301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 11.10.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Actions at the October Council meeting included:

  • approval of the Mayor’s appointment of Cindy Frei to fill the vacancy on the Town Council left by Bill Robertson’s resignation.

From The Mayor

It is with great sadness to report on the passing of former Mayor Barbara Hawk. Barbara served the Town in many different capacities: Mayor, Planning Commission member, and Recreation Committee Chair. She had an enormous influence on Washington Grove. Her years of dedicated service were remarkable. Most recently Barbara requested the restoration of Political Hill in Wade Park which was completed last spring. She will be sorely missed. The Town is hosting a memorial service for Barbara on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. in McCathran Hall. All are invited to attend.

Council Member Bill Robertson Resigns

It is with much regret the Town Council accepted the resignation of Bill Robertson from his service on the Council. We wish him well in his move back to the South. Thank you and good luck!

New Council Member Approved

The Town Council voted Cindy Frei to replace Bill Robertson until the next Town election in May 2015. Many thanks to Cindy for her willingness to serve in this capacity.

Noise on Sunday Morning

Article 1, Section 7. Operation of Power Mowers, Etc.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a power mower, chain saw, or other power equipment on Sundays before the hour of 12:00 Noon. Except that electrically powered tools may be operated within a building with doors and windows closed. (Washington Grove Town Ordinance)

Why do residents of the Grove feel a need for an ordinance of this nature? The Grove’s first ordinance addressing power equipment was adopted in 1964 even though the gasoline powered mower and power chain saws had made their appearances many decades before in the early 1920s.

The Grove, since its inception as the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (1873), always emphasized freedom from disturbance during worship and from anything that would cause a disquieting effect on the Sabbath. Sundays were clearly a highlight of the week with special observances and restricted activities. These concepts were formalized through the Grove’s official regulations.

Until the mid-20th century, the Grove’s Sunday practices were protected by those of the larger culture which, to a certain extent, mirrored those of the Grove. This was due to the "Blue Laws." These laws, historically originating in the 17th century and passed by both state and local governments, regulated Sunday commerce which significantly affected the lifestyle of the people. Many of us here in Town remember the stores being closed and the quiet of Sundays. Most of these laws have been repealed because they have lost relevance in today’s world or are not in line with the constitutional separation of church and state.

With the repealing of the Blue Laws, the protective cocoon around the Grove dissolved; the busy 24-7 culture penetrated into everyone’s lives, and soon Sunday mornings became a prime time to buy groceries, do the laundry, catch up on repair projects, and mow the lawn.

Here in the Grove, our unique history encourages us to take a respite from this cultural intrusion. It calls to us to preserve a remnant of our most basic Grove roots by refraining from anything causing "a disquieting effect" to the peacefulness of a Sunday morning. Let us "hear the forest" as well as "live in it." This is real historic preservation.

–References: WG Camp Meeting Association Minutes, President’s Reports, Town Ordinances, Maryland Law Review

Please be respectful to the Town ordinances and all of your neighbors by abiding by this Article.

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract 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 October 31 and ends January 2, 2015, 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. 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 Greg Silber at 301-926-1854 or e-mail him at [email protected].

Please place your windrows along the side of the road or walkway (keeping in mind, traffic & pedestrian 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.

Ridge Road Refuse Meeting

On Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m., the Town will host a meeting to discuss solutions to our refuse contractor picking up refuse along Ridge Road. The tight spacing of the rural road has resulted in some damage to Town property as well as some private property along Ridge Road. The contractors have been outstanding in responding to attempts to minimize this damage. This is an opportunity for residents to share opinions and ideas to assist in reducing and repairing the ruts made by the refuse vehicles on this road. All are invited to attend.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 11.05.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

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. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or [email protected], or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Permits approved on November 5th:

  • 201 Maple Road » Enclose Garage
  • 121 Chestnut Ave. » Shed
  • Railroad Street, Chestnut Road, Hickory Road, Oak Street & Grove Ave. – PEPCO – Public Ways & Property Permit
  • 402 Grove Ave. » Underground Wires
  • PEPCO – Public Ways & Property Permit

Geothermal Digging Needs Town Permit!

The Town Public Ways & Property Permit requirement became effective on Feb. 14, 2013. If you are contemplating the installation of a geothermal heat/AC system, please check with the Town Planning Commission BEFORE you get started. It is important to be sure of your property lines before allowing someone to start digging. If digging will occur on Town land, you must obtain a Public Ways & Property Permit from the Town. County permits are also required for this type of project. Thank you!

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 11.18.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.

Historic Preservation Tax Credit Workshop in Takoma Park – Tuesday, November 18, 2014

  • What: Maryland & Montgomery County Historic Preservation tax credits
  • When: 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, November 18, 2014
  • Where: Historic Takoma, 7328 Carroll Ave. Takoma Park, MD
  • Why: Learn how to get a share of State and County funds dedicated to preserving historic structures and rebuilding the best of Maryland communities.

State and County historic preservation staff will explain how to receive credits for rehabilitation projects at a workshop sponsored by Historic Takoma. The workshop will address the expansion of the Maryland tax credit program for small business owners and also provide information to owners of residential properties about how to apply for tax credits.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 12.17.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.


The 6th Annual Washington Grove "BLUESTOBER-FEST!" was a huge success. Many thanks to "movers and shakers" Eric & Lawren Selby and everyone else (too many to list) who pitched in to make this annual October party loads of fun for all!

Punkin’ Carvin’ KUDOS!!

Thank you to Ryan Young and Emily Brown for organizing this event. The pumpkin display is quite a sight and the squirrels are enjoying it too!

Attention would-be Grove performers of ALL ages!!

There will be an organizational meeting at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 2 in McCathran Hall to present and discuss plans for this year’s Holiday Show. All those interested in dancing, singing, acting, choreographing, or, any of several backstage jobs are urged to attend. This year, kids will be needed to play lead roles in the show, so, we look forward to seeing many Grovers, both kids and grown-ups at the meeting. Come on out and join the cast and crew!!!

Mark Your Calendars – this year’s Holiday Show will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Dance Classes in the Grove – for Kids

Mixed dance and movement class, including ballet and jazz for Kids for 5-7 year olds. Fridays from 4:15 to 4:45 ($5 per class. Drop ins welcome).

Mixed dance class including ballet, jazz, modern and Zumba for ages 8-14. Fridays from 4:45 to 5:45 ($7 per class).
Call Samantha Beres for more details. 301-330-8509

Just What IS Contra-Dancing, Anyway?

Ever wanted to know what goes on at Glen Echo on Friday and Sunday evenings? Come to the Contra Dance in McCathran Hall on Saturday, November 8, and find out! Lesson at 7:00, dancing starts at 7:30p.m. No experience needed to have a great time! Join veterans of Terpsichore’s Holiday Folk Dance Camp for a fun night and great dancing! We will have fabulous musicians, including Steve Hickman on fiddle, DeLaura Padovan calling, and the Major Minors (an all-teen contra band, marimbas included!). Free to Town residents, but donations gladly accepted to help pay the band. Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.
Questions? Call Shelley Winkler at 301-330-6446.

Let There Be Singing!

Any voices want to sing-a-long? Join us on MONDAY, November 17, 2014, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. This is just an informal gathering of singers, all voices (SATB) welcome. Bring a song you’d like the group to sing. Questions may be directed to Ann Briggs, 301-926-6347 or the Town Office 301-926-2256.

Film Society News

Join us on Sunday, November 16, for Last Train Home, a movie that lets us in on the remarkable annual journey of Chinese peasants from the coastal manufacturing cities where they work to their rural homelands. This documentary follows the Zhangs, self-sacrificing factory workers, as they travel each year to see to their young son and increasingly resentful teenaged daughter, who are being reared by a grandmother in the achingly beautiful Sichuan countryside. Movie airs at 7 PM in McCathran Hall, discussion to follow. Tickets at the door are $7. Directed by Lixin Fan, 2009, China/Canada/U.K., Mandarin with English subtitles, 87 minutes.

Forestry News

Saturday, November 8, 2014; 9:30 AM
West Woods Trails and Trash Work Day – volunteer an hour of your time for this worthy cause. Meet in the Maple Lake parking lot with the tool of your choice.


Woman’s Club News

This year’s Saturday Afternoon Craft Social at the Clubhouse was a great success! The knitters and crocheters compared yarns, swapped tips with each other, and encouraged the newbies to start on fun projects. We all agreed that it’s an event we want to do again.

As the holidays approach and the Clubhouse is buttoned down for the winter, November and December will be quiet months for the Club, but stay tuned for news about our always popular January White Elephant Sale.


  • Nov. 26. Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service, 7 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church (201 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877). Come and give thanks with a larger community Thanksgiving service with those who have diverse backgrounds, seeking the common good of the community.
  • Many thanks for canned food items supporting Gaithersburg Help for the hungry. You made a difference in the world!
  • Support Washington Grove Church by shopping through www.umcmarket.org. Almost every retail online shops are listed. No hidden fee at all. Just go to the website, find the name Washington Grove United Methodist Church, and shop. The retail store you shop will donate to the church. Thank You!
  • Dec. 5 (Fri) 6-8 p.m. Mark your calendar for SERRV Trade Craft show for Christmas shopping

Refuse/Recycling Schedule Change for Holidays

With the upcoming holidays falling on Thursdays, Potomac Disposal has made the following changes to our pickup schedule:

  • Thanksgiving Week-Pickup on Wednesday 11/26/14
  • Christmas Week-Pickup on Wednesday 12/24/14
  • New Year’s Week-Pickup on Wednesday 12/31/14

YARD WASTE Collection Ends

Please note that December 31, 2014 will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal. This service will resume in early March.

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