10 October 2005 | Approved: 14 November 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, Charlie Challstrom and a reporter from The Gazette Newspaper.
Resident Jim Fletcher asked Mayor Compton about the Legacy Open Space purchase. Mayor Compton explained that there had been no response from the property owner(s) and that some meetings were being arranged.
Approval of Minutes
David Stopak moved, Tom Land seconded, that the Town Council minutes of September 12, 2005 be approved as amended. Vote: 6-0.
David Stopak moved, Tom Land seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for September be accepted. Vote: 6-0.
Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher reported that he had marked the cracks in the road that needed to be sealed. Mayor Compton clarified that the purpose of the sealing the cracks was to enable the Town to put off larger repairs for five years or so. A discussion about the pro’s and con’s of this process ensued. Jim Fletcher will re-mark the larger cracks.
- Tom Land made a motion to spend up to $5,000.00 on sealing the cracks in the road, Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
- Jim Fletcher also reported there appeared to be a misunderstanding about the removal of a tree on Quantum Place. Georgette Cole helped with the explanation. The bottom line is that we will use the tree service picked by Mr. Richter (Myers & Law Tree Service) and we will split the cost of dropping the tree back in the West Woods. The Town’s obligation will be $1,000.00.
- Jim has finished making the upper part of the windows in McCathran Hall stationary and weather-stripping is approximately half finished.
- Mayor Compton asked Jim to anticipate any drainage issues, particularly on Brown Street and in Woodward Park. Discussion… There were questions about S&J Enterprises and the WSSC work on Brown Street. Jim Fletcher suggested that a walk-through be done with Larry Burgess and him. Jim will call about this.
Discussion/Introduction of Charter Amendment
An amendment to Section 68; Condemnation of the Town Charter was introduced at the September meeting of the Town Council. There was some discussion about the advertising requirements set forth in the Town Charter. The Clerk will get the information to the Gazette Newspaper asap.
- Revised Charitable, Religious & Educational uses within a Residential Zone – Mayor Compton reviewed this topic. After a lengthy discussion about Marc Hansen’s written comments and the Town attorney’s informal comments to the Mayor, Tom Land moved to continue public consideration on this issue and to hold the record open until the next meeting of the Town Council. Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
- Discussion & Introduction of Municipal Infractions Ordinance – Darrell Anderson presented the Planning Commission’s comments regarding a grace period and grandfathering of properties in violation. A discussion about hardship exceptions, equality in enforcement and consistency ensued. The Mayor and Council decided to come up with 3 ordinance options to present at a public hearing. The date for the public hearing will be determined at the next meeting of the Town Council.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Recreation Committee met on September 28th. They will sponsor Music Together classes for toddlers on Tuesday mornings, the Thanksgiving weekend Art Show, a holiday concert on December 10th, a New Years Eve Party, and a St. Patrick’s Day dance event.
Betsy Klinger reported one incident; attempted theft of a motorcycle from a shed in the 200 block of Grove Avenue. Betsy asked the Clerk to include information about the new Montgomery County leash law in the next Bulletin.
See Maintenance Report Historic Preservation Commission – David Stopak reported that 3 projects were going on along Chestnut Avenue at 115 (demolition & replacement with a pre-fabricated home), 121 (new front porch), and 125 (seeking advice). David reported that there were also discussions about a renovation at 315 Grove Avenue (a large portion of this home is on Town property) and an addition at 407 Acorn Lane.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Planning Commission approved permits for the following properties;
- 103 Grove Avenue – Fence
- 110 Grove Avenue – move castle (play house)
- 121 Chestnut Avenue – Front Porch
- 350 Ridge Road – Fence
Darrell presented the PC’s suggestions for the Municipal Infractions Ordinance including recommendations for a Grace Period and Grandfathered Properties. Darrell also reported that the ownership of Johnson Alley, with regard to the 407 Acorn Lane addition, has not yet been determined.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League met on September 15th where they listened to presentations by County Police Gang Task Force and Social Services. A revision to the Montgomery County legislation on "Mansionization" was also discussed.
Tom Land reported that revisions to the snow removal contract as far as sand vs. salt are being considered. Waste Management’s new policy concerning separate bulk pick-ups for metal and for other materials was clarified and will be implemented in the spring. Maple Lake – Tom Land reported that the Lake clean-up on October 1st went very well. Jim Fletcher and Bruce Rothrock did a huge clearing of the bank near the bridge. Approximately 10 people collected trash, straightened the shed, smoothed the sand on the beach, cut vines, cleared more banks, and filled culverts. The Lake is ready for next season! Another meeting will be held on October 20, 2005 to discuss swim lessons and Summer In The Parks scheduling, in order to accommodate both kids and adults.
Linda Baim reported that Jim Fletcher is still waiting for a good day to paint the lines on the basketball court.
Roads & Walkways
Georgette Cole reported that the clean-up by WSSC contractor S & J Enterprises is still not completely finished. It should be done by the next Council meeting. Georgette also reported that the linear feet involved in the crack sealing project will be determined by the next Council meeting and, at that time, a contractor will be chosen.
Georgette Cole reported that the tree purchase for the Washington Grove Lane reforestation project is completed. Trees will be planted by Stadlers Nursery on October 18, 2005. Letters about watering & care of the new plantings have been sent out to those residents involved in the project. The trees near 111 Chestnut Ave., 122 Chestnut Ave., 410 Acorn Lane, and another large limb from a tree on Acorn Lane have all been taken care of. We are still waiting for word from Mr. Richter on Quantum Place about a dangerous tree over-hanging his house.
- Casey Field – Mayor Compton reported that the site plan for the development now known as Piedmont Crossing is scheduled for development review at the Planning Board on October 24, 2005. There are still potential problems with grading, water run-off, height of the proposed homes and damage to the wetlands. There has been no formal response from the property owners concerning the purchase of the Legacy Open Space field.
- At 10:45 p.m. Mayor Compton closed the meeting to the public and went into Executive Session. During the Executive Session, the purchase/annexation of the Legacy Open Space field was discussed. David Stopak moved to authorize the Mayor to proceed with legal action concerning this issue. Tom Land seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
- It was moved and seconded to end the Executive Session at 11:02 p.m. Vote: 6-0.
Cator Property – Mayor Compton reported that he and Planning Commission John McClelland will schedule a meeting with the property owner’s attorney to determine the type of development that would be allowed on this property if it were annexed into the Town of Washington Grove.
Deer Park Bridge – Mayor Compton received a letter from Art Holmes at the Department of Public Works and Transportation asking about the status of a proposed meeting with CSX Railroad, representatives from Gaithersburg, representatives from Deer Park and from Washington Grove. DPWT has yet to make available the information requested concerning the cost of repairing vs. replacing the bridge.
Darrell Anderson moved, Linda Baim seconded the motion to adjourn. Vote: 6-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:18 p.m.