Reminder–under our new schedule there will be no membership meeting in March
I. A SECOND CROSSING IN POTOMAC?
Wednesday, April 9, 2003, 8:00 p.m.
Potomac Elementary School
Speaker: Tina Brown, Solutions Not Sprawl
II. ISSUES IN THE 2003 MARYLAND STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Wednesday, May 14, 2003, 8:00 p.m.
Potomac Elementary School
Jean Cryor, Member of the House, District 15
Robert Garagiola, Member of the Senate, District 15
If schools are closed because of inclement weather, the meeting will be cancelled.
President’s Letter – Susanne Lee
“Second Crossing” – “Techway” – “The Bridge” – words we haven’t heard much lately. Unfortunately, however, steps continue to be taken in several arenas that together could help set the stage for a new Potomac bridge crossing, with the likely route through the Potomac Subregion. These include:
- Election of a County Council, County Executive, and Maryland Governor that support expanded road building, in particular the Intercounty Connector. Not only will the ICC cause severe environmental degredation to some of the county’s last best stream valleys and wetlands, it lays the eastern foundation for the Techway and the Outer Beltway.
- Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan announced his support for a new Potomac River Crossing Study and a Regional Transportation Authority in his $1 billion “Go Montgomery” plan.
- The Maryland General Assembly authorized a study to assess whether a new Regional Transportation Transportation Authority (RTA) was a good idea for Maryland. The report was released February 10th, and recommended against an RTA. Despite the results of the study, legislation has been introduced in both the Maryland Senate and House which calls for a conference to discuss the creation of an RTA. An RTA could have the power to override decisions of local government officials and local land use and zoning policy, and expedite unpopular bridge and highway projects. Additional legislation entitled the Public Private Transportation Act would permit private companies to pay for road and bridge projects, thus possibly providing a way for development forces to get these projects at the top of the list in a tight budget climate.
- The Council of Governments is planning a $400,000 Techway Study, and the Virginia Department of Transportion has put $400,000 aside for a “Techway” study.
These actions serve to exert continuing pressure for a second crossing. As WMCCA focuses more attention on responding to these issues, we urge individual members to stay informed and take action as well. An invaluable partner in our efforts and a resource for all is the organization, Solutions Not Sprawl (SNS). One of the major missions of the organization is to halt proposals for any new Potomac river bridges and their connecting superhighways. Tina Brown with Solutions Not Sprawl will be the guest speaker at our April 9th meeting, and we urge everyone to attend to learn the most recent developments regarding the Bridge. You can also check for updated information on their web site at http://www.solutionsnotsprawl.org.
Congressional Forest Estates – WMCCA reviewed the plan submitted by the developers to the Montgomery County Planning Board and were very concerned because an excessive number of specimen trees would be destroyed. The WMCCA Board of Directors voted to back the Congressional Forest Citizens Association in voicing this concern to the Planning Board staff. Through calls and letters, the two citizens associations and numerous homeowners expressed their concerns to Park & Planning, and WMCCA Board Member Barbara Boykin testified at the Planning Board hearing on Thursday, February 27th. In addition to the tree destruction, homeowners feared that stormwater runoff would become problematic and that the new development would be out of character with the heavily wooded nature of the rest of the neighborhood. At the hearing the Planning Board staff recommended that the number of lots for development be cut from five to four, to make the individual lots more consistent in size with the rest of the neighborhood, and to allow more beech trees to be saved. The vote of the Board was unanimous in favor of the reduction.
Sewer Category Changes – WMCCA testified before the Planning Board on March 6th with regard to the standards for documentation required for public health exceptions. The Board agreed, and declined to concur with a request because it lacked adequate documentation.
Nominations – WMCCA elections will take place at the general membership meeting on May 14th. If you would like to serve on the Nominating Committes or if you would like to be nominated for a position as a WMCCA officer or board member, please call Susanne Lee at 301 738-7987.
West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
P. O. Box 59335
Potomac, MD 20854-9335
President, Suzanne Lee
The Newsletter is published monthly, and the Board of Directors meets each month. We welcome any suggestions for upcoming meeting topics and ways to further utilize our web site (www.wmcca.org).
Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.