from the University of Maryland.
Ann Briggs presented the Mayor and Council with information concerning improvements for the Ride-On bus stops along the borders of the Town. Ann reviewed and explained the proposed improvements thoroughly. She also explained that she and Jim Fletcher had already met with Montgomery County and showed their representatives all of the stops in question. These improvements would be a joint effort between the Town and Montgomery County with the Town contributing approx. $1,000.00 to the County funds and the County doing the actual work. There was a discussion about placement, maintenance and parking spaces at the train station. Ann asked for a sense of the Council about spending the $1,000.00. The sense of the Council was that it was a worthwhile expense. Ann will move forward with the project.
Approval of Minutes
David Stopak moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Town Council minutes of February 13, 2006 be approved as amended. Vote: 4-0.
Jim Fletcher’s report began with a discussion about removing the smaller metal sliding board in order to make room for a proposed butterfly garden for Summer In The Parks. After a lengthy discussion, Mayor Compton reminded the Council of the Playground Committee and suggested that this idea needed public comment. The Mayor and Council were presented with an estimate for the repairs of the spiral slide that had been damaged by skateboarders.
David Stopak moved to spend $1,289.08 for the parts to repair the spiral slide. Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 4-0.
Jim asked the Council about the old metal horses that were on springs in Woodward Park. Both have broken from their springs but are great memorabilia. The Mayor suggested that Jim store them and make them available for the next fundraiser/auction.
Jim also reported that the parts for the backflow valve maintenance work were ordered and that the plumber was coming to replace the valves on Wednesday the 15th. These valves should be inspected every year and replace every 5 years.
Darrell Anderson moved, Georgette Cole seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for February be accepted. Vote: 4-0.
David Stopak moved, Georgette Cole seconded a motion to transfer funds. Vote: 4-0.
Speed Bumps in Town
Mayor Compton reviewed the issue. Glen Pierce spoke against speed bumps and asked for more evidence from property owners before doing anything. It seemed to him that the opinion was split. Peggy Odick spoke in favor of speed humps, saying that visibility on lower Ridge Road is terrible. A discussion about the budget, types of speed bumps, and bumps vs. humps ensued. Glen Pierce suggested that Ridge Road would be far less dangerous if they had a walkway for pedestrians. The idea of a raised crosswalk at Oak & Maple was discussed. Mayor Compton suggested that speed bumps be put in next year’s budget but not without a firm plan. He asked for a firm plan to be presented in April.
Ordinance 2005-07; General Revisions
The Mayor and Council reviewed/discussed new definitions for a fence and for an accessory building. There was a lengthy discussion about a common wall, a contiguous wall and a common roof ensued. Mayor Compton asked Darrell to take the new revised definition of Accessory Building back to the Planning Commission for any further revisions.
see Maintenance Report.
Historic Preservation Commission
David Stopak began his report with a discussion about the permitting process. The Clerk clarified that the permit for 102 Ridge Road was not given to the resident until the HPC had completed a review. More discussion…
Mayor Compton asked about the next step for results of the HPC Questionnaire. A discussion about the Town Master Plan ensued. Mayor Compton reviewed the ordinance that created the Historic Preservation Commission. He then asked David Stopak to inquire about when the Commission might start working on the comprehensive review of the Town Ordinances as charged.
Darrell Anderson reported on the following:
- 407 Acorn Lane: The Planning Commission confirmed that there are three (3) violations with this property; the lot coverage is over 40% (41.2%), changes were not recorded by the architect for review before they were made (specifically the basement), the front set back is off by six (6) inches. The Planning Commission suggested “grandfathering” the violations. Discussion…. Mayor Compton suggested that the residents be made to remove the rafters that have over Johnson Alley. More discussion…
Darrell Anderson reported that the Montgomery County Chapter of the MML will hold a dinner with the County Council on Tuesday, March 14, 2006.
Forestry & Beautification
Georgette Cole reported that she attended a two-day Tree Seminar on March 7th & 8th. Georgette brought “Urban Tree Risk Management” CD’s for each Council Member. She reported that the seminar was very helpful.
Georgette also reported that the Forestry Committee met on March 8th, where they discussed the Town draft Urban Forest Management Plan that was compiled by Darrell Anderson and Dan Landry, a Summer In The Parks butterfly garden, and Arbor Day plans.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Recreation Committee will meet on March 22nd.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Hall Needs Committee met on March 6th. They continue to make planned purchases and to get estimates for other proposed work. The goal is to have estimates for expenditures being considered for FY07 by the next meeting.
Betsy Klinger reported that she called the Montgomery County Police Traffic Division to request a speed check on Hickory Rd. during morning rush hour, a check for illegal turns at McCauley & Washington Grove Lane during morning rush hour and a speed check on Chestnut Rd. nearer the north end on Saturday mornings. They placed a speed monitoring device on Chestnut Road near the Woman’s Club on Monday 3/6 and removed it on Friday 3/10. Betsy also reported that she had trouble connecting with Officer Bohrer for any more details. Betsy Klinger reported about the on-going problem of loose dogs, particularly the dogs that live at 303 1st Ave. The dogs run loose on a regular basis and most recently are responsible for killing at least one cat (could be as many as three) and biting a resident. Montgomery County Animal Services has become involved. There are still two dogs that remain in the home. Betsy Klinger reported that there was a need for pedestrian crosswalk signs (the kind that spring back after being hit) along three places on Washington Grove Lane; the Maple Lake crossing, the Towne Crest crossing and the crossing at the First AME Church. She will do more research. Betsy also presented a lengthy Neighborhood Watch Incident Report. The fence at Maple Lake needs to be repaired again. Keith Gillis and Betsy Klinger believe that the fence should be fixed every time it is cut. Betsy will talk to Jim Fletcher about costs in order to come up with good numbers for the budget meeting in April.
- Development Update: Mayor Compton announced that there was nothing new in the phase one submission of the Oxbridge Development at Piedmont Crossing. The condemnation process of the Legacy Open Space field continues and a conference call between the lawyers will occur this week.
- Deer Park Bridge: Mayor Compton reported that the idea of transferring ownership of the bridge to the City of Gaithersburg and the Town of Washington Grove is still out there. No new information from DPWT, however.
- Cator Annexation Update: Mayor Compton reported that a meeting between the Mayor, the Chairman of the Planning Commission, and two real estate agents (Mary Miller & Kathi Kershaw) had occurred. There was discussion about a new flexible residential zone and residential-transition zoning. Mayor Compton noted that any material change in land use would not be allowed for 5 years after annexation. The Mayor will contact the County for clarification.
- Mayor Compton reported that the noise study contract had been signed and that measurements had been taken. He also reported that Lt. Governor Michael Steele would be visiting the Town of Washington Grove on Tuesday, March 14, 2006. The first hour will be in McCathran Hall for discussion with the second hour will include a walking tour of the Town.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:02 a.m.