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You are here: Home / Governance / Minutes / 2017 / May


Date: May 2, 2017

Place: Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue

Time: 7:30 PM

Present: Chris Richardson, Scott Livingston, Nancy Pines, Pat Xeller, Ashley Kavanaugh, two Section 5 residents, and one other citizen observer

Agenda Item: Welcome

Chair Chris Richardson called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.

Agenda Item: Introduction of Council Members

The Council Members introduced themselves.

Agenda Item: Approval of April Council Meeting Minutes

Chair Richardson moved that the minutes from the April meeting be approved; there was a second, and the motion passed.

Agenda Item: Chairman’s report

Chair Richardson gave a brief summary of the important Section events from the past year. He noted the Council is currently in the process of reviewing the Section 5 Code of Ordinances. He also discussed the hiring of a new building consultant, Joe Toomey, to assist the Town Manager with the review of building applications. He will also help advise and formulate a strategic plan for the Section’s infrastructure.

Agenda Item: Presentation of Proposed FY 2018 Section 5 Budget

The Town Manager presented the proposed FY 2018 budget to the Council and residents present. After a detailed discussion of all the line items, income, and expenditures, the budget was up for a vote.

Agenda Item: Council Votes on Proposed FY 2018 Section 5 Budget

Chair Richardson moved that the budget be passed as submitted; there was a second, and the motion passed unanimously.

Agenda Item: Residents Vote on Tax Rate

Greg Chernack moved that the Council recommend the tax rate be set once again at zero; the Council was in agreement. The residents in attendance voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation of the Council, and the tax rate will be set at zero.

Agenda Item: Citizen Concerns and Suggestions

A resident raised the issue of the chemical/salt treatment used by the Section on sidewalks during snow events. He asked if the Section would consider using a pet friendly version, or using sand instead. The Town Manager indicated the Section uses a pet safe salt treatment, but that in the future we might also consider sand when appropriate. The same resident also inquired about the half telephone poles that are sometimes seen next to a taller telephone pole. He has one in front of his house, and would like it removed. The Town Manager will contact Pepco and see what can be done. The same resident also inquired about water on sidewalks due to storm runoff. The Town Manager indicated that residents are not supposed to have water dumped into the right of way.

Agenda Item: Manager’s Report

The Town Manager asked the Council to officially approve a one time transfer of $30,000 from the Section’s general checking account to the Section’s Capital Reserves Fund for FY 2017. The Council unanimously approved this transfer. The transfer was noted in the Section’s FY 2017 budget.

The Town Manager asked about paying the Section’s monthly Verizon account by an automated electronic transfer. The bill is routinely $74 every month. The Council unanimously approved.

One tree permit removal application was granted in April: A private tree on Leland Street.

One building permit application was granted in April: A fence replacement on Thornapple Street.

Three trees planted as part of the Section’s “Free Tree Program” in the fall died. This is not unusual. The supplier, Stadler Nursery, is replacing all. As part of this program, the Section distributed tree watering bags to all residents who requested trees along with watering instructions.

The Town Manager updated the Council on a fatal crash involving a motorcyclist and a car at Thornapple Street and Connecticut Avenue.

The Town Manager said that WSSC and Washington Gas have informed the Section they are scheduled for repair projects starting in the fall. The work will affect the street work project we had mapped out in this past April. Because of this, the Section will look to do more sidewalk work, and only critical gutter and street work as part of our planned street maintenance project.

The Town Manager also received a response from the State Highway Administration to the February inquiry by the Section regarding intersection safety. As part of the review, the State looked at the most recently available three-year police reported crash records for each intersection. The State identified the intersection of Thornapple Street and Brookville Road as having limited sight distance for turning movements. To address this, SHA will install an intersection warning sign along southbound Brookville Road prior to the intersection. They expect the work to be completed within 60 days. One other area the Section identified as an urgent concern was the recently installed metal box on the east side of Connecticut Avenue associated with the updated pedestrian crosswalk between Williams Lane and Woodbine Street. The placement and large size of the box now limits visibility for motorists. As a result, SHA will replace the existing signal cabinet with a pole-mounted signal cabinet. They expect this work to be completed within 90 days.

The Town Manager said we are making slow but steady progress on the Section’s Code revision. The goal is to introduce at least the Building Code in September. Once introduced officially at the meeting, we will then circulate to residents for comment.

In community news, the Town Manager has had preliminary discussions with the County and other local Chevy Chase municipalities regarding the proposed Interim Capital Crescent Trail should the Purple Line Project proceed. Chair Richardson and the Town Manager are set to attend a meeting with all the interested parties in late May.

The County is considering revising its short-term rental regulations. Before the meeting the Town Manager circulated the most recent County proposal. After a short discussion the Council decided the Section should send a letter to the Montgomery County Planning Board noting we are not broadly opposed, but we have significant concerns about the County’s ability to oversee the regulations. We would instead urge the County to allow each municipality the ability to opt in or out of the proposed regulation. The Town Manager will send a letter to this effect.

There is no news on the Purple Line lawsuit. The state is still waiting on the Judge to issue a ruling.


Chair Richardson adjourned the meeting. The next meeting will be held June 13, 2017, at 7:30 PM at the Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue. The Village Hall has handicapped access. Everyone is welcome.