TOWN COUNCIL NEWS
Next meeting: Monday, December 9, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the November meeting include:
- Enactment of Ord. 2019-15; Amending Article III Traffic, Vehicles and Transportation, Section 14, Construction in Public Ways and on Town Property, to add Applicability for Residential Driveways and Parking Areas.
- Enactment of Ord. 2019-17; Confirming Requirements for Public Ways & Property Permits for Small Wireless Telecommunication Facilities and to Establish Process and Criteria for Permits and Agreements.
- Town Council introduction of and date set for public hearing on Ord. 2019-18 (see notice below).
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 13, 2020, 7:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave. Washington Grove, Maryland. The purpose of this hearing is for public testimony regarding Ordinance No. 2019-18 pdf; Amending the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to Modify the Minimum Lot Size Standards for the RR-3 Zone. A copy of the Ordinance is available by contacting the Town Office at 301-926-2256.
Planning Commission News…
Next meeting: Wed, December 4, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Building Permit Submission Deadline
The deadline to submit a building permit application for approval by the Planning Commission and review by the Historic Preservation Commission is the 2nd Wednesday of
the month prior to the PC meeting at which the permit will be reviewed (this will be in the following month). This timing ensures the HPC will be able to complete a formal review before the PC meeting as this review is required for the PC to approve the permit in a timely fashion. 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.
Permits Approved in November:
342 Ridge Rd. Shed
412 4th Ave. Renovation
Permits for Approval in December:
121 Chestnut Ave. Renovation
2019 Master Plan Work Session
The Planning Commission will be taking a Master Plan Work Session break in December. Our next 2019 Master Plan Work Session will be on January 15, 2020. New submissions on the Bike Path (Section 3.4), on Section 6.3.2 (Brown Street Corridor) and 6.3.3 (Ridge Road Corridor), and Section 7 (Water Resource Management) were approved by the Planning Commission work session on November 20.
A copy of the latest 2019 Master Plan Working Draft and the draft minutes from each work session is available on the Town web site as a link on the Master Plan page.
Historic Preservation Commission News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, December 17, 2019; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
The volunteer project to restore the Town of Washington Grove’s historic wood street signs has been nominated for a 2019 Montgomery Preservation, Inc. (MPI) Award. The nomination gratefully recognizes our partnership with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service for their advice on making our street signs legible for emergency way-finding, while retaining their historic character. This nomination should be taken as a point of pride by all our resident volunteers who played a part in the undertaking – the young and the old, the carpenters, the artists, and the worker bees. MPI Awards will be announced at Montgomery Preservation’s 32nd annual award event to be held in March 2020. Watch this space for updates.
Forestry & Beautification News…
Next Meeting: Wed, March 11, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
We will begin discussing plans for the spring tree planting and the potential for using GPS to map our Town trees.
Nine new trees were installed this fall throughout town. You can spot them where new stakes have appeared with a newly planted tree. The Committee is on hiatus for the winter. However, we’ll be discussing spring tree planting soon, so PLEASE let us know where you’d like to see a new tree or what kind of trees you’d like to see here in the Grove. We’d love to hear from you. You don’t have to come to a meeting (although we’d be delighted to have you there). You can email or talk to either Georgette ([email protected] or 301-330-6740) or Audrey ([email protected] 240-205-4756) with your ideas. We’ll be talking trees on March 11 and all are welcome!
Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, January 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm in the Council Room. The Woods Committee is taking a hiatus in December to enjoy the holidays. Meetings are regularly held on the 1st Monday of each month. All are welcome to attend!
The Woods Committee held a Fall Work Day in the East Woods on Saturday, November 9. Thanks to the volunteers who helped us clear the Cherry Avenue trail, manually remove non-native invasive plants near the stream crossing, and attach deer protection to several young trees. Special thanks to Steve Werts for removing the posts and netting of the two (2) old exclosures along Cherry Avenue extended to reopen the original trail. Thanks also to Larry French for repairing the foot bridge over the creek along Maple Avenue extended!
In November, our contractor, Invasive Plant Control (IPC), worked in the East Woods to mechanically remove and apply targeted herbicide treatment to non-native invasive plants Chinese Privet, English Ivy, Japanese Honeysuckle, Paulownia, and Forsythia recently identified now that native vegetation is dormant. We continue to monitor the ongoing deer management program with the Bow Hunter Fire Fighters of Maryland (BHFFMD). Two additional does were harvested in the East Woods in November for a total of 9 does and 1 buck in the East and West Woods.
We wish all our neighbors and friends joyous holidays and a peaceful New Year!
Recreation Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wed., January 15, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Open to the public.
Anyone interested in joining should come to the next meeting!
The Grove’s Best? Worst? Holiday Show
Please join us on
Saturday – December 14, 2019 – 7:30 PM
At McCathran Hall
For a very fun Best Worst Holiday Show Ever!
Sip & Knit Night!
The Washington Grove Recreation Committee is planning to host a Sip and Knit night this winter with a fantastic local knitting teacher. Susan is excellent at fixing mistakes, helping folks start projects, finish projects, learn new stitches, and working with new knitters. The Sip and Knit will be held on a Monday, Tuesday or Friday depending on Town interest. Younger Town citizens interested in learning to knit would be welcome to attend. Please let Lisa Bielen know ([email protected]) your level of interest and best night of the week by December 20th.
Stormwater Management Committee
Next Meeting: Tuesday, December 10, 2019; 7:30 pm in the Town Council Meeting Room.
The Stormwater Management Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We plan to review the Stormwater Section of the updated Master Plan. As a ten-year plan, it includes both action items and a vision and for stormwater management. All are invited! Contact Robert Johnson [email protected]
or Virginia Quesada [email protected] for more information.
Woman’s Club News…
The Washington Grove Woman’s Club looks back on 2019 and forward to 2020…
Closing the Clubhouse for the winter is always a time to look back and look forward. And what a wonderful year of Town events and outreach programs we had!
We started January with our annual White Elephant sale, then moved on to February for the traditional Chili Supper. Spring was a fun and busy time of making blankets for Project Linus, and of course our traditional Egg Hunt for the kids. May is always our Flower Show, and in June, Judy Banachowski and her daughter talked to us about how they survived breast cancer together. In July we had a delightful pool party, and in the heat of August, we had a board meeting, and voted to upgrade both our heat and A/C with a new mini-split system. September was our annual Potluck Supper and in October we hosted the Historic Preservation Commission’s talk on the status of our updated and expanded National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Town of Washington Grove Historic District. November was our final meeting of the year, where we planned for next year’s events and had the election of next year’s officers: Joan Mahaffey, President; Joli McCathran, Vice-President; Cynthia Werts, Treasurer; Marilynn Frey, Recording Secretary; and Arlene McCrehan, Corresponding Secretary.
Though our Clubhouse is closed for the winter, we will still be working on our Community Outreach Programs to help the less fortunate of our neighbors. Whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill.
Don’t forget that it’s never too early to start searching for those wonderful White Elephants for our January sale! This year’s always fun auction will be Saturday, January 25th at the home of Arlene and Jeff McCrehan.
For the Washington Grove Elementary School…
The Teachers Closet
We continue collect school supplies for the Teachers Closet. We hope to keep it filled with things like glue sticks, pencils and sharpeners, paper, hand sanitizers and tissues, and other supplies. Without our help, teachers will all too often end up buying these things out of their own pockets.
Winter Coats, Hats, Scarves and Gloves
We try to keep the Teachers Closet filled with winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves so that no child goes without through the bitter winter months.
Bringing Music to the Students
This fall, the school asked us to help ensure that all children can participate in the Music Programs. We are hoping to donate resin, reeds, instruction books and other necessities for a successful instrumental music program. Checks should be made out to the Woman’s Club and marked for donation to the WGES Music Program.
Working with Interfaith Works
While the less fortunate children of our County need essentials, they also need occasional treats in their lives, and we help provide these by collecting birthday presents and small Treasure Chest items to be distributed through Interfaith works. This year, for the first time, Interfaith is also collecting holiday presents for 250 families, and we’re hoping to help contribute. They’re asking for gifts for children 12 years old and under, and gift cards in any amount for Giant, Safeway and Target.
There is also an ongoing need for new underwear for boys and girls from toddlers to teens. Last summer they put out an urgent request for these, and through the incredible generosity of our Town, we were able to provide over 250 pair. We have developed sources for purchasing the underwear, so the easiest way to help with this need is through money donations.
White Socks for the Men’s Shelter
Winter is hard enough for the homeless without going without socks! This winter we are continuing to collect new white socks for the men at the Shelter.
The Linus Project
For those who like to spend the long winter months on indoor projects, we continue to support The Linus Project, which makes fleece blankets for children in need of comfort when they are in the hospital or foster care. If you are interested in helping with this, let us know and we’ll get instructions to you.
Where to Bring Your Contributions
You can drop off your contributions in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road, or you can leave them in the plastic bins on the Clubhouse porch. Drop them off and we’ll sort where they go! Checks are always appreciated too, just put in the memo field if you want your donation to go to a specific project.
Washington Grove UMC News…
Washington Grove United Methodist Church Invites You to Join Us on Christmas Eve…
You are cordially invited to join us for our Candlelight Family Christmas Eve Service on December 24th at 7:00 PM, at the Church. Many of our friends and neighbors will be joining in the evening’s songs and readings.
Emergency Preparedness Committee News…
Next Meeting: Thursday December 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room.
All Town residents are welcome to attend and discuss any issues or concerns regarding emergency preparedness or safety. We are always looking for interested people to join our committee. Last month, we solicited your input on potential topics for a community presentation. Some mentioned certified CPR/AED class. We’d like to gauge community interest in this event. Please take a minute to email Dave Lutter ([email protected]) if this topic interests you. We need a minimum of 10 individuals to hold the class. The class would likely be scheduled in April or May. “Cybersecurity for your home” presentation in February is another possibility. Stay tuned for more updates! Also, please continue to email any other suggested presentation topics to Dave Lutter at [email protected]. Finally, the holiday season brings much joy, but also some unique safety issues of which to be mindful. Please see the National Safety Council holiday safety guide at https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/holiday for additional information.
Lighting Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room.
**TRASH DAY CHANGING TO THURSDAYS
At the request of Potomac Disposal, we are changing our collection day back to Thursdays. This will begin THURSDAY, Dec. 26th.
Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ends
Please note that THURSDAY December 26, 2019 will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal this year. This service will resume in early March.
Speed Hump Testing Continues!
- The trial speed hump at Oak and Grove Road has been replaced with a new hump configured to reduce jarring at 15 mph.
- The previous Grove Road hump will be installed on Chestnut Road between Center and Oak.
- The speed bumps on Chestnut Road will be removed and installed on Hickory Road at Oak.
Walkway Use Reminder
For those who don’t know or don’t remember… Parking and/or driving your car on a walkway is prohibited unless you are loading or unloading the vehicle. Residents are responsible for their contractor’s walkway use as well. Thank you for helping us keep our walkways in good shape.
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, 2019 and ends January 3, 2020, 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 & 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
DRIVE 15, ENJOY THE SCENE!
Election Help Needed
As you know, McCathran Hall is a Polling Place Facility for the Primary and General Elections. We need a volunteer who would like to get involved helping with security (opening and closing the building on Election Day) and being the Town point person for questions, etc. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256, [email protected]) or Charlie Challstrom (301-926-4498; [email protected]) if you are interested.
Residents new and old are reminded that Washington Grove is a self-governing municipality dependent on volunteers to serve as Mayor and Town Councilors. Candidates for Mayor must be Town residents of at least two years. Candidates for Town Council must have resided in Town for at least one year. The Mayor serves a one year-term, Town Councilors three-year terms
Election Day will be Saturday, May 9 next year. Nominations for office will be open until early April and require the signature of two qualified voters and the consent of the nominee. As you enjoy the Holidays and perhaps some time to think, please consider seeking office as a way to contribute. DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS, they say, and the rules are made by those who show up.
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.
Deer Fences Down…
Residents are reminded that deer fencing must be down by November 30th per Town Ordinance 3.328(g). Thanks!
COMING EVENTS CALENDAR
December 4 » Planning Commission 7:30 pm Council Room
December 6 » Holiday Show Rehearsal 7:00 pm McCathran Hall
December 8 » Holiday Show Rehearsal 2:00 pm McCathran Hall
December 8 » Hall Decorating 4:30 pm McCathran Hall
December 9 » Public Hearing Ord. 2019-18 7:30 pm Council Room
December 9 » Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
December 10 » Stormwater Management Comm. 7:30 pm Council Room
December 11 » Holiday Show Rehearsal 7:00 pm McCathran Hall
December 13 » Holiday Show Rehearsal 7:00 pm McCathran Hall
December 14 » HOLIDAY SHOW 7:30 pm McCathran Hall
December 17 » Historic Preservation Comm. 7:30 pm Council Room
December 19 » Emergency Preparedness 7:30 pm Council Room
December 20 » Deadline for expressing interest in Sip and Knit Night.
December 26 » TRASH and Recycling collection switches to Thursdays.
January 6, 2020 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm Council Room
THE TOWN OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS DAY. WE ARE HAVING THE WOOD FLOORS IN THE COUNCIL ROOM REFINISHED. THE OCTAGON AND THE OLD COUNCIL ROOM ARE THE ONLY SPACES AVAILABLE FOR MEETINGS AT THAT TIME.