All posts by Thomas Fahey

Newsletter – March 2023

President’s Letter by Barbara Brown

Marc Zweben has struggled to save valuable roadside trees from a sidewalk project the DOT had scheduled in his Potomac neighborhood.  Rarely, does an individual stand up for natural vegetation when the forces are trying to bring them down.  We are eager to find out how he accomplished this so that the rest of us can be inspired to do the same.  The DOT has several of these destructive projects on their schedule and Marc can help show our communities how sidewalks and street trees can be compatible in their neighborhoods.  This is a perfect program for our unusual early Spring already awash in daffodils, blooming in full force.

WMCCA Testifies in Favor of HB 942, Authorizations for Stream Restoration Projects

Submitted by Ken Bawer

While on the sponsoring delegates’ panel, I testified in Annapolis during the Environment and Transportation Committee hearing on March 3, 2023.  The purpose of this testimony was to make delegates aware of the damage done by stream “restorations” and the need to fix the cause of stream erosion which is a lack of adequate stormwater control.  This bill promotes more effective stream restorations and incentivizes alternative, less destructive, “out-of-stream”, stormwater control methods.

Stream “restorations” typically clearcut mature stream-side forests.  Young trees are replanted, but these take decades or longer to approximate what was destroyed.  The complex web of interactions between fauna, flora, geology, and hydrology in natural areas cannot be recreated by engineering projects using bulldozers, trucked-in rock rubble, and some replanted saplings.

My written testimony includes a video link and numerous photos showing damage done to natural areas by stream “restorations” around the state.  This video shows: clearcut areas scraped down to bare soil, heavy construction equipment dumping rocks into streams to create dams that block fish, and forested areas reduced to piles of logs.  Photos show tractors working in dry channels. To do this, streams are pumped around sites and aquatic life is subject to being sucked in and pulverized by the pumps.

An example shows a site where the original stream channel was filled in and a whole new channel was dug out.  One picture shows examples of beautiful wildflowers and small animals that cannot outrun the bulldozers, including box turtles, frogs, and toads.  Since stormwater is not being controlled at its source, stream restoration projects are being blown out by rainstorms.  The written testimony shows many photos of stream restoration structural failures.  On top of that, the science says that these projects rarely, if ever, result in improved in-stream biology.

In summary, the current problems with stream restorations are clearly visible if only we will acknowledge what can be seen with our own eyes.  Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, several industry representative testimonies were filled with half-truths and false statements.  Please write our delegates asking them to support this bill.

Opposition to Sewer Category Change Requests before the County Council

Submitted by Susanne Lee

Seven requests for category changes to allow sewer extensions in low density areas are currently pending before the County Council.  Six are in the Glen Hills area and one is for a proposed subdivision at 11415 Glen Road and the 11000 Block of Wood Thrush Lane.  The County Executive, the County Planning Staff, and the Planning Board all recommend denial or deferral of all seven.  These requests violate the Potomac Subregion Master Plan, the County’s Water and Sewer Plan, and Maryland Smart Growth Statues.  WMCCA submitted written testimony to the Planning Board and County Council opposing the changes and testified in opposition at the County Council’s public hearing.  The Council is now considering the requests, including analysis by the Transportation and Environment Committee.   We applaud the efforts of the neighbors living near the proposed subdivision at Glen Road and Wood Thrush Lane.  Several submitted written comments and testified in opposition to that proposed change.  Details concerning the requests can be found here:


The following individuals are proposed to serve on the Nominating Committee and will be voted upon at the March 15, 2023 General Meeting.  They in turn will nominate Officers and Directors to be voted upon at the May 10, 2023 General Meeting:  

Chairperson – Ginny Barnes

Members:  Susanne Lee, Theodora Scarato, Nancy Madden, Ken Bawer


Our Speakers will be Senator Brian Feldman and District 15 Delegates Lily Qi, Linda Foley, and David Fraser-Hidalgo.  They will provide their annual update on their work in the Maryland General Assembly.  Their efforts to improve the lives of citizens in their District and throughout Maryland are always important.  Please join this meeting and bring your interests and questions.

VIRTUAL WMCCA Meeting March 15, 2023 – 7:30 p.m.

West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter

P.O. Box 59335, Potomac, MD  20854-9335

President – Barbara Brown:

Website: – Thomas Fahey

Newsletter Editor – Nancy Madden