On Wednesday, April 13 representatives of the Green Streets program presented the project to the AHCA Board of Directors. The presentation, electronic versions of the handouts, and information on related Incentive Programs can be found below.
General Green Streets Information Links & Electronic Handouts:
- Find a Restoration Project - Interactive Map:
- Green Streets Maintenance Factsheet:
- Green Streets Brochure
Specific Green Streets Websites:
Incentive Programs Websites:
AEP Relocation Info
Blair Ewing Center and AEP Relocation Update:
On 4/14/15, the MCPS School Board heard our community loud and clear and voted 6-2 to approve:
1) To do only ONE feasibility study on keeping the Alternative Education Program (AEP) @ Blair Ewing, and
2) To ask MCPS staff to do a "conceptual review" of more options for a potential AEP move. English Manor will be in the mix of locations considered.... but that "conceptual review" will be much broader (including more schools and even vacant office spaces), compared to the limited list shared with the Board.
A majority of the Board made it clear that they felt they didn't have enough information to make a quick decision that would be so disruptive to our community. Staff must go BACK to the Board to get a 2nd feasibility study approved once they've completed their "conceptual review" of many more options/sites.
No additional updates have been provided regarding the status of these reviews.
Bus Depot Update:
On Tuesday 7/21/15, the Montgomery County County Council voted to approve an amendment to appropriate $27,000,000 to the MCPS Bus Depot and Maintenance Relocation Project. The funds are for purchasing properties that might be usable for a bus depot or depots. No additional detail has been provided regarding the property locations, as everything is somewhat secretive, owing to the negotiation process.
We have not been provided with any estimated timing as to when these properties will be publicly announced.
AHCA Speaks Out Against MCPS Bus Depot and Alternative Education Relocation
AHCA has taken a strong stand against the Capital Improvement Plan proposal by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to relocate the county’s Alternative Education Program (AEP) from the Blair Ewing Center on Avery Road to the site of the former English Manor Elementary School on Bestor Road in Aspen Hill to make way for a new MCPS bus depot at the site of the Blair Ewing Center. The proposal has raised a number of concerns including:
- Overcrowding at Lucy V. Barnsley and Wheaton Woods Elementary Schools in Aspen Hill.
- Reducing the number of school buildings in the county at a time of both overcrowding and limited funding for school construction.
- Potential for creating environmental problems by locating a bus depot in Rock Creek Park.
- Potential for increased traffic on Norbeck Road if MCPS places a bus depot on Avery Road.
- Suitability of a former elementary school that has not been refurbished in more than 30 years to house middle and high school students.
After conducting a survey of the opinions of AHCA’s full membership on the issue, the AHCA Board voted in January to support the re‐opening of English Manor as a neighborhood elementary school to ease school overcrowding in Aspen Hill, to oppose the relocation of the AEP programs away from the Blair Ewing Center, and to oppose the razing of the Blair Ewing Center for MCPS to relocate a bus depot to the site. AHCA’s president sent letters to the MCPS Board Members, County Council Members, the County Executive, and our State Representatives clearly outlining AHCA’s position on the issue.
By working together with other neighboring civic associations, as well as our own neighbors who started the grassroots www.SaveBlairEwing.org campaign, AHCA has seen positive movement on these issues. First, the County Council has decided not to approve a declaration of no further need for the land slated for development near the Shady Grove Metro where the MCPS bus depot currently sits. This allows MCPS additional time to study potential alternative sites for one or multiple bus depots to be built. Second, the MCPS Board is recommending that a feasibility study for a future location for the county’s AEPs be conducted on the Blair Ewing Center. While other sites for AEP location feasibility studies have not yet been identified, recommendations to study English Manor have been put on hold for the time being. AHCA has arranged for interested residents to tour the Blair Ewing Center on Wednesday, April 29, at 2:30pm and Thursday, May 7 th at 3:30pm. To participate, visitors must sign in at the main entrance. The Ewing Center’s address is 14501 Avery Road, Rockville, Maryland 20853.
For more information and updates on the issue, AHCA recommends you visit www.SaveBlairEwing.org.
Vitro Site Info
County Council Votes on Vitro/BAE Site Zoning
On March 31, the County Council voted to approve revisions to the Planning Board’s Draft Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment. While the Planning Board had advocated for NR zoning to allow the developer maximum flexibility, and many members of the Aspen Hill community had advocated for the more restrictive CRN zoning, the Council revised the plan language to zone the site as CRT, which is seen by some as a compromise between NR and CRN.
The County Council’s revisions include a notable statement that "A Combination Retail Conditional Use is not appropriate for the Minor Amendment area because such a use would have a significant long‐ term impact on the area and alter the character of the surrounding low‐density residential neighborhoods.” The revisions also made additional recommendations for maintaining a buffer between any development and adjacent residential properties, and for further study before recommending increasing the length of the two‐lane traffic merge area on Aspen Hill Road east of Connecticut Avenue. To view a copy of the approved revisions, click on resolution number 18‐104 at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/leg/res/index.html.