After hours of discussion and months of wrangling, the Montgomery County Council today, in a straw vote, supported imperviousness caps on the three properties surrounding Clarksburg’s Ten Mile Creek at 6-15-15 percent. This compromise is in keeping with the maximum levels of development sought by the Save Ten Mile Creek coalition, a coalition of over 30 local citizens groups and national environmental groups who had asked for a six percent cap on the property at the headwaters of the creek. The real vote takes place in three weeks after additional environmental protection criteria is worked into the final language of the Ten Mile Creek Limited Master Plan Amendment.
The Ten Mile Creek watershed is an emergency drinking water source for 4.3 million people in the greater Washington area and is the last pristine creek in Montgomery County. It is currently a “reference stream,” a high quality source used by biologists around the state to compare water quality. The development approved for the area threatens to downgrade the reference stream to a lower quality unless strict mitigation criteria are established and enforced.
Senate Bill 631, entitled “Environment – Retail Service Stations – Setback Certification,“ was introduced by Maryland Senator Richard Madaleno at the request of the Mega Gas Station Setback Coalition and establishes adequate setbacks for new large gas stations in order to protect the health of surrounding communities.
Photo credit Lauren Wood/The Natchez Democrat
This is round two in the effort, after a similar bill submitted by a coalition of civic activists and environmental groups failed in the Maryland House of Delegates last year amid heavy lobbying by Costco, other big-box retailers, the Maryland Petroleum Council, and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. Continue reading
On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved its list of Maryland state transportation priorities, with the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) leading the way.
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Tagged Cherri Branson, Craig Rice, George Leventhal, ike leggett, Marc Elrich, Montgomery County, Montgomery County Council, Nancy Navarro, Roger Berliner, traffic, transportation
The civic heat has been turned up a notch on the County’s Wheaton Redevelopment Project, which includes Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offices, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) new headquarters and a town square on what is now known as “Parking Lot 13″ in Wheaton’s Central Business District.
Public Parking Lot 13
We covered the story months ago when local environmentalists first sounded the alarm on the project, citing a lack of vegetative elements and a box-like building design that do not reflect Wheaton Sector Plan aspirations and MNCPPC’s green mission.
Roundly criticized by civic and environmental leaders, the County presented an updated plan that was met with slightly better reviews, only to be embarrassed later by revelations that the supposedly improved plan was heavily Photoshopped.
The vote is in: Silver Spring resident and Capitol Hill staffer Cherri Branson will be the new District 5 Montgomery County Councilmember. The County Council chose Branson from among 18 candidates, including one current and one former council chief of staff, civic activists, a former Maryland house delegate and two municipal officials. Branson emerged as a compromise choice who, according to one source, “has the least baggage.” She will replace outgoing Councilmember Valerie Ervin, who left her post in early January to become executive director of the Center for Working Families in New York.
All the candidates were vetted by the County Council in publicly televised half hour interviews. Branson’s interview is here (go to 1:30). Candidates were asked to affirm that they would not run for that seat or another council seat in the upcoming election. Branson will be the second African-American woman to hold a council seat.
On Monday, January 27th, the County Council will hold a worksession about the water supply issues related to proposed development in the pristine Ten Mile Creek watershed- part of the backup drinking water supply for 4.3 Million in the DC area.
Join us at 9am to rally in advance of the worksession on the front steps of the Council building- 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. This is one of the last chances we have to show the Council just how important clean water is to MoCo residents, current and future.
All 4.3 Million who rely on the creek can’t make it- can you?
We need proactive, precautionary land use planning to protect our water resources – a plan that that looks further than 5 years out, relies on science and calculates the real costs of poorly planned development.
If you haven’t already done so: Please contact all the Councilmembers:
CANCELLED DUE TO STORM: Tuesday, January 21, 8:45 am, front steps of County Council Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville.
Write to Councilmembers at email@example.com and tell them:
- I drink water and I vote.
- Save, don’t pave, Ten Mile Creek: I want full protection for our last, best creek.
- Ten Mile Creek is the cleanest source of water to our region’s only nearby emergency drinking water supply – Little Seneca Reservoir, which scientists say will be needed more often in the future due to increased droughts.
- Ask them how they plan to vote on the Ten Mile Creek Limited Amendment.
#SaveTenMileCreek testimony: This post is one in a series of posts on the opposition to the proposed development at Ten Mile Creek. Today we focus on the many myths being spread and the facts that prove each a misstatement.
From Diane Cameron, Conservation Program Director for the Audubon Naturalist Society and co-chair of the Ad-hoc Water Quality Advisory Group:
- Myth: Ten Mile Creek and Little Seneca Reservoir aren’t real drinking water sources.
- Fact: Ten Mile Creek is part of Little Seneca Creek, which is a designated public drinking water source. It is the cleanest source of water to Little Seneca Reservoir, also a designated drinking water source; the original and continuing primary purpose of Little Seneca Reservoir is to serve as the greater Washington D.C. region’s proximate emergency drinking water supply for 4.3 million people.
- Myth: We don’t need high-quality streams to serve as biological reference streams; it’s O.K. if Montgomery loses our few remaining places of high bio-diversity. Continue reading
#SaveTenMileCreek testimony: This post is one in a series of posts on the opposition to the proposed development at Ten Mile Creek. Diane Cameron is the Conservation Program Director for the Audubon Naturalist Society, and co-chair of the Ad-hoc Water Quality Advisory Group, whose testimony was given on December 3, 2013 at the Montgomery County Council hearing on the Clarksburg/Ten Mile Creek Limited Master Plan Amendment.
Ten Mile Creek is the cleanest source of water to the region’s only nearby emergency drinking water supply, Little Seneca Reservoir. This is your moment of leadership and stewardship for Ten Mile Creek in the interest of the 4.3 million people in the DC region who depend on this drinking water supply. The voters are watching whether you will act to protect Ten Mile Creek.
A bit of recent Council history:
- In 2009, the Council set up the “Ad-hoc Water Quality Advisory Group, which I co-chaired. The voting majority favored a Limited Master Plan Amendment for Ten Mile Creek; its core recommendation: The only scientifically-proven way to prevent (not just possibly lessen) this host of impairments is to minimize the construction of infrastructure projects in the Ten Mile Creek watershed, and to apply protective conservative land cover requirements through a limited Master Plan amendment. Continue reading
#SaveTenMileCreek testimony: This post is one in a series of posts on the opposition to the proposed development at Ten Mile Creek. Melane Hoffman is a Clarksburg resident and civic activist whose testimony was given on December 3, 2013 at the Montgomery County Council hearing on the Clarksburg/Ten Mile Creek Limited Master Plan Amendment.
My name is Melane Hoffmann. I have lived at 23801 Peach Tree Road in Clarksburg for about 20 years. I participated in the Master Plan process in 1992 and ’93. I have been involved as a leader in the PTAs of Clarksburg Elementary, Rocky Hill Middle School, and Clarksburg High School, as well as scouting and sports in Clarksburg for 15 years. This year I was one of about ten people who formed the Liveable Clarksburg Coalition when the Clarksburg Master Plan amendment issue arose. Our Coalition went viral and grew to 350 participants in about 6 weeks. Several of you sent staff to a meeting we organized quickly in May, and about 250 people attended. That kind of turnout is evidence of the frustration of people in Clarksburg at the debacle the Planning Board has allowed in our community over the years.On behalf of the Coalition and everyone who lives in Clarksburg, I ask you today to reverse the Planning Board’s long tradition of ignoring our community’s voice and bending over backwards for developers. Please stop this freight train.
Participants in our Coalition sent almost 100 individual letters to the Planning Board or posted on their Website on the topic, expressing everything from deep concern to absolute outrage. Yet as far as we can tell this input does not appear in the record and has not been provided to you. Continue reading