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Votes

WMCCA Salutes Brickyard Coalition’s Success

Future of Brickyard site still unclear.

Chuck Doran addresses the West Montgomery County Citizens Association.

Chuck Doran addresses the West Montgomery County Citizens Association.

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Members of the Brickyard Coalition Steering Committee, from left, are: Curt Uhre, Brickyard Coalition, Keith Williams, Citizens Association of River Falls (also Ted Duncan who had to leave before photos), Jill and John Phillips, Brickyard Coalition and owners of Squeals on Wheels Petting Zoo; Maria Fusco, Brickyard Coalition; Ginny Barnes, WMCCA (and Susanne Lee, not pictured); Charles Doran, Brickyard Citizens Association.

— After two years of civic activism, legal action on multiple fronts, political outreach, public education and fundraising through bake sales and barn dances, members of the Brickyard Coalition came to last week’s West Montgomery County Citizens Association to talk about their success.

A county executive plan to turn over 20 acres of land on Brickyard Road to a private organization for soccer fields had yielded. The Board of Education nullified the lease of the future school site to the county, and voted to revisit its policies on the handling of its 211-acres of surplus school sites.

The future of the Brickyard site remains up in the air. It has served as an organic farm for more than 30 years, providing a site insulated from other agriculture to produce GMO-free seed corn and soybeans. The farmer and a more recent educational program have been locked out of the property.

On March 3, 2011, the neighborhood, citizens association and organic farmer learned that the County Executive Ike Leggett and the school board had communicated in private to turn the 20 acre Brickyard Middle School site over to a private organization to build soccer fields.

For WMCCA members and the Brickyard coalition, stopping new development on the property without any process was key to defending the Potomac Master Plan.