West Montgomery County Citizens Association Meeting

West Montgomery County Citizens Association Meeting

WMCCA Meeting

The next meeting of the West Montgomery County Citizens Association is Wednesday, April 12, 7:15 p.m. at the Potomac Community Center.

The guest speaker will be Douglas Marshall, Watershed Planner with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

The meeting is open to the public. If schools are closed because of inclement weather, the meeting will be cancelled.

Learn about Stormwater Management

By Carol Van Dam Falk

WMCCA President

As everyone knows, April showers bring May flowers, which is a perfect time to talk about Green Streets. Green Streets are roadway landscaping designs that reduce and filter stormwater runoff.

This program is part of a county initiative to capture stormwater runoff in neighborhoods that have minimal stormwater controls and not enough open space for larger stormwater practices. Green Streets use Low Impact Development (LID) and are constructed within the street right-of-ways.

Benefits of Green Streets include creating aesthetically pleasing streetscapes and providing a natural habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies, as well as birds. They also make a nice, visual connection between neighborhoods and schools, parks, and local business districts. But perhaps most importantly, these areas reduce stormwater runoff, which can be a major problem in certain neighborhoods of the Potomac subregion.

Please join us for the April 12 WMCCA General Meeting when Douglas Marshall tells us about how residents can get involved with implementing Green Streets projects. Mr. Marshall plans to give a general overview of what Green Streets are, describe where the county has already installed Green Streets, and talk about where future projects are being planned. Our thanks to WMCCA board member Ken Bawer, who brought this very important program to our attention.

Website Assistance Needed

By Peter Poggi

WMCCA is looking for someone to help modernize and share long-term responsibility for updating our website and posting the monthly online newsletter.

While the current www.wmcca.org website has served us well since 2003, it is built upon an outdated Microsoft Frontpage 2003 platform, written entirely in HTML using frames, and reliant upon a single person. 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 sustainable, 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, peter.poggi@yahoo.com.

Planning and Zoning Updates

By Susanne Lee

In response to a request by Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), WMCCA submitted comments regarding a proposal to extend sewer lines into established low density RE-1 neighborhoods. WMCCA’s point-by-point response was prepared by Board Member Ken Bawer and emphasized that, contrary to DEP’s assertions, the extension of sewer to these often environmentally sensitive areas will likely result in decreased, not increased, water quality.

At a hearing on March 30, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved amendments to a 1998 Final Forest Conservation Plan that will, in effect, sanction the almost total clear cutting of the lot at 12925 Circle Drive in Glen Hills. A 255-year-old ash was recently removed from the site and the new property owners seek to remove all remaining specimen and other trees of significance except for one and to disturb 32 percent of the Critical Root Zone of that remaining tree. To do so required the board to approve a variance from the Forest Conservation statute.

WMCCA opposed the request for a variance based in part on the standards recently established by the Maryland Court of Appeals in Assateague Coastal Trust, Inc. v. Schwalbach, et al. We are awaiting issuance of the written decision by the board in order to determine whether WMCCA should consider an appeal.

Help support WMCCA’s efforts in defending the Master Plan. Renew or become a new member of WMCCA. Look for the renewal notice in the mail or go to the website to download a membership form or join using PayPal: www.wmcca.org.