Stella B. Werner Council Office Building

100 Maryland Avenue Rockville, Maryland  20850

(240) 777-6600

Case No. CBA-102



Effective Date of Resolution: February 12, 2014

Case No. CBA-102 is a special exception that the Board of Appeals granted to Garrett Park Swimming Pool Association effective November 4, 1953, under Section 176-13, G(29), Mont. Co. Code, 1950, to permit a community swimming pool.  On September 19, 1979, the Board passed a resolution to clarify the hours of operation for the pool.  Effective July 18, 2013, the Board of Appeals granted an administrative modification of the special exception, under Section 59-G-1.3(c)(1) of the Zoning Ordinance following a May 23, 2013 request from Jean Horan, President of the Board of Directors of the pool.   Pursuant to the provisions of Section 59-G-1.3(c)(1)of the Zoning Ordinance, in a resolution dated August 16, 2013, the Board of Appeals suspended the administrative modification and held a hearing on the modification on December 4, 2013 following timely requests from James and Jean Agenbroad and Ann Gordon.  At the end of that proceeding the Board reinstated the modification with revisions based on proposals from Garrett Park Swimming Pool Association [Exhibit No. 36] and evidence and testimony at the hearing on December 4, 2013.

The subject property is Lots 12, 13 and 14, Block 94, located on Cambria Avenue in the Town of Garrett Park, Maryland 20896, in the R-90 Zone.

The Board reinstates the modification to allow the following physical and operational characteristics of the special exception:

  1. Hours of Operation:

General Hours (open to all members)

3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on days Montgomery County Public Schools are in session

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. all other days

Special Hours

(a)       6 a.m. weekdays- early use by adult “master swim” participants only

(b)      7:30 a.m. weekdays  during swim team season (from the end of the school year until late July)

(c)     7:30 a.m. on Saturdays- use by swim team members  and members of visiting teams when GPSPA hosts Saturday morning swim meets; no amplified sound will be used before 9 a.m.

(d)     10  p.m.  closing  on  evenings  when  the  temperature   exceeds  90 degrees, at the discretion of pool management- use by all members

(e)     10:30 p.m. closing on two evenings a week- adult members  (18+) only

(f)     late night use permitted  up to 11:30 p.m. no more than 4 weekend nights per season for special events

(g)     one overnight use for the swim team

  1. General Pool Operation

(a)        Season.    Saturday  before  Memorial  Day  through  mid-September.

Based on staff availability the Pool may be open for curtailed hours on  select  days  after  Labor  Day  until  no later  than  the  second  full week of September.

(b)     Membership.   Approximately 535 families.  GPSPA estimates that approximately 70% of Pool membership is within walking or biking distance of the Pool.

(c)      Refreshments  are provided  in  the form  of cold  drinks  and  snacks dispensed through vending machines during normal operating hours.

(d)      Fencing.   A chain  link  fence surrounds  the entire  perimeter  of the property,  enclosing    pools,    bathhouse,    guardhouse    and   other facilities.   It is 10′ tall on the eastern boundary  (with the Town tennis court) and 8′ on all other sides.

(e) Landscaping.   Mature trees and shrubs are maintained by GPSPA throughout  the   property,  and  new  plantings  are  installed  as warranted.   All plantings  are maintained  for appearance  and safety, as well as to provide visual and sound screening between the pools, and between the property and residents.

(f)       Lighting.  All pools, the bathhouse and grounds are well-lit; lights are illuminated   all  night  during  the  season.     The  Town-owned   and maintained  parking  lot is fully lit year-round.   All lights  are directed away from the residential area to the south:

(g)      Parking.   As noted above, a significant proportion  of Pool members live within walking  and biking distance  of the Pool.   A Town-owned and  -maintained parking  lot  is  immediately  adjacent  to  the  Pool property.  The Pool and the Town of Garrett Park provide parking for bicycles, scooters, etc. On approximately 5 or 6 occasions during the season – 2 or 3 Wednesday night “B” team meets and a similar number  of Saturday morning “A” meets – as well as holidays and some weekends, there is parking overflow to adjacent streets.   For swim   meets,  the  GP  Swim  Team  and  the  Town  government coordinate to provide community-wide notice of the meet and encourage  walking  to  the  Pool  by  local  participants; the  Town, GPSPA and the Swim Team also cooperate on other steps to minimize  traffic  and  parking  impact  on  nearby  residents  and  to assure a safe vehicle and pedestrian environment at all times.

(h)       GPSPA shall at all times observe applicable Montgomery County and Town of Garrett Park rules, regulations and ordinances.

(i)        Music/Amplified Sound

(A) No music will be played by a means different from, or to a level greater than that of a usual and conventional home reproduction system such as a CD player or stereo.

(B) The use of such a conventional home reproduction system to play   music   or  otherwise  amplify  sound   for   entertainment purposes shall be permitted for one late night use per operating season only, and shall be discontinued by 10:00 p.m..   For the remaining permitted late night uses and the permitted overnight use, the use of a home reproduction system for entertainment purposes shall be discontinued by 9:00 p.m..  Speakers for any such reproduction system used for entertainment purposes shall be oriented away from neighboring residences, so as to face the abutting railroad tracks.

(j)      Sound – During  late night  uses, GPSPA shall monitor sound levels at the perimeter of theproperty every thirty minutes. During  the   single   overnight  use,  GPSPA  shall   conduct  such monitoring at the perimeter of the property every thirty minutes until midnight and every hour thereafter until the conclusion of the event.

(k)     Community Liaison.  GPSPA shall designate a Community Liaison to address issues that affect pool neighbors.  The Community Liaison will serve as a contact person for neighbor complaints. GPSPA must provide the name and contact information for the designated Community     Liaison,   together   with   information   regarding   the scheduled dates for home swim meets, late night and overnight uses, to neighbors at the beginning of every operating season.  A record of any  neighbor  complaints  received  by  the  Community  Liaison  in writing must also be filed with the Board of Appeals on an annual basis.

  1. Physical Setting of the Pool

(a)    The  physical  setting of  the Pool and its  immediate  surroundings remain unchanged since 1953.   Ms. Horan’s letter explains: “The property is leased from the Town of Garrett Park, which coordinates with GPSPA on items of mutual interest.  The site is bordered on the north by the CSX right-of-way and tracks, on the south by Cambria Avenue, and on both the east and west by recreational areas owned and maintained by the Town of Garrett Park.  The pool property does not abut any residential property. The nearest residences are south, across Cambria Avenue, and those homes do not “face” the Pool; rather, it is those residential properties’ rear yards that are opposite the pool property.”

(b)     Two small wooden decks have been added: one deck is contiguous to and expands the concrete deck seating adjacent to the original pool; the other deck is ground-level and supplies seating adjacent to the volleyball court/child play area.

The Board of Appeals considered the modification at its Work sessions on June 5, 2013 and June 19, 2013, and at a public hearing on December 4, 2013. Section 59-G-1.3(c)(1) of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance provides, pertaining to modification of special exceptions:

If the proposed  modification is such that the terms  or conditions could be modified  without substantially changing .the nature, character or intensity of the use and without substantially changing the effect on traffic or on the immediate neighborhood, the Board, without convening a public hearing to consider the proposed change, may modify the term or condition.

Based on the evidence of record and the evidence presented at the December 4, 2013 hearing, as set forth herein and in the Board’s February ??,  Resolution to Re-Instate Modification in Case No. CBA-102, which is hereby incorporated by reference into this Resolution, and for the reasons set forth therein, the Board finds that the requested modification will not substantially change the nature, character or intensity of the use or its effect on traffic or on the immediate neighborhood. Thus the Board finds that the modification should be reinstated, as revised by Exhibit No. 36 and during the proceeding of December 4, 2013, as depicted in this Revised Resolution to Modify Special Exception.  Therefore, on a motion by John H. Pentecost, seconded by Catherine G. Titus, Chair, with Stanley B. Boyd and David K. Perdue, Vice-Chair, in agreement, and Carolyn J. Shawaker necessarily not participating, the Board adopted the following Resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Appeals for Montgomery County, Maryland that the opinion stated above is adopted as the Resolution required by law as its decision on the above-entitled petition.BOAsignature

NOTE:  Any decision by the County Board of Appeals may, within thirty (30) days after the decision is rendered, be appealed by any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board and a party to the proceeding before it, to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, in accordance with the Maryland Rules of Procedure.   It is each party’s responsibility to participate in the Circuit Court action to protect their respective interests.  In short, as a party you have a right to protect your interests in this matter by participating in the Circuit Court proceedings, and this right is unaffected by any participation by the County.