Monday, April 06, 2015

Westbard Sector Plan public meeting April 22 in Bethesda

Montgomery County planners will unveil the latest draft of the future Westbard Sector Plan revision at a public meeting on Wednesday, April 22, at 6:30 PM at Walt Whitman High School.  The meeting will be in the cafeteria of the school at 7100 Whittier Boulevard.

This will be an important meeting, to get a sense of exactly where the housing unit and density numbers to be allowed by the plan will be, when it is presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board at its April 30 meeting.

250 community members unanimously rejected the urban density of the initial draft plan presented at a meeting last fall. Planners then appeared to slightly scale back the height and density of the plan, only to be scolded by several members of the Planning Board, who appeared to place the interests of developers above those of the residents. 

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

"250 community members unanimously rejected the urban density of the initial draft plan presented at a meeting last fall."

"Unanimous" means everyone, in this case, 250 of the 250 who attended the previous meeting. Even your own coverage shows that this is not true.

Anonymous said...

Maybe "overwhelmingly" is a better word, troll?

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer is a mega douche....

Anonymous said...

it's not up to community members. they don't own the land.

and if they don't like it, they can move.

Anonymous said...

11:16am That's not how the planning process works. You wouldn't need a planning board in your world.

A good outcome is a win-win for the developer and the community. According to every article I've seen, the community is firmly against this plan as it is currently.

Anonymous said...

Hello, yes. Where can I acquire Russian brides?

Thank you,

AK

Anonymous said...

@ 11:55 AM -

Go to the first level of the garage between Cordell and St. Elmo on a Friday or Saturday night, look for the nice lady in the fur coat standing by the door to the arcade. She should be able to make arrangements for you.

Anonymous said...

If someone said "Westbard is a short bus ride away from downtown Bethesda", would that be considered a "hate crime"?

Anonymous said...

No, but it would be fiction since no such bus route exists.

Robert Dyer said...

10:44: My sentence was entirely accurate. 250 community members (who actually live or directly adjacent to the sector plan's borders) attended. Every single one of them who spoke opposed the plan. The single speaker who praised it was not an actual resident of the plan area. How could you get the facts so wrong? There was zero community support for the plan.

Robert Dyer said...

11:16: You're just dead wrong on that. When you have a zoning change, the impacted residents have a say in that - unless the Planning Board is corrupt and just steamrolls over them and their own planning code. Welcome to the world.

Robert Dyer said...

12:36: I salute you for actually knowing that there is no bus on River Road or Westbard Avenue that goes to downtown Bethesda, unlike 12:18. And even if there was, it would not be a rapid subway, which is required to qualify for the high-density, TOD development those outside the community and sta

Robert Dyer said...

12:36: I salute you for knowing that there is no bus running from Westbard or River going to downtown Bethesda, unlike 12:18. And even if there was, it would not qualify the area for TOD, high-density development that requires a Metro station.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

What a dumbshit last paragraph. You polled all 250 community members? No? Then shut the fuck up, Dyer, you liar.

Anonymous said...

The community is so unified against this plan, it's hard for folks to spin this any other way.

So, expect to see an uptick in misinformation from the council's favorite blogger and his shill. This includes them posting strange comments here.

Meanwhile, Dyer is actually attending and participating in the meetings.

Also expect to see personal attacks increase against Dyer and residents as the plan moves through the process. Without facts or public support, there's no other way to ram this through.

Anonymous said...

Lets poll the community about the acceptance of Russian Brides in the Bethesda community.

I personally am all for it! Privet beautiful!

Anonymous said...

LOL at 1:16 PM and 1:18 PM.

I believe that it needs to be asked:

"U mad, bro?"

Robert Dyer said...

1:53: That's a clown question, bro. You're the liar, and a foul-mouthed one at that. I didn't have to poll or ask - they let every person speak who wanted to, and every single resident blasted the plan. Don't tell me, you were roaming around the back of the room where terrified pro-developer residents were huddling for warmth away from that angry, violent mob of soccer moms & dads & senior citizens who had intimidated them from speaking? You sound like Casey Anderson. The desperate things people will say when they can't acknowledge the residents are opposed to the plan.

Robert Dyer said...

2:39: Nope, just the facts, "bro". You were dead wrong on the bus claim. You're obviously not familiar with the area, but I'm sure Dan Reed enjoyed your comment.

Anonymous said...

OK, so you rode here on the short bus, rather than on a bus ride that was short. Thanks for clarifying. But in the meantime, please take your pants off your head.

Anonymous said...

I feel we moved off topic - remember, this site is to discuss russian brides for well to do bethesdian men.

Robert Dyer said...

2:59: There you go again with your bigotry and hate speech against the disabled. Are you planning to move to Indiana? And you say you're a supporter of Riemer and Leventhal? Embarrassing. For them.

Robert Dyer said...

3:22: Your angel investors have Russian mail order brides? And that has what to do with the topic of this article?

Anonymous said...

Dyer your pure unhinged insanity is a sight to behold - how have you not been committed yet?

Robert Dyer said...

5:50: Anyone reviewing the comments section would quickly surmise that you are the nutjob. You're also guilty of harassment and defamation. Only a crazy person - or paid political operative - could literally spend their day posting troll comments on a blog. You bring a bit of each to the table, punk.

Robert Dyer said...

#AngelInvestors

Anonymous said...

Where are my russian brides - dyer did you attempt to get them deported?

What an awful person you are.

Anonymous said...

R. Dyrer. We are the moco machine .... BOW before our greatness! Our power - unstoppable. Our reach - everywhere.

You will watch MoCo burn as you sit idly by on the sidelines - with no influence whatsoever.

We will take what is ours, and leave the scraps for everyone else. We run this county Dyer. You best remember that.

Anonymous said...

"every single resident blasted the plan."

Uh, no, they didn't. You're saying 250 of the 250 residents who attended were pissed off, which is COMPLETE bullshit. You are an absolute idiot for saying that. How on earth can you assume that? Just because the small percentage of people who spoke were in opposition (surprise, surprise - that's the entire point of these things, for people in opposition to express said opinion) you assume every single person in the room is in opposition? Fucking stupidest "logic" I've ever heard.

So because the 5 people who write in the comments section think Dyer's a moron, that means I can logically claim that 100% of Dyer's readers think he's an idiot - that's the "logic" you use as a basis for your "facts."

Anonymous said...
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Robert Dyer said...

6:24: Hopefully you'll acquire spell check software on your journey to world domination, MoCo Machine. Still using Windows 2000?

Robert Dyer said...

7:23: You continue to lie and distort. The public comment portion of the meeting was for any opinion, positive or negative. Not a single resident in attendance spoke in favor of the plan. You may have a journalism future in North Korea, Russia or Cuba, but not in Bethesda. Dan Reed thought your analysis was compelling, but the educated Bethesda reader wants facts, not developer/political propaganda.

I can tell you 100% of my readers think you're an idiot, that's for sure.

Anyone who actually attended the meeting knows my reporting was 100% accurate. And that you are a liar.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:52 PM -

Please do not flatter yourself. Your name is NOT included in Microsoft's spell-check software.

@ 7:59 PM -

"Dan Reed thought your analysis was compelling"

Your new obsession. LOL

Anonymous said...

Bets on when Dyer goes Postal?!

Anonymous said...

"Not a single resident in attendance spoke in favor of the plan."

That doesn't mean all 250 residents in attendance were against the plan. How can you not get that fact through your fucking skull? It could not be simpler.

Robert Dyer said...

8:04: You've got it backwards - it's Dan Reed who is obsessed with Westbard. "LOL"

No, I wouldn't expect any names to be in your Windows 2000 software.

Robert Dyer said...

8:16: Judging from your Taliban-style rants, you already have.

Robert Dyer said...

9:29: I never said that. I said every resident who spoke was opposed to the plan. And the planner said that over 90% of comments (which included developers and others with financial interest in higher density) were against the type of density that was in the November plan. You simply don't have a leg to stand on. The community has utterly rejected the plan.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we need to read Dyer's own words back to him, yet again.

"250 community members unanimously rejected the urban density of the initial draft plan presented at a meeting last fall."

Anonymous said...

Dyer: "I never said that. I said every resident who spoke was opposed to the plan."

wtf????? You realize your blog post says "250 community members unanimously rejected the urban density of the initial draft plan presented at a meeting last fall" right??? You know that we can all see that you're blatantly contradicting yourself, yes?

Robert Dyer said...

6:27/9:40: Were you or were you not in the room that night?

Robert Dyer said...

9:40: They did reject it. All 250 people had the chance to speak, and no resident spoke in favor of the plan. You're never going to be able to spin that any other way. There was zero resident support.

Anonymous said...

Dyer doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

Love when folks who weren't even at the meeting are making claims. Dyer actually participated and reported what happened.

Anonymous said...

I love it when Dyer and his shill can't admit that Dyer's two accounts of the same hearing contradict each other.

Anonymous said...

Seems pretty clear. There was no support from residents. How much clearer does Dyer have to make it? You're just going in circles now.
If you were at the meeting and concluded differently, please elaborate for readers.

Robert Dyer said...

4:28: Actually, it was the residents who protest who are your biggest problem. 250 attendees, and not a single resident spoke in support of the plan.

Robert Dyer said...

2:16: Sounds like you're from #TeamDanReed.

Alex Djordjevich said...

Robert, I'd respectfully suggest that you get a commenting system that doesn't allow anonymous commentary. The way people treat each other here isn't right for a community blog.
Beyond that, I disagree that 100% of the community is against the proposed plan though you may be right that close to 100% of those attending the Whitman HS meeting were. But the attendees skewed much older than the average age of residents, probably because seniors have the time. My wife paraphrased one man at that meeting who said "why can't we just leave it the way it is!". If that's a representative sentiment, then I don't think people are being realistic. (Actuarially speaking, many of the older folks complaining will not ever see any construction, let alone any of the changes.)
The reasonable baseline agreement has to be that the area has to change; the only reasonable argument is how? For years, I've pointed to the Westwood Shopping Center and its cousin cross the street as functionally obsolete, not aesthetically pleasing, environmentally unsound, and not in harmony with the surrounding neighborhoods. Lazlo Tauber did zero to upgrade the property through his years of ownership; trash cans overflowed, sidewalk never cleaned full of gum, signage from the 70's, acres of blacktop parking, not one restaurant, let alone outdoor seating. Though I love the Mom and Pop stores.
I don't want developer giveaways either and I want the County - esp the DOT - to make better proposals here.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I agree you should monitor the comments. It's so tedious to have this troll (so clearly in the pocket of the developers) junking up the comments when you are providing a helpful service. My mom lives in one of the Westbard condos. She's been pretty active, and I don't know of anyone who liked the plan with the density proposed. No one wants the strip mall to stay how it is, either, but there are infinite possibilities in between.

Robert Dyer said...

Alex, in regards to the comments, I like to provide an opportunity for readers to weigh in or discuss topics here as a community forum. There is basically one guy who is posting nasty comments directed at me, and 1 or 2 other political operatives who jump in when they have time. You'll notice it was all quiet early this morning when the troll didn't have time to post. When he took a Christmas vacation, it was quiet. It's one guy. So it's a troll problem, not a people problem, as everyone else here, including me, treats others in a civilized manner.

It's clear the few detractors would like me to close off comments, so that it will appear no one is reading or engaging with the blog. I'm not going to oblige them on that.

Back to the real topic, Westbard -

Many people, including myself, may have issues with the public process that took place last fall. But that was the process. That, internet communications, and future meetings, are where residents have their limited chance to weigh in on the process. There were many, many soccer moms and dads in their 30s and 40s at that Westland MS meeting I'm referring to. If there were people filled with passion about the plan, surely they would have been energized to waste their valuable time as I and others did to speak. Not a single one did. Additionally, planner Marc DeOcampo said of the "anonymous" written comment during the charrette week, that "85-90% of the comments we've heard are, "keep it low-density." And remember, that's 85-90% *including* developer/landowner/attorney comments, who were robustly represented during the week. I think it is very hard to make the case that opponents are being exaggerated given the cold hard numbers here.

I think we all can agree that Dr. Tauber failed to upgrade the shopping center over time. But we can't allow the neglect of 2 previous landowners to justify urbanizing a suburban residential neighborhood. The Stockholm Syndrome is a terrible planning tool.

Certainly, something will change. What we have to ensure, is that this change fits the character of a low-density, suburban residential neighborhood.

It also depends what the developers will do for the neighborhood. A pie in the sky creek daylighting was really all developers and planners had to offer at that November meeting. The deal clearly has to be sweetened.

They can get 45' now. They could build a new, modern shopping center like the new Osborne Shopping Center in Upper Marlboro. But they want more, and they want residential.

I think Equity One took a step in the right direction with their own plan for the Westwood Shopping Center site. Not perfect, but better than what the County was showing there. The properties across the street were still too tall and dense. The massing is too much like a canyon, rather than the classic American "Main Street" they claim they're going for. Main Street usually has many individual structures, no more than 2-3 stories.

What about the schools? What about highway capacity? We haven't seen anything tangible on either point yet. In fact, I saw very little of what citizens said reflected in the last draft of the plan.

So I think you're absolutely correct - what the developers can do, and what they'll get beyond 45', is going to be dependent on making a far better and appealing offer to the community than they did in November.

Robert Dyer said...

7:08: I will continue to do my best to monitor and delete comments as necessary. Thank you for your readership and patience. I agree, as I mentioned in my response to the previous commenter, that there are many ways to create a new retail center at Westwood without the urban-style development shown in the November draft of the plan.

Anonymous said...

I am requesting that the commenter (with comments such as those @1:53,5:50,6:24,8:16,9:29)who continues to harass and abuse this forum by posting harassing comments that are offensive to me,other readers and harmful to the blog owner, to cease sending any communications of any kind to the comment section of this blog.

Cyberharrasment and misuse of electronic communication is not only a violation of the policy of this site, it is also a crime in Maryland.

Robert, I realize you are deleting the offending comments but you shouldn't have to spend your time doing that. Please file a complaint with your ISP and the commenter's ISP if this continues after this warning. Send them the ip addresses and build a record. And if they are somehow affiliated with some of our govt officials, all the more reason to expose them now. Thank you.