Parkwood Residents Association
Minutes -- March 21, 2005

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 pm by Liz Brennan, President

The previous meeting was a special holiday gathering, therefore, there were no minutes to approve.

KP Elementary School Modernization Update

There were seven drawings/board designs in full color and details of the new school on display for viewing prior to the meeting. The construction is on schedule so far and due to open for students in January 2006. This past week the brick work has started to go up. Much of what you see around the perimeter of the site is piping and catch basins for the school's stormwater management system.

The County is thinking of possibly replacing and/or adding more street trees in lieu of planting everything on the school grounds itself. There are 1500 trees and shrubs planned for the school grounds.

The Kensington Parkwood Elementary School PTA has been hosting a "Buy A Brick" fundraiser for the new school building. For a donation of $100, you can purchase an engraved brick imprinted with your name and message. The bricks will be incorporated into the new school grounds as a lasting legacy. But time is running out. If you haven’t ordered a brick, please visit the PTA’s website at www.kppta.org/docs/BuyABrick.shtml or contact Mary Cassell at cassellauster@comcast.net or (301)949-5349.

The Parkwood Resident’s Association has purchased a brick, but we’d like to see as many individual residents as possible support this important cause.

Deadline for buying a brick is April 30, 2005.

WSSC Clean Water Connection Project

WSSC intends to complete its water supply main from its Potomac Water Filtration Plant to Prince Georges County. This entails running a 7-foot diameter pipe five or six miles, including through the Kensington area. WSSC is currently considering nine "alignments" for the pipeline. The pipe will be tunneled 150 to 300 feet below ground, "cut and covered" 15 feet below ground, or a combination of the two. The "cut and cover" method can clear cut a swath of land 35 to 75 feet wide (up to 3 to 4 times as wide as Beach Drive). The tunnel method will require three 3-acre sites clear cut at each end of the pipe and somewhere in the middle for the vertical shafts. Alignment studies are currently underway and will continue through the summer. Actual construction will begin in 2007 and end in 2010. The "cut and cover" alignments may cost as little as $40M, while the tunneling alignments may cost as much as $175M. The potential alignments are as far north as the CSX train tracks in Kensington and as far south as Rock Creek park along I-495. Routes in between include tunneling under Tuckerman Lane and then either heading eastward along Beach drive or going under Saul Road. [Note: CSX has rejected WSSC using their right of way].

The two "cut and cover" alignments along Beach Drive or Rock Creek Park (between 355 and Stoneybrook Drive) will potentially eliminate the use of Rock Creek Parkway for a year and will change the face of the park for many years to come. However, environmental stewardship perks can be negotiated with the WSSC (e.g., Beltway sound barriers, raising the level of the park and path to permit better storm drainage, more benches and picnic tables, new playground equipment, cleaned up creek, etc.).

Besides possibly shaking our homes, the tunneling alignments may result in three acres of Rock Creek Park (just north of where Beach Drive hits 355) being clear cut. The center shaft may also become the location where the drills are dropped and dirt/rock is removed. This would mean noise and dirt (potentially 24-hours a day) and dump truck traffic on Beach Drive. Suggestions that were discussed were to use the Metro's Purple line and making sound barriers out of dirt.

Bill Zwack, wzwack@aol.com, is on the WSSC Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for this project. Please fee free to email him your thoughts on the project. The CAC is meeting with the WSSC in early April for the first of two meeting. Public meetings will occur in June and again in August as the evaluation studies continue. Information will be passed through the list serve.

At some point, WSSC will be asked to make a presentation to the community.

New Home on American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Property

Centex Homes has bought the ASLHA property (a total of 18 acres). This is on the Southeast corner of 355 and Strathmore Avenue. They will keep the current R60 zoning (residential 5 units/acre; 6 units per acre with Moderately Priced Dwelling Units-MPDUs). Their current design is for 112 units (31 single-family detached houses, 64 townhomes, and 17 MPDUs). The County wanted additional units to promote smart growth near the Metro, however, Centex declined. The designs will be neo-traditional (similar to those at the King Farm in Rockville). The single-family detached houses will have detached garages in the rear and are approx. 3,000 square feet in floor space and approx. 9 feet apart and will sell for approx. $1M. The townhouses will be approx. $750,000. MPDU units will be dispersed. The construction will preserve views of Strathmore Hall from 355 and from the Music Hall to Strathmore Avenue. Seven acres will be preserved for open space, including the outdoor movies. Centex is open to ideas on its site plan including, for example, whether trees should line Strathmore Avenue or the single-family detached houses faced towards the road with garages in the rear. If brick walls are used along 355 and Strathmore Avenue, they will be low. The community will only have one egress to/from Strathmore Avenue and no traffic light is envisioned. ASLHA will stay until late 2007. The build out period will be 18 to 24 months.

PRA Directory

Jan Thomas is doing the design for a contact directory for Parkwood. This will be mailed to all residents sometime in May or June.

Below is a sample of the neighborhood directory information card which was sent out:

Return to: Jan Thomas, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.; 9916 Thornwood Road; Kensington, MD 20895; 301-520-5179

Please INCLUDE    DO NOT INCLUDE (circle one) my/our information in the Parkwood Directory:
Address_______________________________________________________________________
Resident 1, First Name_____________________________ Last Name_____________________
Resident 2, First Name_____________________________ Last Name_____________________
Primary Phone________________________ Second Phone______________________________
Email address__________________________________________________________________
Any services a member of your household wishes to offer to your neighborhood
Check the service and call Jan with the details!
Gardening; Tax Prep; Handyman; Play Groups; Computer; Painting; Baby Sitting; Pet Sitting;
Senior Sitting; Photography; Car Pooling; Other __________________

PRA Budget 2005

Submitted by Chris St. Clair, PRA Treasurer

2004 budgeted amounts:
Dues$1600
Admin$225
Newsletter$1250
Gardening$275
Rentals$60
 
Checks deposited in 2005:
Total dues$500
Beautification donations$315
General donations$230
 
Current bank balance$2017.47
Cash on hand$61.83
 
Proposed 2005 Budget:
 
Income
Dues & Donations$2000
 
Expenses
Admin$100
Newsletter$1200
Beautification$695
Rental$100
 
Total Expenses$2095

Notes on suggested 2005 budget:
The amounts assigned to expense categories exceed the total income from dues because we have already received over $500 in donations (outside of dues). The admin amount for 2004 was higher due to the one time expenditures for meeting signs and a donation to the Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School "Buy a Brick" fundraiser. The amount allotted to Gardening was determined by looking at the previous year's actual expenses and adding all donations marked for the gardening committee. While rentals have not cost as much as has been budgeted in the past, the current increase in school room rental fee in the public school system have increased. We anticipate an average of $25 per meeting.

Beautification Committee: Spring is Coming!

March is upon us, so it’s time to think about Spring clean-up chores. And our Beautification Committee is already busy with plans to tackle the Wildwood traffic island as well as continue maintenance of the Saul Road island. We all admire the signage and landscaping when we enter our neighborhood at Saul Road. That beautiful gateway to Parkwood doesn’t just happen on its own... it’s the result of dedicated work from a small team of volunteers, many who have contributed their own labor, and even their own money, to make the entrance to our neighborhood a beautiful one. And we all know how important that first impression of Parkwood is!

For 2005, PRA has asked its members to make an additional voluntary cash contribution to the Beautification Committee when they renew their membership. We’re pleased to report we’ve raised another $315 so far in this way.

The newly renamed Beautification Committee benefits us all by improving the appearance of our public areas, giving Parkwood a welcoming and well-maintained look so important to our property values! Can you help? Please contact Jean Wirsching at (301)493-8667.

A discussion ensued with regard to using volunteers from the neighborhood for Wildwood island or hiring a company to do the work using money donated.

Are you enjoying the neighbor-to-neighbor chat on our listserv? Do you like to be kept abreast of issues affecting your neighborhood? Do you appreciate the landscaping efforts? For only $10 a year, you can participate through the PRA listserv, website and newsletters. You’ll be invited to four PRA meetings with guest speakers. And you’ll be contributing to making Parkwood a better, more neighborly place to live. And please consider an extra donation for the Beautification Committee, which does so much to improve the appearance of Parkwood! Over 200 residents have joined our listserv, but only 50 have paid their 2005 dues to date!

New Business

Construction of our new Safeway will begin the second half of this year.

Next Meeting: June 6, 2005, 7:30 pm - Kensington Park Library


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