President’s Letter – George Barnes
I would like to welcome all our members back for another season of meetings, hearings, issues, threats and crises – in other words, normal fare for the West Montgomery County Citizens Association! Special thanks to outgoing President, Susanne Lee, for her hard work and outstanding effort over this past year. Her tireless and thorough job as WMCCA’s president is truly a hard act to follow.
This year we are holding WMCCA’s General Membership meetings at the large meeting room in the Potomac Library. The Library will provide a more intimate setting and foster easier discussion of the issues we face and an opportunity for better dialog with our guests. WMCCA’s Board of Directors will meet prior to the General Meeting. Our May membership meeting, which is our annual meeting, will be at Potomac Elementary School. We urge all our members to join us at this year’s meetings.
We need your help to deal with issues which range from threats to our zoning, our roads, the kind of development which will occur in our community, our streams, parks, the looming threat of an interstate highway through our community, institutions springing up in our neighborhoods, water and sewer issues, our Master Plan, all the things which can and do affect each and every one of us. WMCCA is a respected and powerful civic association in Montgomery County, and we need your help to keep it that way.
WMCCA invites your participation on our committees. Each committee’s current issues are described below, with the chair’s name and phone number. We are striving to fill membership on the committees from WMCCA’s general membership as well as Board members. Please contact the committee chair or any Board member if you can help.
Planning and Zoning – Chair, Susanne Lee, 301 738-7987
Hall Road: A development proposed for a property on River Road across from the existing intersection of Hall Road and River Road has sparked a very controversial proposal to open a connection to River Road from the portion of Hall Road that connects to Falls Bridge Road, and which now dead ends at the boundary of the property concerned. Residents who have for many years lived on this quiet, narrow residential street are rightfully concerned. Significant safety issues relating to injecting additional traffic turning movements on this section of River Road, lack of sight distance, and backups just over the crest of the hill at Accord Drive make this an extremely dubious idea.
Montgomery County Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan: This plan is the vehicle that governs which areas will develop on public sewer and water, and sets forth the policies on which decisions are made. We are currently monitoring a series of amendments to the plan, and will have testified on them before WMCCA’s October 8 meeting. Of particular concern is the treatment of Private Institutional Facilities, known as PIFs. The County Executive is advocating a comprehensive policy which will look at not only the Water and Sewer Plan, but also advocates changes to the County’s land use planning, zoning, and water quality protection processes. There is a grave potential for radical changes to accepted land use policy, especially in areas outside the established water and sewer envelope, notably the RDT (agricultural reserve), RE-1, and RE-2 zones.
Membership – Chair, C.O. North, 301 299-3453
Members of the membership committee will be contacting new arrivals to the community to invite them to join. We will continue to have a presence at Potomac Day and other community events.
Environment – Chair, Ginny Barnes, 301 762-6423
The Blockhouse Point Conservation Park management plan is nearing completion at Park and Planning. This 600+ acre park in Potomac is considered one of the five best natural areas in the County. Montgomery County has many parks – stream valley parks, regional parks, recreational parks. We have miles and miles of trails, many of them multi-use. But our county has few true conservation parks whose main purpose is that they remain completely unspoiled and preserved. Blockhouse Point Conservation Park is a remarkable place. How it will be managed will be decided soon.
Roads, Streets, and Bridges – Chair, Diana Conway, 301 983-6142
Without a doubt, the single most important road issue which we face is the idea for a new bridge across the Potomac River and through our community. This is still an extremely serious and active threat. Tremendously wealthy and powerful interests are continuing to work behind the scenes to further this project. WMCCA continues to be a member organization of Solutions not Sprawl and a supporter of Smart Inc. It is vital that we stay active and strong in our opposition to a bridge through our community.
Special Project – Chair, Lois Williams, 301 299-7236
This year WMCCA will be recognizing students’ Potomac-area environmental projects – classroom, science fair or Scout projects that include observations or data and analysis or activities at a site in the Potomac Master Plan area. This winter and spring WMCCA representatives will be reviewing eligible projects. Lois Williams will describe WMCCA’s new Student Environmental Project Recognition Program at the October 8 meeting.
West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
P. O. Box 59335
Potomac, MD 20854-9335
President, George Barnes
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.