13 November 2000 | Approved: 11 December 2000
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, and Allen Winter. Town residents Charlie Challstrom, George Paine, and Carol Uhlendorf also were present.
Maryland Municipal League (MML) Council liaison Carol Uhlendorf reported on the MML Annual Convention at Ocean City in June. Workshop topics included “Effectively Using Your Municipal Attorney” and “Municipal Budgeting.” Carol suggested that the Town take orders for the new book on Maryland municipalities, Maryland’s 157. Books will cost $25 each and come in cases of 12. Carol also reported on legislative priorities adopted by MML at the October Legislative Conference. Priorities for this year include: reinstatement of tort liability caps on awards against local governments; State funding of infrastructure improvements in smart growth areas; and authority for municipal governments to bill owners of newly annexed property for a portion of the year for property taxes when municipal annexations become effective after July 1st. Carol announced that the MML Montgomery Chapter Holiday Party will be December 5, and the MML Legislative Dinner will be January 4 in Gaithersburg.
George Paine, chairman of the Historic Preservation (HiP) Study Group, announced the resignation of Kathleen McCann. George lauded the Preservation Services Day and said that the next HiP meeting will be Monday, November 27. The Study Group plans to meet several times a month. Discussion topics have included tax credit qualifications and demolition practices. George noted that the County Department of Environmental Protection has strict requirements for practice burns with regard to asbestos and lead paint.
Approval of Minutes
Paris Pacchione moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Town Council minutes of October 9, 2000 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
The Treasurer’s report for October was accepted by consensus. Nick Suzich moved, Dave Gumula seconded, that the Treasurer be authorized to transfer funds, if necessary, to pay bills in November. Vote: 5-0.
Mayor Compton announced the following:
- Shady Grove Metro Station Area Design Charrette. Mayor attended several sessions of the charrette. Copies of the closing presentation are available at Town Office. Plans call for developing a mixed use transit-oriented center with improved pedestrian and bicycle access; current industrial and service uses would be replaced by a mix of office/retail/tech space and residential units of diverse types.
- Truck Traffic on Washington Grove Lane. Mayor met with Gaithersburg City Manager Dave Humpton. Gaithersburg declined to help designate a truck route to remove through trucks from Washington Grove Lane via Girard, but did agree to help the Grove ask for signs directing trucks away from Washington Grove Lane. One sign at Oakmont Avenue and Shady Grove Road intersection directing trucks to Mid-County, and one sign at Mid-County and Washington Grove Lane directing trucks away from Washington Grove Lane. Mayor asked the Planning Commission to review and recommend action regarding the request from Don Gallagher to have the speed hump in front of his house at 125 Washington Grove Lane removed. Montgomery County has agreed to either remove or re-engineer the speed hump.
- Commercial Corner parking lot lighting improvements have begun.
- Brown Street Sand Filter. County stormwater inspectors have required Ward Corporation to replace all sand in the filter and to extend and perforate overflow pipe to limit the depth of standing water during a heavy rain.
Allen Winter moved, Paris Pacchione seconded, acceptance of the Audit Report for the year ending June 30, 2000, prepared by Lindsey & Salita. Vote: 5-0.
Paris Pacchione reported that Britt Garoni will work limited hours this winter on projects that the Council identified at its work session. Jim Fletcher is making sample street name signs and will work to expand the enclosures on the slide and swings soon. A list of maintenance items completed during October was distributed.
Paris Pacchione reported that he is trying to get crime statistics for Washington Grove from the Montgomery County police. It was suggested that the Town consider developing emergency response procedures. The Mayor asked to have signs made that will better direct emergency vehicles to Ed Roberts’ hard-to-find house at 6 Circle. Paris said that he would speak again to County traffic engineer Dave Loughery about repainting the Railroad Street crosswalk, a hold back line on Grove Road at Railroad Street, Railroad Street speed limit sign, and a “Do Not Block Intersection” sign at Railroad Street and Chestnut Road.
Allen Winter reported that a subdivision plat prepared for the DeIuliis property, lots 3 and 4 in Washington Grove Hills, was approved by the Planning Commission, creating three additional building lots. A Forest Conservation Plan for the subdivision was also submitted and approved. Allen reported that the Commission discussed a renovation plan for the Styles house at 301 First Avenue. A proposed addition will greatly increase the height and bulk of the house and Commissioner John McClelland expressed concern about the impact of such an addition on the historic character of the neighborhood. Mayor Compton gave Allen Winter a copy of the legislation Garrett Park adopted permitting covered front porches to extend into the front setback.
Darrell Anderson announced that a contract has been signed for refurbishing the Hall windows and work has begun. Mayor Compton asked if steps have been taken to remedy the electrical problem in the lower Hall.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Forestry Committee plans to begin the tree inventory after Thanksgiving and that Stadler Nursery will plant nine trees in the next few days. Carol Uhlendorf said that Carolyn Swift and the Children’s Service Club of Washington Grove would plant daffodil bulbs at Railroad Park this Saturday. The search for a Town Arborist continues.
Roads and Walkways
Dave Gumula reported that he and Paris Pacchione would identify locations for possible speed humps on Maple, Grove, and Chestnut Roads.
Nick Suzich reported that the playground workday had been very successful. He said that enclosures for both the large slide and the swing set should be expanded. Additional approvals required for the Program Open Space project will likely delay installation of new playground equipment until early spring. Some residents have expressed opposition to funds being spent on new tennis court fencing.
A proposal to include personal ads in the Town Bulletin was discussed. The Council agreed that including personal ads would greatly increase the size of the Bulletin and the amount of work required.
Mary Challstrom reported that Jim Fletcher inventoried the Town’s stormwater pipes and storm drainage systems. Montgomery County is conducting interviews with County municipalities to evaluate accepting maintenance responsibility for municipal stormwater facilities.
Paris Pacchione suggested that signboards be designed and installed at strategic Town locations for the posting of public event notices.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:56 p.m.