Monday, February 05, 2018

Save Westbard to file injunction against new Regency Centers plan

Save Westbard, the citizen organization that has led the legal fight against the Westbard sector plan, will file an injunction in court this week against developer Regency Centers' revised development plan. The injunction will ask the court to bar Regency from filing its new plan with Montgomery County until a ruling has been handed down in the original sector plan lawsuit.

The original lawsuit cited three grounds on which the May 2016 passage of the Westbard sector plan can be deemed illegal. It requested the plan be returned to the Planning Board and County Council to fulfill legal requirements that were not observed by either body. The lawsuit was filed by several community residents against Montgomery County, and the County Housing Opportunities Commission.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

So much for comprimise.

Save Westbard from "Save Westbard".

Anonymous said...

The only thing that will make this group happy is no change whatsoever.

STALE WESTBARD

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many in this "Save Westbard" group voted for Trump? ZERO! #Resist

Anonymous said...

Stay strong, Bethesda residents!

SaveWestbard said...

@6:32 What are you talking about? SaveWestbard is a non-partisan, community effort to scale-down the density at Westbard. We don't ask "who did you vote for?" nor do we care. We care about our community. Get your partisan blinders off; our group includes everyone.

And to clarify for @5:09 amd @5:28 - no one is fighting against building a new shopping center, got that? The lawsuit fight is about a rogue county failing to follow its own laws - with an additional claim of illegal contract zoning.

All citizens - of ANY political party- should be concerned when the government fails to follow its own laws - in this case, the county failed to follow the laws that it created specifically for master plan processes. Do you think that MoCo should follow its own laws?
We do.

@5:08 - no "compromise" was made - Regency conveniently "forgot" to mention all the future, planned high rise, high density apartment buildings (the ones which can or will or could be built by Regency, HOC, and Capital Properties). All these future projects require the additional heights and density gifted to developers under the illegal 2016 Westbard Sector Plan. Further, "compromise" implies that Regency worked openly with the community to alleviate concerns - guess what? That didn't happen. Regency met with a few select resident groups and "forgot" about the rest of the community, including Macedonia Baptist Church.

Anonymous said...

Average age of Save Westbard group: 65

The silent majority, which represents the entire community and all ages, is in favor of redevelopment of this scale.

(Now wait for them to respond about how a few of their grandchildren showed up at one of their protests last year.)

SaveWestbard said...

@7:05 - Ah, the old super, silent "majority" speaks. Boy, you sure are silent.

REVIEW - No one is fighting against a new shopping center. If you had bothered to actually get involved instead of "silently" sitting by with your "majority", you would know this.

Redevelopment "of this scale" is exactly the same "scale" as what was previously proposed. The only difference is - Regency wasn't talking about all the other projects in the pipeline; I guess they "forgot". Regency focused on the shopping center because that is what EVERYONE wants. A new shopping center is one thing; canyons of apartment buildings across the street is completely different. But don't let the facts confuse you.

Anonymous said...

Save Westbard is getting cranky again! Put them in a room with the woman who runs the MCPS "Parents Coalition" so they can duke it out!

Anonymous said...

You know the "other side" (the out of town developer, MoCo Council and Planning Board) are losing the debate when they turn to attacking residents.

Anonymous said...

@7:05 - Your ageist tendencies are showing
@7:21 - Your misogyny is showing

People who disagree don't need to attack, just politely disagree. Remember manners?

Anonymous said...

Absurd...why is Regency even wasting their time with Westbard? The community clearly aren't interested in new retail or housing options.

Let them keep their fine community of a 50 year old Giant, the worst pedestrian experience on planet earth, gas stations every 20 feet, storage facilities, rundown auto repair shops, the world's worst Whole Foods, and McDonald's

Regency should sell the site and invest elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

7:38 AM You present false choice. Residents aren't arguing to stay put. They never have.
They do want the best plan possible for the Bethesda community. Nothing wrong with that.

Give them a plan that is on a more human scale, sufficient green space, etc. I'm sure residents would be more likely to support. And, for heaven's sakes, don't propose building a parking garage over a cemetery.

Anonymous said...

7:39 AM Everything always goes back to Dyer or "Dyer's family" with you, right?

Anonymous said...

Noting that Janis Sartucci is a woman is "misogyny"?

Anonymous said...

I mean in response to SaveWestbard, what is the "silent majority" supposed to do. Protest the protesters to make their voices heard? They are silent because they don't agree with you and have nothing to be angry at.

Anonymous said...

Hey Stale Westbarders: No sane developer would do as you as asking. This is Bethesda and there is a demand for the retail and real estate. People are tired of commuting to friendship heights and elsewhere to have to enjoy the community. Please get your heads out of the ground so that we can have a nice place to shop and eat and live before we all turn to dust.

SaveWestbard said...

@8:17 - What is the "silent majority" supposed to? I have some ideas for you: Show up at most meetings, including those at the planning board, the HOC, and the county council; ask a lot of questions; answer community surveys honestly; file extensive comments, numerous times; organize yourselves and state your positions; talk to your neighbors; contact your neighbors on a weekly basis; manage a lawsuit; fundraise; oh, and do all of this for free while you're at it - and thereby prove that you are, in fact, a "majority" or at least represent someone other than yourself.

Your silence reveals the truth: You're not very interested in civic affairs, or maybe you're just not motivated to involve yourself in the community; if you were, you would have done everything that is listed above. People get involved when they care about an issue; and so, I can only assume that you don't care very deeply about excessive over-development at Westbard since you are seemingly uninvolved and are just now looking for ideas on how to get involved (and, to repeat myself, all this effort has exactly NOTHING to do with a new shopping center).

Also, @8:17 - I am surprised that you would give your county a "pass" for failing to follow the laws that they themselves created. If you don't follow the law, you face the consequences. BUT, if they don't follow their own laws, ... they get a pass? Can you see how this is a bad precedent to set for other communities? That the county council can do whatever they want, whenever they want, in the manner in which they choose - because they are "above the law"?

And for anyone who is still reading - no one, including SaveWestbard, is against the development of a new shopping center. Any questions?

Anonymous said...

"They do want the best plan possible for the Bethesda community."

Actually, "SaveWestbard" says they want (1) reduced density (even though the density was just reduced -- not enough, I suppose) and (2) a new shopping center ONLY, not anything else (offices, residences, etc. So no, they don't want "the best plan possible," they want their own preferences.

@8:42: You said, "no one, including SaveWestbard, is against the development of a new shopping center. Any questions?"

Yes, I have a question. Is that shopping center allowed to include apartment or condominium residences? How about offices?

Anonymous said...

The old white people of Westbard, using dead black people as a pretext to keep live black people out of their community.

That's "tschoot-spa", as Michelle Bachmann would say.

SaveWestbard said...

@8:54 Density was not reduced overall because there are other high density apartment buildings planned for the future (by Regency, HOC, and Capital Properties).

With regard to the alleged Regency "reduction": The 350 unit "reduction" of Regency units is fake news - approximately 100 of those units now belong to HOC which fully intends to build on its brand new $20 million property which it just bought from Regency - and the other approximately 250 units were slated for the Bowlmor site. Bowlmor operates under a lease which may be bought-out at any time. So, any "reduction" is a chimera - these missing units will or can or could be built, at any time (unless the county loses the lawsuit).

Now, add back 500 units on Capital Properties' site - and you can readily see that there is no overall reduction (unless the county loses the lawsuit).

@8:54 - Do you often presume sentiments of those whom you do not know and have never conversed with? I never said that I was against residences and offices on the shopping center site. I have no opinion on that matter, nor do I need to have an opinion on that matter because what can be built under a valid sector plan can be built. See - law and order. Is the shopping center "allowed" to include apartments/condos and offices? I suppose they are "allowed." There's just one hitch: Let's see which sector plan will govern the parameters of the future development - the old sector plan, or the illegal new one - you know, the one that was adopted by a county council which failed to follow its own laws. Like I said: Law and order.

Anonymous said...

9:14 AM Agreed. A lot of misleading blog posts from the Council's house organs claiming a "reduction". They think Bethesda residents are idiots.

SaveWestbard said...

@8:54 - Now tell everyone here what you're doing to improve affordable housing for any poor person in Montgomery County - regardless of race (in fact, why do your presume that only African-Americans need affordable housing). Well, one thing is certain - your comments on a local blog aren't helping "live black people."

Did you know that the HOC-owned Westwood Tower building artificially restricts its HOC MPDU units (affordable units) to only 43 of its 212 units in that swanky Bethesda building? So, only 20% of HOC's Westwood Tower is slotted for MPDUs - despite the fact that HOC's very mission statement glowingly refers to its mission to provide affordable housing for low and moderate income families. Gee, an HOC building doesn't actually provide tons of affordable housing for the poor in its very own HOC building? Should they not lead by example? The affordable housing situation at Westbard could be mitigated immediately if HOC remembered its very own mission statement - that is, to provide affordable housing - and NOT, conversely, to rent 80% of its Westwood Tower units at market rate - as if they are a private developer.

You tell me @8:54 - why doesn't HOC offer 50% (or more) of an HOC building in Bethesda for MPDU units? Oh, let's see - they probably prefer profit=-making in Bethesda to actually accomplishing their stated mission.

Anonymous said...

@9:51am So if HOC prefers profit-making, what are the financials of that building? Is it adding big money to the county coffers, breaking even, or running at a loss?

Also, 20% MPDUs is higher than the requirement anyway. If it's 100% MPDUs, people (and probably the Save Westbard group) would be against it for bringing in too many low-income people and worrying about crime and so on.

Anonymous said...

@8:42 The silent majority is in favor of the plan. They're not going to show up at council and planning meetings, because they don't feel the need to register their confirmation of what is already in the plans. It's only worth it for those opposed to come out to such meetings.

On top of that, most of the people who would benefit from it -- people are are younger, are busy raising families. We just don't have time to show up at meeting to register that we're in favor of something that's already planned to go forward.

Anonymous said...

@Save Westbard The alleged cemetery was sold by the original owner in the 1950's. Why is the church (and Save Westbard.. though I realize your group is quite new) only protesting this issue now? And why are they going after Regency, who doesn't even own the land any more? Why not go after the original owner who sold it? That was who made the judgment call that it was worth selling.

Anonymous said...

10:11 AM That's what you "think" or "hope", but it doesn't make it reality. You have not quantifiable evidence or data on your side, just a cool sounding story.

Residents were overwhelmingly against the plan. The Council and Planning Board approved it anyway.

I'm sure DC and Arlington urban planners liked the plan, but Bethesda residents did not.

SaveWestbard said...

@10:07 - stop projecting your hate issues on me - if YOU don't want 100% MPDUs say so directly - but don't tar me with your hate. I posited whether 50% or more could be MPDUs in order improve affordable housing options in Westbard. And your proposal is? Slinging hate.

As for HOC financials, Westwood Tower is a money-maker for them. I saw financials produced by HOC at some point in the past year, and I don't feel like searching for it for your benefit. However, you can find it on the web if you're persistent and use the proper search terms. HOC is called "quasi-governmental" - they get money from MoCo and HUD to run their non-profit "business" - and they pay no taxes on the land because of their status (which was revealed to me recently by an independent researcher).

@10:11 - enough with the tiresome oh-so-silent "majority" - if you did nothing to help the community during the entire sector process, you can claim no high moral ground regarding your preferences for the community. In case you aren't aware, every single civic ass'n fought tooth-and-nail against the plans during the entire sector plan process. Now, go ahead and tell me how you're in the majority.

Further, I'm busy, too - but you don't hear me whining about it. You're not the only one raising a family.

EVERYONE, young and old, will benefit from a new shopping center - SW is not against a new shopping center (lather, rinse, repeat). Will you, and your young family, however, "benefit" from the over-crowded schools, additional traffic, and over-burdened infrastructure - just to name a few of the problems that are coming down the pike with the high density Regency plan - the ENTIRE plan, not just the sparkly new shopping center?

Don't worry - you'll get your shopping center, guaranteed. But you might also NOT get all the additional problems associated with high-density thanks to busy people like me.

Anonymous said...

@10:45 The population in the County continues to grow. People need a place to live. Why not Westbard? It has a shopping center. It's connected to major roads. They can build up and beter utilize the existing space. Yes, that will mean more children who need to attend schools, but isn't that an issue county-wide?

Anonymous said...

Here's the results of Save Westbard's survey that they like to cite:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/f8fb3eeb23b769b8eae61966a/files/Westbard_Community_Survey_without_names_and_addresses_2016.pdf

Note the last page -- they require you to provide your name and address. Now, how comfortable would people feel who oppose Save Westbard's views in providing such information? Talk about a flawed survey!

SaveWestbard said...

@11:34 - More remarkably, SW RAN a survey while you sat around organizing with the "silent majority" - or something.

As I recall, more than 700 people had no problem with providing name/address - and the requirement was instituted to make sure that respondents lived in the general area - and it worked perfectly, I might add. And you were fearful to answer because ...???

Anonymous said...

Save Westbard you do NOT speak for me. I am a millennial who lives in Westbard and wish you unreasonable, inexperienced folks would step aside. If you know of a hippie develop her, then for Pete’s sake please tell him or her to purchase this property and put a plant that you would approve of. Unless you have an alternative and stop making demands that are economically viable, this project will never ever happen in our lifetime.

SaveWestbard said...

@12:34 a hippie developer? What, pray tell, is that? SW certainly does not "speak" for you, "anonymous" - you must be part of that super secret "silent majority" - always bravely nameless.

Economically viable? I guess you don't remember that the developer declared Westbard profitable "as is" (in front of witnesses, Feb. 2014).

The project will happen in your lifetime; cool your jets.

Alternative, anonymous? The alternative is the shopping center that you long for - coupled with far less density on the other side of road. You'll love it.

Anonymous said...

The "silent majority" exists only in the heads of our Planning Board and the out of town developers. Every resident has had chances to give input in meetings, email, letters, etc. Residents are overwhelmingly AGAINST the Westbard Plan.

Anonymous said...

@12:54 I'd wager that if you walked up to random residents in Bethesda and asked them (and showed them details), they'd be in favor of the Westbard plan. Most people don't know or don't care about it, and most of the remainder are fine with it. Then there's a small minority, predominately of older people opposed to change, that are against it.

Of course the people at the meeting spoke mostly against it -- that's a self-selected group, not representative of the overall residents of MoCo.

Anonymous said...

1:07 PM You have no evidence or data to back up your claim that there is tremendous support for the plan.

Why have public meetings at all if you're saying the whole process is a sham. Sounds like you're saying the whole development process should be left to the intelligentsia on the Planning Board to decide for us.

Anonymous said...

A number of points about SaveWestbard, the new Regency plan and additional potential development at Westbard:

1. SaveWestbard favors the development of a new shopping center, but asks for significantly reduced residential development and green space. This aligns with the views of area residents. In addition to SaveWestbard, the Sumner Citizens Association and CCCFH (an umbrella group of community associations) conducted community surveys on Westbard development. All surveys showed a strong preference for a new shopping center and lower-rise residential development. That's 3 separate associations and 5 surveys. By the way, the SaveWestbard surveys are statistically accurate to +/-4% at a 95% confidence level (that is, statistically reliable.)

2. New Regency plan: yes, Regency has reduced its proposed units, but 500 more have been approved behind the Parc Bethesda/Residences at Capital Crescent Trail Building on Westbard Avenue near Massachusetts Avenue. The sector plan OK's additional development in 2 buildings on the HOC site-- estimated at ~120 units, could be more. HOC just acquired this site for $20 million-- hard to believe they won't develop additional housing. Add these 620 units to Regency's 524, and you have 1,144 units. That's only a 17% reduction from the original plan-- not much.

3. Bowlmor site: currently zoned for a 110' apartment tower (122 feet with density bonuses), for a minimum of 200 apartment units. Regency says that it will continue to lease to Bowlmor, which will "invest in its business" (Regency's wording.) Problem is, we don't know if Bowlmor has a ground lease (which would allow it to build more on its site-- perhaps apartments?) Any apartments built under a ground lease would be owned by Regency at the end of the lease. Or (another possibility) Regency could buy out the Bowlmor lease at any time and construct the apartments permitted under current zoning. That is what Equity One, the original developer, proposed. Add 200
apartments on the Bowlmor site to the 1,144 in 2, and you have 1,344 apartments-- virtually unchanged from the original sector plan.

There are many unknowns here, but what we can conclude is that the downsizing at Westbard is more illusory than real. Blame the County if you want, but not SaveWestbard.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame SaveWestbard for pursuing an injunction against further development. Development is proceeding (per the new Regency plan-- new documents to be filed with the County in March) and the judge has postponed the court's ruling twice-- the judgment was first scheduled for October 2017 (over 4 months ago.) Development plans need to be put on pause to preserve the rights of the plaintiffs, or the judge needs to rule before the new plans are filed.

Anonymous said...

11:34 AM: SaveWestbard asked for names/addresses of survey respondents to ensure that those who answered the survey were legitimate residents. That shows integrity. 702 people answered, and quite a few (17%) disagreed with SaveWestbard's position. That doesn't suggest intimidation.

12:34 PM: On the matter of economic viability, talk to Mike Berfield of the original Equity One development team, who stated publicly that he could make Equity One's required return by operating Westbard as-is. Here's why: Equity One bought Westbard in 2012, based on the cash flow of the 1959 Giant lease, which expires in 2019. Equity One (now merged with Regency), will be making an excellent return just by renegotiating the Giant lease at current rents. In addition, the substantial unbuilt land area on the Giant site assures that Regency can make an excellent return by building something comparatively low-rise-- like the townhomes proposed for the site. In other words, the deal turns vacant land into cash flow. It's not hard to realize a solid return with the Westbard acquisition, and it's possible to do so with moderate heights and densities. Unfortunately, the County never asked Equity One or Regency to consider its options under the original zoning.

Anonymous said...

The best comment I've heard on the new Regency plan: Westbard area residents are like the frog in a pot of water. Regency's revised plan keeps the water at a comfortable temperature. But add new apartments on the Parc Bethesda/Residences at Capital Crescent Trail land (500 apartments), HOC (100+?) and maybe Bowmor (200+?) and that frog will be boiled alive ASAP.

Westbard area residents aren't safe yet... quite the contrary. Glad that SaveWestbard realizes this.

Anonymous said...

1:07 PM: I'd estimate that at least 400 people showed up at the Regency presentation. The audience was largely skeptical of the plan (about 3/4 of the comments were skeptical or critical.) Of the 3 people who supported the plan, 1 was a developer (Eric Hart, who owns a development company.).

400+ is a pretty large self-selected group. In addition, residents' comments at all of the meetings/hearings on Westbard from 2014 until now have been overwhelmingly critical. Want to talk public petitions? 1,500 signed a petition to scale back Westbard. Fewer than 200 signed a petition supporting the redevelopment. 5 surveys conducted by 3 organizations show that residents want a lower-rise plan for Westbard.

If residents support the plan, why don't the results of any of the public meetings, public hearings, petitions or surveys show it?

Sorry, but you're blowing smoke. Residents have overwhelmingly opposed this plan.

Anonymous said...

To the SaveWestbard bashers:

When you don't have anything substantive to say:

Distort SaveWestbard's positions: Check
Malign SaveWestbard's supporters: Check
Invoke intergenerational hostility: Check

For the record:
-SaveWestbard wants a redeveloped shopping center, more green space, and significant multi-family density reductions throughout the Westbard sector plan area. You might not agree with SW's vision, but it's hardly radical and is in step with public opinion in the area.
-I support SaveWestbard and I'm under 65, supported Clinton, typically vote Democratic, and have many millennials among my colleagues and friends.

The stereotype of SaveWestbard and its supporters would be hilarious if it weren't so malicious. The one plus is that SaveWestbard wouldn't be so viciously attacked if it weren't effective.

I believe that it was Gandhi who said: "First, they ignore you. Then they malign you. Then they attack you. Then you win." By this measure, SaveWestbard is on the verge of victory.

Anonymous said...

4:45-- You're a little off on the Gandhi quote. First, it is apocryphal-- no one has been able to prove that Gandhi said this. Plus the quote is "First, they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

But it's a great quote, whatever its origins. And you're right: by this standard, SaveWestbard should win soon.

Anonymous said...

8:54 #1: Yes, the Westbard plan should contain apartments and/or condos. The question is: at what densities and heights? I'd like to see more green space and heights of 50-60 feet that would be more compatible with the neighborhoods nearby. That means less traffic congestion and less school overcrowding. Good for SW for pushing for this.

8:54 #2: Macedonia Baptist Church, which is African-American, is behind the cemetery protest. Pretty unfair, if you ask me, to attribute the church's actions to "old white people." Or don't you believe that black people are intelligent and organized enough to organize a protest on their own? That's out and out racist.

Anonymous said...

On the "silent majority" comments:

The last time that the "silent majority" accomplished anything was when they elected Nixon in 1972. And look how that turned out.

Face it, the actual residents of Westbard and environs are unhappy with the Westbard sector plan and the proposed development at Westbard.

Robert Dyer said...

1:07: You'd have to ask people who actually live in the vicinity of the proposed development, not "random people in Bethesda." Thanks to mass brainwashing through the media, most people will now regurgitate or respond to "smart growth" talking points if you prompt them, for the same reason they will give you politically-correct answers for any number of issues if you stop them on the street.

You'd also have to give them all the facts, such as how many total people and cars are coming into that one-and-a-half-block area under the sector plan rules.

One trick that I actually saw used on the day the sector plan passed, was a TV reporter going to Giant, and asking a young soccer mom, "Do you think the shopping center should be updated?"

That's a talking point right from Equity One (at the time)! Of course nearly everyone, especially newcomers, think the center is outdated. But that's a totally different question from the overall urban-style project proposed.

As has already been said, Equity One admitted the shopping center was profitable AS IS. And other landowners have simply built new shopping centers with no housing in our region, from Shops at Sumner Place to the Osborne Shopping Center in Upper Marlboro. The latter was just delivered about 2 years ago, and has a large Safeway, pet store, restaurants, etc.

So the idea that housing is REQUIRED, or that "old folks" and Save Westbard are keeping us from having nice things" is total malarkey. You'll be an "old-white-folk" yourself in a few decades, old sport.

Anonymous said...

Save Westbard: wrong wrong wrong. I won't cool my jets. Why don't you cool yours? As to being anonymous, so what?! Is that a crime? Why do I have to give you my name and address to prove that this development, DENSITY and ALL, is a good thing? Buzz off and let some of us residents have our opinion. Who made you the expert of development? I wish I had more time to dedicate to this, but I'm limited to commenting on this and the other blogs that cover the subject, but I will try to make an attempt go to future hearings, etc... just to speak my part.

Anonymous said...

I think 3:44 has it right, it's the first step in a long range plan. But I don't know that Save Westbard can stop the first stage of this project. It may have impact on the "across the street" plans that were not presented, but I bet the Phase I mall update will get through the county this year.

SaveWestbard said...

@4:36 - What is wrong, wrong, wrong?

Now, here's the truth and the facts, exactly as stated above, since you are having trouble with reading comprehension:
1. We don't represent you anonymous nameless person.
2. The project is economically viable "as is."
3. The project will be built in your lifetime.
4. The alternative is the brand new shopping center, with far less density ACROSS THE STREET. If you like excessive density and the crowded schools and traffic and over-burdened infrastructure that accompany it, then go advocate for yourself. Or is the real problem that you don't like that we effectively "speak OUR part" and have our own opinion?
5. I did not ask you, anonymous nameless person, for your address, ever.
6. The survey stood by itself and you were completely free to answer or not answer the survey. If you chose not to answer it because you were so fearful of using your actual address - here's a trick for you: Write anything you want in the "address" portion of the survey, including, for example, "I am not giving you my address" - and your survey answers are still recorded. Fun!
7. I definitely never told you not to have an opinion or to not speak your part. If you chose to silently stew with the "silent majority," then own your actions. No one made you sit on the sidelines.
8. I never said I was an expert on development- BUT we DO represent the actual majority of Westbard residents; whether you believe it or not. This is not about whether development is good or bad - it's about whether it's excessive for the area.
9. Go ahead and dedicate some time to civic issues. We do (a lot). No one is stopping you.

Anonymous said...

The Shops at Sumner Place is not "new". The main building was built about 1970, with outparcel buildings built in the 1990s.

And Upper Marlboro is in no way comparable to Bethesda.

Robert Dyer said...

8:53: Little Falls Mall was renovated and the new, separate wing was added. You'll notice they did not add any housing, which was the whole point.

I guess you haven't been to Prince George's County recently, if that is your idea of Upper Marlboro. You think there aren't any wealthy black people in Maryland? Take a drive over there some time. There's plenty of mixed-use being built all over Prince George's, but the Osborne Shopping Center owner chose not to build residential when delivering the gleaming new shopping center.

You seem to have missed the point on both arguments.

Anonymous said...

"You think there aren't any wealthy black people in Maryland?"

Who said anything about race? You're revealing your own biases, Dyer.

Bethesda is an urbanizing inner suburb, whereas Upper Marlboro is an outer suburb - comparable to Olney or Germantown. It's still quite isolated which is why the PG County government has proposed moving the county seat from there to Largo.

And the Osborne shopping center is several miles outside "downtown" Upper Marlboro.

Is it at all possible to do an apples-to-apples comparison?

Robert Dyer said...

3:28: Fact check: Westbard is also several miles outside downtown Bethesda. That's why race is relevant if someone says "Upper Marlboro is in no way comparable to Bethesda."

I Care said...

Don't forget there is a lawsuit and it is important for everyone how the judge rules. I hope we all agree that there are laws and everyone must follow them to keep order. Regency must think we are stupid that we can't see they are trying to show us a reduced new shopping center plan, while pretending they are "forgetting" about the other side of the street. The next phase will be to overdevelop the other side of Westbard. The new shopping center looks nice although the sector plan requires building heights to be 50 feet not 60. I like the green space lane for gathering, although the condos in the back look a bit dense. Regency needs to be fair and allow the lawsuit to run its course before forging ahead with a new plan designed to trick us all. Thank you SaveWestbard for paying attention, and everything else you have done.

Anonymous said...

4:36... Your comment is a little hard to understand, but we all welcome your opinion and hope that you will express your thoughts at meetings and hearings. Public meetings and hearings on Westbard started about 4 years ago, so you have some catching up to do.

8:22... What SaveWestbard is trying to do is to invalidate the current sector plan (via the lawsuit) and press for a new sector plan that will have considerably less residential density *throughout the sector plan area.* SaveWestbard supports a redeveloped shopping center and green space, by the way, as the comments here substantiate.
SaveWestbard would probably pretty much support Regency's Phase I plan if that was all that was being built. (Yes, more green space would be nice and those townhouses are a tad too packed in, but...) Unfortunately, though, there's also the Regency Phase II development along Westbard Ave and Ridgefield Road, plus the Parc Bethesda/Residences @ Capital Crescent Trail project, plus the HOC site, plus anything that might be added on the Bowlmor site. That's too much potential residential density for the sector plan area to warrant SaveWestbard's support.

Anonymous said...

4:36... Your comment is a little hard to understand, but we all welcome your opinion and hope that you will express your thoughts at meetings and hearings. Public meetings and hearings on Westbard started about 4 years ago, so you have some catching up to do.

8:22... What SaveWestbard is trying to do is to invalidate the current sector plan (via the lawsuit) and press for a new sector plan that will have considerably less residential density *throughout the sector plan area.* SaveWestbard supports a redeveloped shopping center and green space, by the way, as the comments here substantiate.
SaveWestbard would probably pretty much support Regency's Phase I plan if that was all that was being built. (Yes, more green space would be nice and those townhouses are a tad too packed in, but...) Unfortunately, though, there's also the Regency Phase II development along Westbard Ave and Ridgefield Road, plus the Parc Bethesda/Residences @ Capital Crescent Trail project, plus the HOC site, plus anything that might be added on the Bowlmor site. That's too much potential residential density for the sector plan area to warrant SaveWestbard's support.

Anonymous said...

"Westbard is also several miles outside downtown Bethesda."

Nope. Westbard is...

-1 mile from the intersection of Arlington Road and Bradley Boulevard
-1.5-2.0 miles to the Bethesda Metro station
-1.5 miles from the Friendship Heights Metro station
-1.8 miles from the Tenleytown Metro station
-6 miles from the Silver Spring Metro station
-6 miles from downtown Washington DC (Zero Milestone) - actually closer than downtown Bethesda

Upper Marlboro is...

-12 miles from the Branch Avenue Metro station
-17 miles from the Zero Milestone

The Osborne shopping center is...

-3.6 miles from Upper Marlboro
-15 miles from the Branch Avenue Metro station
-20.6 miles from the Zero Milestone.

It's about distance and connectivity. Nothing to do with race.

Robert Dyer said...

2:07: Wrong. The Friendship Heights Metro station is 1.8 miles-2.2 miles from Westbard, depending which route you take. 2.6-3.2 miles from Bethesda Metro!

1.8 miles from Tenleytown? What are you smoking?! Four pinocchios.

Even if you believed Westbard was "6 miles" from the zero milestone, what relevance would such a far distance have in transit-oriented "smart growth?" There isn't even a rail connection to Westbard from there.

The Osborne Shopping Center is only 3 miles from downtown Upper Marlboro, which means it is the same distance as Westbard is from the downtown Bethesda Metro station. "It's about distance and connectivity," indeed.

Residents give the Osborne Shopping Center 4 stars on Google; west Bethesda residents have roundly panned the urbanization plan for Westbard, by comparison.

Anna said...

2:07AM,3:28PM - Right there with you, apples to oranges. I remember Fredericksburg.

Robert Dyer said...

3:57: And as I just proved, it is an apples-to-apples comparison of Westbard and Osborne.

Anna said...

Not in the least similar. What do you know about Upper Marlboro?
Go there (Osborne). Drive around. You'll see it's oranges.

Robert Dyer said...

5:01: I've been there about 1000 times. I know the area well, but the importance is its distance from downtown Upper Marlboro. It's the same as Westbard's distance from the Bethesda Metro station. Apples-to-apples, but better planning by Prince George's County.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dyer - It looks like graves were moved to build the Osborne shopping center. Oops!

https://patch.com/maryland/uppermarlboro/19th-century-graves-moved-to-build-shopping-center

Anonymous said...

"1.8 miles from Tenleytown? What are you smoking?! Four pinocchios."

It's a straight shot down River Road, from Ridgefield to the Tenleytown Metro station at Wisconsin Avenue and Brandywine Street NW. 1.8 miles.

What distance do you claim it is?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:09 AM - But you have to cross Western Avenue and enter the District of Columbia. That by itself adds 10 miles to the distance.

Robert Dyer said...

9:09: From the Westwood Shopping Center property to Tenleytown Metro is 2.4 miles via River Road, and 3.0 miles via Massachusetts Avenue. If that wasn't far enough, remember that transit-oriented development is only valid 1/4-1/2 mile from a rapid transit station. You lose any way you measure it.

Robert Dyer said...

8:42: 9:04: Fake news. The Osborne shopping center is not on Leeland Road. It is further south on 301 at Osborne Road. In fact, I don't believe that shopping center in question was ever built. The only thing I recall seeing at that intersection is the Safeway distribution center.

However, it is a very interesting article, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Anonymous said...

Why would you take Massachusetts Avenue to go from Westbard to Tenleytown? That would be kinda dumb, unless you're deliberately trying to make the distance as long as possible.

Are you saying that it is 0.6 miles just to get from the shopping center to the intersection of Ridgefield and River Road? Previously you have said that is just "a block and a half".

Robert Dyer said...

9:34: It is just a block and a half. I don't know how you're measuring it, but regardless, it is physically one-and-a-half city blocks.

Never said take Massachusetts. I gave you the River Road distance, as well. You lose either way.

Anonymous said...

Save Westbard strikes me as a very angry SISTA!!!!! You go girl!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a strong beautiful sista, holding her own with all these white prople, I love the anger and hostility, I have a Salon I want to invite you my African queen, weaves on me for a year my beautiful strong Sista!!! and btw Dyer you are a retard has anyone ever told you you look and talk like one?? You should be at a giant parking lot collecting carts

Robert Dyer said...

3:39: Here we have a troll comment from a self-proclaimed Hans Riemer supporter reflecting Riemer's racist handling of the cemetery issue, AND using the r-word in 2018. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Voters will remember Riemer's actions, and the kind of lowlife supporters he attracts through them, on Election Day.

Anonymous said...

This is Hans Reimer, and Dyer I agree you are a retard!!!

Anonymous said...

I also like the anger from the sista!!! She will kick some ass!!!! I will throw in some weave too!!!!

Anonymous said...

You will never beat me Dyer I have the graveyard vote, and you live in your moms basement, and wear Velcro shoes, I will see you at the giant when I return my cart retard!!!!!