Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 12.11.06 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the November Council meeting included:
Approval of a new entrance walkway for the Woman’s Club.
Appointment of Barbara S. Hawk as the Alternate on the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Approved the Audit Report for FY ending June 30, 2006.
Town Audit Report Available
State law requires that an annual audit of the Town’s records be conducted by an independent certified public accountant. The Town Council has approved the Audit Report for the year ending June 30, 2006. A limited number of copies are available at the Town Office for residents. Questions may be directed to Town Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498.
Copies of the following proposed charter amendments and ordinance are available at the Town Office and posted on the Town’s website. Action on these items is expected at the December 11 Council Meeting.
Council Proposes to Move Elections and Town Meeting to May – Res. No. 2006-05
On November 13, the Town Council introduced a charter amendment proposing to move the date of Town Elections and Town Meeting to the second Saturday in May. Montgomery County now requires that the Town’s property tax rate be submitted to them no later than May 31 in order for Town taxes to be included on the County’s consolidated property tax bill. The amendment also proposes to move the deadline for nomination to elective office from the second Monday in April to the second Monday in March, and moves the budget adoption process earlier. A summary of the proposed budget will be circulated with the April Bulletin. (Charter Sections to be modified include 5, 30, 31, and 42) Council Proposes to Modify Position of Clerk-Treasurer Permitting Duties to be Performed by One or More Town Employees – Res. No. 2006-06
A second amendment, modifying Sections 38 and 40 of the Town Charter, was introduced by the Town Council on November 13. This amendment proposes to permit the Mayor, with the Council’s approval, to assign all or part of the duties of the Clerk-Treasurer to one or more employees of the Town. The purpose of this amendment is to bring the Charter into line with current practice. Administrative duties have increased in scope and detail to a work week commonly in excess of forty hours. The amendment will permit the Mayor and Council flexibility in job assignments.
Notice of Public Hearing
Monday, December 11, 2006; 8:00 p.m.
Town Council Room
Verizon Maryland, Inc. Cable TV Services in Town Ordinance 2006-07 was introduced on November 13 by the Town Council. If adopted at the December Council meeting and allowed to become law, the ordinance permits the Mayor to execute agreements granting Verizon Maryland, Inc. a non-exclusive franchise to operate a cable communication system within the Town. As with Comcast, the Town has participated as a co-franchisor with Montgomery County and other County municipalities in hammering out an agreement with Verizon favorable to the County and its municipalities. It is anticipated that introducing competition will serve the best interests of the Town and its residents.
Legacy Open Space (LOS) Update
The Town’s legal expenses are over 100% of the year’s budget for the condemnation of the LOS. It is likely that the Mayor and Council will convene a Town Meeting to consider approval of additional funds. In the meantime, Attorney William Chen has been asked to attend a PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION on December 13, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in McCathran Hall to update the Town Council and residents. Mr. Chen will first take questions from the Mayor and Council and then from residents as time allows. The meeting will last for approximately one hour. So, mark your calendars…
A Preliminary Plan for development of the Casey 6 parcel (borders I370, RR Tracks, Roberts Oxygen, Town of Washington Grove & Toll Brothers properties) and Casey 7 (borders Shady Grove Rd., RR Tracks, I370 & Crabbs Branch Way) has been submitted to Park & Planning for consideration. This plan shows 4-story office condominiums, 3-story residential condominiums, 4 & 5 story parking garages, and residential town homes. The Mayor testified on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006 at a Planning Board hearing considering this plan submitted as a Pre-Preliminary last October(!). The Preliminary Plan is similar. Copies of his testimony are available at the Town Office.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 12.06.06 @ 7:00 p.m. in Council Room.
Master Plan Work Session
The public is invited to attend. The regular meeting of the Planning Commission will occur after the work session.
If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. The Town zoning ordinance governs setbacks, lot coverage and height. Applications are available at the Town Office at 301-926-2256. The permit fee is $10.00, payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. A shed requires a County permit as well. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permits as well.
Building permits were issued for the following:
112 Chestnut Ave. » demo 2 sheds
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 12.19.05 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.
Neighborhood Watch News
Report Crimes & Suspicious Activity!
Mont. Co. Police non-emergency: 301-279-8000
Town Office: 301-926-2256
Betsy Klinger: 301-977-3517
Keith Gillis/Leigh Partington: 301-208-1437
Oct. 19: Dumping & Speeding; – Dark green truck (belonging to Cutter Tree Service) was seen illegally dumping wood on the Toll Brothers property near the 300 block of Ridge Road. When questioned, Cutter Tree Service owner admitted to it but refused to move it. The same truck was seen speeding down Chestnut Road (approx.40mph.). When confronted by a resident, the driver was aggressive, threatening, and suggested that the resident call 911.
Oct 26: Illegal Dumping; East Woods. – A truckload of construction debris from a bathroom renovation was dumped on the path in the woods near the maintenance shed.
Nov 8: Breaking & Entering; 400 Block Chestnut Ave. – Car broken into and ransacked. Nothing was taken.
Nov 9: Vandalism; 400 Block 5th Ave. – Car was sprayed with black paint.
Nov. 12: Vandalism; Washington Grove Lane – three (3) pedestrian crosswalk signs, recently installed by Montgomery County, appear to have been struck by a vehicle and rendered useless.
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 11.29.06 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. **NEW MEMBERS ALWAYS WELCOME! **
Calling all Grove kids who would like to sing in the Kids’ Chorus for the Holiday Program on December 16. Rehearsals will be from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1st, Friday, Dec. 8th, and Thursday, Dec. 14th in McCathran Hall. Bring your lovely voice and we’ll learn some fun songs together. Questions? Call Doris Gordon at 301-926-8603.
Come Join the Holiday Fun!
Holiday Concert – A show for all ages! Saturday, December 16, 2006; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.; Please contact David Rapkievian for details, 301-519-2021. Refreshments will be provided by the Recreation Committee.
Let’s Talk Art Show
First call to resident Washington Grove artists for a proposed spring art show at McCathran Hall. ALL adult artists will be expected to participate in the planning, set-up, and break-down of the show. Please respond to Jim Fletcher at 301-330-9485 or [email protected].
Woman’s Club News
Next meeting: Thursday » 01.18.06 @ 7:30 p.m. at the home of Joan Mahaffey (102 Ridge Rd.) Please join us for our Annual White Elephant Auction. This event is always a lot of fun and is an enjoyable way to “recycle” any gifts you received that you’d like to pass on to someone else. The new officers for 2007 will also be introduced. We’d love to see you there!
Zero Waste! Can we really do it? Well, according to second law thermodynamics, no. However, there are many cheap and painless ways to reduce waste. Each month this section will expound upon the first two elements of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra, with the third also mentioned when appropriate.
This month: Bringing Down Mail Mountain
Reduce the number of catalogues you receive. Inside of each catalogue-usually on the order page-there is a phone number or address with instructions on how to remove your name from their mailing list. Putting your name on a general “Do Not Mail” list is not sufficient, as it will not stop catalogues from any vendor with whom you have ever done business. For more information on how to remove your name from myriad mailing lists and reduce junk mail, go to the following web site: www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm.
Receive your bills and statements electronically. Nearly all utilities, banks and insurance companies provide this option, because it saves them money. Check your paper statements for instructions on converting to electronic bill receipt and payment, or go to each vendor’s web site.
Unwanted mail can be included with your Montgomery County curbside paper recycling, so please do not leave it at the post office! If you have concerns about privacy, shred your mail before adding it to the recycling bin. Remember, all of the following types of paper products can be recycled: newspapers and inserts, corrugated cardboard, cereal and other boxes, telephone books, computer and office paper, paperback and hardcover books (although I recommend you donate or “freecycle” these), magazines, catalogs, shredded paper, envelopes and boxes with plastic windows, and all other clean and dry paper.
Please send suggestions for this section to Jessica Jones at
Leaves Are Falling…
Leaf pickup will begin November 1st. New and long-time residents alike are reminded that the Town contracts for the removal of leaves in bulk each autumn. US Lawns will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six feet of any walkway or roadway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins November 1 and ends January 1, 2007, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is complete. This is your opportunity to have leaves removed without the additional work and expense of bagging.
Weather frequently affects this process, as rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues. Also, one or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually see most of us raking at the same time. As the contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming, if you rake when most other people rake the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. If you feel that a particular pile has been ignored for an inordinate amount of time, please call Kathie Evans at 301-869-7816 or e-mail her at [email protected]
Please place your windrows with an eye towards traffic visibility and flow, and don’t include brush or limbs that foul the vacuum. Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.
November 22, 2006, 7:30 p.m. » All are welcome to an ecumenical Thanksgiving service on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This non-traditional service is for the purpose of allowing all in the Grove to participate in giving thanks for the bounty and beauty surrounding us. Plans include reading Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation, guitar and piano music, showing Grove photos on the silver screen, and reading a short text from the Old Testament. Want to help? Contact Pastor Judy Young at 301-869-3753 or [email protected].
Final Recyclable Yard Waste Pick Up
Per our contract with Montgomery County Sanitation and Recycling, November 29th will be the last date for collection of your big brown bags, bundles, or containers of recyclable yard waste for this year. This service will resume in early March. Town Maintenance will continue to collect your reasonably-sized brush piles.
Holiday Trash Pickup Schedule
Trash pickup scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 23rd will occur on Friday, November 24th.
UNICEF Thank you!
Rebecca Porter (AKA Colonial Girl) would like to thank the many generous people who donated to UNICEF on Halloween night. Your donations totaled $100.00 and children all over the world will benefit from your considerate act!
MASTER PLAN WORK SESSION SCHEDULED
The Planning Commission’s work session will be on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 7:00 p.m., in McCathran Hall. This will be the opportunity for all Town residents to offer viewpoints directly to the Planning Commission. After the work session, the Planning Commission will formulate their recommended package for the next version of the Master Plan. Later, there will be a formal public hearing on the Planning Commissions recommendations, once they work through all the issues. The proposed Draft Master Plan can be viewed on this website. This is VERY important and only happens every TEN years!! Come see what it’s all about.
LIGHTS OUT ??
Street lights that need replacement bulbs and/or repairs will now be reported to PEPCO once a month. This report will be done on or about the 15th of the month. If you have a street light near you that has gone out, please call the Town Office with the following information:
Pole number – this is a 10 digit number with a hyphen. For ex.: 123456-7891
Street or Avenue location of pole.
Closest street address.
The actual process as far as PEPCO is concerned has not changed. The change is in the way the information is gathered. Please don’t call PEPCO directly; this seems to cause some confusion. Thanks for your cooperation!
Bulletin Deadline is the 12th of the month!
Walkway Use Reminder…
Please remind your contractors that the walkways are NOT to be used for driving or parking. They may use a walkway for the purposes of unloading equipment only.