14 November 2005 | Approved: 12 December 2005
Mayor Compton called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Linda Baim, Georgette Cole, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Missy Yachup, Ralph Hurst, Bruce Rothrock, Jon Cohen, Devon Cohen, Keith Gillis, Leigh Partington, John Hutchinson, Patricia Deely, Patrick Deely, David Neumann, Susan Van Nostrand, George Paine, and a reporter from The Gazette Newspaper.
- Ralph Hurst came to ask the Mayor and Council for an extension of the closing hours for McCathran Hall on New Years Eve for a Town-sponsored party. Discussion… The closing time for that night will be extended to 1:30 AM.
- Recreation Committee co-chair Missy Yachup came to the Mayor and Council with the idea of purchasing a portable ice skating rink to be installed in Woodward Park for the winter months. A discussion about money, liners, placement and consecutive days of freezing weather ensued. The Mayor and Council recommended doing more research concerning this type of rink on our area, putting the proposal in writing and coming back to the December meeting.
Approval of Minutes
Darrell Anderson moved, Linda Baim seconded, that the Town Council minutes of October 10, 2005 be approved as amended. Vote: 6-0.
Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher presented a report to the Mayor and Council and asked for questions or comments. David Stopak asked about the 4 trees that will soon need attention. The Mayor asked for a priority list. A discussion about tree removal ensued. There are two trees that should come down immediately; 1 in Chapel Park and 1 in Zoe Wadsworth Park.
Darrell Anderson moved, Linda Baim seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for October be accepted. Treasurer Mary Challstrom presented a memo concerning anticipated overspent budget categories, anticipated unbudgeted projects and possible sources of uncommitted funds. A discussion ensued. Vote: 6-0.
Mayor Compton asked that the discussion be limited to the Town attorney’s research concerning ownership of Johnson Alley and not include permits issued to 407 Acorn Lane. The Mayor also stated that he received a memo from Town Attorney Bill Roberts stating that none of the documents that he has reviewed prove private ownership of Johnson Alley. Mayor Compton, Planning Commission Chair John McClelland and Bill Roberts are in agreement that the burden of proof should be on the resident. Town funds for this research will
be limited to obtaining the grantor index from the Montgomery County Land Records. A group of Town volunteers will form to go through the list, determine what records the Town Archives already has, and determine what records we need to obtain from the County. Discussion…
Mayor Compton suggested that concerns about proper notification should be remanded to the Planning Commission. Darrell Anderson moved to authorize money to obtain the grantor index and other copies as needed in order to create a Town archive of Town property transferred to private parties from 1937 to the present and to form a committee to review the information.
Linda Baim seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Election of Mayor Pro-Tem
Tom Land moved, Georgette Cole seconded that Darrell Anderson continue as Mayor Pro-Tem for FY 05-06. Vote: 6-0.
Dogs At Large
Betsy Klinger reported that 2 pairs of dogs have been seen running loose on many occasions and that both were responsible for 2 recent serious incidents. One incident resulted in the death of an 18 year old pet cat and the other resulted in the injury of an elderly woman who fell when frightened. In his absence, Devon Cohen read a statement written by Ralph Hurst, owner of the deceased cat. Mayor Compton asked the Clerk to put the blurb about the new County legislation in the Bulletin again. Resident Peggy Odick offered to call her contact at Animal Control to find out the results of phone calls concerning these dogs.
Tom Land reported that leaf pickup by U.S. Lawns has begun. The snow removal contract has been amended and is ready for signatures. Trash, recycling, and yard waste collection continues to be inconsistent. Waste Management has promised a regular crew in the near future.
Maple Lake – Tom Land reported that the Committee met with our swim instructor and the organizers of Summer In The Parks. Together they developed several physical solutions so kids and adults could share Maple Lake during July’s afternoon swim lessons. The proposed changes will include a sandy area on the far side of the island so adults can enter an "adult swim" area to be demarcated by a buoyed rope from the dock to the island during swim lessons. The Lake Committee also discussed anticipated spring activities and helped interested residents in pursuing the construction of a flooded skating area in Woodward Park. The Recreation Committee and Jim Fletcher have offered to help with this project.
See Maintenance Report
Historic Preservation Commission – David Stopak reported that Carolyn Sanford (115 Chestnut Ave.) brought more complete plans for the demolition of her current home and its replacement with a factory constructed, modular home. The plan does not comply with setback requirements and she will have to apply for a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing. The HPC had a frank discussion with the applicant about options for preserving the old house. The HPC also discussed the renovation of 15 The Circle with the owner, George Paine. David also reported that the HPC continues to review its rules of procedure and discuss the effectiveness of the Commission, given issues that have recently arisen. David reported that the HPC would like the questionnaire to run in the November Bulletin. To date, 49 responses have been received.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Planning Commission approved permits for the following properties;
- 414 Brown Street – Fence (approval contingent upon receipt of valid house location survey)
- 301 Washington Grove Lane – Raise garage roof
Darrell also reported that an update of 407 Acorn Lane was discussed and the Commission unanimously denied a permit application to construct a breezeway connecting a garage to the main house and converting the garage to living space at 205 Grove Avenue. The Commission provided another definition (Accessory Building) to add to Zoning Text Amendment 2005-07. They also discussed the idea of requiring a boundary survey on all properties that undergo a major renovation/addition (e.g., work over 20K, perhaps).
Darrell Anderson reported that the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League will hold its annual dinner at the Golden Bull on November 30, 2005.
Linda Baim reported that Jim Fletcher and Bruce Rothrock completed the task of painting the lines on the basketball court. Linda also reported that Steve Wertz volunteered to help with the replacement of a big pole on the large backstop in Woodward Park and that a group of avid ice skaters is working on building a temporary ice rink in Woodward Park (see #2 Public Appearances).
Linda Baim reported that Bill Saar continues to update the website and hopes to complete the project in January 2006.
Roads & Walkways
Georgette Cole reported that she notified Larry Burgess at WSSC that the Brown Street water main replacement has been completed to our satisfaction. She also reported that the crack sealing project will be less expensive if the Town uses A.B. Veirs rather than Teniseal Corporation. Georgette also reported that the estimate from A.B. Veirs for repaving Ridge Road in its entirety would be $59,273 + $450.00 for layout and re-stripe the speed bumps. This does not include any repair of base paving.
Georgette Cole reported that the Washington Grove Lane reforestation project was completed on November 4, 2005. A dedication ceremony will be planned for Arbor Day 2006. Georgette also reported that the dangerous tree at 11 Quantum Place was still there and that she was having difficulty getting in touch with Mr. Richter. She did contact Mr. Laws at Myers and Laws Tree Service and discovered that he was having trouble contacting Mr. Richter as well.
Betsy Klinger reported that the next Recreation Committee meeting was scheduled for November 16, 2005.
Betsy Klinger reported several incidents;
Oct. 1, dogs off leash in 300 block of 1st Ave. caused a woman to fall (see "Dogs At Large"); Oct. 18, police called to investigate a man sitting in a car for 2 hours near Grove & Brown; Oct. 19, cat in 400 block of Chestnut Ave. killed by dogs from 100 block of McCauley (see "Dogs At Large"); Oct. 24, police were called in response to a drunk man that damaged a screen door in the 300 block of Ridge Road; Nov. 4, police were called when three boys broke in to the Woman’s Club (boys were picked up).
The McCathran Hall Needs Committee met on October 26th and will meet
again on November 30th. The Committee is making progress with the list of identified projects that need to be completed on the Town Hall.
Charitable, Religious & Educational uses within Residential Zones Ordinance:
Mayor Compton explained the changes. Discussion… Tom Land moved to amend and adopt as amended Ordinance No. 2005-05. Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Municipal Infractions Ordinance:
David Stopak moved to introduce Ordinance No. 2005-08, Municipal Infractions. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0. The date for the public hearing was set for December 5, 2005.
Darrell Anderson moved to introduce Zoning Text Amendment No. 2005-07, General Revisions to the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance. David Stopak seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0. The date for the public hearing was set for December 5, 2005.
Closed Session for Personel Matters: 11:22 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
- Casey Field: Mayor Compton reported that Town comments went to the Development Review Committee for their meeting on October 10, 2005. He also reported that there has been no communication with the property owners. A meeting is scheduled with the staff at Park & Planning on Friday, November 18, 2005.
- Shady Grove Master Plan: Mayor Compton reported that the Shady Grove Master Plan is currently in front of the Montgomery County Council.
- Cator Property: A formal proposal was received by the Mayor. Mayor Compton will discuss this with Planning Commission Chairman John McClelland.
- Deer Park Bridge: Mayor Compton had nothing new to report.
Mayor Compton brought up the subject of the Town Bulletin. Who writes what and how does it
get in? Discussion… The Mayor suggested that all Bulletin blurbs should be published "as is" with the writers name at the bottom. There was a discussion about the deadline for getting the information to the Clerk. The Mayor and Council would like to try a fixed date of the 12th of the month for all Bulletin items. The Clerk will notify all groups of the change and publish it in the Bulletin.
Darrell Anderson moved, Tom Land seconded the motion to adjourn. Vote: 6-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:03 p.m.