TOWN COUNCIL NEWS
Next meeting: Monday, February 10, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the January meeting include:
- Deferred any discussion of Resolution 2019-13; Providing for Proper Governance of Washington Grove Committees to February
- Deferred to February further discussion of Ordinance 2019-18; Amending the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to Modify the Minimum Lot Size Standards for the RR-3 Zone.
- Accepted a back-up snow removal contract from RJ Landscaping.
- Introduced Ordinance 2020-01; Amending Article XIII to include Montgomery County Code Chapter 33b “Pesticides” as applicable in the Town.
Maryland State Income Tax
Washington Grove Subdivision Code: 1612
Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because most residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. It is critical that all Washington Grove residents (including renters) designate “1612” and “Washington Grove” on the tax form. For those filing electronically or using software, there should be a drop down menu to select Washington Grove. Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer if appropriate. This DOES NOT increase your taxes, but DOES help ensure the Town receives its proper share of income tax revenue. Thanks for your help! Questions, call Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498.
Town Treasurer Position
The Town of Washington Grove seeks a qualified individual to fill the position of Town Treasurer beginning Spring-Summer 2021. The Treasurer has broad responsibilities, functioning as financial officer, bookkeeper, purchasing agent and in other capacities to insure smooth operation of Town government. The Treasurer provides essential continuity and guidance to help elected officials and other volunteers be effective in serving the Town. The position requires independence, organizational skills, and the capacity to effectively communicate and work with diverse individuals.
This part-time position (approx. 10 hours per week) does not include benefits. Work hours are flexible. Applicants must be able to provide their own work space and computer/printer. Strong computer skills are essential. Please send expressions of interest in writing to Mayor John Compton at PO Box 1187 or [email protected].
Bikeways Workshop to take Public Input
February 13 at 7:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall.
To solicit input from affected communities and individuals, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is holding Public Workshop #1 for the Washington Grove Connector – Crabbs Branch Extension Projects Study. The two projects will simultaneously evaluate the feasibility of two master planned connections from the terminus of Crabbs Branch Way to the Town of Washington Grove and the City of Gaithersburg. These projects will also improve connectivity to the Shady Grove Metro as well as retail and commercial areas south of MD-200 / I-370. The first public workshop will seek input on bicycle path connections, bicycle path surface, concerns, and more.
The Crabbs Branch Way Extension Project will evaluate the feasibility of creating a road and bike path connection between Crabbs Branch Way and Amity Drive. This project is funded through the Facility Planning Program and is only funded for planning, not for design or construction.
The Washington Grove Connector Project will evaluate the feasibility of creating a bike path-only connection between Crabbs Branch Way and the Town of Washington Grove. This bike path could potentially connect to Amity Drive, Brown Street, Railroad Street, or other areas based on the results of public input and the study. This project is funded through the Bikeways Minor Program and is funded for planning, design, and construction.
For complete information see: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-dte/projects/washgroveconnector/
Planning Commission News…
Next meeting: Wed, February 5, 2020; 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 Up for Approval in February:
- 119 Grove Ave. Screen Porch
- 315 Grove Ave. Demo/Rebuild Shed
A permit is now required for construction of a driveway or parking area using Town property for a paved or graveled area between private property and the road pavement edge. This Public Ways and Property permit requirement also applies for any major alterations to an existing driveway or parking area, such as increases to square footage coverage, or changes to location, or changes to surface material. A permit is not required for ordinary maintenance and repair work.
2020 Master Plan Work Session February 19
On Wednesday February 19 there will be a Planning Commission work session at 7:30 pm in the Council room. We will be reviewing/revising January’s working draft (available on the Town web site). On January 15 we re-worked the Introduction and Sections 1 and 2. It was noted the maps in Exhibits A and B needed to be redone. Minor changes were made in the Introduction, Section 1 and up to Section 2.2 (Municipal Growth Areas). On February 19 we will start with new material from the HPC for Section 9 (Development and Preservation Strategies). As time allows we will then continue with our review of older sections starting at Section 2.2. Residents are welcome to attend.
A copy of the 2020 Master Plan Working Draft is on the Town web site as a link on either the Planning Commission page or the Master Plan page. There are also minutes from each session which give details on areas addressed and changed.
Historic Preservation Commission News…
Next meeting: Tuesday, February 18, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
Town Volunteer Historic Sign Restoration Project: Video and Preservation Award!
Have you seen the video yet?? If you are not on the Listserv, or were simply overwhelmed in post-holiday early January, you may have missed the buzz about the wonderful six-minute video produced by Montgomery Municipal Cable (MMC) about the Town’s volunteer historic wood street sign restoration project. Here’s a link that will remind you what a team of willing volunteers, working with inspired and energetic leaders, can do!
(Note: This is the “full-length” version, not to be confused with the 2-minute “trailer” released in December 2019.)
Montgomery Preservation, Inc. has just informed us that the Town’s volunteer project to restore our historic wood street signs will indeed receive a 2019 Montgomery County Preservation Award—this by the unanimous agreement of their panel of judges and their Board of Directors! Judges came to Town mid-January for a firsthand examination of the restoration work.
The awards event is scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at Grace United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg. Anyone interested in attending the event, which will include a tour of the historic Grace Church, should contact the Town Office or any HPC member.
Forestry & Beautification News…
Next Meeting: Wed, March 11, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
We will begin planning for spring tree planting. We’d love to have you join us! And if you can’t make the meeting, but have a suggestion for where a new tree is needed, please contact F&B Chair Georgette Cole ([email protected]) or our Council Liaison Audrey Maskery ([email protected]).
Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, February 3, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The March meeting will be on March 2, 2020. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. All are welcome to attend.
The Woods Committee and Lake Committee are planning our annual Spring Work Day in April in the West Woods and Maple Springs. Date and details will follow. We also are planning to install markers in the East Woods to better identify trail routes. Volunteers will be needed to help these efforts to succeed!
During the winter months, IPC has conducted several days of non-native invasive (NNI) plant control work off the trails in the East Woods to physically remove and/or selectively treat NNI hidden within high density areas of Green Briar. Targeted NNI have included Chinese Privet, English Ivy, Bush Honeysuckle, Japanese Honeysuckle, and Paulownia.
To date, 14 deer were harvested in the East and West Woods by the volunteer Bow Hunter Fire Fighters of Maryland (BHFFMD). The Maryland DNR hunting season concluded on January 31, 2020. The Woods Committee will be assessing the initial results of the Town’s deer population management program during Spring emergence of native vegetation in the East and West Woods.
Recreation Committee News…
Next Meeting: Thursday, February 20, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Open to the public. Anyone interested in joining should come to the next meeting!
Hi everyone! I’m trying to get an idea of how many campers we will have for SITP this year for hiring purposes. If you will have a camper this year, I would be grateful if you could fill out this survey.
PareParent Volunteers Sought. We are also looking for parents to help with the planning of SITP 2020. This will be my last year running the camp, so it would be wonderful to have new parents involved to carry on the camp!
Emily Cavey / 121 Chestnut Ave. 240-838-1840
Film Society News…
On Sunday, February 9, escape the winter doldrums and join us for an award-winning film, Antonia’s Line. Strong-willed Antonia recalls life on her Dutch farm in the decades after World War II, recounting tales of quirky villagers and of her descendants. Magical and painterly, the film cycles through life’s seasons and passions – planting, harvest, love, hate, sex, birth, death. A paean to independent, spirited women. Directed by Marleen Gorris, 1995, Netherlands, in Dutch with English subtitles, 103 minutes. Movie begins at 7 PM in McCathran Hall, discussion to follow. Movie is free to all, no ticket required.
Woman’s Club News…
Congratulations to our new 2020 Officers – Joan Mahaffey, President; Joli McCathran, Vice-President; Cynthia Werts, Treasurer; Marilynn Frey, Recording Secretary; and Arlene McCrehan, Corresponding Secretary.
We want to thank everyone who helped make our January White Elephant Auction a huge success. We raised over $2,100! Unlike money raised at our other events, which goes to support our outreach programs, the White Elephant fund raiser is used primarily for maintaining our Clubhouse – paying for our insurance, our electric bills and needed repairs and improvements. This year, we’re exchanging the noisy old furnace and air conditioner for a quiet, far more efficient mini-split unit. We’re also hoping to replace the old, worn kitchen floor.
If it’s February, it must be Chili Supper Time! Plan to Join us on February 22nd
Tired of winter?
Why not join us for our Chili Supper on Saturday, February 22nd, 6:00 PM at McCathran Hall!
As always, we need meat and vegetarian chilis, mild, medium or hot – and lots of sides. Please contact Sylvia Appleby (301-926-9094 or [email protected]) about what you can bring.
You Can Rent Our Clubhouse!
From mid-March to mid-December, our Clubhouse is available for Town Residents to rent. It’s ideal for parties, showers, wedding receptions, meetings or such events. Our rates are reasonable, and members of the Club receive a significant discount. For more information about this lovely facility, please contact Cynthia Werts (301-926-1668) or Joli McCathran (301-869-5358).
We’re Working on the 2020-2022 Washington Grove Directory
You will soon be receiving a request to add, verify or update your information for the next edition of our Town’s directory. Please respond as quickly as possible so we can publish as soon as possible.
Our Annual Membership Drive
If you haven’t paid your modest $15 annual dues yet, please send a check, made out to The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, and send to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880. The dues make it possible for us to donate funds to help support the Summer In the Parks program, the Acorn Library and the Holiday Show, and for us to host annual Town events like the January White Elephant Sale, the February Chili Dinner, the Spring Egg Hunt, the May Flower Show, the June Progressive Porch Party, the September Pot Luck Supper, and other special events such as guest speakers and, of course, all year we collect for the following Community Outreach programs:
For the Washington Grove Elementary School
The Teachers Closet
We collect school supplies all year round for the Teachers Closet. Our aim is 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
Small Gifts for Children
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.
New Underwear for Children
There is always a need for new underwear for boys and girls from toddlers to teens. We have developed sources for purchasing the underwear, so the easiest way to help with this need is through money donations.
White Socks and Toiletries for Area Shelter
The small, travel sized toiletries from hotels are always needed by shelter residents, and we collect and distribute them. Winter is hard enough for the homeless. We continue to collect new white socks so they won’t go without.
The Linus Project
For those who like to work with fabric, this year we’re supporting The Linus Project, which makes fleece blankets for children in need of comfort when they are in the hospital or foster care. In March, we will be having an evening at the Clubhouse to get this project started.
Where to Bring Your Donations
Whatever pulls at your heart strings, we have a need you can fulfill. Even though our Clubhouse is closed for the winter, we still have bins on the porch to collect for our Community Outreach Programs, or you can drop off your contributions in the painted can on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road. You bring them 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 and mail to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880.
Stormwater Management Committee
Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 11, 2020; 7:30 p.m. in the Town Council Meeting Room.
The Stormwater Management committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We have had inspections from two companies in response to The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the West Woods Watershed Study. The RFP proposals are due on Friday, February 8th, so we will be reviewing them on February 11th. Additionally, we will continue work on our coordination with Watershed Planners from Montgomery County and the City of Gaithersburg Stormwater Management team. Both jurisdictions have offered to meet with us, and we need to decide our priorities and what we would like to ask each organization.
Any questions, concerns, or ideas please contact Robert N. Johnson at [email protected]
Emergency Preparedness Committee News…
Next Meeting: Thursday February 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. 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 working with Montgomery County to finalize a date in March for a CPR/AED certification class at Town Hall. We are also still considering a cybersecurity presentation in February. Please stay tuned for more details, which will be posted to the Town website and Yahoo group when available.
Lighting Committee News…
Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Council Room.
We will be continuing our exploration of our lighting needs. From our research, here is the list of attributes and considerations recommended for study for lighting Town streets and walkways:
Aesthetics – lighting that maintains the historic integrity of the Town.
Light footprint – the committee preferred pools of light vs continuous swathes of light.
Color Temperature -3000k or lower likely 2700k. We are also investigating lumens and foot candle recommendations.
Wattage – wattage to be around 18 or 24 watts.
Site specific lighting – we would like to explore different lighting for the streets vs the walkways both in terms of height and fixtures.
Light Intrusion – TWG Lighting Committee recommends that the any new light fixture have a full horizontal cut off and therefore be dark sky compliant. Additionally, all new fixtures should have the provision to attach shields to prevent intrusion into homes.
Installation – Ideally we would like a light bulb that one could screw in. We would like lights that are easy to maintain in general.
Smart Lighting – we would like to explore modern features as “smart lighting” in terms of daylight sensors, 2am – 6am light reduction and possibly motion detectors for certain areas.
Solar Lighting – some members are interested in exploring solar lighting near Woodward Park or areas in TWG that have a lot of sun.
Light levels – We are starting an inventory of light levels to try to get a base line on what lighting we have now and then gauge what light levels we will want in the future.
Flashlights – Members of the committee and residents have mentioned that in our overall design do not discount the use of flashlights in some areas; flashlights are effective, efficient and relatively inexpensive.
Washington Grove UMC News…
Washington Grove United Methodist Church…A Reconciling Congregation
As a Reconciling Congregation, we believe that each person is a precious creation of God and is of sacred worth.
You are invited to join us on Tuesday, February 25th, starting at 6:00 PM, for our annual Pancake Supper.
Please join us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-869-3753).
Election Day in Washington Grove will be Saturday, May 9. Voting will be held in McCathran Hall from 4:00 until 7:00. Elections are followed by the annual Town Meeting. Open this year will be two seats on the Town Council (three-year terms) and the office of Mayor (one-year term). Candidates for Council and Mayor must be qualified voters of the Town. Council nominees must have resided in Town for at least one year immediately preceding their election, and nominees for Mayor two years.
Nominations must be submitted in writing to the Board of Supervisors of Elections. This is most easily done through the Town Office. Nominations require the signature of two qualified voters as nominators, as well as an acceptance by the nominee. The deadline for nominations is April 13.
Qualified voters are registered to vote in Montgomery County at a Town address. You can check your current voter registration at: http://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch
If you find your registration does not list your current residence in Town, you will find instructions for updating the registration at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections/registration/faq.html#Where%20Do%201%20Register
Washington Grove is a self-governing municipality and a member of the Maryland Municipal League. Elected officials serve on a volunteer basis. Kudos to those who step forward and serve the Town in this way!
COMING EVENTS CALENDAR
February 3 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm Council Room
February 5 » Planning Commission 7:30 pm Council Room
February 9 » Film Society 7:00 pm McCathran Hall
February 10 » Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm Council Room
February 11 » Stormwater Management Comm. 7:30 pm Council Room
February 13 » MCDOT Bikeway Workshop 7:00 pm McCathran Hall
February 18 » Historic Preservation Comm. 7:30 pm Council Room
February 19 » Master Plan Work Session 7:30 pm Old Council Room
February 20 » Recreation Committee 7:30 pm Council Room
February 22 » Women’s Club Chili Supper 6:00 pm McCathran Hall
February 26 » Lighting Committee 7:30 pm Council Room
February 27 » Emergency Preparedness & Safety Comm. 7:30 pm Council Room
March 2 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm Council Room