The Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan – known to many of us as the BRT plan, for Bus Rapid Transit – is working its way through the planning process, and there’s no doubt that in some form it will be forwarded to the Montgomery County Council. Coincident with this, the County Executive’s Rapid Transit Steering Committee is working to “support and provide advice…in the implementation of a Rapid Transit System in the County, within the framework of adopted and soon to be adopted Master Plans in the County, and within the fiscal constraints and overall policy direction of the County Executive.” Continue reading
The following letter is from Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association in Silver Spring:
I am writing to urge you to sign a petition my civic association, Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association (SOECA) is circulating to help protect our local stream by asking the County simply to follow clean water and forest laws and regulations in place. The petition will be send to the Montgomery County Planning Board and Isaiah Leggett, County Executive. It says:
We ask that the County vigorously enforce State and County stormwater laws and green space requirements and save mature trees on the site of the proposed Chelsea Court townhouse development in Silver Spring.
The following letter was submitted by a resident to neighbors of the Park Hill Civic Association in Silver Spring:
I suspect I am not the only one who is rather dispirited by the Silver Spring Transit Center debacle. As the magnitude of the problem became known with the release of the independent consultant’s report, I found myself dejected to the point of inaction. I recently discussed this matter with a local resident and former member of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. This person had an interesting point: had the public pressed earlier and pressed harder for information, we might not have dug ourselves into such a deep hole. As it stands, the public is on the hook for additional money in the millions of dollars. Continue reading
Councilmember Valerie Ervin has written an important memo to the chair of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, Nancy Floreen. We thank Councilmember Ervin for her insightful memo, and for starting a real dialogue about what we believe are some unnecessary and unsettling changes in the proposed new code—particularly in the agricultural and single-family residential zones. Specifically, Councilmember Ervin states:
The majority of agricultural and single-family residential [zones] have no significant potential for further development, so there are no compelling reasons to change the zones and the standards that apply to those areas. (Emphasis added.)
Bruce Variety is open for business at its new location, 8011 Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda, the former Creative Parties space. The shelves aren’t yet fully stocked—the buttons haven’t arrived yet, no sign of adult socks or credit card inserts for wallets—but the new location is larger and brighter. There’s an expanded fabric selection and a spacious kids’ corner. For those driving to the store, there’s a metered lot next door; parking is free in the lot on weekends.
Meanwhile, just over a mile away, a large sign heralds the coming of Bradley Party and Variety in Bruce’s former space at the Bradley Shopping Center on Arlington Road. A smaller sign on the door says there are renovations coming to the interior. Robin Strosnider is in charge, and according to employees at Strosnider Hardware, the new store could be open as early as May 1. Whether it will bring its own style or try to replicate its predecessor—well, only time will tell. Continue reading
The spelling of NIMBYs is getting a new look just in time for spring – NIMBIES – that’s with an I-E-S. This spelling stands for: Neighbors in My Backyard: Invested, Engaged, Stakeholders. NIMBIES are neighbors with an affinity and awareness towards building better and smarter neighborhoods and interconnecting communit-i-e-s, through shared goals, shared values, and by supporting each other.
I’ve just attended a meeting today, March 23, with about 20 of my Silver Spring neighbors, all involved leaders of local civic groups such as Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, Youth and Family Services at the YMCA, Lyttonsville Citizens Association, Silver Spring Green, and the Montgomery Housing Partnership. The workshop theme was “Building a High-Performance Community” and was led by Reemberto Rodriguez, the Director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center. Continue reading
The Brickyard Coalition supporters learned from a Brickyard Brief today that the Brickyard school site legal fight is over:
Our community stood together and prevailed!
The legal fight over the Brickyard school site is over. As requested by the Brickyard Coalition in multiple lawsuits, Montgomery County has surrendered the Brickyard lease and returned the Brickyard property to the BOE [Board of Education]. The BOE has formally rescinded the lease and, at least in part due to the Coalition’s request, nullified their authorizing resolution of March 8, 2011. Continue reading
Once again, Montgomery County’s deficiencies regarding truth and transparency have come to light in the Brickyard organic farm debacle.
But let’s not forget another of the County’s boondoggles: Belward Farm. The County worked hand-in-hand with Johns Hopkins University to deceive the farm’s late owner, Elizabeth Banks. As Fred Fransen, Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education wrote: “What’s particularly troublesome is that local officials, in effect, became co-conspirators in the university’s effort to shaft the donor.”
An internal Johns Hopkins University letter from 1988 recounts just how the County, thwarted in their efforts to convince Ms. Banks to develop her property, contacted Johns Hopkins “sub rosa” (i.e. secretly), for help. Continue reading
Neighborhood groups and other concerned citizens on March 5th will call on the Montgomery County Council to scale back a proposed land use plan for Chevy Chase Lake to something closer to what county planners initially envisioned.
The Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, now before the County Council, would allow a sleepy shopping center and its immediate surroundings just south of Interstate 495 to grow by 2.4 million square feet (about 200,000 square feet of that is already approved), including more than 1,300 new homes and apartments. Much growth can happen before the Purple Line .