Fulfilling the Potomac Master Plan
President’s Letter – by Ginny Barners
Since its adoption in 2002, The Potomac Subregion Master Plan has seen much of the proposed intentions realized. A long awaited Recreation Center for North Potomac, the Greenbriar Local Park on Glen Road, residential units in former quarries, and expansion of the Cabin John Shopping Center are all intended and welcome additions to our community – but the Master Plan was equally concerned with what was expected to remain the same and serve as distinctive to Potomac. The Potomac Village itself was to be contained within a commercial zone and restrained from sprawling out River Road or up and down Falls Road. The environmental commitments to low density zoning, retaining forest and water quality, and limiting the expansion of sewer have been challenged over the last 18 years. We’ve seen proposals, clearly unwarranted, that WMCCA, neighbors, and partner organizations have successfully stopped such as the Soccerplex on Brickyard Road, the Country Inn adjacent to Old Anglers near the C&O Canal NHP, and the cell tower proposal at the Eastgate Swim Club. As the western residential Green Wedge buffering the County’s 93,000 acre Agricultural Reserve, we have a responsibility to hold the line on inappropriate land uses, not just for the sake of our community but for the benefit of careful Countywide planning. Our ability to uphold master plan intentions requires constant vigilance. We need the help of citizens who love what Potomac represents. WMCCA is an all volunteer citizens organization and we rely on your membership and participation to remain effective. Please join, get involved. Start the new year with a membership and keep abreast of proposed changes to the community we love!
St. Francis Church Exterior Sign by Ginny Barnes:
WMCCA attended a hearing of the County Sign Board on a proposed digital sign to replace the one on River Road at the entrance to the Village. There is no other church in Potomac with a lighted digital sign and we expressed concerns regarding the precedent and potential appearance. The Sign Board suggested a continuance to work out issues raised and St. Francis agreed. WMCCA will meet with church officials prior to the next Sign Board hearing on January 10, 2019
West Montgomery County Citizens Association v. Montgomery County Planning Board
by Susanne Lee:
WMCCA and adjacent neighbors filed their respective Reply Briefs on December 26, 2018 in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County in this consolidated challenge to the Montgomery County Planning Board’s approval of a new Glen Mill Road subdivision in the Piney Branch Special Protection Area next to the Glen Hills Park. WMCCA’s brief focused on the Planning Board errors that, if not reversed, will have profound, adverse environmental impacts not just at this site, but throughout the County, particularly in the statutorily established and protected Special Protection Areas. The four most glaring errors are:
► Failure to cite, let alone address, the County’s Environmental Guidelines that govern all such developments;
► Blatantly erroneous calculation of the required stream buffer resulting in housing construction on steep slopes adjacent to the stream;
► Failure to delineate and provide for wetland buffers required by State law; and,
► Failure to ensure the establishment of stream buffers required by the Piney Branch Sewer Agreement Covenant.
The County’s Opposition Brief states that none of these requirements is binding on the Planning Board. Counsel for the County and the Applicant also argue, based on differing theories proposed for the first time in their briefs, that the subdivision does somehow meet all these requirements. WMCCA has asked the Court to reject these post hoc rationalizations of counsel and remand the case to the Board for a decision on these issues. Oral argument is scheduled for February 8, 2019.
Citizens Against Beltway Expansion (CABE) Update by Barbara Hoover:
Since CABE’s presentation at our Community Meeting on December 12th they have continued to hold public meetings and present compelling evidence that Governor Hogan’s proposal to widen the Beltway and I-270 is not in the best interest of Maryland residents and commuters. CABE presented testimony at the December 17th State Highways hearing on this Bill. The Maryland DOT has been driving the $11 Billion project at top speed with little documentation in order to obey Hogan’s mandate to, “just fix the damned roads.” Thankfully, Nancy Kopp, Maryland Treasurer, abstained on December 19th from approving funds to advance the toll lane project, saying she needed more than the one-page description passed out before the vote. Fixing the roads will not relieve Beltway congestion, nor pay for itself as we have learned from Virginia’s experience. CABE believes that Hogan’s Toll Road Plan is the wrong approach.
CABE has shared articles that document that, “…building new roads does little more than breed more cars, increase traffic and impact residents’ health and wellbeing.” Widening I-495/I-270 would reduce quality of life without reducing traffic; threaten homes, businesses, communities & forest canopy; reduce property values & tax revenues; stress storm water systems & stream valleys by adding 600+ acres of impermeable surface; boost air & noise pollution; and threaten National Historic sites. For more information see www.cabe495.com
REMINDER: IT’S TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP FOR 2018-2019!
Help support our efforts in defending the Master Plan. Renew or become a new member of WMCCA. Go to our website to download a membership form or join using PayPal: www.wmcca.org We count on your dues to cover the cost of our newsletter. Individual: $25 / Family: $50. We also welcome donations to our Legal Fund.
CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK!
Please like and follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/TheWMCCA/
WMCCA is actively looking for volunteers for:
Website Assistance Needed by Peter Poggi:
WMCCA is looking for someone to help modernize our website.
While the current http://www.wmcca.org 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any issues or concerns in your neighborhood, please contact WMCCA. We appreciate the input from our neighbors and are glad to review and address issues as they affect the Potomac Subregion Master Plan, zoning, and environmental threats to the “Green Wedge”, our creeks and water supplies, and the Agricultural Reserve.
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: http://www.wmcca.org
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 (www.wmcca.org).
Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.