Fall 2003

Parkwood Resident's Association

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The next PRA meeting will be held on Monday, September 22nd at 7:30 pm in the All-Purpose room at KP Elementary School. Please contact Liz Brennan or Jan Rothman if you have topics for the agenda.

September Meeting Agenda Items:

Meet Your Neighbors Share Your Issues: PRA Meeting September 22nd

Please be sure to mark your calendar and attend the September 22nd PRA meeting. Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Floreen will be sharing information about her first year on the council, her agenda for the upcoming year and most importantly she will be answering questions and getting input from the Parkwood community as to what is important to us. Don't miss this special opportunity. Next Meeting: December 8th.

Parkwood Provides Comments for AGP Review:

In July, PRA President Liz Brennan provided comments to Park and Planning on the proposed changes to the County's Annual Growth Policy. The comments were crafted based on feedback from members of the community and comments from the June PRA meeting where Planning Board speaker Carl Mortiz outlined the current policy.

PRA supports the proposed limit on growth with the suggested limit of 1 percent as a maximum level of over- all growth for the next several years. The limit is necessary at this time because the rate of growth has outpaced the revenues needed to provide infrastructure (roads, schools, fire safety, community centers, park maintenance).

PRA supports a new Developer Impact Tax to be dedicated to schools and supports increasing the current developer impact tax for traffic. However it is important to recognize that impact taxes will not be able to address the backlog of infrastructure that is needed.

PRA requests that building moratoriums be part of the AGP. The draft policy from Park and Planning did not include a building moratorium option. PRA pointed out that a developer impact tax couldn't address the backlog of infrastructure issues and that lagging county revenues cannot be relied upon solve the problems either. Many problem areas in the down county area cannot be solved with funding and the only recourse is a building moratorium.

PRA did not support the recommendation of lower developer impact rates for developments close to transportation efficient areas (Metros). We believe this "tax-break" for developers is shortsighted as all of the developments provide either residential or commercial parking and therefore funds are needed to address the additional road capacity needs.

PRA requested that a reliable school capacity test be crafted. The PRA agreed with the Planning Board that the current test which "borrows capacity from another school district" needs to be completely abandoned.

PRA did not support "Special Treatment" for affordable housing developments over the growth cap. Affordable housing programs should rely on acquiring new space under the growth cap and focus on acquiring existing space. PRA was joined by many other communities, including the Town of Rockville and Gaithersburg, the Board of Education, the Montgomery County PTAs in this process. The final recommendations from Park and Planning can be found on their web-site. The members of the County Council are currently reviewing these recommendations and the public has been invited to testify on Sept. 16th and 18th. The adoption of a new policy is expected in October.

District 5 Councilman Tom Perez Drafts Impact Tax Legislation for Schools

District 5 Councilman Tom Perez drafted Impact Tax Legislation last spring. The proposed tax would be dedicated to new school construction. This legislation is similar to the developer impact tax for traffic. The importance to the down-county area of this legislation is that it would free county revenues to address construction issues including modernization of older buildings and additions for overcrowded schools. As the need for new schools up-county has increased the funding available for older over crowded schools has been delayed. We applaud Mr. Perez for his leadership on this issue.


School Reports:

The Parkwood neighborhood feeds in to the following public schools: Kensington Parkwood Elementary (KP), North Bethesda Middle School (NB) and Walter Johnson High School (WJ).

KP has been designated by the Montgomery County Public Schools System (MCPS) as one of three elementary schools in the county to offer a focus on arts integration as a teaching method. Additionally, KP will host 9 interns from Maryland University this school year. The interns will be used for differentiation at all grade levels. Average class size is 24, with the exception of the 4th grade, which has 18 students per class. Over-all enrollment was projected at 435; actual numbers will be available shortly.

NB has a new principal, Alton Sumner. Mr. Sumner previously served as Assistant Principal at Wheaton High School and WJ. Projected enrollment for this school year is 761. More information about North Bethesda can be found at http://www2.mcps.k12.md.us/schools/northbethesdams/

WJ was ranked at 45 (out of 100) nationally in a Newsweek Magazine poll: "100 Top Public Schools" this past June. The ranking is based on the number of students that take advanced placement tests or International Baccalaureate tests. The on-site modernization continues with the completion of the media center and chemistry labs. Student enrollment is projected at 1880 this year, however enrollment is currently over 1900 students. More information about WJ can be found on their website: http://www2.mcps.k12.md.us/schools/wjhs/

CKC Update:

The Coalition of Kensington Communities (CKC) has been busy the past several months with several local issues. At its May meeting representatives from Safeway discussed the proposed renovation project. The CKC wrote to Park and Planning in general support for a new Safeway but requested that traffic solutions for the heavily congested corridors of Connecticut Ave/Knowles/Summit/Plyers Mill be addressed as part of the Safeway project. Park and Planning is still reviewing the plans. The CKC voted to support the Developer Impact Tax for Schools legislation sponsored by Council-member Tom Perez. The CKC will provide comments on the draft Annual Growth Policy to the County Council at the hearing on September 16th.

The CKC is a unified body of 11 area civic associations founded to enhance the quality of life in the Kensington area. Towards this end the group works with local government to address issues of urban design, recreation, transportation, pedestrian accessibility and economic growth affecting greater Kensington. Participation is open to any civic group or governing body in the Kensington area that shares the commitment to improving the welfare of the community.

Treasurer's Report

Submitted by Chris St. Clair, Treasurer
Current account balance 1191.84
Cash on hand 130.49
Grand total 1322.33

Approved Residential Projects in the Walter Johnson Cluster:

The chart below provides an overview of new residential construction in the North Bethesda area. This is of particular interest to Parkwood residents as all of these projects are districted to Walter Johnson High School. While MCPS had projected 1880 students for this school year, currently over 1900 students are enrolled at WJ. Educators agree that a learning environment of this size is not optimal. Members of the WJ PTA are closely watching the impact of new residential development.

Project Number of
Strathmore Park 60 2002 ES - 3
MS - 1
HS - 1
Garrett Park Tilden
Grosvenor Village 440
840 total
ES - 20/15
MS - 8/6
HS - 6/5
Garrett Park Tilden
White Flint Place 453 2005 ES - 23
MS - 9
HS - 7
Luxmanor Tilden
LCOR at White Flint 1338 2006-2009 ES - 44
MS - 25
HS - 18
Luxmanor Tilden
Rock Spring Centre
Phase 2
836 no start date ES - 42
MS - 17
HS - 13
Ashburton North Bethesda
Rock Spring Centre
Avalon Bay
414 2004 ES - 21
MS - 8
HS - 6
Ashburton North Bethesda
Indigo's Crossing 473 2005 - 2007 ES - 24
MS - 9
HS - 7
Garrett Park Tilden
Project at Goodwill Site
(town homes)
28 2005 ES - 5
MS - 2
HS - 3
Wyngate North Bethesda
Totals 4442   ES - 197
MS - 85
HS - 66
Sources: Park and Planning, MCPS

Wheaton Revitalization Update: The first phase of the re-development of the Westfield's Shopping Town (Wheaton Plaza) is on schedule and the following stores are due to open in September: Giant, Starbucks, Quizznos, Wachovia Bank and Nextel.

Town of Kensington News - Cement Factory Owner Proposes Land Swap: For those that missed the article in The Gazette (July 16), the owner of the cement factory in the Town of Kensington (Metropolitan Ave.) has petitioned the county for a land swap. Cement factory owner, Mr. Gould, has proposed to swap his property (the old cement factory) with property up-county. The upshot of this deal could be that instead of the 250-space parking lot that the county has planned, there could be the possibility of additional retail space. The proposal is currently in the County Executive's office and no decision has been made.

PRA Membership Status - Not too late to join for 2003:

Of the 913 homes in Parkwood 158 have decided to support the PRA. The more participation, the stronger our community. It's not too late to join - only $10 per household!

2003 Membership/Renewal Application — Annual Dues per household: $10

Please mail or deliver your 2003 PRA membership renewal dues to: Kitty Stone, 4313 Clearbrook Lane, Kensington, MD 20895. Please make check payable to: Parkwood Residents Association. Please print your information below:


Address:_________________________________ City:_________________Zip:______

Phone Numbers:(daytime)______________________ evening_____________________


Neighbors Share Information via the PRA List Serve

Parkwood residents have been sharing information about handymen, general contractors, Internet Access (DSL vs. Cable), area physicians and more. The PRA listserve is the best way to stay connected to your neighbors 24/7. Sign on and join the discussions.

The e-mail group is open to all residents of the Parkwood subdivision who have an e-mail address. To subscribe to the e-mail group, send a blank message to: parkwoodresidents-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will receive a confirmation message when you are subscribed. Do not write anything in the subject or body of the message. It will not be seen by anyone and you will not get a response. This communication mode can save the PRA funds if we can encourage all to participate! Sign on to the list serve and get your neighbor to as well!

Parkwood Resident's Association Officers

President: Liz Brennan, (301) 530-3615 or brennanhouse@verizon.net
Vice President: Jan Rothman, janr@erols.com
Secretary: Debbie Zwick (301) 581-9392 or drzwick@yahoo.com
Treasurer: Chris St. Clair (301)897-8415 or stclairs@speakeasy.net

PRA Website Address: http://www.parkwoodresidents.org
Webmaster: Peter Mansbach, pmansbach@aol.com

Parkwood Resident's Association
4324 Dresden Street
Kensington, Maryland 20895