Guest post by Beth Daly
The peace and tranquility of Sugarloaf Mountain is under threat by a proposed firearms training center and range on the Warfield property – an 1845 farm located in a Resource Conservation Zone that abuts Sugarloaf Mountain in Frederick County.
Map of Sugarloaf Mountain showing location of proposed gun range in Frederick County.
Old Line Arsenal LLC’s application proposes the following facility for the use of law enforcement, military personnel and others traveling from outside the area:
- 60,000-square foot, 2-story building with indoor classrooms and firing range
- 3-story shooting tower
- Outdoor shooting ranges with 40 parking spaces
- 144-vehicle parking lot
- Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Capacity: Up to 99 shooters
Planning Board member Casey Anderson has been chosen Montgomery County planning board chair in an 8-1 vote (Elrich opposed). Anderson’s salary of $200,000 a year was approved by a 6-3 vote (Floreen, Elrich, Andrews opposed). Anderson was chosen from a shortlist of five candidates chosen from 18 applicants to replace outgoing chair Francoise Carrier, who resigned earlier this year. Carrier’s term ended June 14. Carrier’s salary was $168,450 a year.
Council President Craig Rice also announced that because Anderson is a current commissioner, the council will re-advertise the planning board opening resulting from Anderson’s appointment. Members of the planning board, a part time position, each earn an annual salary of $30,000.
Urgent Action: Write the County Council about the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan
Guest post by Barry Wides
We all have an interest in honest and transparent land use planning. Unfortunately, as the Montgomery County Council considers the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan, some are recommending questionable changes to the way traffic is analyzed to allow unsustainable levels of development. One such recommendation would be to reclassify portions of US 29 a freeway – allowing traffic models to assume greater capacity than the road could support – to allow for greater development. Subverting traditional traffic analysis, in ways such as this, could set a terrible precedent that should have community advocates across the county concerned. Continue reading
Posted for the Wheaton Coalition
Dear County Executive Leggett, Here’s some food for thought …
The lack of code enforcement is a countywide issue and has developed into a matter of civil liberties and civil rights in our community. This issue is compounded by the fact that the Montgomery County Council continues to appropriate taxpayer dollars without input from the community. Continue reading
Guest Post by Citizens’ Coalition for Responsible Growth. Part 5 of a 5 part series
In Part 5 of the CCRG document, we raise the issues of ethical accountability for officials involved in land use and development decisions and of standards for candidates for and members of the Planning Board. We also note the need for timely and accurate information about waivers, exemptions, complaints, investigations, and outcomes in development projects and cases, and we explain why all the issues in the full document are important.
Guest Post by Citizens’ Coalition for Responsible Growth. Part 4 of a 5 part series
In Part 4 of the CCRG document, we look at the need for realistic parking standards, as well as how to better protect our environment and green spaces especially, in developed areas.
Provision of parking in areas with commercial operations and/or transit centers is an increasingly contentious issue. Simply requiring fewer parking facilities in new developments presents problems for nearby residents, whether in single-family or multifamily communities, whose decisions on where to live were based in part on parking and traffic considerations. In addition, on the absence of other options, those who must drive to get to Metro stations will continue to need to park. Continue reading
Guest Post by Citizens’ Coalition for Responsible Growth. Part 3 of a 5 part series
In Part 3 of the CCRG document, we discuss the growing trend toward using land use and development policies to spur behavioral and social changes, without regard to choices and investments already made by those in the County. We also note discrepancies and contradictions in current transportation policy in the County, and urge an incremental approach that focuses on actually improving transportation. Continue reading
Guest Post by Citizens’ Coalition for Responsible Growth. Part 2 of a 5 part series
In Part 2 of the CCRG document, we note that for most homeowners, their property may be the largest portion of their net worth, while a single property may be only a small fraction of a developer’s investment, and therefore our government has a responsibility to effectively support the interests of homeowners. We also examine the disorganized, disconnected manner in which traffic tests are currently applied to development proposals.
Guest Post by Citizens’ Coalition for Responsible Growth. Part 1 of a 5 part series
The Citizens’ Coalition for Responsible Growth was born during the zoning rewrite as an ad hoc group of civic activists interested in addressing such issues as transit infrastructure, affordable housing, and appropriate development while protecting residential neighborhoods. Over time, as civic activists from across the county – including Silver Spring, Olney, Germantown, Kensington Heights, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Rockville, Glenmont, and Darnestown – have shared experiences and concerns, some common threads about zoning and land use planning have emerged. In the aftermath of the debate over the rewrite, and as the County approaches elections for all offices as well as selection of a new Chair of the Planning Board, these activists under the loose umbrella of the CCRG developed a broad consensus view of what is wrong with our planning, development, and land use processes, and possible improvements. This consensus is reflected in a document which WeAreMoco is presenting in five separate sections and then, once all have been published, in full. Part 1 appears below. Continue reading
Guest post by Danila Sheveiko.
A cinder block wall by the loading docks is all the adjacent communities have to show of the good faith Montgomery County government promised three years ago in return for the $4 million taxpayer subsidy to Westfield Group – the largest retail real estate property holder in the world based out of Australia – for their Wheaton Mall Costco Expansion Project. Continue reading