Montgomery Square Citizens Association

Board Meeting, 10/30/18

Attended by:  Bob Gross, President, Steve Schuck, Vice President, Jane Acri, Secretary

The meeting as advertised on the MSCA website and in e-announcements was called to order by Bob Gross at 8:00 pm at Jane’s house.  The following topics were discussed.

Real estate development projects:  There are four nearby development projects with the potential to affect the Montgomery Square community.  The first is the development of Cabin John Center.  Bob Gross provided comments on behalf of the community, with a main concern regarding increased traffic.  Residents who attended a meeting earlier in the year and signed up have received a copy of the plans, which include elimination of the gas station, many parking spaces, and the addition of new buildings and townhomes.  Regardless of the impact on the community and our use of the Cabin John Center, it appears that the Montgomery County planning commission intends to move forward.  The second project, Park Potomac, plans to add more buildings in the near future, and the third, where Lifetime Fitness center is located, will eliminate the gym in favor of additional retail and housing.  Lifetime will instead become part of another development project planned for Montgomery Mall that also includes additional retail and housing.

Speeding on Postoak:   MSCA has received several complaints from residents regarding drivers on Postoak exceeding the speed limit of 25 mph.  This occurs in both directions and creates a hazard for pedestrians.  We are looking into options to reduce this hazard such as speed humps and other “traffic calming” devices.

Block Party:  The party was a huge success despite the unusually windy weather.  About 175 to 200 residents attended the event, which included a DJ, games, a sports station, pizza, beer, soda and other drinks.  Options for next year include another block party on the south side and an ice cream social or some other event on the north side.  If someone steps up to become MSCA’s social chair, then even more activities would be possible. 

Yard Sale:  This was intended to be a large, multi-neighborhood event including Montgomery Square, Potomac Woods, and Regency, but was unfortunately rained out.  The three groups split the cost of an advertisement in the Washington Post and created maps to show the location of sales.  We will try again next year.

Trees:  Per our requests, made jointly with individual homeowners, the County has planted over 200 new trees in Montgomery Square.  The form for requesting trees for the coming year will be available in December.  It is our hope that additional homeowners will join in and fill the gaps that remain on our streets. 

Repaving:  Many residents on the south side had expressed dismay that the newly paved streets have been damaged by more digging.  MSCA sent numerous photos and emails to Washington Gas, which has agreed to repave the nine areas that were excavated after the most recent repaving. 

Gaslights:  The gaslights at the entrance to the community at Inspection House and Seven Locks are again illuminated, but Washington Gas has installed meters and will be billing us.  It seems that we can afford the additional expense, thanks to our dues paying members, but will reevaluate it on a yearly basis. 

Water Project:  WSSC is currently replacing watermains on the north side of the community.  In three years, WSSC plans to replace several lines on the south side.  We will be posting a map of the affected areas on the MSCA website and eventually set up a meeting with WSSC to answer questions from affected residents.

Pedestrian Cut Throughs:  A resident wanted to know if any of the subdivision plats showed paths between some of the houses located on cul-de-sacs.  We obtained the plats for our area and did not see anything in them that would indicate easements of this nature.  It is our understanding that pedestrian may not cut through other people’s yards without the permission of the homeowners. 

Succession Planning:  Bob Gross, who was previously recognized for his twenty years of leading the MSCA Board, pointed out that David Grossman has served on the Board for more than 15 hears and Steve Schuck for more than 10 years.  It is very difficult to interest people in serving on the board.   A possible solution is to dissolve Montgomery Square and instead merge with Potomac Woods on the north side, and Regency on the south side.  These are both much larger organizations, and might offer advantages, but we would lose our voice as a civic neighborhood organization.  When issues arise, like the proposal to eliminate the ride-on bus service, being able to represent the views of an organization offers more influence than speaking as individuals.  In additional, it is unlikely that Regency Estates or Potomac Woods would be as responsive to our individual needs or be interested in paying for a professional landscape company to maintain and plant seasonal flowers at our main entranceways, as MSCA has been doing for the past 18 years.  The preference is to work on a succession plan rather than dissolve MSCA or attempt to merge it with other associations.  With more community participation, MSCA should be able to continue well into the future and also thrive while doing it. 

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Acri, Secretary