Newsletter – October 2017

October 2017

Over The Summer

President’s Letter – by Ginny Barners

A civic association is vital to preserving community identity. Potomac has a rich history and characteristics that define us. One such feature is our tree lined rustic roads that wind in and out of ecologically significant steam valleys. The Potomac Subregion Master Plan designates some of these roads and bridges as Rustic and Exceptional Rustic. One of the most iconic areas once had its own post office in the old Peters Store and was known as Glen, Md. Here, two streams meet. A grain mill once stood along the edge of Glen Road. A one-lane bridge crosses Watts Branch and a two-lane bridge crosses the Kilgour Branch. Both are bordered by narrow strips of parkland containing wetlands and forest that serve as wildlife corridors allowing needed connectivity to a wealth of species. In the late 1980’s, WMCCA fought to protect the Glen. Longtime residents deeply treasure its historic significance

Early this summer, an ugly act of vandalism covered one of the Watts Branch bridge buttresses and guardrail with graffiti. On a Friday WMCCA called the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT) which manages our Rustic Road program and early Monday morning a crew had painted over the offense. Over the summer, the bridge on Piney Meetinghouse Road was reconstructed causing traffic pressure on the Glen roads and bridges to increase. DOT erected small signs urging drivers to “take turns” crossing the one lane bridge. These signs have now been spray painted over to hide the words. Why can’t those who choose to travel through the Glen respect a historic and sensitive area? Why can’t we be courteous to one another without instructions to do so? As residents, we all use these crossings and if we grant each other consideration, taking turns benefits everyone

East Gate Recreation Association Cell Phone Tower by Susanne Lee:

The East Gate Recreation Association has signed a lease with Verizon to install an 89 ft. “stealth” monopole (cell tower disguised as a fake tree) at the East Gate Swim and Tennis Club at Gainsborough and Democracy Boulevard. Installation of a cell tower in the middle of the East Gate residential community requires approval of a new conditional use at the site as well as an amendment to the current conditional use for the recreation area. The application (CU-17-T-01) is currently pending before Montgomery County Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings. Hearing Examiner Tammy CitraMarnis conducted hearings on September 26-27, 2017 and an additional hearing is scheduled for October 13, 2017. WMCCA is participating with residents of East Gate in opposition to the proposed cell tower. We believe it is a violation of the basic requirements of the Potomac Subregion Master Plan, including the conditional use policy. Furthermore, evidence provided by Verizon documents that they have identified an alternate location for a tower that would service the alleged gaps in coverage and that would not violate the requirements of the Master Plan.

Piney Branch Special Protection Area Subdivision Request by Susanne Lee:

A developer has proposed subdivision of a lot that abuts and is located partially in the Piney Branch stream bed adjacent to the Glen Hills Park on Glen Mill Road, just east of the intersection with Boswell Lane (Preliminary Plan No. 120160168). This site is subject to heightened environmental protection requirements because it is located in the Piney Branch Special Protection Area. The developer has requested 2 sewer hook ups in order to subdivide and build 2 new homes on steep, heavily wooded slopes with multiple environmental constraints. WMCCA is working with neighbors who are opposing the subdivision.

Requests for Sewer Expansion in the Potomac Subregion by Susanne Lee:

WMCCA continues to monitor requests for sewer category changes that may be inconsistent with the Potomac Subregion Master Plan and County and State policies governing sewer construction in low density areas, including under the new Glen Hills area sewer policy. WMCCA is participating in Planning Board and County Council hearings on several current requests.

Zoning Text Amendment 17-04 by Ginny Barnes:

In June the County Council introduced ZTA 17-04 to revise the standards for allowing a Country Inn as a conditional use in the R-200 zone. The purpose is to clarify language left out of the recent zoning code rewrite and define “rural area” to comply with the Potomac Master Plan. Public Hearings were held at the Planning Commission and the County Council. WMCCA testified in support of the ZTA at both hearings. A Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee work session is scheduled for October 16, 2017

Website Assistance Needed by Peter Poggi:

WMCCA is looking for someone to help modernize and share long term responsibility for updating our website and posting the monthly online newsletter.

While the current website has served us well since 2003, it is built upon an outdated Microsoft Frontpage 2003 platform, written entirely in HTML using frames, and reliant upon one individual. Our objectives are twofold. First and foremost, we need to have a trained backup who will share responsibility for maintaining the current site alongside our current website administrator. Once familiarized with the site, this responsibility will require a minimal time commitment of less than 30 minutes monthly. Our second goal is to identify and begin transforming the site to a more maintainable, perhaps template driven platform. This will require gaining an understanding of the existing website structure and working closely with the WMCCA Board and website administrator to come up with a suitable design.

Interested candidates should have a current background in current document management type website design and development methodologies, and a familiarity with available hosting options. Please contact Peter Poggi,

Help support our efforts in defending the Master Plan. Renew or become a new member of WMCCA. Look for your renewal notice in the mail or go to our website to download a membership form or join using PayPal

West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
P. O. Box 59335
Potomac, MD 20854-9335
President – Ginny Barnes 301 762-6423
Newsletter – Lois Williams

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 (

Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.

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