Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Westbard Sector Plan decisions cut residents out of process (Photos)

Residents affected by the Westbard Sector Plan revision currently underway testified at a September 24 public hearing before the Montgomery County Planning Board. But the Draft Plan they commented on no longer exists. The Board has proceeded to thumb its collective nose at the taxpayers (and even planning staff) by accepting - and then approving - a barrage of last-minute requests from developers and Montgomery County's Department of General Services at its most recent meeting. This is now a completely different plan, and one the public has been unable to offer testimony on.

The worksession last Thursday included a stealth request from DGS for the right to build a 75' urban-style affordable housing project on the site of the Little Falls Library. This was a violation of at least the spirit of open meetings rules, as no public notice was given on that specific request, other than its inclusion on a fine-print chart linked to the meeting agenda.

A memo from DGS Deputy Director Greg Ossont was termed a "late note," and one planner assured the board that this document had been received in the last week prior to the hearing. But it's nowhere to be found in the file posted online that supposedly contains all correspondence received between October 14 and November 18, 2015. There's a memo from Ossont in there, but it's about forwarding feedback on transportation and public safety issues from other County departments, not the library site. Was it in the single, pitiful attachment provided to the public on the November 19 Planning Board agenda? Nope.

Putting a 75' building on a green, forested corner surrounded by one-and-two story residential and religious structures, and in a suburban residential area, is absolutely preposterous. And a complete deception.

Ossont assured residents that there were no plans to demolish the library at an April 22 meeting this year. He most certainly did not suggest the County was even considering placing an apartment building there.

There's no debate that affordable housing units will be coming to the "Westbard" area in any redevelopment plan. But the constant attempt to suggest that current residents aren't "doing their part" for affordable housing needs remains a laughable talking point. A representative of Action in Montgomery cited Westbard as an example of housing inequality in the county. In fact, it has the most affordable housing relative to population/unit density of any part of the county. The existing Westwood Tower has many times the percentage of affordable units that any project approved in recent years by the Board and County Council. Park Bethesda has historically had lower rents than downtown Bethesda apartments, and the Kenwood Place condos have been a relative bargain to purchase, and a veritable steal to rent.

I am not aware of any major crime or otherwise-negative issues related to the substantial affordable housing already on Westbard Avenue. But there's little common sense in declaring "Westbard" a future hub for affordable housing. The area is completely disconnected from downtown Bethesda via transit, and has no County or private services for low-income residents.

Contrast this to the past failures of the Board and County Council in downtown Bethesda. The Arlington Road corridor had once been designated as a site for substantial affordable housing, within easy walking distance of County services and transit. Instead, it today houses literally the most-expensive residential units in downtown Bethesda.

After tossing the homeless and poor downtown aside in favor of cash from developers for personal and political gain, they now want to lecture about affordable housing? Please.

The community is not going to accept a 200-unit apartment building in a low density area, on a school site, to boot. Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson expects that. And he made clear that he doesn't much care what you want. "A lot of people are going to be unhappy with the idea," Anderson predicted, in what was the biggest understatement of the year.

I urge everyone to watch the meeting so you see the arrogance in action. The Planning Board whose salaries you pay say this process isn't about you - it's about them, and the people they would like to live in Westbard one day. They're kind of tired of you, and a bit annoyed, too.

Commissioner Natali Fani-Gonzalez said this plan is about "the community that's going to live in there in 30 years...people who haven't even been born yet." Wait a minute, they keep talking about how the 1982 Westbard Sector Plan is so many decades late in being updated - and now they're saying this is a 30-year plan? They're going to wait 30 years to update it again?

If you're really writing a 10-20 year plan, why would you include the potential for a 75' building on the library site because it might be relevant in 20-30 years? Hint: Because an unnamed developer is interested now, and has set this plan into motion behind the scenes. Note to Board - "people who haven't even been born yet" don't pay taxes, and don't vote.
Distorted Google Maps
image the Planning Board
used to determine the future
of a whole neighborhood
I also urge you to watch so you can see just how unprofessional the Board was in putting politics over sound planning. At one point, the Board reaches a conclusion on a future building height, that will tower 90' over single-family homes directly across the street from it, by referring solely to a warped Google Street View image. They acknowledged they didn't know the correct grading of that site relative to others around it, and then just decided to wing it on a decision that will impact the neighborhood for decades to come.

After changes at Thursday's meeting, Kenwood will now have a 75' building on the Whole Foods site towering over its single-family homes, rather than a gradual step-down from the center of that block of River Road. A future building on Westwood Center II's site will rise 90' over Springfield homes. Final recommendations were not solidified on the Capital Properties land around the Park Bethesda, but the Board was supporting 110', a whopping 35 additional feet over what planners recommended.

Redevelopment of the Westwood Shopping Center site also will be taller - 10' taller, at 60'. Residents of Kenwood Place who had reached cordial agreement with planners and developer Equity One on 50' height previously? No notice and no chance to speak. Developers? Unlimited time to speak at Thursday's worksession.

Planners and Equity One said the 10' difference won't change the actual height of the structures, but was simply a technical issue in response to where the County starts measuring the height from. Given that the retail buildings will be at street level and up to the roadside, it's unclear how there is a dispute over where to make the measurement, but perhaps someone can explain that in the comments below.

It's critical to note that all of these taller heights will only be the starting point, with bonus incentives available that would allow developers to add additional stories to these. By allowing 90' and 110' to start, imagine what the final heights will be.

Surely there were additional perks for residents added to the plan to offset the additional giveaways to developers and politicians? No, in fact, the list is shrinking by the hour.

The realigned Ridgefield Road that was supposed to solve truck-turning and cut-through traffic problems? It's now essentially dead, with Planning Director Gwen Wright the lone advocate for leaving it in the plan.

Worried about whether or not naturalization of Willett Branch stream will happen? Get a little more worried. Page 49 of the draft now has "new language" kowtowing to landowners' requests to keep Willett Branch as an urban sewer: "stream buffer areas may be modified or reduced".

What's left on the list? A postage stamp civic green on Westbard, a slightly-larger postage stamp urban recreation park (a.k.a. skate park) by the Capital Crescent Trail, "interior community use space", private shuttle service, and bikeshare. Private shuttle service will actually allow the developers to add additional density beyond what they're getting in the plan, which defeats the whole purpose of the shuttle service. Bikeshare? It's already there on River Road at Landy Lane. So no meaningful green space, and certainly no recreation center or significant County facility.

It's also worth noting that of the minority of people writing to the Board supporting the Draft Plan, most do not live in what will be the eventual shadow of these buildings. Not only do most live away from the site, some live outside of the state of Maryland!

Also, examine the supporters' letters closely. You'll notice virtually all focus is on updating the "outdated" Westwood Shopping Center. This is the classic planning-by-Stockholm-Syndrome strategy that's been going on for several years. Dr. Tauber could have built a new shopping center 30 years ago. He refused to do so. Capital Properties refused to do so. Equity One has acknowledged it could make money even if nothing changed at all, and certainly with a new non-residential shopping center. So why would you support urbanizing a suburban neighborhood, if all you want is a better shopping center? It makes no sense.

It makes about as much sense as having the public testify on one Plan, and then giving developers and politicians the opportunity to write a new one 60 days later, and have the Board ram it through to the County Council, where a majority of councilmembers receive more than 80% of their contributions from developers.

The Board said the majority opinion of residents in Westbard in 30 years will be different from today's. No kidding, when you jam the equivalent of a whole town's population of transient renters into a 2 block area around low-density single-family homes. This is what happens when no one is advocating for residents. We're told that the County's "serious fiscal constraints" prevent funding of a People's Counsel to represent our interests, but we can mysteriously afford a $200,000 Development Ombudsman. Hmm.

When does Councilmember Roger Berliner weigh in on this last-minute deception of his constituents, and Dumb Growth plan for high-density urban development nowhere near walking distance to a Metro station? He could, but as we saw Thursday, the public can't.

205 comments:

1 – 200 of 205   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Thank you, Robert, for accurately showing up the Planning Commission for what it is: a group of corporate developer sycophants who completely wasted the resident's time, pretending to actually care (even just a bit) about the current residents' vision for the future of their neighborhood. I know that the usual commenters will pile on in glee, accusing the residents of all sorts of unwholesomeness, but they don't live here. We can look forward to too many cars, too little parking, too many dogs with nowhere but private or school property to run and "do their business". My complaint, though I am unhappy with the scale of the plan, is primarily about the completely dishonest manner in which the Board operates. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Shorter Dyer: "Whereas we already got our fair share of Colored and Spanish people in Westbard..."

Anonymous said...

"too many dogs"

That's taking NIMBYism to a whole new level.

Anonymous said...

7:16 - just go away, you are despicable and contribute nothing of value to the discussion. You clearly don't live here. Go find another site to deface with your puerile comments.
7:19 - dogs are great, but the owners are irresponsible. I maintain my yard for my own use, not to be a dog bathroom. Urine leaves dead spots and I don't want to pick up after someone else's dog. Do you?

Anonymous said...

As much as this development may not be totally in sync with the existing single family home feel of the area, there's considerable consideration for more than just the X residents that don't want growth in their backyard.

Anonymous said...

We can't necessarily just freeze everything at this exact point in time because a very small group wants it that way. Change will come, and hopefully we can plan in advance for it. Which it sounds like the county is trying to do. And the developers and land owners see a demand for. So someone obviously wants it. More people than the small interested group that lives there now.

And might we add that this isn't even their land they are fighting about.

Anonymous said...

A very small group?

Anonymous said...

Is just a matter of people not wanting to grow? Legitimate concerns about traffic, lack of transit options, school capacity came up in the community feedback.

Landowners and developers can't do whatever they want. That's why there's a process and a planning board. Though, it seems the process is broken if heights are raised AFTER the community gave feedback.

Why shouldn't the community try to get the best outcome?

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity in this discussion.

How many households are in Westbard?

How many households lodged complaints or voiced concerns?

How many people use the amenities in the area that don't live there?

How many people would want to live there or shop there?

Anonymous said...

Very legitimate and serious concerns indeed. But as an alternative, where would this development and these people go where the same issues aren't there? Perhaps the focus could be not on blocking development but improving infrastructure?

Anonymous said...

Expand your definition of community though. Surely the current residents care. But there's obviously demand for housing and amenities and development. So the larger community cares too. And seem to be saying they want this. And the developers and planners seem to agree with the bigger community.

Reed Hundt said...

The Planning body is pro growth...pro hyper growth, big commercial buildings, and dense urban conglomerations. It is against neighborhoods, walking, local amenities...this is pretty obvious and really outrageous. The Council members need to stand up against the planners.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much expensive real estate has been developed in downtown Bethesda while the smaller, cheaper apartments have been torn down. Surely it would make more sense to cluster affordable housing near the Metro and bus station transit hubs. There's no office development at all planned for Westbard, so everyone who lives there will either drive to work or take one of the two bus lines (where buses come every thirty minutes during weekday rush hour. The Planning Board makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Just curious why you consider it outrageous to be against neighborhoods as you define it?

Anonymous said...

And how do you define it?

Anonymous said...

What is the planning board doing that makes no sense? They don't have all that much control over what a private landowner wants to do. They already do get a lot of concessions such as MPDUs and such.

What exactly are you asking of developers and the planning board?

Anonymous said...

@ 8:46 AM Exactly.

Anonymous said...

I think there is an excellent question here about who the Planning Board's constituency Cy really is. But that is a separate question from the one about last minute, significant changes to recommended plans with no notice to the affected community. The Seemingly arbitrary decisiins afyer months of process reduces the credibility of both the Board itself and of the process as a whole. Why go through the motions if rhe Tsar will just decree in the end? The Council can address both of these issues. If the residents of Westbard are as exorcised as portrayed in the local media, they will make the Democratic process work and be heard by Berliner and the rest of the Council. And more power to them!

Anonymous said...

Are we really expecting the current Council to stop this insane plan?

Anonymous said...

This is a good comment. I played devil advocate in a bunch of the above comments and I think you've got good points all around. A huge process which they seemingly ignore those who speak up (regardless if they are a majority or just a loud minority) and then sneaking in decisions is a bit disengenuine.

Anonymous said...

And now it matters to you about property ownership? You don't want dogs on your property. Of course. It's your property. You own it. You do as you are legally allowed.

As other landowners can as well. Such as these property owners.

Anonymous said...

I, as a current resident (in multi-family housing, not a single family homeowner), want some open space for recreation to be provided as well as the new housing and retail. The planners are counting on Westland Middle School's fields to be the sole source of open space, but those are closed to the public during school hours and booked for recreational youth leagues on the weekends. Adding a few thousand residents without providing services (how about a DMV branch? a dog park?) or recreational space seems short-sighted to me.

Anonymous said...

Last minute changes without public hearing are Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson's specialty. Those of you who are finally seeing the Planning Board for what it is need to start talking to your State representatives because it is a State agency and it's time to abolish it. Otherwise this abuse will continue. Talk to the Council about the plan but send your concerns about the Board to the State Senators and Delegates.

Anonymous said...

Residents may not get needed park space or other amenities and will be dealing with jammed streets and schools. On the other hand, they may get a Chipotle or Panera out of it. Fair trade?

Anonymous said...

Sure if you think of the number of residents losing parking but the number of new residents getting housing and the number of consumers getting chipotle and Panera. If you want to put it in those terms.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't mean the rules are broken if the heights are changed after feedback. Just that the planners decided what was more important.

Anonymous said...

I want lots of things too. It would be nice. But I have no right to them.

Anonymous said...

He's on his way out isn't he? Is this position nominated? Who hires? Seems the people who want something different have a perfect opportunity to exercise their democratic right and let the powers that be know their preferences. And if enough people want it - maybe it'll happen.

Robert Dyer said...

8:56: The Planning Board has total control over any development that isn't by-right or within the current zoning allowance. Such as height and density.

Robert Dyer said...

8:04: Any time developers seek something beyond what's currently allowed, other property owners nearby absolutely have a say in what happens.

"Change will come", but what kind of change, and ensuring it is compatible with the character of the established neighborhood, is what planning is all about.

Robert Dyer said...

2:13: It requires the County Council to believe their reelection is in danger to get them to change. We've witnessed that in the demise of the ITA proposal. A lot of those folks are also planning to run for County Executive, and they're going to need support from the "Westbard" area to win in a 6+ Democratic primary field.

Robert Dyer said...

8:36: Who is the "bigger community"? Is it the "people who aren't even born yet"? The unborn won't be voting in the 2018 election.

Jason Greenwald said...

I think it is very unfortunate that the community is not behind this. I attended the first meeting at Whitman high school, and after hearing 30-45 minutes of old people who are afraid of change, I had to Leave.
This redevelopment could revitalize a valuable peice of land close to DC, and could make things great for an area that has potential. There are many areas throughout the country, that would love to have a company buy a peice of Property to revitalize the Area, at no charge.
It is not the 1960's people, we must be competitive with other areas of bethesda, Montgomery county, and Virginia.
So, people don't want more convience? People don't want higher property values?

Anonymous said...

And they get a lot out of developers as it is. How much concession is ok by your standard? What should a developer do for a highrise?

Anonymous said...

Future residents? Consumers of the upcoming retail? Folks nearby? MoCo in general? MD?

The extra property taxes and income taxes and sales taxes and other economic boosts this will generate.

Etc.

Anonymous said...

Input sure. Say? Beyond the representatives they vote for who put the rules in place. Not much really.

Do we necessarily want to be compatible with an olden backward suburbia?

Betsy said...

Nice how folks try to have a reasonable constructive conversation without all the vampire and insult stuff and Robert stays with the sarcastic insult. If you want others to try it might behoove you to put forth some effort to be nice too.

Anonymous said...

It's odd that dyer dislikes this project. He's always saying NoVa is so far ahead of MoCo in developer friendliness to build up a better future, yet he fights the future here.

Anonymous said...

So it sounds like the democratic process is working then? I'm not entirely sure what you are saying.

Anonymous said...

9 things people always say at zoning hearings (illustrated by cats)

1. "I'm not opposed to all development. Just this development."

2. "Nobody talked to me!"

3. "Reality is, everybody drives a car."

4. "These greedy developers only think about profits."

5. "Let me tell you my theory of economics."

6. "What this neighborhood really needs is a coffee shop, not more apartments."

7. "I'm 5th generation! My great great grandfather moved here before this was even on the map!"

8. "We need to respect the hundreds of hours spent crafting this neighborhood plan."

9. "This housing is too small for me!"

Anonymous said...

"The unborn won't be voting in the 2018 election."

Dyer believes that life begins at conception...

...and ends at birth.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious!!

Anonymous said...

What sarcastic insult!

Anonymous said...

"The unborn won't be voting in the 2016 election." What does that contribute to a constructive conversation?

Anonymous said...

Can someone give an example of a building that is 75 feet tall nearby or in downtown Bethesda? I'm trying to get a sense of how tall that is.

Anonymous said...

Westbard area folks: if you want suburbia and low density, there's Poolesville, Potomac, Damascus, etc. Much cheaper too.

Anonymous said...

@ *;04 PM: "'Change will come', but what kind of change, and ensuring it is compatible with the character of the established neighborhood, is what planning is all about."

Translation: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for Westbard Children."

@ 8:16 AM: "Legitimate concerns about traffic, lack of transit options, school capacity came up in the community feedback."

Are you actually in favor of expanding school facilities, or building new facilities, where needed, and in favor of improved bus connections to the Friendship Heights and Bethesda Metro stations? Or, are you just someone who says: "I'm not opposed to all development. Just this development", or, "Reality is, everybody drives a car"?

@ 6:58 PM - Examples of buildings in the range of 75 feet tall include the Darcy/Flats buildings at Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues, and the Bethesda Lane buildings west of there, about which Dyer raves. That height is 7 stories and is definitely mid-rise and not high-rise. If that is good enough for the NIMBYs of Edgemoor, then it is good enough for tne NIMYs of Westbard.

Anonymous said...

The Flats from the backyards of Leland street look actually really nice. That transition from SFH to midrise looks great.

Robert Dyer said...

11:34 PM: I agree the Flats was well-done. But that's not an appropriate analogy. You're comparing a TOD in an urban downtown to a low-density suburban residential neighborhood. They're also talking about 90' and 110' starting points (they'll go even higher with density bonuses) in Westbard. They're trying to put in Purple Line density without the Purple Line. Ridiculous.

Robert Dyer said...

3:30: If the drive-thru McDonald's, dry cleaners, pet store, Voorthuis, shoe repair and full-service Citgo all get wiped out, how will that provide "more convenience"? Convenience is the strength of "Westbard" today. The negatives are 40 years of neglect by the County Council, Planning Department and previous owners of the shopping centers on Westbard. Fixing the retail element doesn't require urban-density housing or booting out popular small businesses.

Robert Dyer said...

8:16: "If you don't like it, leave!" Would love to have Berliner, et al run on that slogan in 2018.

Robert Dyer said...

4:14: That is not what I've said. They're ahead of us in attracting corporate headquarters and creating jobs, not residential housing.

Tysons is a good example of the right way to do it - they're loaded down with high-wage jobs and corporate HQs. Now they responsibly add Metrorail, and housing right amongst those jobs. Makes MoCo look like amateurs. The Westbard plan doesn't add a single square foot of office space. That's not smart growth. How do you "live work play" if there are no high-wage jobs?

Robert Dyer said...

4:33: More lies. I'm in favor of many developments in downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring and the Rock Spring Centre, as just a few examples. #3 is a factual statement, in that 91% of those polled in neighborhoods around Westbard commute by car.

Robert Dyer said...

3:38: As I detailed in the above article, we ain't gettin' squat out of this plan so far. The "amenities" are pathetic.

Robert Dyer said...

3:42: Hate to tell you, but "olden backward suburbia" is growing faster than urban areas in America today. People priced out of cities, including millennials, are fleeing to the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

What's a TOD?

The Flats is half a mile and Westbard is like two miles away from Bethesda metro? Just curious where the edge of the urban downtown would be considered and how far away is considered too far from metro?

Do we have an example of 90' and 110' buildings next to SFH?

Westbard may be mostly SFH but there's a ton of traffic and throughput there. So maybe one thought to consider is the expansion of the urban core to start to swallow up and include Westbard as our population grows?

Anonymous said...

@ 5:25 AM - You just confirmed 4:33 PM's #1, you dunce.

So are you in favor of extending the Purple Line to Westbard? If so, good for you. But why is density OK in Rock Spring, which is much farther from the nearest Metro station than Westbard?

@ 5:31 AM - So you just confirmed that millennials don't want to live in the suburbs - they just can't afford to live in existing urban areas because of the very high demand, and suburban NIMBYs won't allow new ones to be built.

Anonymous said...

"Do we have an example of 90' and 110' buildings next to SFH?"

There are several buildings at least that high, or several stories higher than that, on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue and along East-West Highway and Montgomery Avenue.

And in Friendship Heights, there are several huge apartment buildings and office buildings right next to SFH.

Anonymous said...

@5:16 Regarding Berliner and running again, why no comments on the proposal by Ficker to put a term limit referendum on the ballot? I think it has a good chance of winning, and should be publicized. We definitely need some fresh people and ideas on the Council (though Berliner seems the most reasonable of all the Council members, I must admit).

Same with the proposal to end the MoCo alcohol monopoly. Why no coverage on this blog? It seems to be a very hot topic, and the area is directly affected -- the Chevy Chase DLC store is closing (probably due to private competition across the border).

Robert Dyer said...

5:48: Smart growth, or transit-oriented development (TOD), is universally recognized as being within a quarter mile (ideally ) to a half a mile from a rapid transit station.

Westbard and the urban core of Bethesda are separated by parkland and residential neighborhoods, including an incorporated municipality, Somerset. So the idea of merging the two is not realistic. Montgomery County doesn't control Somerset to begin with.

Robert Dyer said...

5:56: Rock Spring Centre was originally planned with a monorail connection to Grosvenor Metro. Now that has been replaced with a BRT plan, so it is basically being grandfathered in. Certainly not ideal, but right at an Interstate on-ramp and nowhere near the density planned for Westbard. The main reason I would support it is that it is including office space, and the renderings don't just look cookie cutter.

What do suburban NIMBYs have to do with DC not building and preserving enough affordable housing within the District?

Robert Dyer said...

6:12: Yes, but again, downtown Bethesda and Friendship Heights are high-density urban centers at Metro stations. Westbard is not.

Robert Dyer said...

7:30: Term limits are desperately needed to break the MoCo political machine's grip on power.

This blog has been the leading voice on getting government out of the liquor business, and I've written numerous articles on the topic. Bottom line: It's time to allow beer and wine to be sold in grocery and drugstore and convenience stores.

Anonymous said...

"Montgomery County doesn't control Somerset to begin with."

What???

"the renderings don't just look cookie cutter."

What???

"What do suburban NIMBYs have to do with DC..."

Who said that urban areas are, and must only be, in DC?

7:30 AM - F*cker and Dyer are both inflamed boils on the buttocks of MoCo.

Anonymous said...

"This blog has been the leading voice on getting government out of the liquor business, and I've written numerous articles on the topic. Bottom line: It's time to allow beer and wine to be sold in grocery and drugstore and convenience stores."

You realize that those are two separate issues, don't you?

Anonymous said...

The Metro is a short stroll from the Flats.
That in no way compares to a 45 minute hike from Westbard Avenue to Friendship Heights. Technically can walk that, but why would anyone add that much extra time to their commute?

Anonymous said...

Just add a free shuttle bus, like the Bethesda Circulator.

Problem solved.

Also, adding a shortcut path between the big curve on Willard Avenue, and River Road near Little Falls Parkway, would cut about a third of a mile off the walking distance.

Anonymous said...

The walk from the Friendship Heights Metro station to Westbard is "45 minutes" only if your walking speed is 1.7 mph.

One can actually walk from Westbard to the Bethesda Metro station in less time than that.

Anonymous said...

Let's say it's a 30 minute walk. Who is going to add 30 minutes to their morning commute even before starting their journey on Metro?

Of course, they'll take a bus. Let's be realistic though and not say residents are walking to Metro from there.

Anonymous said...

I trust voters to vote people out. But, I don't see how capping terms to 8 or 12 years is bad.
If you can't accomplish what you set out to do in 12 years, then you really should step down and give someone else a chance.

I like the idea of having more diverse and energetic voices on the Council.

Anonymous said...

"Term limits are desperately needed to break the MoCo political machine's grip on power."

Limiting incumbents' terms isn't going to magically make you or F*cker electable.

Anonymous said...

What's all this talk I hear about increasing the density of Westbard?

The residents of Westbard are dense enough as it is.

Anonymous said...

So I'm good with 17+ stories in TOD. 7-10 stories 2 miles away sounds fine too

Anonymous said...

That's pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea! It would go a long way to better connecting Westbard to mass transit.

Anonymous said...

Isn't alcohol in grocery stores a state law?

Anonymous said...

I think we all have to come to the realization that as our population grows the housing and amenities demands are going to keep expanding from the core urban centers.

Anonymous said...

West bard plans look anything but cookie cutter IMHO.

So if west bard included office space and looked "better" then you would be ok with it?

Anonymous said...

7-10 stories nearby SFH isn't really a big deal. What's the actual distance from the SFH anyway that we are talking about here?

Anonymous said...

SFH can be 2.5 stories (35 feet) now as it stands. Which is usually a minority portion of a basement above grade, 1st and 2nd floor, and a partial 3rd floor.

Anonymous said...

So if the Flats to SFH home transition is ok, then it's only an issue of distance to mass transit then is what you are saying?

Anonymous said...

Isn't that kind of what west bard residents are saying? Developers, we don't like it, so leave?

Anonymous said...

Dyer you obviously don't get the joke here.

Anonymous said...

Property owners can put whatever they want on their land. If they think a gas station isn't as valuable as a TD Bank, as sh*tty as we may think that is, there isn't much we can do about it. It's not our land. It's not our business. We are welcome to start a gas station if we belie in it so much.

So if West Bard plans included office space for high-wage jobs, would that make it ok?

Ok so praise MoCo for their robust housing market then?

Anonymous said...

Build the new Marriott-Starwood headquarters at the Westbard Purple Line station.

Anonymous said...

What are the amenities vs what the developers are getting? How do they compare against past precedent?

Robert Dyer said...

11:55: Laughable comment, considering Ficker and I have both been elected to public office in the past by Montgomery County voters.

Robert Dyer said...

8:00: No, all alcohol changes have to be approved by the state legislature. The only liquor changes that won't get made are the ones we don't ask for. That's why even Hans Riemer's former staff are criticizing him for his failure to end the government monopoly.

Robert Dyer said...

7:57: You said DC residents had to leave DC for the suburbs because suburban NIMBYs wouldn't allow more housing to be built in DC. Your crazy comment, not mine.

You don't know that Somerset is an incorporated town? "What???", indeed.

Robert Dyer said...

3:08: Yeah, I can hear Beavis and Butthead laughing. They would make great planning commissioners under the current circumstances.

Robert Dyer said...

3:10: Classic Riemer talking point. You just ask the legislature to change it, just as they're asking for private sales of special orders. Unless you don't actually want to change it....

Robert Dyer said...

3:12: The population only grows if you provide the housing to allow it in. We therefore control our population.

Robert Dyer said...

3:13: Are you looking at the same renderings I am? Including the Safeway/Rockville Town Square rounded building corner? For me to get on board, they have to reduce residential density, add capacity to River Road to handle additional traffic, add office space, add more amenities like a recreation center, more green space, and, yes, unique architecture that fits the surroundings.

Robert Dyer said...

3:14: 7-10 stories next to single-family homes "isn't a big deal"? Not if you don't own one of those homes, maybe.

Robert Dyer said...

3:22: No, they're asking for more than what's allowed under zoning, so they can't "put whatever they want".

Anonymous said...

What office did Dyer hold?

Anonymous said...

Intra-party leadership, especially in a party which has no elected representatives in Montgomery County, is not "public office", you dunce.

And regarding F*cker, "sports heckler" is not public office, either. He has not been elected or appointed to any office.

"In 1990, Ficker was publicly reprimanded by the Maryland Court of Appeals upon a finding that he had violated ethical rules prohibiting neglect, engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and lack of diligence. In March, 1998, he was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law, with the right to reapply for admission after 120 days, arising from violations related to competence, diligence, fairness to opposing counsel and parties, supervising lawyers and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. In August, 1998, he was privately reprimanded by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission for a violation related to competence. In January, 2002, he was privately reprimanded by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission for a violation related to client communications. Ficker was again indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in 2007. A dissenting judge in the latest suspension commented, 'If disbarment is not warranted in this case for these types of issues, with a respondent with this history, it will never be warranted.' Ficker's law license was reinstated on December 8, 2008."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Ficker

Anonymous said...

"You said DC residents had to leave DC for the suburbs because suburban NIMBYs wouldn't allow more housing to be built in DC."

I don't see anyone saying that other than Dyer.

Anonymous said...

Captcha told me to "select all images of turkeys".

And they had Dyer's profile pic. LOL

Anonymous said...

ha #oops glad these two have never held public office

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the folks viewing the mobile version of this site don't get to experience the "Great Wall of Dyer" between 6:41 PM and 7:06 PM - 10 rants in a row - that those of us viewing the non-mobile version of this site are seeing. (Mobile version shows sub-threads, non-mobile version doesn't.)

Anonymous said...

"In 1996, F*cker was acquitted of destruction of property in a 1995 traffic incident and saw battery charges dropped by the State's Attorney after a jury deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquittal. F*cker had been convicted in a non-jury District Court trial but appealed for a Circuit Court jury trial. In the traffic incident the driver of the car F*cker hit reported that he struck her in the face, breaking her glasses."

"When ex-convict Daron Dylon Wint was arrested and charged in the 2015 Washington, D.C., quadruple murder, in which a 10-year old child was tortured in order to extract money from the child's father, F*cker said Wint didn't seem violent when he defended him in earlier cases. 'My impression of him — I remember him rather well — is that he wouldn't hurt a fly. He's a very nice person,' F*cker said."

"F*cker characterized Wint as 'kind and gentle'. F*cker added that authorities have arrested "the wrong guy" in the murder case, claiming, 'They've made a big mistake here.'"

Robert Dyer said...

7:28: Thanks for doubling down on stupid and proving you are a complete moron. Robin Ficker was elected to a term in the MD House of Delegates from 1979-1983. I was elected to the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee in 2006. You get to call both of us Honorable, to boot.

Robert Dyer said...

7:57: #Oops, we both held public office.

Anonymous said...

A political party central committee is public office?

I'm not sure that really counts

http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/40party/html/parties.html

Anonymous said...

Who asks what legislature to change it? Is t the council's job to request state law changes? Just curious who would take the lead here.

Anonymous said...

Wow ok.

So you are saying you want to artificially limit supply? Let demand grow? Property values keep growing on limited availability. Fewer and fewer folks can afford housing?

That's your idea?

Anonymous said...

If one listens to your music and dress - one would not be instantly swayed by your aesthetic opinion.

Have to? Or you would like to see them do that stuff. And who is they?

Anonymous said...

Are you saying the renders look worse than the old buildings that are there now?

Anonymous said...

So dyer also just said not to let more kids in the schools because we can control the population.

Anonymous said...

The private companies that go in.

So if you want a gas station you have every right to open one. Don't see you doing that. Just complaining about someone else's business

Anonymous said...

So that sounds like we should build more housing to help millennialist afford to live in the urban areas they would rather live in.

Anonymous said...

I live on Leland and love the lot 32 project. Beautiful building, stone work, landscaping, paths, public space. So much better than an eyesore parking lot. And we got more parking out of it too.

The height is no big deal. It's done very well. And the planning department helped ensure that so kudos to them.

My property values have gone up too!

As a resident with a SFH next to the heights you talk about, I think it isn't a big deal. Are you a SFH owner next to a 7-10 story building? It not, how would you know? Other than some residents saying they will hate it (but don't know) and others saying they love it.

Anonymous said...

Lot 31 I mean. Lol.

Anonymous said...

"The population only grows if you provide the housing to allow it in. We therefore control our population."

Can someone please explain to Dyer how babies are made? They don't spontaneously generate in newly built housing.

Anonymous said...

Here is a list of Montgomery County's elected officials. Not a "(R)" to be found anywhere. And the intra-party leadership of neither party counts as "elected official".

So, what exactly is Dyer's constituency as Dogcatcher Emeritus of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee?

Anonymous said...

List here:

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/Information/electedofficials.html

Robert Dyer said...

5:35: Last time I checked, babies don't move into their own luxury apartment after birth. And after college, they hit the road if affordable housing isn't available. Population controlled.

Robert Dyer said...

5:46: Sounds like somebody needs a remedial civics class. A party official elected by the voters of Montgomery County on the same ballot as all other offices is - duh! - an elected official. I have a certificate from the governor, and the official title of The Honorable Robert Dyer. You can't get that out of a cereal box like your credentials.

Robert Dyer said...

4:24: #YesWeCan if you don't provide the housing, the kids don't materialize to overcrowd the classrooms.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:56 PM - It looks like you ran unopposed for that party leadership position. How many votes did you actually receive? Who are your constituents? What government services do you actually oversee? What are your day-to-day duties and responsibilities?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Dyer has at least two other family members who are perpetual candidates who never actually get elected to anything. LOL, losers.

Anonymous said...

Ok so we stop providing housing and stop building schools. So population growth is stunted in the central core. Any new population growth has to occur further away from central services and amenities and transportation. So we spend more money on building infrastructure further and further away and just keep spreading? And only into areas where there is no one there now because anywhere we want to not provide housing. Is this your plan?

Anonymous said...

Dyer did pretty well in the last election -- #1 among Republican candidates as I recall. I voted for him.

The reason we need term limits is that MoCo is ruled by Democrats and too many voters who don't follow the issues will just vote for any Democrat on the ballot. They just don't have time to follow local politics. Term limits will ensure we have fresh people in there one way or another.

Dyer: The reason I think you should do a blog post on ending the alcohol monopoly is because of the recent proposals by Frick and Franchot, and Leggett's laughable attempts to justify the monopoly. It will spark good discussion too.

Robert Dyer said...

7:29: Tripling down on stupid. You obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

Robert Dyer said...

7:19: Wrong. I finished first as a first-time candidate against a field of several well-known party activists. My term ended in 2010, so I'm not sure why you are using present tense. The Central Committee appoints nominees to the Board of Elections, for example, which are then approved by the sitting governor. It has fiscal responsibility for the County party budget.

Robert Dyer said...

8:08: We can control population countywide, not just inside the Beltway, by limiting the number of housing units. There's nothing wrong with people finding affordable housing with a backyard in the exurbs. If government officials would do their job and provide the highway capacity and rail transit, it would actually work quite well. Most people can't afford $800,000 for a broom closet luxury condo inside the Beltway.

Robert Dyer said...

4:23: Yes. At least what's there is authentic and unique, not just the building designs that come with the software plunked down on a map.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone run against him? Did anyone care about that position?

Anonymous said...

So you want post college kids to leave after college by not providing housing? How is that a good thing?

Anonymous said...

So you don't want more people inside the beltway? These young people loving the the burbs are just going to add to traffic and costs and inneficiencies as they commute into jobs inside the beltway.

You're right they can't afford an $800,000 condo. There is low supply and demand is high - that's one of the reasons that condo isn $800,000. So we need to incentivize developers to build more supply to match demand.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention these young people you say that are fleeing to the burbs would rather be closer in. They just can't afford it. It's not by desire that they are moving there. It's by necessity.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, west bard looks like crap now. Authentic and unique does not always equate to attractive. I think a lot of people would much rather the aesthetic of the rendering's. Hence the demand for it. Hence the developer's desire to build it.

Anonymous said...

And yeah from your music and your dress and your food choices and all this other stuff - your aesthetic opinion doesn't mean a whole lot to a whole lot of people.

Robert Dyer said...

3:23: If there are college students who can afford $2300-a-month rents and $800,000 condos, such as what's proposed for Westbard, they must be engaging in some criminal activity. Better to build and preserve affordable apartments in downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring, and affordable SFHs in the Upcounty. Better highway access to exurbs will help drive down the super inflated real estate prices of Montgomery County, as well.

Robert Dyer said...

3:30: Choice of "dress" compared to who? The County Council? The local media? Please.

Robert Dyer said...

3:26: But what if meeting demand destroys the quality of life by overwhelming the unfinished road network and local schools? Is that a responsible decision?

We can reduce traffic by bringing the high-wage jobs that attract millennials, rather than becoming a bedroom community to the benefit of Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington and DC. If nightlife was a draw, millennials would be moving to Vegas. They're not. They're going to DC, San Francisco, Arlington County and NYC - even to Texas. Jobs.

Anonymous said...

So instead of fighting and stunting growth, let's work to fix the roads and schools

Where would we attract the jobs to? If the milennials can only afford to live way out in the far out suburbs, would the jobs be up there too? Because of the jobs are downtown then traffic increased because they have to go downtown.

Just curious, how does income and property and contribution to local economy around one's home compare to corporate taxes and contribution to local economy around one's work?

And if both aren't in the same place, what's the productivity loss?

If you push that MOCO is the bedroom for Fairfax, loudon, Arlinfton, and DC and it's bad because MoCO doesn't have the jobs, then it's just as bad for Fairfax and loudon and Arlinfton and DC that the don't have the housing.

I'm not sure if you are the right person to speak about nightlife for milennials. I'm a milennial and anecdotally all my millennial friends consider nightlife to be a very important draw. Vegas is a nonsensical comparison. That's a vacation spot.

Anonymous said...

And not meeting demands destroys the quality of life with residents not living where they would prefer and having to drive longer and more to work and the costs associated with it not to mention the added stress.

The door swings both ways you gotta think about more than just what is important to you.

Anonymous said...

Ok sorry it's not your shirt it's your face.

Anonymous said...

What is the actual workload of a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, in hours per week? Or should that be hours per month? Or hours per year?

What does Dyer cite as his "accomplishments" during the 4 years that he was on the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee?

Anonymous said...

I mean it's a political party committee. It's like HOA or citizen's association or neighborhood association board president. Sure they were nominated and voted there. But it's hardly holding public office.

Robert Dyer said...

6:46: When was the last time registered Montgomery County voters elected HOA officers on an official ballot alongside other County and State elected offices? Hint - never. A Central Committee seat is indeed a public office. You are making yourself sound incredibly dense.

Robert Dyer said...

9:21: If nightlife is the big draw, why did they move to DC instead of NYC, LA or Miami, all of which make DC laughable in the nightlife department. The reason is the high-wage (and likely government related) job, and - at least a few years back - affordable apartments in DC close to that job.

If you reread what I said, we need to build and, importantly, preserve affordable housing in urban areas like downtown Bethesda (I.e. Bradley Boulevard and Battery Lane, where the majority of millennials currently reside in this town). Create the jobs and provide affordable housing, and the nightlife will evolve out of demand. It doesn't work the other way around.

Anonymous said...

You're right. My opinion of a worthless "public" position is invalid.

Anonymous said...

You know it's just that easy to pick up and move to another city.

Of course the jobs bring and keep people in the DC area. No one is denying that. But it's not a realistic comparison to say nightlife is nothing at all or only in Vegas or Miami or NYC or LA.

I'm not sure anyone was arguing that nightlife alone would bring jobs and affordable housing. It's one of many things that make an area more attractive. It's not a sum zero game. We want better everything and we can strive towards it. Your knocks on the nighttime economy task force are missing the point - that it's an attempt to think about what might make things better.

Yes I agree we need to build affordable housing in urban cores. Urban cores in MoCo are tiny though. Bethesda is what a square mile at best? So to go out to 2 miles is fairly reasonable. So the urban core will grow as demand grows. And unfortunately Westbard residents have to deal with that upcoming reality. We start spreading out our housing and denying development and we'll see a continuation of the trend of rising home prices to the level of unaffordable and outrageous, longer commutes taxing our transit systems and bringing down quality of life, less local economy gains as folks have less money to go out or less options near where they live, etc.

Anonymous said...

Robert, Thank you for covering this when there are no reporters covering Montgomery County.

Question: What happened to Amy Presley?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/17/AR2005101701895.html

Too many margaritas? Did she become a Stepford wife?

Anonymous said...

Montgomery County has zero elected officials from the Republican Party.

In what way does the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee affect the governance of our county?

What critical decisions did Dyer make during his 4 years on the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee?

A condominium board member, by contrast, makes decisions which affect his/her community, on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JES said...

Mr. Dyer, you make some very good points. County officials seem very much removed from residents but very close to those with deep pockets. What I find astonishing is an attitude among some that citizens (us) should have no voice in what happens in our neighborhoods. Mr. Berliner needs to respond to your comments. Please let us know if he does.

Anonymous said...

Did dyer submit any of his comments to Berliner's office? That would be the prudent thing to do. Dyer in the past has gone by assumption that Berliner reads his blogspot page.

Robert Dyer said...

11:36: Not sure what your point is, other than showing you are a creepy stalker.

Robert Dyer said...

11:28: A condominium board member is not an elected public official. I understand your frustration, but welcome to the world.

Robert Dyer said...

9:46: You're welcome. I know a lot of people, including myself, were impressed with Amy Presley and were hoping she would run for office. I think she is probably still the best commissioner on this Planning Board, but I'll admit I'm as confused as you are when she sides with developers on a plan like this.

Anonymous said...

Dyer was on a ballot and elected to an office a decade ago. Can we move on to present day issues?

Anonymous said...

Yes. We must know what Dyer actually does for a living these days.

Anonymous said...

Pro-Dyer folks keep saying it's creepy and stalkerish. What they're missing is the point that it lends credibility and transparency - which is severely lacking right now.

Part of (but of course not the only reason) so many commenters are rude or mean or angry or against or disbelieving etc of Dyer all the time.

Robert Dyer said...

6:06: Stalking me "lends credibility and transparency"? If you say so, creep.

Robert Dyer said...

9:26: 2 miles? You do realize you're breaking the core tenets of smart growth and TOD with such a proposal?

I think just the opposite is true - provide SFH housing in far suburbs and exurbs, add high-wage jobs throughout Montgomery County, and ensure there is highway capacity to allow easy commuting into job centers from exurbs. That will then force down the overinflated cost of housing and rent inside the Beltway.

Right now, urban-focused development firms are winning the debate over their exurb homebuilding competition due to hefty campaign contributions that lead to development policies that favor them. The end result is development concentrated closer in, and horrible commuting for those further away. That is helping to inflate rents and home prices inside the Beltway, which generates more demand for affordable housing that cannot be met under current policies. Even urbanization guru Roger Lewis admitted that infill development and luxury buildings will not provide enough affordable housing to meet current demand.

We've been building for over a decade in MoCo and not only are rents & prices still sky-high, but revenues still don't cover County expenditures. It speaks for itself - we're off-course.

Anonymous said...

"he end result is development concentrated closer in, and horrible commuting for those further away. That is helping to inflate rents and home prices inside the Beltway, which generates more demand for affordable housing that cannot be met under current policies."

Have you taken even one course in economics?

Do you think that allowing our suburbs to sprawl into to Pennsylvania is going to improve anyone's commute?

Anonymous said...

"[T]he County Council, where a majority of councilmembers receive more than 80% of their contributions from developers."

Could we see some citations for that wild claim?

Anonymous said...

I thought Dyer said it was like $500 or so?

Anonymous said...

Finding out what you do and your experience and such. If you can't figure that out and just want to insult others then it's just cementing others' opinion of you.

Anonymous said...

More roads is not necessarily the answer. There are so many examples of more roadwork that doesn't lead to better commutes.

Millennials don't want to live in further out. Sometimes they just have no choice due to cost.

Luxury condos of course don't add affordable housing. But housing supply being less than demand means prices go up.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't adding supply directly to the area of demand be more helpful to relieve pricing pressure?

I'm try to follow why housing further away would ease pricing downtown as well as reduce commutes, as Dyer seems to be saying.

Anonymous said...

Citizens do have a say. And it seems a majority of Montgomery County residents outweighs the minority of Westbard residents on this one issue.

Anonymous said...

Attracting employers and creating a better business climate in MoCo is what will help commutes.
The county has became the bedroom community for DC and Fairfax workers.

A lot of developer contributions to Council members. That's not a secret. Bloggers touted the hauls of cash raised during the campaign and they are contributions from developers and their attorneys. And now they'll come before the Council and expect a return on their investment. Wonderful how politics works.

Anonymous said...

Dyer has convinced himself that greedy developers make their millions in profits by tricking the County Council into allowing them to build houses that nobody wants.

@ 10:28 AM - So let's see some documentation, then.

Anonymous said...

9:45 said - Citizens do have a say. And it seems a majority of Montgomery County residents outweighs the minority of Westbard residents on this one issue.
9:45 AM


Absolutely untrue! Citizens all over the county have been saying enough! Gaithersburg, Lytonsville, Olney, Kensington, Westbard... the list is long and the citizens all say the same thing. They are all sick of the lack of input into local planning. They are tired of being steamrolled by the Not Planning Board. Without the Gazette there is no outlet for citizens to join together. We are now entering an era where each community if bullied and left out of planning decisions as if they are the only group that cares. That certainly does not serve citizens, but it clearly is serving developers who already have created a glut of available office space and housing.

Anonymous said...

2:07PM If enough residents get together and speak out, it's possible to stop some of these insane plans. Nothing gets a politician moving like a risk of losing power. Organize and be vocal.

Anonymous said...

Funny how every opposition to development is from folks who live right there. Everyone's ok with development elsewhere. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a term for that. Oh wait....

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Council seems to listen little to citizens. Look at the ambulance tax about two years ago. In a referendum, the people of MoCo voted against it. What happened? Leggett tweaks the legislation and it passes.. against the will of the people.

Robert Dyer said...

9:11: Try millions over the last decade. $500? That's just the check Hans Riemer got from Mitt Romney's Bain Capital.

Robert Dyer said...

5:22: I've testified against urbanization and demolition of affordable housing in Rockville, Wheaton, Glenmont, White Oak, Long Branch, just to name a few. Not just at Westbard.

Robert Dyer said...

9:16: So why haven't rents and prices gone down in downtown Bethesda?

Anonymous said...

2:58 " Organize and be vocal. "

Useless. Money talks. If no cash, no voice.

Anonymous said...

Hm that's a good point. So then why vote him in with the majority to represent the people then?

Anonymous said...

More! More! More!

Anonymous said...

So did 270 and the ICC and other road projects bring down pricing in downtown Bethesda? Or exurb developments? Or suburb developments? Or office parks?

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for Dyer to explain how increasing supply increases prices.

Anonymous said...

"Try millions over the last decade."

Try citing actual data.

Anonymous said...

Has a sector plan ever been as universally opposed by residents as is happening with the Westbard Plan? I can't say I've seen this before.

Stay strong Westbard area residents!

Anonymous said...

Stay strong developers and county and supporters of the project!

Anonymous said...

You're hardly representative of the people. And that's actually a fact.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:55 PM - Or maybe Westbard has more than its fair share of NIMBYs and greybeard busybodies.

@ 5:07 AM - Correct. The people of Montgomery County chose their representatives in November 2014, and previously in November 2010.

Anonymous said...

I concur.

Robert Dyer said...

9:09: Anyone can verify the millions by examining the campaign finance reports on the Maryland Board of Elections website.

Robert Dyer said...

7:04: The ICC didn't relate to any development within Montgomery County. It was approved due to political contributions from the Konterra project near I-95.

Robert Dyer said...

9:06: Look at how many buildings opened in downtown Bethesda over the last 10 years. Has there been any significant drop in rent and condo prices? No.

Anonymous said...

Look at how many SFH have been built in the exurbs over the last 0 years. Has there been any significant drop in housing prices? No.

Everything has gone up.

Anonymous said...

Ah ok. I see how you divert the issue. Everything is different to suite your perspective.

So what do you want, Dyer? What do you propose? What do you think is the right thing to do and how would you go about doing it and paying for it?

Anonymous said...

And no one can verify anything about you. Which is why your opinion is strictly that. And contested as such.

Anonymous said...

So now Dyer is saying that the ICC was pushed by greedy developers? I'm confused now. I thought it was part of the sacred 1960s Master Plan, along with the unbuilt part of the Outer Beltway that Dyer desperately wants.

Anonymous said...

I am confused by his flip flopping.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46 am
What happened to Amy Presley? She got a job in real estate as her other job in addition to Planning Board Commissioner. That explains her siding with the industry every time now.

Robert Dyer said...

5:53: The ICC is part of the second Outer Beltway right-of-way. But it was not built to help traffic, or to complete the Outer Beltway, or other heartwarming human benefits. It was built because the developer needed x amount of road capacity, and a way for people to get to his Konterra site, and they gave mucho dinero to elected officials who otherwise don't give a dang about completing our unfinished master plan highway system.

It was also the worst of all worlds - a publicly-financed road, but charging that same public higher tolls than many private toll roads to use it. Absurd. And we're on-the-hook not only for the financing now, but for maintenance, as well.

It certainly has boosted the career of the new VA secretary of transportation, though. He's using it as a template for his ideologically-driven agenda, which includes covering up and lying about MWCOG data on Potomac River crossings because his personal extremist politics are anti-highway.

What's this have to do with Westbard again?

Robert Dyer said...

2:46: What have you verified about other local journalists? Keep us posted. How about Councilmember Hans Riemer - was he actually Youth Director for Obama in November 2008 as he claimed in 2010? Or even in June 2008? Do tell!

How does he explain being a "progressive" while taking tens of thousands of dollars from Wall Street crooks, the Wall Street banks that caused the "recession", and pioneers in outsourcing American jobs to China, like Mitt Romney and Mitch Rales?

Keep us posted on your ongoing attempts to "verify" these and other MoCo mysteries.

Anonymous said...

Other local journalists don't run for public office or weren't as you put it previously public officials. So as you highlighted you are special. A public figure

Classic diverting Dyer. Can't even answer honest questions or be straightforward.

Anonymous said...

Because you said not to build at westbard and to build houses further away and build roads to get people there.

Robert Dyer said...

2:44: Houses were built, but the congestion relief and highway access never materialized. Costly and lengthy commutes keep closer-in real estate prices high. Make it easy and cheap to live in the exurbs, and prices will fall in Montgomery County.

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