301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News…

Next meeting: Monday, March 8, 2021; 7:30pm
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/297850640?pwd=czh3ODBEdEpTeXdkRTc5bDFmLzN2UT09
Or Dial-in to 301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 297 850 640
Password: 074385

Actions at the February Meeting Included:

  • Support for Mayor’s signature and endorsement pledging to work towards 100% clean renewable energy use.
  • Adoption of Resolution 2021-02: Establishing Procedures for Issuing Permits for Archeological, Cultural Artifact or Fossil Investigation on Town Land.
  • Approved paving of Chestnut Road between Brown St and Oak St this spring.

Notice Of Public Hearing

On Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. the Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing by Zoom to hear testimony on the following ordinance:

  • Ordinance 2021-01; Amending the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance to Terminate Certain Restrictive Covenants and to Authorize Related Legal Instruments Suitable for Recordation in the Land Records of Montgomery County

The hearing will begin at 7:00 PM. To access, please use the ZOOM information above for the Town Council Meeting.

Testimony may also be mailed or emailed. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for inspection on the Town website; www.washingtongrovemd.org, upon request to the Town Clerk (phone 301-926-2256); or e-mail to [email protected] or by mail to P.O. Box 216 Washington Grove, MD 20880.

Especially Unwelcome Graffiti

Certainly, all of us agree that messages and defacement of public property of any kind are unacceptable in Washington Grove.

Graffiti in the form of a racial epithet was recently discovered spray painted on Washington Grove lane. It has since been obliterated. However this incident especially must be acknowledged as a potential hate crime. The Town considers such incidents as an offense to all of us, and requests they be reported to the to Town officials (301-926-2256) AND to the County police for the record and for investigation (use the non-emergency Police number 301-279-8000, or 911 in an emergency).

Annual Town Elections

The Election is May 8: vote-by-mail and absentee ballots will be available beginning April 19.
*See [ https://washingtongrovemd.org/government/government-overview/elections/ ] for more information

Offices open:
Mayor (one year-term)
Town Council (three year-terms, two seats available).
Nominations are being accepted now until April 12. Required are two signatures and consent.

Eligibility for Office: Any registered voter and Town resident for one year or more for Council, and for two years or more for Mayor.
Eligibility to vote: Residents registered to vote in Montgomery County at a Town address.

For more information: See the Town website and contact members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections should be contacted for more information.

MCDOT Bikeway Connection Study

The second public presentation by the Washington Grove Connector – Crabbs Branch Extension study being conducted by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation was held by Zoom on February 17th. Impacts and cost estimates were discussed for the several routes under consideration. You may view a recording of the session via the Budget/Schedule tab at this Project website home page link

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. Therefore it is critical for all Washington Grove residents (including renters) to designate subdivision “1612” and “Washington Grove” as their physical address on the MD 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.

Elderly Individual/Military Retiree Tax Credit

For property owners aged 65 and over who either (1) have owned and lived in their home for the last 40 consecutive years, OR (2) are retired from one of the United States Armed Forces including military reserves, the National Guard, and the uniformed corps of the Public Health Service and the uniformed corps of NOAA. For information about this five-year tax credit, please call 311 (240-777-0311).

Town Council Budget Work Session for FY 2022

Monday, March 22, 2021, 7:30 pm via Zoom
The Mayor and Council will hold a work session to plan a budget for the coming year which begins on July 1, 2021. Public input is welcomed.

At their April 12 meeting, the Council will adopt a recommended budget. A summary of the proposed
budget will be published in the May Town Bulletin and copies of the budget detail will be available. The Town will adopt a tax rate and budget at the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 8.

The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82777904971?pwd=MjNUV3hQTFZwOCtrUWR1T24vWmM5QT09
Or dial in to 301 715 8592 using
Meeting ID: 827 7790 4971
Passcode: 382614

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., March 3, 2021; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Planning Commission Meeting will be conducted online, rather than in person.

Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

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.

Building Permits Up for Approval in March:

  • 317 Brown Street Screening Porch
  • 414 Brown Street Fence

2021 Comprehensive Plan Work Session

Please note that the 2020 Master Plan is now the 2021 Comprehensive Plan which is the nomenclature recommended by the Maryland Department of Planning.

The 2020 Comprehensive Plan draft versions are available on the Comprehensive Plan page of the Town website. The Agenda will be posted on the Town web site home page.

Work Session Notice: Wednesday March 17 at 7:30 pm. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY
As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Comprehensive Plan Work Session will be conducted online, rather than in person. The agenda will be posted at the Town office and on the Town web site the week before the meeting

Work Session Access:
Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom video conference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688
Please make sure your name is associated with your zoom icon in order to be admitted from the Waiting Room.

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 16, 2021; 7:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. For a copy of the Agenda, email Chairman Bob Booher ([email protected]).

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688
One tap mobile
+13017158592,3440199688# US (Germantown)

Racial Equity Committee…

Next meeting: Sunday, March 21, 2021; 2:00 p.m.
All are welcome! Folks who would like to attend should email [email protected] to get the Zoom link. And more information on how to join the committee, our goals, past meeting minutes, and historical resources can be found here: https://linktr.ee/RacialEquityGrover.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: March 10, 2021, 7:30 p.m. via ZOOM Video Conference
We’ll be discussing the potential impact of the 17-year cicadas this spring and evaluating sites for spring tree planting. We look forward to you joining us, all are welcome!

Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

Please make sure your name is associated with your zoom icon in order to be admitted from the Waiting Room.

Woods Committee News…

Next meeting: Monday, March 1, 2021; 7:30 p.m.
Our meetings are held by remote access via Zoom Video Conference and are regularly held on the first Monday of each month. Our April meeting will be held on Monday, April 5.

To Join the Meeting, here is the Zoom Link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85154442331?pwd=VmR0dklJb3YzMjVJVkxwVjVPYWNhQT09
By Phone: 301 715 8592 / Meeting ID: 851 5444 2331 / Passcode: 437367

The Woods Committee is developing a trail maintenance plan to improve several wet areas of the trails in the East Woods. During the last month you may have seen and heard workers making improvements along the McCauley Trail, the Franklin Trail, and just north of the bridge along the Cherry/Dogwood Trail. Also, a tree service company has cut several very large dead trees leaning over the trails. These trees posed a safety threat to hikers and joggers using the trails. We hope these improvements allow you to experience our Woods Preserves in a safer and enjoyable way.

As you walk in the East and West Woods, please be alert to evidence of prohibited campfires. Incidents of illegal dumping, both trash and landscaping materials, my also increase. If you notice anything, please call the WC Chairpersons, Patty or Joan, or the Town Office to report what you have seen. Milder weather will increase both use and misuse of our forest resources. With your cooperation, we can minimize such threats to our Woods Preserves.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 18, 2021. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

To join the Zoom Videoconference:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84913516727?pwd=WnU3Uk40V2huTVJMQkZLVE1zVDE5Zz09
Or by phone: 301 715 8592 / Meeting ID: 849 1351 6727 / Passcode: 611335

Film Society News…

“Wrestle” – Discussion on March 21
“Wrestle” is an intimate coming-of-age documentary about four members of a high school wrestling team at Huntsville’s J.O. Johnson High School, a longstanding entry on Alabama’s list of failing schools. As they fight their way towards the State Championship and the doors, they hope it will open, the young athletes must confront the complexities of class and race in the South. “Wrestle” is a closely observed, deeply affecting and impassioned depiction of growing up disadvantaged in America today. It has a 100% score (critic reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes with a 94% audience score.

Directed by Suzannah Herbert and Lauren Belfer, 2018, USA, 1hr 39 min.
Stream “Wrestle” on Kanopy, Amazon Prime, and Vudu. Then join the discussion on Zoom on Sunday, March 21, 7:30 p.m. A link to the discussion will be posted to the Town listserv a few days ahead, or request the link by emailing Freda Temple at [email protected]

Lake Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, March 18, 2021, 7:30 pm
Via ZOOM Video Conference

Maple Lake Cleanup:
The annual cleanup will be on Saturday, April 24th at 10 AM. Please join in and bring your leaf rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow if you have one. Rain date is Sunday, April 25th at Noon.

Call John Hutchinson at 240-997-5820 for details or questions.

Geese: We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!

Lake Committee Meetings: Third Thursday of each month via Zoom until we can meet at the Town Hall. We need to plan for lifeguards, swim lessons, and making the lake even better for this summer. New members welcome and encouraged! Call John Hutchinson if you have any questions or suggestions.

Lifeguards: Lifeguards Needed for Maple Lake this Summer. Hours are from 12-6, seven days a week. Lifeguards must be certified in Lifesaving, CPR, and First Aid. Pay is $14.00 per hour. (We can help you pay for the training.) Call John Hutchinson for details.

Swim Instructor: Swim instructor needed for Maple Lake for the month of July. Pay is $19/hour. Call John Hutchinson for details.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81849519352?pwd=bGRxOFFMd2cxQXpOQzI3b0xkMi81QT09

By Phone: 301-715-8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 818 4951 9352
Passcode: 309936
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcj4grGkgR

WG United Methodist Church News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church Sunday services continue to be online.

As we continue to Stay at Home during the COVID-19 crises, the Church has been enjoying Sunday morning Zoom services. If you would like to join us, please contact Pastor Andrew Peck-McClain at [email protected] to be included.

When we can once again go out into the world, 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).

We are collecting non-perishable food donations to support the St. Martin’s food bank. Your contributions can be dropped off on the screened-in porch at Peggy Hansen’s house, 201 Chestnut Avenue, in Washington Grove.

Washington Grove United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation, which means we believe that each person is a precious creation of God and is of sacred worth. We welcome and celebrate persons of every gender identity, racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability into full participation in the life of this faith community. We celebrate the gift of love and affirm all loving relations and marriages.

Washington Grove Cares News

As a COVID-19 precaution, WGC suggests ways to avoid trips to the grocery store or pharmacy:

We have a volunteer making a weekly shopping trip:
MONDAY: (notify by Sun. 5 pm) Shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, MOM’s or Aldi’s; text or email Caitlin Bethepu at 414-208-8661 [email protected]

Post your own impromptu grocery/shopping trips: If you are going to a particular grocery store/pharmacy and can pick up items for others, consider posting a message to the listserv ([email protected]) – note the new address for the Town listserv.

If you are low-risk and willing to provide a weekly trip to a particular grocery on a specific day, please email [email protected] with your name and phone number, and we will call you to get the details.

Not on the new WG neighborhood Google Groups listserv? Get notices of impromptu shopping trips (and very occasional WGC-sponsored events) sent directly to your email.
Email [email protected]

Climate Action News…

Next meeting of the Sustainability Group is March 23, 7:30 PM.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688

Save $$ and the Environment: Make the Switch to Renewable Electricity

You can do something about climate change. The Maryland Electric Choice program makes it easy to buy electricity generated from renewable sources such as sun and wind. Many Town residents have made the switch to suppliers of renewable energy.

Your Pepco bill has two sections about charges; one details the delivery charges and the other shows the supply charges. Since Pepco is the only electricity distributor in our region, delivery charges will always be from Pepco. Pepco is also your supplier if you have not chosen another. Currently, Pepco’s electricity is only 7% from renewable sources.

Choose instead an alternate supplier that provides electricity from up-to-100% renewable sources. Go to https://www.mdelectricchoice.com and click on “Shop Now.” You will see a list of suppliers licensed and regulated by the Maryland Public Service Commission. It’s easy to compare them by price, length of contract, and energy source. Many will lower your electric bill!

Even when you have chosen an alternate supplier, you will still get just one electric bill, from Pepco. It’s easy to sign up, easy to change suppliers when your contract ends, and easy to follow your costs on your Pepco bill.

Make a real difference for the environment. Switching to electricity from renewable sources supports the development and expansion of renewable energy and helps the country—and the world–reach climate change goals.

Have questions?
Email or call Tom Land, [email protected], 240-801-0646.

Want to learn more about MD Electric Choice?
An informative webinar will be presented by Tom Land on Thursday, March 18, 7:30 – 9 PM.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688

Woman’s Club News…

We are Helping Out Where SNAP Leaves Off
As the desperate needs of those around us continue, we are collecting some of the much-needed items that SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) doesn’t pay for:

  • Similac – especially the blue boxes of powder
  • Pedialyte – any flavor
  • Diapers – sizes 3 and up
  • Diaper wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine hygiene products

Monetary donations are always appreciated and put to good use. If you would like to make a contribution to this program, make your check out to the Woman’s Club and note on the memo line that it is for SNAP Plus. All donations can be dropped off on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Ave. or in the boxes on the Clubhouse porch.

We’re Going to Provide Meals to Some Shelters
Before the pandemic, groups took turns preparing meals at the Men’s Shelter. Because that’s not possible right now, we are instead arranging to have pizzas delivered to them on Monday night, March 15th.

Little Cesars will deliver pizzas for the 120 residents at the Men’s Shelter. We also hope to provide salads.

We need your help in providing desserts that evening. Home baked would be wonderful, but store bought is also good. If you can donate dessert items, please contact Wendy Weisbard at [email protected] letting her know that you can donate something and also if you need someone to pick it up or that you can drop them off on her porch.

One morning, Einstein’s Bagels will deliver breakfast bagels and cream cheese to both the Men’s Shelter and the nearby Women’s Shelter.

We are continuing to collect white socks and toiletries for the Men’s Shelter, which could be delivered at the same time.

We are Making Contributions to Interfaith Works Boxes
Interfaith Works has developed resources which allow them, for $25 each, to put together and distribute boxes of food and other desperately needed items.

We are earmarking some of the Golden Elephant funds to support this program. If you would like to help too, please either drop off your checks, made out to the Woman’s Club with a notation in the memo line that it’s for the Interfaith Works Boxes, to Wendy Weisbard, in the painted can on her porch at 119 Grove Ave., or leave them in one of the boxes on the Clubhouse porch.

Spring Really is Coming
As the first buds of spring start popping up, keep your cameras handy, because we are going to do another Virtual Flower Show this year. As you get pictures, send them to Marilynn Frey at [email protected] and she will start putting together this year’s online show.

What would you think about us offering maps for self-guided walking tours of the beautiful gardens around Town? Please let us know if you would be willing to have people stop by to admire your flowers?

Our Annual Membership Drive
If you haven’t paid your modest $15 annual dues yet, please make out your check to The Woman’s Club of Washington Grove, and send to The Woman’s Club, PO Box 354, Washington Grove, MD 20880, with a notation on the memo line that it is for dues.

These 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 Potluck Supper, and other special events such as guest speakers and, of course, all year we collect for Community Outreach programs.

Lighting Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 24th at 7:30pm, 2021 via ZOOM Video Conferencing. We will continue to meet on the 4th Wednesday of every month. All are welcome to attend!

Join the Zoom meeting by videoconference:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88997175791?pwd=TkNmZlhuVTA4MWZCNWhMQWMwVHVjdz09

… or by phone: 301 715 8592 using Meeting ID: 889 9717 5791 and Passcode: 547173

Questions, ideas or concerns please contact Virginia Quesada at:
301-706-7933 cell. [email protected] Or Robert N. Johnson [email protected]

Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, March 25th at 7:30 p.m.

Join the Zoom meeting by videoconference:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89163160760?pwd=ZDNqTlBLRXVyS1k2V0h4V1Erc0Nldz09
Or by Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 891 6316 0760
Passcode: 743257

Disaster preparation: The recent calamities in Texas are a wakeup call for Washington Grove to review its own emergency plans as well as ensure that we prepared to work with County and State emergency preparation agencies. Residents with concerns or expertise in this area are encouraged to participate in the Committee.

We are actively seeking new committee members! One committee goal is to promote a shared sense of preparedness, vigilance, and resilience to help our community cope and get through these challenging times. We welcome your input and ideas on how to achieve this and any other goals related to preparedness and safety. Please join us at our next meeting. Questions? E-mail [email protected]

General Information

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Is Back!

Recyclable yard waste pickup up by Potomac Disposal resumes on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Our trash contractor will pick up recyclable yard waste from your properly marked containers and/or large brown bags. You may also bundle your brush and tie it with twine. Bundles should be no larger than 30” in diameter and 4 feet in length. No individual pieces larger than 4 inches in diameter. Please keep in mind your container is being picked up by a human being and should not be too heavy.

FINAL BULK LEAF COLLECTION

Per our contract with US Lawns, the spring 2020/21 leaf pick up must be completed by close of business on Wednesday, March 26, 2021. Residents have one final opportunity to have their spring leaves picked up by the vacuum truck. Please be mindful not to block traffic with leaves on our narrow streets.

DRIVE 15, ENJOY THE SCENE!!

March Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference)

March 1 »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 3 »  Planning Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 8 »  Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 10 »  Building Permit Submission Deadline 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 10 »  Forestry & Beautiful 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 16 »  Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 17 »  Comprehensive Plan Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 18 »  Recreation Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 21 »  Racial Equity Committee 2:00 pm ZOOM
March 21 »  Film Society – “Wrestle” 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 22 »  Town Council Budget Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 24 »  Lighting Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
March 25 »  Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 5 »  Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
April 12 »  Nominations for Mayor & Town Council Due

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