West Montgomery County Citizens Association

West Montgomery County Citizens Association


Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. via ZOOM

WMCCA Meeting or call in with 301-715-8592 (Meeting ID = 889 7888 2296)

No advance registration required, but only the first 100 participants will be allowed into the meeting. We will record this meeting for future viewing.

SPEAKER: Tina Cappetta - C&O Canal National Historical Park Superintendent

Our October speaker has over 32 years of experience working across a variety of national park units. Tina Cappetta was selected as the Superintendent of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in January 2020. She has previously served as Superintendent of the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Hampton National Historic Site, and Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Additionally, she served as Superintendent at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. Her earlier experience includes Chief of Interpretation and Resources Management at Booker T. Washington National Monument, Education Specialist at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, and Park Ranger at the Colonial National Historical Park and Gettysburg National Military Park. Superintendent Cappetta will provide an update on projects, issues, and challenges in our cherished park.

A Year Like No Other

By President Ken Bawer

This pandemic is possibly the worst disaster that many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Our region is fortunate to not be plagued by many natural disasters routinely faced by other parts of the country such as large-scale forest fires. But the COVID-19 pandemic is a different beast – it is not limited by geography. And there are segments of our population that are bearing the brunt of the disease – the elderly, low income folks, people of color, and those with pre-existing conditions. Our thoughts go out to those in our community who have lost family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Beyond loss of life, additional hardships caused by the pandemic are many faceted - lost jobs, closed businesses, students having to attend school remotely and the burden that places on entire families. Maybe we can all reach out with a kind word of encouragement, a word of thanks to essential workers, and an offer of assistance to a friend or neighbor. Of course, we have an election coming up. You are encouraged to vote by whatever method meets your own comfort level to protect your personal health.

I would be remiss in not thanking our outgoing President Susanne Lee for her innumerable contributions to the community this past year. The same goes for our entire Board (we are all volunteers) who have spent countless hours on issues of importance to our members. In closing, remember that we are YOUR citizens association. The Board doesn’t have all the good ideas or know all the issues, so please come to us with any ideas or suggestions you might have. Plus, you don’t have to be a Board member to get involved. If there is an issue that you are passionate about, any member can participate with us on a particular project.

Spectrum Senior Living (CU-20-5) OZAH Hearing Postponed

By Susanne Lee

As described in our May, 2020 Newsletter, Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC, a Denver-based corporation that operates 48 senior living facilities in 10 states, proposes to construct its first facility on the East Coast at 9545 River Road near the intersection of River and Persimmon Tree Road. The site is the current location of Potomac Petals and Plants and was previously the site of Behnke’s Nursery. The 5-acre site is zoned RE-2 Residential – single family houses built on 2 acre lots. Spectrum proposes to construct an assisted living facility with 100 plus units, including some memory care units. In order to do so in this single family residential zone, it must obtain a Conditional Use approval from the Montgomery County Office of Zoning and Administrative Appeals (OZAH). Neighbors near the site have been actively involved in responding to the proposal. The conditional use hearing before OZAH was originally scheduled for July 17, 2020, but has been postponed to Nov. 2, 2020.

To obtain additional information and keep up to date with the proceedings, check the OZAH website at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ozah/ and the Montgomery County Planning Board’s DAIC Dashboard at the link below. If this link does not work for you, you can search for the file on the Montgomery County Planning Board website by using their Spectrum Case No. CU202005.


Beltway Expansion Opposition

By Carol Van Dam

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s push to widen Interstates 270 and 495 for toll lanes in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties continues despite the pandemic. There is pushback from many communities, including our own and from The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The Commission staffers said a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released recently fails to properly analyze impacts on low-income communities, understates the loss of parks and cultural sites, and neglects to account for current and future stormwater runoff. Please write a letter in response to the draft DEIS. According to Arlene Montemarano with CABE, “any letters sent to MDOT must contain the exact words..."I support the no-build option." If they don't, MDOT will not count your letter as being in opposition, no matter how eloquent the letter. The comment period deadline for DEIS is Nov. 9, but the County has asked that any residents submitting comments get them to County officials no later than Oct. 16.

Public comment letters should be addressed to:

Email: lchoplin@sha.state.md.us

Lisa B. Choplin, DBIA, Director, I-495 & I-270 P3 Office

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

I-495 & I-270 P3 Office, 707 North Calvert Street, Mail Stop P-601, Baltimore, MD 21201

with copies to:

Governor Lawrence J. Hogan: governor.mail@maryland.gov

Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot: pfranchot@comp.state.md.us

Treasurer Nancy Kopp: Treasurer@treasurer.state.md.us

County Executive Marc Elrich: marc.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov

Councilmembers: County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov


The election of the WMCCA Officers usually occurs at our May General Meeting. However, because the May meeting was cancelled, the election will occur at our General Meeting on October 14th. The Nominating Committee proposes the following slate of Officers and Directors to the membership for their vote. Nominations may also be made from the floor.

President: KEN BAWER


Immediate Past President: SUSANNE LEE


President Elect: CAROL VAN DAM FALK

Newsletter: NANCY MADDEN

Vice President: BARBARA BROWN

Nominees for a Two-Year Term: GINNY BARNES, SAMUEL STAVIS

To Serve 2nd Year of their Two-Year Term (no action needed): GEORGE BARNES, KATHY PETITT