Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Montgomery County Council unanimously approves Veirs Mill sector plan

Pro-developer plan will increase
commuting time, destroy affordable 
housing, demolish homes & businesses

The "new" members of the "new" 2018 Montgomery County Council faced their first test of loyalties Tuesday, as they voted on the controversial and unpopular Veirs Mill sector plan. Well, as I warned everyone during last year's election, the "new" Council proved to be just like the old Council, but worse. Without Marc Elrich on the body, all nine councilmembers voted for the pro-developer plan.

Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass, Will Jawando and Hans Riemer all received thousands of dollars in developer contribution in 2018. And their "Yes!" votes yesterday were a thank-you to their developer sugar daddies for the hefty election help.

The plan will allow demolition of single-family homes and businesses along the Veirs Mill corridor between Wheaton and Rockville. Changes to the layout of Veirs Mill Road, reduced speed limits, reduction of left-turn lanes, and longer stoplights are estimated to extend travel times for commuters up to 35 additional minutes on the already-congested road. Single-family home and public recreation properties are rezoned for mixed-use, "town-center" urban-style development in the plan.
The developer-driven plan will allow
clearcutting of this wonderful green space...

...and demolition of several homes behind it on
Robindale Drive, Adrian Street and Weiss Street,
replacing them with a steel-and-concrete urban
town center development
A fake "no net loss" program devised by Riemer's staff will allow demolition of naturally-occurring affordable housing such as Halpine View. While it purports to create just as many new MPDUs, most people who will lose their homes in Halpine View and other properties make too much in salary to qualify for MPDUs, creating a net-loss in affordable housing in the plan area. And even the MPDUs soon expire and revert to market-rate housing permanently.

This is the same thing the Council is allowing to happen on Battery Lane and Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda, where many people who can't afford market-rate single-family homes and newer apartments - but who make too much to qualify for MPDUs - currently live. They've already done it in Glenmont, where many residents of apartments like the wonderful Privacy World were forced out never to return to Glenmont.
The Council-approved plan allows this
tree-lined green Montgomery County-owned
property at 4010 Randolph Road to be redeveloped
as a steel-and-concrete urban town center - and
you can bet the Council will sell it to one of their
developer sugar daddies at a sweetheart price!
Halpine View, Rock Creek Woods, Halpine Hamlet, Parkway Woods and other apartment complexes are now rezoned to encourage demolition, and replacement with urban-style, luxury apartment "town centers."

Even while failing to defend the interests of current homeowners, business owners and commuters who are paying record high taxes, the Council bizarrely found time to add a racially-charged political diatribe to the plan. To score political points, and create division among residents, the Council added a section that falsely claims racial covenants ensured the communities around Veirs Mill Road were white-only. In fact, enforcement of such covenants was banned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948.

The Veirs Mill sector plan as passed will displace thousands of residents, greatly increase traffic congestion, and radically transform the existing green, suburban character of Veirs Mill Road to a stifling corridor of vehicle exhaust and boxy steel-and-concrete Soviet apartment blocs. It was hard to believe that even some civic groups were fooled that the "new" Council would bring back residents' role in planning decisions, and not vote for this kind of pro-developer sector plan. Now it's just plan laughable.

You got steamrolled again.

You can't say I didn't warn you. And while media outlets like the Washington Post colluded with the Montgomery County cartel to prevent candidates like me from getting our message out, I certainly did notice the sheepish smiles of some "woke" voters who knew it was morally wrong to vote for Albornoz, Glass, Jawando and Riemer, who clearly did not represent the change they were claiming to seek in the planning process. Voting simply to ensure a sweep of all nine Council seats by one monopoly party was a really bad idea, now with tragic results for yet another Montgomery County community with this sector plan.

Next up: Aspen Hill. Fasten your seatbelts, folks.


  1. A town right their on veirs mill and twinbrook parkway ?

    1. Several new town centers, to be exact, according to this plan.

    2. "Several new town centers, to be exact, according to this plan."

      Ha ha...moron.

      This plan shows exactly two town centers - the first around the intersection of Veirs Mill and Randolph Roads, where two aging strip shopping centers stand now; and the second along Twinbrook Parkway between Veirs Mill and Halpine Roads, where three aging garden apartment complexes stand now.

    3. 7:36: You're the moron - it shows them on just about every existing garden apartment property, the MoCo Rec site, and the SFHs being bulldozed and rezoned as mixed-use.


    4. It does not show what you claim, at all. Read the report.

    5. 11:22: Your problem is that you are looking at the Planning Board draft, not at the final sector plan, with the new language added by the Council. This can be seen in the Council staff report, which shows the Council's added language as underlined.

    6. The only change in the final report adopted April 19, was the addition of 12700 Weiss Street "and an abutting outlot" to the previous five lots that were proposed to be up-zoned from Single-Family Detached Homes, to Townhouses.

  2. I’m not sure why you care about existing home owners when you advocate so strongly for a new bridge over the Potomac and an extension of the Montrose parkway.

    Please provide maps, an environmental impact study, and cost for both projects. If you can’t then I can’t see how anyone can take you seriously.

    1. 1:28: The new Potomac crossing and associated I-370 highway extension would cost taxpayers virtually nothing, as it would be constructed by a private company as a toll facility.

      The Montrose Parkway extension to the ICC would cost only a fraction of the BRT boondoggle, but would carry more commuters daily than the entire BRT system combined.

    2. You still can’t answer my questions. How much; exactly where; show an actual map; break down the real costs; what homes and businesses would be torn down; exactly what are the numbers.

      All you do is repeat the same things and give no provable facts. Either you don’t understand or you have no real data.

      Here comes the insults.

    3. The construction of those roads would cause far more destruction of green space, than the proposed townhouse complex near Robindale Drive.

    4. 7:02: We know both projects could be built and still not cost as much as the $10 billion BRT system. As far the specific dollar amount, what project is that ever known for until you bid them out?

      Virtually no homes or businesses would be torn down for either project, as their rights-of-way are already set aside, as can be seen clearly on Google Maps.

    5. 7:37: Nope, Robindale Drive is being rezoned for mixed-use, which by defjnition is not townhomes. Both highways have set-aside facilities which have been reserved for their construction.

    6. No, those 2-5 lots near Robindale Drive are being rezoned for town HOUSES, not "town CENTERS". You can't put a town center on 2 acres. Read the report again - the only areas being zoned for "town centers" are the area around the intersection of Veirs Mill and Randolph Roads, and the three garden apartment complexes on Twinbrook Road between Veirs Mill and Halpine Roads.

      I note that you dodged the question about destruction of green space for building the Rockville Facility or Second Crossing connector.

    7. 11:10: False statement again. CNRF zoning is mixed-use town center, NOT townhomes.

      Here is the ACTUAL text, and you can see where the Council added additional homes to make it a larger redevelopment, as well:

      "Support a future application for the Commercial[-]Residential Neighborhood[-]Floating Zone 337 (CRNF) for [the single-family residential properties that directly abut 12607 and 12615 Veirs
      338 Mill Road, bordered by Adrian Street to the north and Robindale Drive to the east] five 339 properties: 12700 Robindale Drive, 4710 Adrian Street, 4714 Adrian Street, 12700 Weiss 340 Street and for the abutting outlot behind 12700 Weiss Street."

      More than 5 properties are upzoned for urban town centers in the approved plan.

      Whoa - you lied a THIRD time in the same comment - I clearly stated in my response that there is no "green space" - both highway extensions have existing right-of-ways already in place, such as the Rockville Facility, in the case of extending the Montrose Parkway to the ICC. It goes all the way, and it's a beautiful thing.

      Same thing for the Potomac crossing - look at Sam Eig Highway just west of the I-270 interchange. You'll notice a green strip coming off of it heading northwest, then southwest to the Potomac.

      "If it's what you say, I love it." - Donald Trump, Jr.

  3. Dunno what you're smoking, Dyer, but there's widespread support for the plan. Veirs Mill corridor is currently trash. The roadway is ridiculously unsafe for cars/pedestrians/cyclists and all the 1960s junk retail and housing badly needs reinvestment.

    1. 3:16: "Widespread support?" LOL. A few dozen people, most of whom work for Montgomery County or the developers, do not constitute "widespread support."

      Which Veirs Mill are you driving on? I see charming suburban homes, trees and green space. That doesn't need to be destroyed to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists who also agree to follow the traffic laws.

    2. "I see charming suburban homes along Veirs Mill Road"

      Said no one, ever.

      And how are "charming suburban homes, trees and green space" being "destroyed to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists"?

    3. 9:20: Said many people for decades. Only a radical few like you, who wish to "destroy the suburbs" because they "perpetuate the patriarchal hegemony, nuclear family unit, and white supremacy, blah blah blah..." find green, low-density areas repulsive.

    4. Can you just answer the question I asked at 9:20 Dyer? Your response is irrelevant gibberish.

      What land and/or homes are being "destroyed to improve pedestrians and cyclists"?

    5. 9:38: Many homes will be demolished for the massive width this plan requires for BRT and bike paths/bike lanes along the road.

    6. Building bike paths/lanes alone would not require that "many homes...bee demolished".

      And you did not even address how improving pedestrian safety would require demolitions, per your previous claim.

    7. 11:14: This reading thing seems to be a big challenge for you. If you read the plan's recommendations for shared-use path locations and bike lanes, you can see exactly where the homes will have to be demolished.

      I clearly stated the pedestrian/bike facilities that will require a width that will require demolitions in my comment.

    8. "If you read the plan's recommendations for shared-use path locations and bike lanes, you can see exactly where the homes will have to be demolished."

      I can't find this in report. On what page should I look for this? It seems very unlikely that improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities alone could encroach on properties as you claim.

    9. 11:04: Just repeating over and over again, Saul Alinsky. For the 1000th time, Saul, if you look at the map on the stretch where it demands a path be added + BRT, you would have to condemn properties to fit those in.

      "If every letter requires a response, send 30000 letters."

      - Saul Alinsky

    10. "if you look at the map on the stretch where it demands a path be added + BRT, you would have to condemn properties to fit those in."

      First, I will note that you said specifically, "for improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities", on several occasions, and you did NOT mention BRT previously. Also I note that you said previously, "homes will have to be demolished", just now you said "you would have to condemn properties". You're backtracking now.

      That said, I looked at the maps in the report, plus the cross-sections of the proposed roadway, and I looked on Google Satellite View to check the setbacks of all the buildings along that corridor - considering the width that would be needed to add both the BRT lanes and the bicycle/pedestrian paths. Some land will need to be taken, sure, but I could not see any areas where it would be necessary to take any homes. Where did you see this? If you have seen this yourself, why are you being so evasive in providing documentation?

    11. 8:33: Good God, BRT is mentioned in my original article above you are commenting on, and in my comment at 10:57 AM, among others.

      You're moving the goalposts all over the place, looking for the Saul Alinsky points to badger on. As a mental midget, you're wasting your time trying to debate a champion debater such as myself. The fact that you've had to resort to outright lies and Alinsky-nit-picking is ample evidence of that.

      If you can't see that the right-of-way cannot fit all they are adding, there's nothing anyone can do to help you.

    12. So it's just your opinion that "the right-of-way" cannot fit, but you cannot provide any images or data to back up your claim that "many homes will be demolished for the massive width this plan requires."

      Here is an easy starting point for you - what exactly is "the massive width this plan requires"? Where will homes need to be demolished to achieve this?

      Not "Alinsky" here. Just calling you on making wild claims and refusing to provide any support for them.

  4. Concerned Along Veirs MillApril 26, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    These town Centers aren't eventualities: they are your own speculation based on possibility. The rezoning of areas along Veirs Mill would make the BRT possible, nothing more.

    1. 9:02: Wrong! Rezoning is absolutely not required to "make BRT possible." The town centers are going to happen, that's why they are being upzoned in this plan.

    2. Concerned Along Veirs MillApril 26, 2019 at 3:06 PM

      You aren't John McLaughlin, god rest his soul, so the Wrong! exclamation makes you look silly.

      And yes, rezoning would be necessary based upon what version of the BRT you are looking at implementing.

      And where are you getting this idea that a town center complex is slated at Twinbrook Parkway and Veirs Mill? Link please.

    3. Concerned Along Veirs Mill:

      Master Plan here:

      Go to pages 99-105 of the document and you will see what is proposed for the "Twinbrook District", where there are currently three large garden apartment complexes along Twinbrook Parkway between Veirs Mill Road and Halpine Road - Rock Creek Woods, Halpine View and Halpine Hamlet.

      "The plan envisions a synergistic redevelopment of
      Halpine View, Parkway Woods and Halpine Hamlet
      to facilitate a higher-density, transit-oriented
      development that provides a transition between the
      scale of development near the Twinbrook Metrorail
      Station and the existing single-family neighborhoods
      to the north and west."

      Hope you find this helpful! :)

    4. 3:06: You don't need to rezone to run BRT. They will seize private property for it, but that is eminent domain, not rezoning. The bus goes past - it doesn't matter at all what structures it is driving past, so there's no requirement to rezone.

      "Bye -bye."