Land Owned Since 1911

Land Owned Since 1911

On the last day of discussion on the Potomac Master Plan, Rev. Stanley S. Burley demanded that the County Council remove his land from a list of properties slated to be parkland.

Council recommended on Feb. 5 that the county acquire a parcel on Seven Locks Road next to the Cabin John Stream Valley Park for parkland acquisition along with 13 other sites.

That was before the Council or Planning Board knew that Burley and his family live on the property.

"Why weren't we given notice? I only heard about this one and a half weeks ago," said Burley. "I believe me and my family have been denied an opportunity to prepare.

Burley, who said he had not been notified of the Master Plan's intentions for his property, suggested that the oversight might be racially motivated.

"This is a serious matter. Since 1911, my family has owned the land," said Burley, who is African American.

Callum Murray, Potomac Team Leader, said letters were sent on July 15, 1999 to all owners of property directly affected by consideration of the Master Plan.

But Burley, who serves in the military, did not receive the letter.

"Once we found out Rev. Burley did not know, we made strenuous efforts to contact him on Feb. 19, 2002," said Murray.

"This is a huge, huge mistake. Assuming they did not know about this until Feb. 19 … let's make certain that we do what we can to rectify this," said councilmember Isiah "Ike" Leggett.

The Council voted not to include the property as land it intends to acquire for parkland.