For the last several years we have been involved in and have been keeping you informed about Heritage Gardens, a development proposed for the 30-acre RE-2 property located at 10701 South Glen Road at the intersection of South Glen and Norton Roads. The proposal was withdrawn several years ago because it clearly did not meet the requirements of the zoning code. This month, representatives of Heritage Gardens Land LLC, the contract purchaser of this property, that is currently owned by South Glen Properties LLC, Winston Salem, NC, have been invited to share their plans for a proposed Senior Care Community with WMCCA. Heritage Gardens Land LLC is requesting approval of a conditional use to construct this large development on land zoned for low density housing. A Senior Care Community requires providing a continuum of residential occupancy and health care for seniors, people aged 62 and older. It must include assisted living and residential independent dwelling units. It may include memory care or skilled nursing. The two entities involved in this development proposal are SageLife, a senior living operator, and Wormald, a townhouse developer, who plans to build 45 large townhouses each with a base price of over $1 million. The plan also involves building a large, multi-use building containing 29 independent living units and 73 assisted living and memory care units, with an option to expand the assisted and memory care portion from 96 beds to 105.
This development would have an enormous impact on local traffic and abutting neighbors. The site includes three, high-priority forest stands and one third of the property is within the Kilgour Branch stream valley. The project owners propose to destroy large numbers of specimen trees on the property and maintain a structure in the middle of a stream valley buffer. In the past, the property was used for a riding stable and different schools, including most recently the 4th Presbyterian School, which left in 2014.
Multiple large senior living facilities either currently operate, or are about to open, in the Potomac area, including the recently-opened Brandywine facility next to the Falls Road golf course; Spectrum, which was recently approved for construction at the old Behnke/Petals and Plants site on River Road in Potomac Village; Artis Senior Living, next to the Quarry just east of Potomac Village; Fox Hill on River Road at the 495 interchange; The Village at Rockville on Veirs Drive; and Ingleside at King Farm. All of these facilities are within a few miles of each other.
What we as a community need to ask ourselves is do we need another massive senior living facility/townhomes project in Potomac and do the benefits outweigh the risks/damage to the property and the surrounding neighborhoods?
We hope you join us. As always, the General Meeting is open to the public via the Zoom link provided.
The conditional use application hearing before the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings (OZAH) for this townhouse/senior care community proposed for the 30 acre lot (RE-2-residential) at the intersection of Norton and South Glen Roads is still currently set for January 28, 2022 at 9:30 am. Heritage Gardens submitted its original application on July 26, 2021, but since then they amended it but the revised proposal wasn’t posted publicly until December 22, 2021. These new documents can be found at the following link:
Information regarding OZAH, including information regarding participating in the conditional use application process, is here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ozah
On December 23, 2021, West Montgomery joined with abutting neighbors and the Greater South Glen Neighborhood Association (GSGNA) and through our legal counsel moved to postpone the OZAH hearing because of the failure of Heritage Gardens to conduct a required traffic study for the development. The applicant opposed the Motion. As yet we have not received a ruling by OZAH on the Motion. In the meantime, the Montgomery County Planning Board, that is required to provide recommendations on the application to OZAH at least 10 days before the OZAH hearing, has placed the proposal on its agenda for January 13, 2022. The staff is recommending approval with conditions, but the staff report still has not been posted, but should be eventually at the Heritage Gardens Agenda Item No. 5 on the Planning Board website: https://montgomeryplanningboard.org/agenda-item/january-13-2022/
West Montgomery will continue to join with the abutting neighbors and the GSGNA to oppose the development as it is currently proposed. If you would like to support these efforts, we urge you to send donations for legal and consultant expenses to GSGNA at 11021 Dobbins Drive, Potomac, MD 20854, or by Venmo to @Neil-Goldman-9. GSGNA will provide a receipt for all contributions.
West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
P. O. Box 59335
Potomac, MD 20854-9335
President – Carol Van Dam Falk
Website – WMCCA.org - Peter Poggi, Newsletter Editor – Nancy Madden
Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.