10 September 2012 | Approved: 8 October 2012
Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom and residents Darrell Anderson, Marilynn Frey, Laura Kennett, Terry Kennett, Jenny Long, Marty Long, Carolyn Rapkievian and John Tomlin.
Approval of Agenda
Bill Robertson moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the agenda be approved. Vote: 5-0.
Mayor Cole welcomed Laura and Terry Kennett to the meeting. She explained to the Council that the Kennett’s (123 Washington Grove Lane) wished to put in a driveway on the front side of their home. Laura read her letter to the Mayor and Council. Mayor Cole apologized to the Kennett’s for the confusion and for the lack information on resident use of Town land on the Town website. She will ask for clarification from the Planning Commission and try to get the website information straightened out. Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom stated that the plans for a driveway at 123 Washington Grove Lane needed to be evaluated by the Planning Commission and approved by the Town Council because of a State requirement (Annotated Code of Maryland, Art. 66B, Sec. 3.08). He stated that their project was on Town property and that it was inconsistent with the 2009 Master Plan Parking Policy. Laura Kennett explained that they had no idea, based on her research, that they were in violation of anything and that they were simply trying to provide better parking for their vehicles and a better view for the neighbors. She also noted that her mother can no longer navigate the steps on the back side (Hickory Road) of their home and their proposal would solve that problem as well. The Kennett’s were asked to present their plans to the Planning Commission at their October 3rd meeting. The Commission will make recommendations to the Mayor and Town Council for a decision at their October 8th meeting.
Carolyn Rapkievian, chair of the Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee reported that Tom Land had started making phone calls to those residents who requested streetlight shields back in March. He is confirming if they do or do not want them now that the lower wattage bulbs are installed. Many still want them and some would like to wait until the leaves come down and evaluate it then. She presented a Draft Street Light Change Request Form for the Council to review. Carolyn also stated that the committee hopes to take some night field trips to view lighting in other jurisdictions. Mary Challstrom asked about cost information for the shields. The Clerk offered to call PEPCO and ask about these costs.
Darrell Anderson came to ask for support of an anti-fracking resolution. He explained that although fracking is an old process for harvesting natural gas and has been around for a long time, it is now being done with more intensity closer to more densely populated areas and is impacting the communities and, potentially, the water supply. Delegate Shane Robinson is trying to get all of the municipalities in Maryland to adopt a resolution which will ban fracking in the entire State. Darrell asked the Council to consider approval of the draft resolution that they received in their Council packets on Friday. A discussion ensued. Darrell will ask Shane Robinson to come and talk about this problem either in October or November.
Approval of Minutes
David Young moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Town Council minutes for August 13, 2012 be approved. Joli McCathran suggested one minor change.
Vote: 5-0, as amended.
- Bill Robertson moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for August 2012 be accepted. Treasurer Mary Challstrom fielded a few questions about the FEMA reimbursement for the June 29th storm. Vote: 5-0.
- Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded the motion to transfer $10,000 from savings to checking in order to pay bills. Vote: 5-0.
- Treasurers Report 2012-09 pdf
Washington Grove Meadow Conservation Park Operation and Use Plan
Brenda Sandberg from M-NCPPC called earlier in the week to cancel this presentation. She hopes to come to the October meeting of the Town Council.
Resolution to adopt Planning Commission Evaluation of Towne Crest July 31, 2012 proposal
Audrey Maskery moved to introduce, adopt and make effective Resolution No. 2012; Resolution Regarding Proposed Redevelopment of the Towne Crest Apartments. Greg Silber seconded the motion. A few minor changes in wording were made. Vote: 5-0, as amended. Mayor Cole reminded the Council about the hearing with the Planning Board on the 13th and urged everyone to attend and bring a neighbor.
- Joli McCathran moved, Greg Silber seconded that the Council Reports for August 2012 be approved for posting on the Town website. Bill Robertson reminded the Council to use both first and last names when referring to residents in their reports. Vote: 5-0.
- There was a brief discussion about the new Montgomery County Subdivision Staging Policy. Charlie Challstrom gave the Council an overview. Mayor Cole will give the information to attorney David Brown.
- Town Council Reports – September 2012 pdf
- Deer Park Bridge Update – Nothing new to report.
- MARC Update – Mayor Cole noted the receipt of a second letter from Mr. Wells at the State Department of Transportation. A discussion ensued. The scheduling change has caused some Town residents to have to drive their cars to the Gaithersburg Station in order to catch the train at the time they did before the change. A review of the schedule changes will be done by DOT in September.
- Audrey Maskery reported that Pepco recently pruned trees in front of 301 Washington Grove Lane, at Oak St. & Washington Grove Lane and at The Circle. She believes that the tree in front of 301 W.G. Lane is now completely imbalanced as a result of their actions. The residents have written Pepco and asked for the removal of the tree fearing that it will fall on their home.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.