Look for Santa in 
Potomac Woods & Montgomery Square on Saturday 12/8

Come out to greet St. Nick’s arrival as he makes his neighborhood rounds. At a series of stops throughout the community, he greets children young and old while passing out treats and holiday cheer. New, unwrapped toys are being collected for the Stepping Stones Shelter 

Santa Stops – approximate times 
1:00 p.m. Stratton Drive and Kimblewick
1:10 p.m. Stratton and Selworthy
1:20 Kersey Lane and Milboro
1:30 Circle near 42 Orchard Way North
1:40 Circle near 23 Orchard Way South
1:50 Milboro and Lancashire
2:00 Canterbury and Dunster
2:10 Dunster and Derbyshire
2:20 Aqueduct and Stratton
2:30 Devilwood Drive/Smoketree

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

 

Meeting will be held at the home of Jane Acri – Address is in the directory or reach out to a board member.  

8-9pm on 10/30/18

Get updates on Wash Gas and WSSC projects and more

Thanks to Vasilia, George and their group of neighborhood helpers for making possible another amazing and highly successful block party extravaganza!  This was a great party and everyone who attended (about 150-200 residents) was very pleased and happy.

Great job by all!!!

I’d like to wish all of you all a happy upcoming holiday season and wonderful times to come.

All the best and thanks again for a job well done,

Bob

Montgomery Square Citizens’ Association Inc.  Invites all of MSCA out for a block party 

Sunday October 21st, 2-4pm  At the intersection of Smoketree Rd & Devilwood Dr

Airbrush Artist, Sports Inflatable,  DJ w/dances & prizes, games & mini pumpkin decorating

Free Pizza from Siena’s, drinks & cotton candy                                                  

Feel free to invite guests

To help or if you have questions, contact MSCA organizer – Vasilia at granddesignsintl@gmail.com

This event is FREE  – Costs are covered by dues paid to MSCA

Feel free to bring folding chairs, blankets, etc.

* No Rain Date Scheduled   If weather looks questionable, check this site.    

 

Hi Bob! Good news – the meter for the gas light (at Inspection House)  has been installed. In next week or so, we will get a gas light contractor out to clean and turn gas lights back on. Also, the construction team will connect with Brian Earp with DPS and walk community to define pavement repairs needed. The paving contractor will then get work into their queue! Great weekend to all!

Warmest regards,

Kelly Gibson Caplan

Community and WAFF Manager

Washington Gas/WGL

7/17/18 – The roads on the south side had just been repaved following the Washington Gas project and sure enough, new survey and utility markings are being made on the pavement.  Bob Gross was in touch with several groups and this is what we found out.  Bob has asked them why this project needs to be done when WSSC last did a major project in this area within the past 10 years or so. 

7/17/18  From WSSC Government Relations Manager to a representative from Roger Berliner’s office 

I apologize for the confusion related to the Devilwood Drive water main replacement project. Based on our review of the water main breaks in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, WSSC initiated a design project for this neighborhood. The initial design kickoff meeting was held just last week. The new Project Manager, in an abundance of caution, asked the design contractor to place door hangers in advance of the initial engineering survey work to try to avoid confusion by residents. Unfortunately, this created more confusion as we typically only place door hangers prior to construction.

The design is expected to be completed in 2019-2020 with construction starting in 2020-2021 at the very earliest. WSSC prides itself in restoring roads to top notch condition when it performs water main replacement work and that will definitely be the case for this project as well. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you or the homeowners association have any additional questions.

7/17/18 From Montgomery County Permitting and Code Enforcement Inspector to Bob Gross 

The newly paved roads will not be impacted. When WSSC starts to think about a project, they always look on the moratorium list which shows newly paved roadways. This neighborhood was placed on the moratorium list yesterday. This project is currently in the design and planning phases.

To try and simplify the process… when someone wants to build a house, they have to design and plan it. Take survey of the land. Locate the utilities. Get plans drawn up and design the house. Have an idea of what you want to spend. Get estimates or bids for doing the work. Get permits. All of this is done prior to the start of construction and typically takes longer than the actual construction process. It’s similar with the WSSC mainline projects. A lot of planning and design go into it before anything even happens. With that being said… WSSC is now aware that a lot of streets are under moratorium and they will not touch those streets for a minimum of 3 years, at which time the streets are no longer covered under the moratorium requirements. WSSC is re-evaluating this job and may decide to replace the mainline only on the streets that were not recently paved. They may even cancel this entire project, or they may postpone it for a few years. Please understand that what’s going on in the Devilwood neighborhood at this time is only planning and designing. By marking the utilities and surveying the streets in the entire neighborhood (this includes the newly paved roads and the old roads) will help them better determine what route they will take.

As for the full width mill/overlay. It depends on the scope of their work as well as what Montgomery County requires. I can not give you reassurance because nobody even knows what work is going to take place at this time…. they are currently planning it.

Link to the list in the history section of the site 

MSCA Annual Membership Meeting, May 14, 2018, Beverly Farms Elementary School

The annual membership meeting was held as announced on the website and by email and was called to order at 7:30 PM by Bob Gross, President and CEO of MSCA, Inc. 

There were five individuals in attendance, the four officers of the Governing Board (Bob Gross, President; Steve Schuck, Vice President; David Grossman, Treasurer; Jane Acri, Secretary), and one neighbor.  There were severe thunderstorms and heavy rain occurring throughout the evening, which may have accounted for the unusually low turnout.

District 15 Legislative Update:  Brian Feldman, our State Senator from Maryland Legislative District 15 and neighbor on Little Creek Drive provided a legislative update.  Brian is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, chairing its Health Subcommittee and, most recently, was appointed as the Senate Chair of the newly formed Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission.  This commission will address issues related to the Affordable Care Act, healthcare policy in general, opioid addiction, medical marijuana, and prescription drug prices.  He discussed several legislative successes, including a bill to terminate the parental rights of rapists, and most importantly, a bill to insure future Metro funding of 500M per year in capital improvements, with $167M from Maryland, $178M from DC, and $154M from Virginia.  This bill was supported by the three jurisdictions, and was signed by Governor Hogan at Strathmore, near the proposed site of a new Amazon Headquarters on April 25, 2018.  Brian noted the support and accomplishments of the District 15 delegates, Kathleen Dumais, David Fraser-Hildago, and Aruna Miller and described some of the bills they have proposed.  Senator Feldman also discussed many bills that did not pass, and ended with stressing the critical importance of the upcoming elections where county residents will be voting for a new county executive, new county council members, as well as state senators and delegates, half of whom are up for election.  He is anticipating that half of the state Senate is likely to turn over because all the four-year terms expire at the same time.   Brian reiterated the importance of local and state governments which continues to introduce and consider hundreds of bills despite Congressional gridlock.  Bob Gross urged Brian to promote extending Montrose Parkway to the Intercounty Connector and the construction of a Marc Train Station near the White Flint Metro.  (A Montgomery College Metro Station should also be considered.)

Treasurer’s Report:  David Grossman, the MSCA Treasurer, reported that the amount of money in the association’s bank account (over $11,000) is on par with last year, following dues collection from 223 of the over 400 households in Montgomery Square.  Planned expenses are also consistent with last year, despite changing landscaper companies (now Allentuck), and include billing, postage, website, directories, insurance, and the block party.  We may need to hire painters for our community entrance signage.  It would be appreciated if those families who have not yet paid their 2018 dues would go ahead and do so.  A dues form can be found on line at www.montgomerysquare.org.

Street Repaving:  Re-paving of community streets will occur after the work on the gas (south side) and water (north side) lines.  For the south side of Montgomery Square, it is likely that this will occur in the summer.  Bob Gross has discussed the problems with cracks forming in the Streets on the south side almost immediately after the previous re-paving, which took place several years ago, and has suggested to the County that it require the contractor to use a deeper bed and higher quality mix of materials.

Elections:  The current officers agreed to remain on the Governing Board for another term of one year or until successors are elected.  Steve Schuck is currently doing double duty as vice president and webmaster.

Yard Sale:  The annual community yard sale will be held on June 2 and 3 and will include Regency Estates and Potomac Woods as well as Montgomery Square.  It will be advertised in the Washington Post, Nextdoor Regency, and elsewhere, and maps of participating houses will be posted on each association’s website.  Signs will be placed throughout the neighborhood.

Trees:  About 15 households signed up with MSCA for free flowering trees to be planted by the Country in the Fall.  This will bring the total number of new trees in Montgomery Square to well over 200. 

Community Service Award:  In commemoration of Bob Gross and his 20 years of service as president of MSCA, the Board presented Bob with a plaque to express the appreciation of the community for his sustained and exemplary efforts on behalf of the association.  Bob is the longest serving president and began at a time when it was extremely difficult to find volunteers willing to be involved.  He has worked tirelessly (despite his full-time job) to improve the community through beautification, maintenance, and improvements, and to speak for the association in public meetings regarding issues of concern like education, transportation, and proposed development.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.