Here's what the opposition to the Westbard Sector Plan is saying before today's expected approval: pic.twitter.com/MatZrCD1S9— Bethesda Beat (@BethesdaBeat) May 3, 2016
This morning four County neighborhood groups joined SaveWestbard and submitted a joint letter to the County Council.
May 3, 2016
Montgomery County Council
Council Office Building
100 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
This letter is a joint effort among the following groups:
Keep Damascus Rural
Luxmanor Citizens Association
We ask the County Council, once again, to reject the proposed Westbard Sector Plan (WSP) or, at a minimum, take a strategic pause before approving this sector plan in order to allow for a thoughtful and measured process in which community trust of county government is restored and community concerns (about school-overcrowding and traffic congestion) are appropriately and meaningfully addressed. Consultation with the community is imperative as the Westbard Community Survey, submitted to your offices yesterday, confirms that Westbard-area residents overwhelmingly oppose the proposed WSP.
Irrespective of the Council’s vote today, the Westbard experience has united and mobilized communities across Montgomery County with the common view that the overall Montgomery County planning process is broken.
For the reasons set forth below, we, the undersigned communities, are united in our opposition to the Montgomery County planning process, and we invite other communities to join us in opposition:
First, communities across Montgomery County are equally dismayed by a County-wide planning process that favors developers over communities, and that consistently results in outcomes that communities do not want. The County Council and Board, in apparent partnership with major developers, are now engaged in a full-fledged effort to urbanize rural, sub-urban, and local communities through overbuilding and commercialization of public space, at great profit to developers, but to the detriment of our public schools, the environment, traffic congestion, community diversity, and social services. This will not stop until we unite.
Second, County officials have dismissed, as unreasonable, public opposition to urbanization that favors developers over the environment and over the local, established community, and instead have sought to thwart the overwhelming opposition through a planning process designed to divide and then mislead the community about real intentions and plans. This will not stop until there is reform.
Finally, the undersigned communities stand together and will use every legal and political means at their disposal to reform the planning process, to put an end to unwanted over-development, and to create a process that involves maximum citizen participation. This is the only tenable strategy for improving our built space, protecting the natural environment, strengthening social infrastructure, and preserving our cherished values of diversity and responsible stewardship of the County.
SaveWestbard, Jonathan and Dominique Cahn, Patricia Kolesar, Bobby Lipman, Stan Wiggins
Rosemary Hills, Leonor Chaves, Mark Mendez, Valarie Barr
Lyttonsville, Charlotte Coffield
Keep Damascus Rural, Seth Gottesman
Luxmanor Citizens Association, Abbe Milstein