301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, June 11, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the May meeting included:

  • approval of Ordinance 2018-03; Adopting Town Budget and Tax Rate for FY 2019.
  • introduction of Ordinance 2018-04; A Zoning Text Amendment to Modify Special Rules for Fences and Carports, add Definitions for Clarity and Consistency and Modify Accessory Building Set Backs.
  • introduction of Ordinance 2018-05; Amendments to Article IV; Building Permit Regulations to Modify and Clarify Requirements for Building Permits.
  • introduction of Resolution 2018-06; Establishing Rules and Regulations for a Town Dog Park.
  • authorization for Mayor to appoint a Town liaison to the Maryland Municipal League.


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 11, 2018, 7:30 p.m., in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave, Washington Grove, Maryland. The purpose of this hearing is to take public comment on proposed Ordinance 2018-02. This ordinance would allow for the sale of land occupied by main buildings initially constructed in part on land owned by the Town of Washington Grove. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, MD 20880 or 301-926-2256.


The Mayor and Town Council will take public comments regarding Resolution 2018-06; Establishing Rules and Regulations for a Town Dog Park on June 11, 2018 at 7:30 PM in the Council Room.


The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, July 9, 2018, 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is for public testimony regarding Ordinance No. 2018-04 with proposed amendments to the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to modify special rules for fences and carports, add definitions for clarity and consistency, and modify accessory building setbacks. A copy of Ordinance No. 2018-04 is available by contacting the Town Office at 301 926-2256.


The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, July 9, 2018, 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is for public testimony regarding Ordinance No. 2018-05 with proposed amendments to Article IV, Building Permit Regulations, to modify and clarify requirements for building permits. A copy of Ordinance No. 2018-05 is available by contacting the Town Office at 301 926-2256.

Town Meeting Adopts FY 2019 Budget and Tax Rate

The property tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will increase to the constant yield rate of $0.262/$100 assessed valuation. The dwelling unit charge, tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, will rise to $130 per dwelling per year, to reflect the new three-year contract. Copies of the adopted budget detail are available at the Town Office and are posted on the Town website at washingtongrovemd.org. If you have questions, please contact Treasurer Mary Challstrom at mary[email protected] (301-926-4498) or Mayor John Compton at [email protected] (240-432-5700).

Town Council Enacts Ordinance Adopting the Town Budget and Tax Rates for FY 2019

Maryland law requires municipal budgets to be adopted by ordinance. On May 21, the Town Council affirmed the action taken by May 12 Town Meeting and enacted Ordinance 2018-03 adopting the identical budget and tax rates.

Town Elections Results

2018 Election Results.pdf

Chairman of the Board of Election Supervisors Meredith Horan reported the results of the Town election at the Annual Meeting on May 12, 2018.

198 ballots were cast, including 31 absentee ballots.

John Compton 106 votes
Joli McCathran 85 votes

Council: three-year terms, two to be elected
Charlie Challstrom 171 votes
Marida Hines 105 votes
Joan Mahaffey 85 votes

Council: two-year term
Rob Gilmore 179 votes

Council: one-year term
Darrell Anderson 104 votes
Craig English 90 votes


Gray Yachup 1 vote

Council: three-year terms
Marc Hansen 1 vote
Peggy Erickson 1 vote

Council: two-year term
Peggy Erickson 2 votes
Tom Land 1 vote

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed, June 6, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

Modification to Building Permit Process
The Planning Commission is changing the building permit application deadline to 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.

What is the House Files Project?

The Town has a file folder for every house in Town going back many years. The file contains all the information the Planning Commission has on each house, generally a collection of building permits. When the House Files project began in 2014, it was to summarize information already in the existing house files onto a single sheet at the front of the file so when a resident wanted to find information on the property it was easy to understand. Over time, the Planning Commission realized the information could also be used to identify ordinances which were too restrictive by the pattern of houses which did not conform to a specific ordinance. A good example is side setback for small accessory buildings like a shed or small garage. The setback is currently 10 feet from the side of the property in the RR1 zone (which is the largest part of Town). But on many small or narrow properties in RR1, this is unrealistic. Because of this the Planning Commission has sent a proposed Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA #2018-04)) to the Town Council which will change the setback for accessory buildings. In the new ordinance the side setback for an accessory building “under 15’ & not adjacent to street” will be “5’ for RR1, 3 & 4 zones 4’ for RR2” instead of the current 10’ in RR1, 3, 4 and 4’ in RR2. This ZTA will have a public hearing on July 9 before the regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting. Please plan on being there if you are interested! Copies of the full ZTA proposal are available at the Town Office or by contacting Kathy Lehman by email.

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, June 19, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

Maple Lake News…

Next meeting: Thursday, June 21, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

Party Permits
Summer is just around the corner! Maple Lake is a great venue for your party, wedding, or other assemblage. Just follow the link https://goo.gl/forms/g10fJ2Qo0oTJJFcN2 to make it official.
New this year: permits will be issued via email and party hosts will have to print and produce them at the time of the party.
Contact Emily Brown [email protected] if you have questions.

Swim Lessons
Lessons will be offered from July 5th- July 28th from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Please sign up by June 24th at: https://goo.gl/forms/Ab78g8bPXs6HBAQf2

Safety at the Lake
To minimize problems with vandalism, outside visitors and other problems, we will be monitoring the lake more frequently checking on the fence and surrounding area. Please do NOT tell young children or outsiders what the combination is, and always lock, and spin the tumblers on the lock after opening it. Call John Hutchinson or Bruce Rothrock if you notice any maintenance problems.

Please report every incident of suspicious behavior, vandalism or criminal activity to the police at the non-emergency number: 301-279-8000. The police use the log of these calls to determine how closely to patrol an area. They have asked us to report all incidents. Please also alert Neighborhood Watch to any such incidents.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed. July 18, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

Let’s Dance!

Betsy and Al Taylor, callers for Taylor Made Squares, are happy to announce we have enough dancers from Washington Grove and outside Washington Grove to form a viable group which will be regularly square dancing in McCathran Hall. Most replies to our request for preferences between Monday and Wednesday nights were for Monday nights, so we have scheduled a series of dances on the First and Third Mondays, starting June 4, 2018. The other scheduled dates are June 18, August 6, August 20, September 17, October 1, October 15, November 5 and November 19. We will be dancing from 7:30 to 9 pm.

Questions? Call 301-977-8937 or email [email protected].

Music Weekend is Coming!

Sweet Yonder Guts. Glory. Soul.
All-women bluegrass band
Friday, June 15, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
At the Gazebo, Zoe Wadsworth Park
Pizza and snow cones provided! BYOB!!

Youth Recital and Reception
Come enjoy Washington Grove’s rising stars!
Saturday, June 16, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
McCathran Hall

Sing Along with Gary Temple
A soothing evening of old favorites – add your voice!
Saturday, June 16, 8:00 p.m.
McCathran Hall

Jazz Brunch – ‘Round Maryland Quartet
Sunday, June 17, 10:30 a.m.
At the Gazebo
Bring a brunch dish large enough to share!
Coffee, paper products provided
In case of rain, all events in McCathran Hall

Muskrats Get Ready!

July 4th will be upon us very soon. Muskrat Band members, new and old, dust off those instruments! All are welcome to join in the fun. Meet at 203 Grove Ave. at 11:00 AM. Please contact Kathy Lehman [email protected] or 301-926-2256 for more details.

July 4th Festivities Schedule

Wednesday, July 4th:
– 11:00 a.m., Costume Judging in Woodward Park
– Noon, Flag Raising and Parade to McCathran Hall; prizes, popsicles, bell-ringing, singing

Sat. July 7th:
– Baseball game 10:00AM Woodward Park
– 4:00 – 10:00pm Lake picnic; burgers, dogs and fries provided; BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS and a side dish or desert to share. Lifeguards on duty till dark. No swimming after dark.

Woman’s Club News…

Annual Progressive Porch Party
Saturday, June 23, 2018, 5:00 p.m.
The evening will begin at 5:00 PM with appetizers on the porch of Arlene & Jeff McCrehan (410 Brown Street); about 6:00 PM we will move to the main course at Mary & Charlie Challstrom’s (503 McCauley Street); and about 7:00 PM we will finish up the evening on the porch of Sylvia & Tom Appleby (112 Chestnut Avenue). This a favorite Town event, and all Grove residents and friends are cordially invited.

Community Outreach Continues
Community Outreach is an important part of our Club, and this year, we’re adding a call for help from the Interfaith Works Clothing Center for children’s new underpants for boys and girls, from toddlers to teens. Their rules prohibit them from giving out second-hand underwear, which makes it even more difficult for them to provide desperately needed underwear to our County’s neediest children. If you can help, please drop off your donations on Wendy Weisbard’s porch (119 Grove Ave.) or in the bins at the Clubhouse. If you would rather make a monitary donation, we’ll be happy to do the shopping for you.

This summer, we will again be collecting little bottles of shampoo, bars of soap, disposible razor blades and of course, white socks, for the Gude Men’s Shelter. These can be dropped off on Wendy Weisbard’s porch or in the bins on the Clubhouse porch.

We are also sponsoring two projects for the needy children of Washington Grove Elementary School. In addition to again collecting children’s hats, coats, gloves, etc., we are also going to be collecting school supplies for the teachers to have available to children in need throughout the year. These donations can also be dropped off on Wendy Weisbard’s porch or in the bins on the Clubhouse porch – and as always, we’d be happy to do the shopping for you.

Don’t Forget the Dues…
The Woman’s Club dues are a bargain, at $15 per year. If you are interested in joining the Club, please contact Cynthia Werts at [email protected], or 301-926-1668.

Washington Grove Methodist Church News

Our joyful family worship services are Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-947-0532).

Woods Committee News…

The Woods Committee meets on the first Monday each month at 7:30 PM in the Town Council Room. The meeting agenda is posted at least 24 hours in advance at the Town Office. The next meeting will be Monday, June 4. The following month our meeting will be on Monday, July 2. Committee meetings are open to the public and we encourage you to attend.

The Woods Committee is seeking volunteers to form a new work group to help clear litter build-up along Washington Grove Lane on a regular basis. Please contact Joan or Patty if you are interested to help keep our town borders clean!

The Woods Committee presented updates on our accomplishments at the Annual Town Meeting on May 12th to include an initial assessment of successful efforts to control invasive wisteria plants and our plans to continue working to restore and preserve our woodlands to maintain our Town within a Forest.

Emergency Preparedness Committee

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 28, 2018; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All are welcome to attend. We are also looking for new committee members. If you are interested in helping the Town be prepared for emergencies, please join us! Contact the Town office if interested; 301-926-2256.

Recent rain has left a lot of standing water in and around Town. CDC has been trying to raise awareness of the threat from mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus. Because mosquitoes lay eggs near water, they recommend that you empty, scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Check these websites for more details:
https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/controlling-mosquitoes-at-home.html ;

General Information

New Dog Park Committee Forming

Interested in participating on the new Dog Park Committee? An initial meeting to scope out membership was held on May 31. Please email Christine Dibble at [email protected] or Mary Warfield at [email protected] to express your interest and to find out when and where the next meeting will occur.

Washington Grove Communications Initiative taking off — Get involved!

At the May 21, 2018 Council meeting, Councilors voted to support a Communications Group charged with examining the full suite of options available and making recommendations.

In a communications landscape abounding with technologies that make it easy to reach people wherever and however they want, Washington Grove has many options available to facilitate flow of key information to the residents. But the devil is in the details! Would streaming Council meetings increase awareness, or decrease citizen attendance? Would an official FaceBook page build community, or pose privacy concerns? There will be pros and cons to every option, but the Town Council is committed to empowering discussions to find great solutions.

If you have communications, audiovisual, social media, and/or web expertise or are just interested in this topic, please call or email Councilor Marida Hines (301-580-1026 or [email protected]) and ask to be included in outreach as the Communications Group takes shape.


Calling All Musicians! And Owners of Instruments from Near and Far!
Washington Grove Cares is sponsoring a cross-generational Musical Petting Zoo at Summer In The Parks on Friday, July 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. A musical petting zoo allows kids to hear and touch and possibly try to play instruments.

Pass on your love of an instrument to a new generation. Share the sound and story of your instrument or your own musical journey. You don’t need expertise, just enthusiasm!

Bring your instrument that morning to McCathran Hall. Please let us know you’re coming by contacting us 240-813-3316 or at [email protected].

Thank You to the Audit Committee!

(From Mary Challstrom, Treasurer, Mayor John Compton (2018-19), Mayor Joli McCathran (2014-18)
Just a note to clarify responsibilities of the Audit Committee as described at the annual Town Meeting. Members of the Committee, on a rotating basis, open and reconcile the monthly bank statements. The Treasurer does not open the statements, nor does she participate in the reconciliation. The Committee may review all invoices connected with the monthly statements.
In addition, the Town follows prescribed internal control guidelines to prevent fraud. Two signatures are required for every check – checks are written before presented to second signer. Invoices must be initialed by the second signer. The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem have access to view the main bank accounts at any time. The Mayor and Council receive a monthly treasurer’s report (posted to Town website) and a quarterly statement of all account balances. The Town is required to have an annual audit by an independent accountant. This audit is rigorous and consists of interim and year-end testing, along with a review of financial practices to promote a separation of duties.

Many thanks to Ernie Kawasaki, John Klinger, and Deb Tarasevich for serving on the Audit Committee.

FOR JUNE 9, 2018

Materials may include furniture, appliances (nothing with freon like air conditioning units), rugs, large toys, small auto parts, etc. Material may NOT include construction by-products from your renovation projects, large automotive parts or tires. Items should not contain gasoline or motor oil. Please keep your metal separate from the rest of your items.

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