Parkwood Residents Association
Member Meeting
July 14, 2009

MINUTES

Attending:
       Officers:    Bailey Condrey, President
Maryann Dillon, Secretary
Directors: Gail Condrey, Chair, Beautification
Kira Lueders, Chair, Block Captains
Peter Mansbach, webmaster
Members: Approximately 20 other PRA Members

1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Bailey Condrey at 7:40 PM.

2. Old Business::

A motion was made (seconded) to approve the minutes of the March 31, 2009 meeting. Motion carried.

3. KPES Pedestrian Safety Improvements: Bailey Condrey reported that he spoke with Jan Melvin from the County Dept. of Transportation (DOT) and confirmed that the County has accepted the request to install sidewalks along Franklin Avenue between Edgewood and Beach Drive. The sidewalks will be on the south side of the road, even though this requires crossing the street at Beach to get on bike path, because the south side entails far less disruption to trees and less of a retaining wall. There will be a public hearing on August 19 at 2:45 PM regarding the sidewalk to hear any public concerns before a final decision is made. Bailey will circulate further info on the PRA listserv. There is another sidewalk proposed for the neighborhood along Parkwood Drive which has been tentatively scheduled for a hearing, but PRA is not in the lead on this, nor has it taken any formal position. One member asked if neighbors adjacent to the proposed sidewalk along Franklin support the project; Bailey responded that two families support it, one is opposed, and one is neutral. Liz Brennan asked if Montgomery County Public Schools had expressed support.

Once the sidewalk is installed, Jean Gries of DOT will meet with Kensington Parkwood Elementary School (KPES) re: safety improvements for the school, evaluating current signage. DOT has approved a curb extension at Saul and Oldfield that is designed to slow down traffic.

4. PRA Web Site: Peter Mansbach, webmaster, informed members that Yahoo is discontinuing its free web hosting in October. It will cost $60 to subscribe to the web hosting service the first year and $120 in subsequent years. The new Yahoo web hosting will allow pdf attachments which is a big improvement. While the parkwoodresidents.org web address will continue to work, the older geocities address will not. Chris Dewey has offered to let PRA piggyback on his website at no cost. Peter is exploring the feasibility of this. Maryann Dillon moved to authorize Peter to move the website to the free page linked to Chris Dewey’s website and that, if this proved infeasibile, to subscribe to the new Yahoo web hosting service. Motion seconded by Kira Lueders and carried.

5. Cedar Lane Bridge Replacement: Bailey reported that the County surveyed 75 nearby residents to the Cedar Lane bridge (at Beach Drive and Rock Creek) re: preferences for closures. Thirty-one residents preferred full closure of the bridge over a three-month period; 20 preferred a partial closing which would take considerably longer to complete work; and 21 had no opinions. Therefore, the County is recommending complete closure during Summer, 2011 with a detour of Cedar to Summit, Knowles, Connecticut, Jones Bridge, Rockville Pike, Cedar. This detour would not direct drivers through the Parkwood neighborhood. Paula Flicker stated that the bus route along Cedar was mentioned but alternate plans are not clear. BRAC is expected to be fully implemented by late Summer, 2011.

6. New Parking Rules: Bailey noted that, effective July 1, the County now prohibits overnight street parking in residential areas for commercial vehicles including boats, jet skis, box trucks, step vans, RVs, campers, and trailers. Such vehicles are allowed on private property. The immediate goal is voluntary compliance, with later enforcement by issuing warnings. Bailey will post more information on the listserv with links for additional information.

7. Coalition of Military Medical Center Neighbors: Bailey reported that the cost to improve key intersections impacted by BRAC is as follows:
 Rockville Pike/ Cedar Lane$125 million
Rockville Pike/Jones Bridge Rd$15 – 25 million
Old Georgetown/ W. Cedar Lane$10 – 15 million
Connecticut/ Jones Bridge Rd $35 – 50 million

Despite these costs, the Navy has only budgeted $32 million to date. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has earmarked $45 million for the Metro pedestrian tunnel under Rockville Pike. The Coalition is encouraging County officials to set priorities and petition the Feds for more funds. Councilman Berliner wrote to Governor O’Malley to embrace "smart growth". Bailey stated there seems to be a "disconnect" at the County Executive office and State Highway Administration (SHA), but buy-in from County Council members and Van Hollen. The Coalition is pushing the County Executive to appoint staff to attend the BRAC meetings, and believes that the County needs to tell Rear Admiral Nathan of Defense Authorization Roads (DAR) that the budget must be increased by $100 million. The Coalition is advocating for drop-off lanes and a multi-modal approach. All these intersections currently are failing according to County guidelines. Because the improvements are not "shovel ready", they were not eligible for Stimulus funding under ARRA. Bailey will ask the Coalition what residents should do to lobby.

8. Treasurer's Report: While Treasurer Gerald Sharp was unable to attend, Bailey presented a summary of PRA’s finances:
 Wachovia: $1992.64
ING $7185.52
Total: $9178.16 plus about $120 in cash or about $9300 total

 Receipts   2008 and 2009
Membership feesBeautification Fund
20082009 (to date)  20082009 (to date)
$2540  $3320$1697  $1795

Six months into 2009, both money collected from the $10 annual fee and from donations to the beautification fund exceed the amounts collected in all of 2008. Our membership at 332 paid members is at its maximum since PRA was started.

9. Parkwood Signs: Members discussed the merits of installing one or more neighborhood identification signs, similar in design to the sign installed at Saul and Cedar. In the past the membership has discussed installations at Franklin and Beach, Parkwood and Cedar, and Westbrook and Parkwood. Liz Brennan stated that PRA could request signs through Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) which could be installed on park property at the first 2 sites and would not require a permit. The estimated price for fabrication and installation of a wood sign is $800. Liz Brennan moved to allocate up to $2,000 to purchase 2 signs to match the existing sign on Saul Rd, to be installed at Franklin/Beach and Parkwood Drive/Cedar Lane, to be landscaped and positioned appropriately. Gail Condrey seconded the motion. There followed discussion. Comments included a concern that PRA already has a lot of landscaped areas to maintain, and a concern that both proposed sites were in the Bethesda portion of Parkwood. It was noted that both proposed sites were at key entry points to the neighborhood, and were on park property. Bailey called for a hand vote. There were 15 in favor and 4 opposed. Motion carried.

10. New Business: One member asked re: status of the Linden Tree, a specimen white oak at Beach Drive and Rockville Pike. Liz Brennan stated that PRA had met with State Highway Administration (SHA) personnel several years back to propose a dedicated right turn north onto Rockville Pike which could alleviate morning traffic to the Metro. PRA had suggested shrinking the existing traffic island to allow two lanes, one for a dedicated right turn. PRA is meeting with SHA at the site again on August 5 to discuss the proposal.

11. Upcoming Community Events: Kira Lueders mentioned that Kathy Byars is organizing a Fall community yard sale to be held at KPES; no other details are available at this time.

Gail Condrey told members that there’s a pile of wood chips along the Saul and Cedar Lane island which needs to be spread and encouraged members to help out.

12. More New Business: Carol Alderson of Parent and Resident Committee for Sustainability (PARCS) from neighboring White Flint Park discussed the White Flint Sector Plan being debated by the Planning Board, which will vote on the final draft this week. The plan encompasses 400 acres around White Flint Metro and calls for 9,800 new residential units to be built out over 20 years in addition to 2,200 units already approved. The plan will require a new elementary school but a site for a school has not been identified within the sector plan. The Randolph Hills Civic Association has suggested reopening Rocking Horse Elementary School and moving this school into the Walter Johnson cluster. This has implications for future overcrowding at Walter Johnson. Carol distributed a flyer and email address (smartergrowthforschools@gmail.com). The plan, if adopted by the Planning Board, will go to County Council for a vote in November. Montgomery County Public Schools must make any future decisions re: boundary changes. There were questions raised about traffic congestion along Strathmore; Carol stated that the sector plan acknowledges this but offers "poor remedies". Liz Brennan stated that this plan is discussed regularly by the Coalition of Kensington Communities (CKC) of which PRA is a member. Natalie Goldberg is the contact for CKC. Liz Brennan expressed concern that, should Walter Johnson get overcrowded in the future and MCPS decide to change cluster boundaries, that KPES risks being moved to the Einstein cluster since it is closer to that high school than to Walter Johnson. She suggested reviewing her posting to the PRA listserv on July 13 for more information.

Susan Hayes on Parkwood Terrace asked about the status of street tree replacements for trees removed by the County. Bailey reported that, unless a homeowner specifically calls the County to refuse a tree, that the County is supposed to replace each street tree removed.

Another member asked about the perceived increase in noise from the Metro train overpass. It was agreed by other members that this noise has increased in recent years with some speculation that it was caused by older equipment and uneven rails. It was agreed this needs to be investigated.

Another member asked about the status of the four new trailers installed at the front yard of KPES. It was reported that these trailers are to be used by the fourth grade classes and that the principal had eight trees removed to install the trailers. There was discussion that the school, which was completely rebuilt only four years ago with extra classrooms to anticipate population growth, is already overcrowded, and concern that the trailers are unsightly. Bailey agreed to talk with the KPES PTA and principal. Kira Lueders asked if PRA was current in its $35 annual dues to the Civic Federation. Bailey agreed to ask Gerald Sharp, Treasurer.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Maryann Dillon
Secretary


[Parkwood Home] [Printable Page] [Print]