301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, December 12, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the November meeting included:

  • approval of Ordinance 2016-10 a Zoning Text Amendment Adopting Amendments to Article VII, Zoning, Section 8.21 to Allow Charitable, Religious or Educational Institutions in the Commercial Zone as a Special Exception Approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • introduction and adoption of Resolution 2016-11; Resolution Granting a Permanent Easement.
  • introduction of Resolution 2016-12, a Charter Resolution To Amend The Budget, Taxation, And Indebtedness Article Of The Town Charter, Section 57, “Purchasing And Contracts”, To Authorize The Council To Override The Bid Process In The Best Interest Of The Town And To Take Advantage Of The Bids Received By Other State And Local Governments Through A Comparable Competitive Bid Process.

Board of Zoning Appeals

Date: 17 December 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Place: McCathran Hall, Council Chambers

Pursuant to Article VII, Section 12 of the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance, a public hearing will be held to determine if a VARIANCE should be granted to allow a 6-foot privacy fence located on the rear property line at 112 Chestnut Avenue. The building permit was denied by the Planning Commission for reasons cited in Article VII, Section 3.327; Fences, (a) & (d).

The Board may grant the VARIANCE if the Board finds on the basis of preponderance of evidence in the record that each of the 12 required conditions has been met.

The Board will take written and oral testimony from the applicant, residents or other interested parties at the public hearing. The Board will render its decision as soon thereafter as practical.

From the Mayor…

Many thanks to the Montgomery County Forestry Board of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, who provided 30 trees (5 Hackberries, 5 White Oaks, 5 Pin Oaks, 5 Red Maples, 5 Serviceberry, and 5 Redbuds) and helped plant them in an open area of the East Woods. Twenty one volunteers showed up to help plant, water, and provide deer protection to the trees. Thanks to all for a job well done!

Thanks go out to Sat Amagai for agreeing to chair the new Emergency Preparedness Committee. Sat, Pat Klein, Town Council Liaison to the committee and I had
a meeting with Joe Corona, Outreach Coordinator, Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Of course it will be necessary to work with County and State officials and Mr. Corona is a bridge to working together. Members who have volunteered to serve on the committee are Nan Aitel-Thompson, David Cosson, Keith Gillis, Pat Klein, Jason Newman, and Mary Warfield. Thank you to all who are willing to serve on this committee.

The 2016-17 Maryland Municipal League (MML) Legislative Committee has selected three priorities to be considered for adoption by the MML membership. I am a member of the MML Legislative Committee and support these priorities. They are listed below:

  1. Restoration of highway user revenues to municipal governments;
  2. Mandating that all governmental entities pay the municipal storm water fee on all governmental properties and facilities located within municipal boundaries; and
  3. Ensuring better communication and coordination in scheduling/undertaking projects by public utilities and other governmental agencies in municipal rights-of-way.

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. 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.

For the winter of 2016-2017, our snow removal will again be performed by our Town Maintenance Staff. We do have a backup contract in case the service cannot be done by our crew. With the purchase of a skid loader this job should be a bit less challenging. As one resident told me last year, she feels so safer when Steve Werts is clearing our streets of snow.
Happy Holidays to all! Joli A. McCathran

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., December 7, 2016; 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 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. Both the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help with your renovation/building project.

Permits up for approval on December 7, 2016:

  • 201 Brown St. Fence

Historic Preservation Commission News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, December 20, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.


By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

News Dispatches from Other Centuries
A series devoted to describing Washington Grove’s earliest days based on historic newspapers (appearing as written) and original records in the Grove’s archives.

“Romance and Religion, Part Two”
We pick up again the lengthy article in The Post titled “Many People Attracted There—A Picture of Rural Loveliness” which described the events at the Grove camp meeting on August 17, 1886.

At 2 p.m. the children’s service was conducted by Dr. Laney. The Post narrator described the children’s recitations of Bible verses beginning with the same letter of the alphabet as “one of the most interesting meetings we have.” Note the use of the word “we.” Could the writer have been one of the camp meeting attendees really interested in spiritual development or was he just participating to get the scoop? The practice of reciting Bible verses beginning with the same letter of the alphabet is still in vogue today. An example is: C–Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Eph 6:1. One can just picture the children in their “tiny camp chairs gathered around the platform” and singing with “a zest that is worthy of example.”

The religious services at the camp meeting dominate the article receiving serious comment by the news reporter who noted the Presiding Elder to be Dr. Reily. The position of the Presiding Elder for a camp meeting is an onerous one as described in a “how-to-manual” written in 1854 by Reverend Barlow Weed Gorham. This book was titled The Camp Meeting Manual: a Practical Book for the Camp Ground, in Two Parts and is assumed to have been used by Methodists because, as is written in it, “camp meetings were a favorite means, especially among Methodists, to spread the Gospel.”

Quoting from the manual, which is still available in print and as an e-book, are these observations about the Presiding Elder:
“. . . woe to the Camp Meeting, and to the luckless Methodists on the ground, if the said Presiding Elder should happen to be a lily-fingered gentleman, who will handle the whole thing at arms’ length, and with his finger-ends, instead of putting himself where he belongs, in the very fore-front of the hottest battle. Of course, he should oversee the preparation of the ground, and be present, and order all the services, from first to last. . .” The Presiding Elder should also arrange for proper police regulation and make sure rules of order were posted.

Just consider the logistics of coordinating the many speakers and ten-day camp meeting activities without cell phones and texting. The telephone, having been invented in 1876, might have provided some assistance for those progressive enough to own one.

While there is no available confirmation that the ministers serving at the Grove on August 17, 1886, used this manual, the handbook is an intriguing read for the modern mind.

In addition to Dr. Reily, the Presiding Elder, were these gentlemen with their given time slots for religious endeavors. The Post writer did not hesitate to provide this category of details which most likely would not be found in modern day newspaper reporting.

“At 9 o’clock, the regular hour for prayer service, Rev. Mr. Foard presided at the meeting. There was a larger congregation than usual, and the growing interest gives promise of a successful camp meeting. At 10:30 Rev. Dr. Edwards preached from the text: ‘And Moses made a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man when he beheld the serpent of brass he lived.’ His sermon was one of great power. Taking the serpent as a type of Christ, he preached a most eloquent discourse, pointing to the ‘Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.’ Rev. Dr. Price followed with an earnest exhortation, and the congregation was dismissed with the benediction. Addresses were made today by Revs. D.A. Ford and W.C. Griffith, and the singing was conducted by Prof. Glen Poole. At 3 p.m. a consecration meeting was held under the direction of Rev. Charles Baldwin.”

The article concludes with “Camp Notes” mentioning Rev. William Rogers, T. J. Cross, Dr. Laney, and Mr. W.H.H. Smith as other ministers at the Camp. “Wednesday will be missionary day and Rev. Dr. Butler, formerly missionary to India and Mexico, will preach at 10:30 a.m. The afternoon meeting will be in charge of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society.”

The Post writer must be admired for his dedication to acquiring such detailed information to report to the readers of the newspaper.

The Washington Post (1887-1922); Aug. 18, 1886; ProQuest Historical Newspapers; The Washington Post p.4

Forestry & Beautification News…

In November Forestry and Beautification Committee oversaw the installation of nine new trees and shrubs in the residential area of Town. As you walk around you may notice the two 2 ½ inch caliper trees supported by stakes and ties. These are three White Oaks, two Black Gums and one White Swamp Oak along with four Chino Viburnum (shrubs). We also planted a 6-inch caliper American Beech, an 8-inch caliper Red Oak and a 10-inch caliper Pin Oak. These are so large they have to be installed by a tree spade. No staking is needed and they can be hard to spot—see if you can spot these new trees! A hint: one is near the intersection of McCauley Street and Grove Road, one in the playground near the swings and one near the intersection of Oak Street and Maple Avenue.
The Forestry and Beautification Committee will be taking a break for winter. Our next meeting will be in March 2017.

What’s that?
Paulownia tomentosa – Princess Tree
The Princess Tree, also known as empress tree or royal paulownia, was imported to Europe from Central and Western China by the Dutch East India Company in the 1830s and to North America soon after. Historical records describe important medicinal, ornamental in timer uses of the Princess Tree as early as the 3rd century B.C. Its ability to sprout prolifically from adventitious buds on stems and roots allows it to survive fire, cutting and even bulldozing. It is highly prized for carving. The Princess Tree occurs throughout much of the eastern United States from Texas to New England where it can be found growing along roadsides, stream banks, and forest edges. It tolerates infertile and acid soils and drought conditions and adapts to a wide variety of habitats, displacing native plants species.

A medium-sized deciduous tree that grows to 30-60 ft. in height; twigs are stout, green to brown, and have many lenticels; bark is thin gray-brown with shallow features. Leaves paired, large, hairy on upper surfaces, broadly oval to heart-shaped and sometimes shallowly three-lobed. Flowers are showy, pale violet and fragrant and produced in conspicuous upright clusters in spring before the leaves appear. The fruit is a four-compartmented oval capsule containing thousands of small winged seeds; capsules green, becoming brown and dry as they mature and persist through the winter.
Do not plant Princess Trees. The young plants can be pulled by hand; cut larger trees at ground level with power or manual saw, preferably prior to seed formation to prevent further spread. Systemic herbicides containing glyphosate or triclopyr are effective and can be applied to cut stumps or bark.

Ailanthus altissima – Tree of Heaven
Also called sumac, stinking sumac, Chinese sumac, and ailanthus.
Introduced by a Pennsylvania gardener in 1748 and was made available commercially by 1840. Origin is Northeastern and Central China and Taiwan. Sumac is highly adaptable to disturbance and a huge range of soil types and conditions, it grows best in full sun and is tolerant of drought. It is a common tree in urban areas where it causes damage to sewers and structures, ailanthus poses a greater threat to agriculture and natural ecosystems. It is a vigorous growing tree and prolific seeder that establishes dense stands that push out native plants. The Tree of Heaven contains chemicals, including ailanthone, that have been found to have strong alleopathic (herbicidal) effects on the growth of other plants which help it establish and spread. The tree, which is deciduous, can reach 70 ft. in height, with smooth pale gray bark, and twigs that are light chestnut brown, especially in the dormant season; dioecious meaning plants are either male or female; wood soft, weak, coarse-grained and creamy whit to light brown in color; leaves, stems and some flowers have a strong, unpleasant to offensive odor likened to cat urine or rotting peanuts or cashews. The flowers are large showy clusters of small yellowish-green and are produced during June; the fruits are single-seeded winged, individual trees may produce an estimated 325,000 seeds per year.
Do not plant Tree of Heaven or spread its seeds when moving soil from infested areas. Before attempting control, ensure that you are not mistaking a native species like staghorn sumac, ash or walnut for the Tree of Heaven. Eliminating of Tree of Heaven requires diligence. Targeting large female trees for control will help reduce spread by seed. Systemic herbicides with active ingredients like glyphosate and triclopyr are most effective and can be applied to bark, cut stems or foliage.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., January 18, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Holiday Show 2016

Come one, come all, sing along and be merry! Washington Grove’s annual Holiday Show, “Saturday Night Grove,” is Saturday, Dec. 10th at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. It will be followed by refreshments and seasonal cheer. Please join us and a cast of stupendous — and homegrown — rising stars, plus a few surprises! After that, the Rec-ing Crew will take a brief holiday rest, but plans are in the works for events in 2017, so keep checking the bulletin. Best wishes to all!

Save The Date! Contra Dancing in The Grove!

Saturday evening, February 4, 2017! Great caller, great musicians, and veterans of Terpsichore’s Holiday Folk Dance Camp will join us for a fun night of great music and dancing — beginners welcome! Details to come in January.

Questions? Call Shelley Winkler at 301-330-6446.

Woman’s Club News…

December is a quiet month for us. As we close 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 surprisingly warm Saturday night Chili Supper. Spring brought the annual kids’ Egg Hunt, and our Symphony of Flowers Flower Show. Summer started with our Progressive Porch Party, which was followed by our really fun and successful 90th Anniversary and Bench Fundraiser. We greeted fall with our annual Pot Luck Supper, and this year we again collected and distributed socks and toiletries to the residents of the Gude Men’s Shelter and delivered hats, coats, scarves and gloves to the neediest children of Washington Grove Elementary School. Our meeting year ended with a most interesting and informative talk by Joan Mahaffey about the work of the Woods Committee. During the year, we also made contributions to The Acorn Library, Summer In The Parks and the Holiday Show.
This January we will begin our new year with our 2017 Membership Drive. Our annual dues are a real bargain at $15. These dues allow us to share our ever-popular events with the Town. Please think about joining! You can make your checks to Woman’s Club of Washington Grove and either bring it to the January 21, 2017, White Elephant Sale or mail it to The Woman’s Club at P.O. Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.

Washington Grove Church News…

Please join us for a Special Family Christmas Eve Service on December 24th at 7:00 PM, at the Church.
This has been a busy and fulfilling year for our Church, and we look forward to 2017, when we will be starting Sunday school again.
Our joyful family worship services are Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road.
Contact info: Rev. EunJoung Joo (301-947-0532).

General Information

Leaves Are Still 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 began October 31 and ends January 3, 2017, 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. Do not put leaves onto paved roads. Safety is our concern and road areas have a highest priority. 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.

Vacant Homes Task Force
The next meeting of this task force is not known at this time. Please call the Town Office for more information. This meetings are open to the public.

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ends
Please note that December 29, 2016 will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal this year. This service will resume in early March.

Emergency Preparedness Committee
The Emergency Preparedness Committee has formed to implement recommendations that the Emergency Preparedness Task Force made to the Town Council, as appropriate. Its first meeting will be in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm. All are welcome to attend.

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.

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!!

Calling all Samaritans!
Have a neighbor who needs help? Looking for a way to boost your altruism quotient? Washington Grove Cares is a new, autonomous group of neighbors who has streamlined what our Town already does best–VOLUNTEERING!
Join us NOW:
Once you have enrolled online, you can Request help and Offer help for transportation, shopping and anything else you can think of! Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments! We are here to serve!
[email protected]. This effort is sponsored by a group of Town residents not the Town.

Deer Fences Down…
Residents are reminded that deer fencing must be down by November 30th per Town Ordinance 3.328(g). Thanks!

Dog Owners
Please be mindful of where your dog does his/her “business.” No one likes stepping in it. This includes the Washington Grove Meadow Park and the Town woods. Thank you!

Drive 15, Enjoy the Scene!

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