Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Springfield Civic Association to contribute $5000 to Westbard lawsuit

Four Bethesda civic associations have now each contributed $5000 to the Save Westbard lawsuit against Montgomery County. The latest is the Springfield Civic Association, which represents residents of one of the neighborhoods most-impacted by the redevelopment plans of Regency Centers/Equity One. Residents voted to donate $5000 from a special association fund to the lawsuit at a special meeting last night.

Springfield joins the communities of Westmoreland Hills, Sumner and Wood Acres in supporting the lawsuit, which many feel is the only avenue to reduce the urban-style height and density allowed in the Westbard sector plan at this point.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shortsighted selfish Nimbyism at its finest. This is the one thing that apparently unites that area's few conservatives with the liberals. That $20,000 won't go very far in litigation. Who is/will finance the rest? Patricia Kolesar and her AstroTurf Facebook group?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's so stupid for people to care about where they live.

Anonymous said...

if i had studied harder and was more motivated i could have live in a posh white neighborhood like this. hind sight people...

Anonymous said...

That's two to three years of meals at Taco Bell for Dyer!

Robert Dyer said...

7:22: According to George Leventhal and Hans Riemer, hard work and education don't get you a home in 20816 - just luck, and the privilege bestowed by them, our imperious (and delusional) leaders.

Barwood Sucks said...

The inconvenient truth remains that this plan had no support among Bethesda residents in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Tricia said...

6:56 a.m. Why do you think our FB page is astro-turfed? We have real residents who care following all the news regarding Westbard. Does that threaten you? Our community works together -- as shown by the public support for the lawsuit -- that is, four civic associations, in addition to our work on behalf of Macedonia Baptist Church. We are successfully fundraising for the lawsuit; and we thank you for your interest. You may donate through the SaveWestbard.org home page.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia! I say level it all. Build high rise buildings and fill them with people of all colors and income levels. You fearful white people need some culture in your neighborhoods and we'll bring it!

Margie Eulner Ott said...

We welcome all to our neighborhood, except anonymous trolls. We are only seeking a scale down - similar to Cathedral Commons in DC rather than Pike & Rose in Rockville.

Anonymous said...

Wow, why are people so nasty? Do you feel better calling Margie a bitch and Tricia all the other stuff. I don't even understand what the reference to astro turf means. I know both these women well and I can vouch for them that they are both quality people, who do a lot of community service with a spirit of generosity. My husband and I lived on one salary while we both worked for several years to afford the downpayment on our first modest house in the Westbard area we have called home for 20 years? We wanted to live in a beautiful suburban neighborhood with a local shopping center, not an urban destination. I will fight hard to support the lawsuit. I am a down to earth person, yes, I am white, but I have lived in Africa and will fight for the Macedonia Baptist Church as I believe our country has a responsibility to the black and Native American communities. Thank you Tricia for working tirelessly with the lawsuit, which is our only chance at stopping the corruption of the Montgomery County Council. Thank you Robert Dyer for attending SaveWestbard meetings and finding ways to give our issue greater exposure. Thank you Margie for just being you. While I am sure I will be attacked here, which is why I am afraid to reveal my identity since I have to think of my children, I would encourage all of you with hate in your hearts, to turn to God and find love to spread. Love is the answer!

Rugby said...

Congratulations, 10:43. You just released more greenhouse gases in one minute, than all the cows in the US of A do in one year.

Anonymous said...

How would you like me to take your comment Rugby? What is your intention? Is it to cause me pain? It doesn't. I only feel sorry for you that the purpose of your life seems to be cyberbullying. Seriously try to find one thing every day in your life for which you are grateful. Maybe the warm weather, maybe a meal with a friend, maybe the cows you write about. Animals can bring much joy in life. I wish a conversion of life, to turn to the light.

Anonymous said...

If you disagree with anything the Council does, be prepared to be personally attacked.
The magazine might write a piece ridiculing you if you're lucky. They've ridden the Monopoly board thing for awhile.
Before that was the "crazy driveway woman"

Anonymous said...

@10:21AM - what's your problem? Vocabulary challenged? Or just pathetic?

Anonymous said...

The magazine blogger is in our midst. He thinks insulting Dyer's readers will somehow help him :(

Anonymous said...

@ 6.56: There are hundreds of donors to the Westbard lawsuit and the donor base is growing. The $20,000 is just some of what has been raised. Why the unwarranted swipe at Patricia Kolesar? Too effective for your taste?

Anonymous said...

10:43-- Thank you, great post!

Anonymous said...

8:08-- I'm happy that Westbard has a 15% affordable housing requirement (versus 12.5% elsewhere in the County) and would gladly see it increased. All colors and income levels definitely welcome. But 2.3 million square feet of new development of heights up to 12 stories are out of whack for the location and road capacity. That's why area neighborhoods are supporting the lawsuit-- the project is out of scale.

Anonymous said...

7:35-- Exactly. Although the County tried to hide the lack of support.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Margie, you said it perfectly. The great irony is that had the County done the original plan at Cathedral Commons scale, it would have passed with little controversy and set the stage for the attractive redevelopment of the River Road corridor. The many civic groups that testified on Westbard before the Planning Board and the County Council advocated this approach, and I suspect that it ultimately would have led to the creation of more economic activity and affordable housing for the area.

Regrettably, the County appears to work with a cookie cutter template and little sense of proportion. The result has been... term limits. Somehow I doubt this this is the result that the County had in mind.

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself, Rugby. I happen to agree with 10.43.

Worth underlining that Macedonia Baptist Church has endorsed the lawsuit launched by SaveWestbard. The issue here is not racism or NIMBY-ism. It is a County government that has supported excessive development against the wishes of the people it represents.

Anonymous said...

Tricia, You are doing a great thing by pursuing the lawsuit. It sets an example for other communities that have been steamrollered by the Planning Board and the County Council, and gives Westbard area residents a chance at a do-over. Thank you for sticking up for the little guy.

Tricia said...

Many thanks for your support! SaveWestbard is grateful for the unparalleled community support to right the wrong inflicted by the Planning Board and Council. Westbard residents -- carry on!

Anonymous said...

Let's recap:

Cemetery was covered over decades ago
2013: Westbard planning started
a few weeks ago: people suddenly remember the cemetery and decide now, not 2013, or 2014, or 2015, or 2016.. is the time to start fighting for it.

Robert Dyer said...

8:34: Wrong. I told the Planning Board about the historic black community and potential cemetery in 2011, before the exact cemetery location was known. In 2014, the location was determined from oral history accounts, and then verified via land records showing the original purchase. This was known during the Westbard charrette in November 2014. Macedonia Baptist Church was contacted in 2015, and a church representative testified at the Planning Board worksession.

The cemetery issue was then disregarded as the planning process went forward, and promises that had been made were broken by the Planning Department. Then everyone found out Equity One was now planning to put a parking garage on the cemetery site, instead of just a new building in front of Westwood Tower. Facing a second desecration of the cemetery, MBC and their supporters have organized and ultimately marched in protest, as their concerns were swept aside by the Planning Department.

However, new information brought to light by both Bill Turque's article in the Washington Post, and via the Save Westbard lawsuit, reveals the Planning Department has known about the cemetery throughout the Westbard process, and has withheld information it has from both the public and Macedonia Baptist Church. Records they had possession of, which the public was not allowed to see, have mysteriously been shredded in 2015. Look at the timeline, and you'll realize that was a coverup.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly the Westmoreland Civic Association membership was not given an opportunity to vote on their contribution to the lawsuit. Many members were opposed to this expenditure. In the case of the Springfield Community Association there was substantial opposition to their contribution as well, in part because a contracted legal analysis done for them suggested the lawsuit was flawed and unlikely to be successful in accomplishing their goals.