13 November 2006 | Approved: 11 December 2006
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Georgette Cole, Kathie Evans, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom, John Tomlin, Tom Appleby, Charlie Challstrom, Bruce Rothrock, George Paine, Rico Sturniolo, Sheldon Bierman, and Judy Young.
Pastor Judy Young came to remind people of the Ecumenical Service that will be held at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church on November 22nd at 7:30 PM.
Tom Appleby came to complain about the increased activity in the rear parking lot at the Commercial Corner. Tom’s complaints included, number of cars in the lot on Saturday and Sunday, patrons walking up and down the street talking loudly on cell phones, kids playing in the road, loitering and drinking alcohol by family members waiting in the parking lot, double parking, and the size of the vehicles. Tom would like the Sunday hours to cease altogether and would like all business to take place in the front of the building. He also stated that a commercial zone right next to a residential zone is bad planning. Kathie Evans suggested that a “No Loitering” sign could be posted. Charlie Challstrom suggested that someone review the existing ordinance for the Commercial Corner and get the property owner to comply. Discussion…
Georgette Cole presented plans for a new front walk for the Woman’s Clubhouse. She asked for a sense of the Council. The Council approved of the plan.
Georgette Cole moved, Betsy Klinger seconded the motion allowing the Woman’s Club to re-do the front walk/entrance at the clubhouse. Vote: 5-0.
Approval of Minutes
David Stopak moved, Betsy Klinger seconded that the Town Council minutes of October 16, 2006 be approved as amended. Vote: 5-0.
Darrell Anderson moved, Georgette Cole seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for October be accepted. There was a brief discussion about legal expenses. Vote: 5-0.
Jim Fletcher presented his written Maintenance Report to the Mayor and Council. Kathie Evans complimented Jim and Bruce for the good job clearing the drainage ditch that runs through Woodward Park. Jim asked whether the broken light on Brown Street extended should be replaced, moved, or relocated. Discussion… David Stopak will call Mani Wong (506 Brown St.), the resident who will be most effected.
Appointment of an Alternate for the Board of Zoning Appeals
Kathie Evans moved to approve the nomination of Barbara S. Hawk as the alternate for the Board of Zoning Appeals. Georgette Cole seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Approval of Audit Report
David Stopak moved to approve the Audit Report for FY 2005-2006. Kathie Evans seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Introduction of Charter Resolution No. 2006-05
This resolution proposes to move the date of Town Elections & Town Meeting to the second Saturday in May. Betsy Klinger moved to introduce Resolution No. 2006-05, as written. David Stopak seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0. The Council will take action on this item next month.
Introduction of Charter Resolution No. 2006-06
This resolution proposes to permit duties of the Clerk-Treasurer to be performed by one or more people, thus, bringing the Town Charter in-line with current practices.
Kathie Evans moved to introduce Resolution No. 2006-06. Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
Adoption of Resolution No. 2006-07
This resolution proposes to grant a cable communications franchise to Verizon Maryland, Inc.
David Stopak moved to introduce Resolution No. 2006-07. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0. The public hearing will be on December 11, 2006.
Discussion about Ordinance No. 2006-03
Zoning Text Amendment creating an optional method of development for subdivisions in the residential zone. After a lengthy discussion about aesthetic zoning powers, the power of annexation agreements, the criteria in existing Article XII, and defining the Planning Commission’s authority, Betsy Klinger, Charlie Challstrom and Sheldon Bierman volunteered to re-work the language and re-visit this in December.
Discussion about Ordinance No. 2006-04
Subdivision Ordinance Amendment.
This item was deferred until the December meeting of the Town Council.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Planning Commission will host a Master Plan Work Session on December 6th at 7:00 PM. If a second session is needed, it will be on December 13, 2006. The Commission also discussed the need to correct a possible mistake in Article VII, Section 4.2 regarding joining primary buildings to accessory buildings. Darrell also reported that the Planning Commission has developed text for the ordinance violation letters that will be sent to residents on the violations list. The Planning Commission approved a demolition permit of 2 sheds at 112 Chestnut Avenue.
Intergovernmental – Darrell Anderson reported that the MML meeting scheduled for October 26th was cancelled.
Forestry & Beautification
Georgette Cole reported that the Forestry Committee will meet in late January to discuss strategies for the spring. Georgette also reported that both she and Jim Fletcher are of the opinion that the developed parts of Town need very little addition tree planting right now. Instead, the East and West woods should be considered because of the damage being done by our blossoming deer population. Georgette also reported that she is looking into deer contraception.
Roads & Walkways
Georgette Cole reported that the consensus arrived from the October 23rd public hearing was that traffic calming was greatly needed however, speed humps may not be the method of choice for Washington Grove. A committee of concerned residents is being formed to assess traffic calming measures that might be appropriate for the Town. Georgette also reported that the Town has done all that it can to improve the drainage through Morgan Park, under Railroad Street and under the railroad tracks. Georgette will call Montgomery County for assistance with the situation.
Kathie Evans reported that the trash/recycling pickup is going OK but not perfect. Kathie will try to set up a meeting with the contractor to discuss some recurring glitches. Kathie also reported that the leaf pickup was underway and the contractor was being responsive. One resident was unhappy with the service and has filed a formal complaint with the Mayor.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Recreation Committee will meet on November 29th.
Betsy Klinger reported that the County Department of Public Works and Transportation installed the crosswalk signs along Washington Grove Lane. The Neighborhood Watch report consisted of illegal dumping, aggressive driving, breaking and entering an automobile, and vandalism of a car with spray paint.
see Maintenance Report.
Historic Preservation Commission
David Stopak reported that the Chairman of the HPC continues to work on noise and visual impact issues surrounding the Inter-County Connector. David also reported that at its last meeting, the HPC discussed ways to define the character of buildings, sharing a Code Enforcement Officer, having the house histories on the Town website, and the need for residents to notify their neighbors when they apply for a Town building permit.
- Casey 6 & 7 Properties: The Mayor and Council reviewed a pre-preliminary plan for these two sites. Applicant has applied for approval of the Planning Board.
- Condemnation: Mayor Compton reported that the chief legal counsel for M-NCPPC would oppose the condemnation of the Legacy Open Space field because it is not in the public interest. The Mayor met with new M-NCPPC director Royce Hansen and the motivation behind the opposition is unclear. There was a lengthy discussion about the cost of the condemnation, Town volunteer time, legal maneuvers, outcome of the condemnation, deed language, purchase price, budget outlook, and Town liability. In order to answer questions and clarify the process, it was decided that attorney William Chen should come to an executive session of the Mayor and Council on December 11th.
Betsy Klinger moved to adjourn, Kathie Evans seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 p.m.