A Big Shout Out – Many Thanks
President’s Letter – by Susanne Lee
So as we provide this update on current issues we are following, we take this opportunity to thank the organizations and individuals who have provided their outstanding subject matter expertise, advice on strategy, and firsthand knowledge of site conditions. Final outcomes may not be known for some time, perhaps years, but we believe the quality of the decision-making process has been improved enormously because of these efforts.
- Glen Hills Sewer Text Amendment pending before the Montgomery County Council. WMCCA supported the County Executive’s original text amendment providing for additional limited expansion of sewer into Glen Hills. However, as discussed in the February Newsletter, last minute additional text was adopted by the Transportation and Environment Committee that, among other things, erroneously and arbitrarily results in labeling almost all of Glen Hills as an area of “septic concern” increasing the potential for its designation as a public health area of concern. Many thanks to the Glen Hills residents who have spent years on these issues and to the Montgomery Countryside Alliance and the Audubon Naturalist Society, all of whom have joined WMCCA’s recent efforts to convince the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, the County Executive, and the full Council to delete the new language and adopt the original text. The tentative dates of the full Council vote are March 1st and March 8th, 2016.
- Brandywine Senior Living application for conditional use for a 140 bed assisted living facility in an RE-2 (two acre residential) zone on the current site of the Potomac Tennis Club next to the Falls Road Golf Course. After four days of hearings over a three month period before Montgomery County Hearing Examiner Martin Grossman, the record was closed on February 19, 2016 and the parties await his decision. WMCCA appeared in opposition focusing primarily on the fact that its location is inconsistent with the Potomac Subregion Master Plan requirements for the location of senior housing. The more detailed opposition arguments were made by Ronald and Toni Paul, abutting property owners, their attorney William Chen, and Curt Uhre with the Brickyard Coalition. Many thanks for their work on multiple complex site plan issues.
- Artis Senior Living application for conditional use for a 72 room residential care facility at 8301 River Road, 1200 feet west of the Stoneyhurst Quarry in an RE-2 zone. The application was approved by County Hearing Examiner Lynn Robeson and residents from neighboring Carderock Springs appealed to the Board of Appeals (BOA). The BOA remanded the case to the Hearing Examiner for further fact finding regarding the traffic safety along River Road and at the intersection of River Road and Carderock Springs Drive. The hearing on remand was February 11, 2016 and the parties are awaiting the Hearing Examiner’s decision. We thank the Carderock Springs residents for their outstanding work opposing the application and in particular raising the traffic safety issues that make this a terrible location for this type of commercial use. They also raised the Potomac Subregion Master Plan provisions directing that senior housing be located at the Stoneyhurst Quarry location, not in this surrounding RE-2 neighborhood. Because of timing issues, WMCCA did not participate as a party, but I did testify in opposition as an individual at the remand hearing.
- Old Angler’s Inn: At the request of the applicant Maryland Catering Co., Inc., the hearing on the request for a conditional use to construct a wedding/meeting venue and overnight units behind Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Boulevard was rescheduled to September 9, 2016. Over the past year, WMCCA has been part of a collective of civic groups and homeowners associations (HOAs) working to oppose the request. The Potomac Subregion Master plan does not envision such a project and traffic in and around the Old Angler’s Inn access point to the C&O Canal National Historical Park is already too dangerous to support another use in the area. We thank the Civic Association of River Falls, the Brickyard Coalition, the River Falls HOA, and the Woodrock HOA who along with WMCCA have been monitoring the application.
WMCCA NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The following individuals are proposed to serve on the Nominating Committee and will be voted upon at the March 9, 2016 General Meeting. They in turn will nominate officers and directors to be voted upon at the May 11, 2016 Annual Meeting:
Chairperson – Ginny Barnes
Members: Mark Israel, George Barnes, John Yassin, and Carol Van Dam Falk
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.