301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, December 14, 2015; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the November meeting included:

  • Introduction of Ordinance 2015-06; Ordinance adopting amendments to Article VII, Section 3.327-Fences and Section 4.2-Definitions.
  • Introduction of Ordinance 2015-07; Ordinance adopting amendments to Article II, Section 7-Smoking in Public Buildings and Venues- and Section 8-Conflict with Other Laws.
  • Introduction of Resolution 2015-08; Regulations for the Rental of McCathran Hall.


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, December 14, 2015, 7:30 PM, in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave. Washington Grove, Maryland. The purpose of this meeting is to take public comment regarding the proposed Zoning Text Amendment No. 2015-06; Ordinance Adopting Amendments to the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance Article VII, Section 3.327 – Fences – Adding a Component to the Height Restrictions Thus Allowing Six (6) Foot Fences in a Specific Area of Block 11 Facing Land Owned by the Town of Washington Grove and Section 4.2 – Definitions – Adding a Definition of a Bay/Bow Window.   A copy of the proposed amendment is available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, Maryland 20880 (301-926-2256) and on the Town website (www.washingtongrovemd.org).


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, December 14, 2015, immediately following the hearing for ZTA 2015-6. The purpose of this meeting is to take public comment regarding the proposed Ordinance 2015-07; Ordinance Adopting Amendments to Article II, Section 7–Smoking in Public Buildings and Venues and Section 8 – Conflict with Other Laws. A copy of the proposed amendment is available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, Maryland 20880 (301-926-2256) or at www.washingtongrovemd.org

From the Mayor…

Big Trees

On behalf of the Town, I was pleased to accept three champion tree awards from the Montgomery County Forestry Board. Awards were given for the English yew, Taxus baccata, 96 points, in Knott Park; the Virginia pine, Pinus virginiana, 149 points (and also a state champion tree) in the playground in Woodward Park; and the swamp white oak Quercus bicolor, located at N39.14065 W77.17164, in the East Woods. The oak tree totals 259 points. The awards were presented by Casey Anderson, Chair, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Change in January TC Meeting Start Time

The January meeting of the Town Council is scheduled for January 11, 2016, and will begin at 6:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall. This time change is to allow our Town attorney to inform the Town Council of the Comcast agreement which must be in a Town Ordinance format. This meeting is open to the public.

Montgomery Municipal Cable

The Montgomery Municipal Cable (MMC) television channel is seeking volunteers for filming of activities in Town. The staff at the channel will process and edit tapings. Former Mayor, Carol Uhlendorf, was a founding member of this corporation. The purpose of the non-profit organization is to facilitate communications between municipal governments and the public. If anyone is interested in serving in this capacity, please contact me.

Snow Removal

Again this winter, snow removal will be performed by our Town Maintenance Staff. We do have a backup contract in case the service cannot be done by our crew.

[email protected]

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., December 2, 2015; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the revised procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process. The procedures are available from the Town Clerk or from the Town’s website. In addition, the house files in the Town Hall, another resource when planning home modifications, may have some helpful information on your property. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help you with your project.

Permits up for discussion on Dec. 2, 2015:

  • WSSC Public Ways & Property Permit

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, December 15, 2015; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

Storm Windows cont’d…

Storm windows are often presented as options for weatherizing original windows. Will installing those really help control my energy loss?

Adding either interior or exterior storm windows will improve both the energy efficiency of your windows and the comfort level of your home’s occupants.

Interior Storm Windows

There are a number of interior storm window systems available. Most have aluminum frames with glass or Plexiglas glazing. The unit is often attached to the inside of the window opening with a system of magnetic strips, hook and loop fasteners, etc. Interior storms are preferred by some people because they do not obscure the historic wood window details from the exterior; they can be custom made to fit individual window openings; they are easy to install in upper story windows without ladders; and can be easily installed and removed as needed. They also tend to be low-profile, do not obscure the window or light, and can be made to accommodate screens for warm weather use. The most often noted downside to interior storm windows is that they do not protect the historic wood window from the elements. This means that the primary window may need to be maintained more frequently than if it were protected with a storm window. Like all storm windows, interior storms need to be properly installed and vented so that condensation does not collect on either the storm or the primary window.

Exterior Storm Windows

Exterior storm windows can be made to fit virtually any window opening and window type. Aluminum storm window assemblies are the most common, but vinyl, fiberglass, composites, and wood assemblies are also options. Options abound, and you don’t have to sacrifice style or ease of operation. If you have an unusual window opening or are having difficulty finding a storm window/screen assembly that suits your needs, try a window specialty company or contact the HPC.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., January 20, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

As always, the Recreation Committee welcomes volunteers, even for single events, so if you’re interested, or if you have ideas for new Town activities, please email Eve Zibart at [email protected].


All Grovers are invited to boldly go to this year’s Holiday Spectacular: “Grove Trek, a Holideck Parody Musical”, stardate, Saturday, December 12, 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall.  This year, we weave together, Trekdom, time travel, Washington Grove lore, and holiday music & dance into a gala evening of entertainment!!  Come as your favorite Trek character if you like, and be prepared to laugh, sing, and enjoy!!

The Recreation Committee is happy to invite everyone to stay after the Holiday Show for refreshments.

Halloween KUDOS!

And a huge shoutout to Emily Brown, Emily Cavey, Sam Beres, Bruce Rothrock, et al. for arranging the kids’ round-the-clock Halloween Festival which included pumpkin carving and a post trick or treat movie to the sleepover! Dracula would be proud.

Who WAS Super Grove This Year?

Oops…. remember back when the weather was warm and people were racing and running and biking all over Town? Who won the coveted title of Super Grove? It was SPENCER SAAR! BIG (belated) congratulations to Spencer for doing it all and doing it well!!

Film Society News…

Next movie date is January 10. 2016. Mark your calendars!

Ace in the Hole

Directed by Billy Wilder, 1951, US, b&w, 111 minutes. Shown with English subtitles.

Although released in 1951, “Ace in the Hole” presents a dark, cynical vision of American media that feels astonishingly contemporary in its lust for sensationalism. Billy Wilder’s film stars Kirk Douglas in a fiercely intense performance as a reporter who will do anything to exploit the big story and lurid headlines.

Woman’s Club News…

December is a quiet month for the Woman’s Club. As we close up the Clubhouse for the winter, we look back over a fun and busy year. Some of the highlights were the January White Elephant Auction, followed by a snowy Saturday night’s Chili Supper. Spring brought the annual kids’ Egg Hunt, and this year’s Downton Abbey themed Flower Show. Summer was our Progressive Porch Party and the Yard Sale. This fall, we hosted the Pot Luck Supper and a series of talks by Town residents Eve Zibart, Sharon Sisson and Howard Harary.

We also collected toys and treats to fill birthday gift bags for needy children, filled bags with personal items for the residents of the Gude Men’s Shelter and collected winter coats, hats and scarves for needy Washington Grove Elementary School children. We also contributed funds to The Acorn Library, Summer in the Parks and the Annual Holiday Show.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, January 21, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

The fall tree planting has been scheduled for Saturday December 5th. We will be adding ten new trees each of which is between 2-3 inch caliper. These are: a Pin Oak and a Black Gum on Chestnut Avenue, a Red Oak and Red Maple in Chapel Park, a White Oak and a Black Gum in Zoe Wadsworth Park, a London Plane tree and a Swamp Oak in Woodward Park, a White Oak on Oak Street, and a White Oak in Wade Park. Four Paw-Paw trees will be planted along edge of Grove Road, three in Town Nursery, and three along edge of Center Street, making a total of ten trees all 5-gallon. In addition to the 20 new trees, a total of 62 trees have been planted in the past five years.

Woods Group

Next Meeting: Monday, December 7, 2015; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Agenda includes: update on the Forest Stewardship Plan, progress on setting up a Woods Group link on the Town website, and information about a Department of Environment Protection resource to assess canopy cover on private property. Guests are welcome.


Come to a Christmas Sing-Along Party – Dec. 18th in the Fellowship Hall of the Washington Grove UMC at 6:30 p.m. A pot-luck will follow at 7:30 p.m. Immerse yourself in Christmas spirit by singing carols. There will also be an ugly Christmas sweater contest and children’s crafts.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with Impromptu Christmas Pageant at 7:00 p.m. Join in the fun by participating in an impromptu Christmas story with traditional candle lighting and beautiful music.

Shop through www.umcmarket.org to support the Washington Grove United Methodist Church. Save money at your favorite retailers, with a percentage of each purchase at thousands of participating brands contributed to Washington Grove UMC, at no additional cost to you. Just go the website, www.umcmarket.org, sign up for free and put the name of the church (Washington Grove). Enjoy discounts while you support your local community church. Thank you!

General Information

Find Information Fast on Washington Grove’s New Website

After more than a year of work, the Washington Grove Website Committee, under the guidance of Town Councilors Carolyn Rapkievian and Bud O’Connor, is ready to launch a completely redesigned website that promises to facilitate communication to Grovers and the outside world alike.

The new database-driven site is built on the highly popular and user-friendly WordPress platform. While the site retains many familiar design elements from our existing site, it incorporates key advances in technology to make it easier to update the site, find information, and interact with the site on a phone or tablet. The site has also been moved to a new hosting service known for its state of the art capabilities and high level of customer service.

Before creating the new site, the Website Committee invested several months in analyzing the Town’s existing web content and designing an organizational scheme to be intuitive and logical to Town residents. Many thanks to the Web Committee and their hard work, including site developer Marida Hines, Town Counselor Bud O’Connor, Town Webmaster Bill Saar, Town Clerk Kathy Lehman, and Committee members Mark Dubnick, Terri and Sita Strother, Jane Cavicci, and Freda Temple for their invaluable help.

As with any site redesign, there will be many small bugs and tweaks to work out. Several website sections with a large amount of legacy content (such as years of Official Minutes, House Histories, and HPC reviews) are still being moved to the new site. We expect this secondary phase to be completed by the end of the year. In the meantime, please email your helpful comments on any missing or out-of-date content, dead links, or other issues to Marida Hines at [email protected].

Vacant Homes Task Force Formed

The next meeting of this Task Force will be on December 21, 2015, at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

Emergency Preparedness Committee

The Washington Grove Emergency Preparedness Task Force will meet in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall on:  Thursday, December 17 at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome to attend.

Playground Committee

The Playground Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for bulk leaf removal each autumn. The contractor, Green Earth, Inc., will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six (6) feet of any roadway or walkway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins October 31 and ends January 1, 2016, or as soon thereafter as we agree the work is complete. This is the only time to have leaves removed without bagging for recycling.

The contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming. One or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually have most of us raking at the same time. If you rake when most others are raking, the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. Please place your windrows within six (6) feet of the road or walkway (keeping in mind car and pedestrian traffic).

Green Earth will collect leaves by working from one end of the Town to the other, typically starting with Ridge Road working their way across the community, first removing piles along roads for safety reasons. After making one pass along roads, they will focus on walkways. If roads become obstructed before walkways are completed, roads will be cleared until they are safe. Then collection will resume along walkways.

Weather may affect this process. Rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues and accumulated snow or freezing rain may make piles too heavy to vacuum. The contractor will not remove leaf piles that contain branches, brush, pruned limbs, and cut ornamental grasses. Please do not add these to leaf piles. They foul the vacuum and Green Earth will not collect piles containing this material.

If a particular leaf pile has lingered for an inordinate amount of time, please call Kathy Lehman at the Town Office, 301-926-2256, or by e-mail [email protected].

Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.

Yard Waste Collection Ends

Please note that December 31, 2015, will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal. This service will resume in early March.

Christmas Tree Disposal

Beginning in late December, Christmas trees will be picked up roadside by Town Maintenance staff. When you place your tree out for collection, please remove all tinsel, ornaments, the stand and any other metal.

Holiday Office Hours

The Town Office will be open a day or two between Christmas and New Year’s. Those dates are not yet certain. Residents are encouraged to call before coming to the office during this time; 301-926-2256.

Please Include Your Box Number

Our postmaster has asked that residents remember to include their PO Box number on all correspondence and packages including UPS and FedEx. Not doing so slows down the delivery of your mail because they have to look up your box number. The Post Office is aware of the difficulties that PO Box customers have with other carriers and suggests that you address mail in the following manner:

Ms. Jean Doe
600 Grove Ave. #000
Washington Grove, MD 20880

Thank you for your help with this issue!!

Notary Services Free to Town Residents

Treasurer Mary Challstrom and Mayor Joli McCathran are available to notarize documents for Town residents free of charge. If you need the services of a notary, please contact Mary at 301-926-4498 or at [email protected] or Joli 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Just a reminder…

Mayor and Council Areas of Responsibility and Contact Information:

Mayor, Joli A. McCathran: 301-869-5358
[email protected]

Georgette Cole: 301-330-6740
[email protected]
Historic Preservation Commission, WG Conservation Park, Shady Grove Crossing Liaison

Alison Faupel: 240-477-5882
[email protected]
Maple Lake, Playgrounds, Safety

Audrey Maskery: 301-977-0582
[email protected]
Maintenance, Forestry & Beautification, Memorials

John McClelland: 301-963-3328
[email protected]
Planning Commission, McCathran Hall

Bud O’Connor: 301-963-7735
[email protected]
Recreation, Roads & Walkways, Website

Greg Silber: 301-926-1854
[email protected]
Contracts, Woods Group


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