EDITORIAL UPDATE: Members of the OLD Aspen Hill Civic Association should be aware of the fact that at the October 22nd General Membership Meeting there was a hostile takeover of the association by what I was told are members of the anti-Walmart/anti-BigBox/anti-rezoning organization ASPEN HILL HOMEOWNERS. How did this happen? According to our bylaws, anybody can be nominated to the Board of Directors, and everybody who is nominated is confirmed to be members of the Board. This was done to purposely be inclusive of everybody who wanted to participate in the advancement of our Aspen Hill Community. In the past, we have had difficulty in getting even the 10 or so dedicated people to agree to become members of the Board.
At our October 22nd General Membership Meeting members of the anti-Walmart/anti-BigBox/anti-rezoning group flooded the meeting with their members and nominated each other for the Board, and they have a majority of members on the now 36 member AHCA Board of Directors. How many of these 36 members will actually show up at the various board meetings remains to be seen. However, at the November 13th Board meeting, they elected themselves to virtually all of the officer and committee chair positions, effectively gaining control of the entire Civic Association.
As a result, I have no idea what they have in mind for our community. I think there is no question that they will try to change the moderate position of the OLD AHCA (our policy was that we were for the minor rezoning amendment, feeling that any effective use of the old BAE/Vitro site was better than having an empty eyesore sitting there). This was a policy that had been discussed in a number of our previous membership meetings and agreed upon by a majority of our members. Whether this new group will ignore the previous policy and attempt to unilaterally change the Civic Associations policy, or whether they will attempt to obtain the views of ALL of the Aspen Hill Community, remains to be seen. What I have observed so far from the Aspen Hill Homeowners group is a set of anti-everything NIMBY type statements.
Just be aware that the OLD members of the Aspen Hill Civic Association have attempted to do the best we could for the betterment of the Aspen Hill Community. What this NEW group will do remains to be seen. And, if you dont like what you see, dont blame us! Blame yourselves for not being more active in YOUR community!
Let me also say that my efforts as webmaster for the AHCA have also come to an end. I have been hosting the Civic Association website on my personal website hosting package, at no cost to the Association, which will no longer be the case. I assume they will want to continue the website in some way, shape or form, but I have no idea how that will take place. I hope you have enjoyed the website in the past, and that it has been at least somewhat useful to you.
NEXT BOARD MEETING - WEDNESDAY DEC. 10, 2014 - 7:00 PM - ASPEN HILL LIBRARY MEETING ROOM -ALL WELCOME
You are welcome to attend the Board meetings as well as the General Membership meetings, and we are willing to listen to any questions or complaints you might have, and will try to help you with resolving them. At the General Membership meetings we have speakers to discuss various activities and/or changes happening in our area. Learn more about what is happening in YOUR neighborhood, good and bad, and if you are not happy with it, what you can do about it! Volunteer to be on the Board of Directors, and then YOU can have important input to what is going on here.
The October 2013 Newsletter of the Aspen Hill Civic Association is here.
If you have an upcoming event that you feel might be useful to residents of the Aspen Hill area, please send them to me at Webmaster(at)AspenHillCivicAssociation.org.
Upcoming Events Schedule
Welcome to the website of the Aspen Hill Civic Association (AHCA). Aspen Hill is a an unincorporated area in central Montgomery County, Maryland. Apparently its name came from the aspen trees that once were found near the first post office in the area. That post office was located in a general store on what was then known as the Washington-Brookeville Pike (now known as Georgia Avenue) near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue. That was about 1864. It is interesting to note that the current Aspen Hill Post Office is located very close to that area.
The Aspen Hill Civic Association, Inc. (AHCA) as an organization is not quite that old. It was formed about 1980. According to our constitution, the boundaries of the Association includes the region bounded by Georgia Avenue on the east, Bel Pre Road on the north (includes all properties on both sides of Bel Pre Road), to Norbeck Road, to Rock Creek and then to Veirs Mill Road on the west, and to the southern boundary of Matthew Henson State Park, and back over to Georgia Avenue. Aspen Hill also includes the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department Station No. 21 (see map). According to the 2000 census this area includes 6222 homes and probably about 20,000 people. The subdivisions contained in this area include: Wheaton Woods; English Manor; Harmony Hills; Rock Creek Village; Brookhaven, Bel Pre Woods, Aspen Knolls and Rock Creek Valley. The Associations' membership year is from October 1st to September 30th and the dues are $7.00 per person or $12.00 per household. Membership is very simple, just contact our membership chair Rusty Embry (or see the info at the bottom of the Board of Directors section, below). If you become a member, in addition to the warm, fuzzy feeling you get(!), you will receive at least two yearly newsletters via email, occasional email updates on items of interest to the community, and the ability to vote for who you would like to see as Board Members of this organization. Access to the Association web site is free and available to everybody.
The Civic Association promotes maintaining our community as a clean, beautiful and safe single-family residential area, a nice place to live. We work to keep our members informed about County Housing and other Codes and regulations, and about proposed or actual changes to the County Codes. We also promote member awareness of proposed changes of any kind which the County or State may plan for our area. Major concerns are proposed changes in neighborhood roadway intersections, which are scheduled to occur in the near future. We will do our best to keep our members informed of these things as we find out about them, and we often have County officials present their plans and activities at our meetings, both our monthly Board of Directors meetings as well as the twice yearly General Membership meetings. These meetings are always held at the Aspen Hill Library (at 4407 Aspen Hill Road, near Parkland Ave.), in the downstairs meeting room. We will do our best to assure that the concerns of the members will reach the appropriate officials of the County or State. Any resident of the area is cordially invited to attend either/both the General Membership meetings (May and October), as well as the monthly Board of Directors meetings, especially if they have a specific concern they wish to share.
In addition, during election years we usually hold candidate forums, with local candidates invited to speak at a special or scheduled meeting, where you can ask them questions on what their views are on a variety of subjects, and what they plan to do if elected. We had two of them for the past election, and plan on hold them for the next election as well.
The Montgomery County Council recently voted to approve the 2014 "minor re-opening" of the Aspen Hill Master Plan, to consider rezoning of the parcel of land known as the Vitro/BAE building, located close to the corner of Aspen Hill and Connecticut Avenues, behind the Home Depot. The Washington Post recently had an editorial article on the subject, you can read it here. The AHCA has not taken a position on any type of store which might end up being located there, only that our community would benefit from having any kind of retail establishment located there instead of an abandoned building.
Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment-Background
In the spring of 2013, the County Council programmed the preparation of a minor master plan amendment in 2014 for the properties currently zoned for office around the former Vitro/BAE site at Connecticut Avenue and Aspen Hill Road. The 1994 Aspen Hill Master Plan recommends only office uses for much of the minor amendment area. The minor amendment process provides an opportunity to reassess the subject area and analyze additional redevelopment and zoning opportunities.
Project Events - This project involves several types of events such as general meetings and work sessions. The public is invited to participate. The first community meeting was held Dec 3, 2013. Community meeting #2 included initial staff recommendations and will lead to the staff briefing to Planning Board on April 24th. Community Meeting #3 is scheduled for May 2014, with the date to be determined. Become involved. The draft plan will travel through work sessions, a Planning Board public hearing in July 2014, a County Executive plan review and a County Council public hearing in January 2015 before reaching an approved plan in March 2015. Project Website: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/aspenhill/
Links for AHCA
If you would like to review the Scope of Work, please visit the link at: http://www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/agenda/2014/documents/AspenHillMinorAmendmentStaffReportFinal_000.pdf
Info from Andrea Giles Andrea Gilles, Area 2 Planning Division, M-NCPPC,
8787 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20910
The April Newsletter of Council President Nancy Navarro contains a number of items of interest to our members, one of which is the Glenmont Sector Plan Update that is currently going on. More information on this update can be obtained here. A brief description and view of the vision for this update can be seen in the image below.
......Minutes of November 2014
......Minutes of October 2014 General Membership Meeting
......Minutes of September 2014
......Minutes of June 2014
......Minutes of May 2014
......Minutes of April 2014 General Membership Meeting
......Minutes of March 2014
......Minutes of February 2014
......Minutes of November 2013
......Minutes of October 2013
......Minutes of September 2013
......Minutes of June 2013
......Minutes of May 2013
......Minutes of April 2013
......Minutes of March 2013
......Minutes of February 2013
......Minutes of January 2013
......Minutes of December 2012
......Minutes of November 2012
......Minutes of October 2012 General Membership Meeting
......Minutes of September 2012
......Minutes of June 2012
......Minutes of May 2012 General Membership
......Minutes of April 2012
......Minutes of March 2012
......Minutes of February 2012
......Minutes of January 2012
......Minutes of December 2011
......Minutes of November 2011
......Agenda for the Oct General Membership Meeting.
......Minutes of October 2011
......Minutes of September 2011
......Minutes of June 2011
......Minutes of May 2011 General Membership Meeting
......Minutes of April 2011
......Minutes of March 2011
......Minutes of February 2011
......Minutes of January 2011
......Minutes of December 2010
......Minutes of November 2010
......Minutes of October 2010 General Membership Meeting
......Minutes of September 2010
......Minutes of June 2010
......Minutes of May 2010 General Membership Meeting
......Minutes of April 2010
......Minutes of March 2010
......Minutes of February 2010
......Minutes of January 2010
Every year the October General Membership Meeting has as one of its major agenda items the election of the Board of Directors for the Aspen Hill Civic Association, Inc. The listing of the Board and officers for 2013-2014 has been deleted, since a new and very expanded Board has been elected as of October 2014, and new officers chosen. The subdivisions they live in were also shown, and I hope that will continue on the new website. The Association likes the opinions and views from all sections of our Civic Association area. Please consider joining the Board in future years. If your subdivision is not represented on the Board, you are especially encouraged to submit your name to be nominated for the Board.
If you would like to know more about the Association or would like to ask questions or volunteer your help for community activities in the area, please contact us. A representative from your subdivision might be particularly helpful in answering specific questions.
For information on joining the Association or for volunteering for the Board of Directors, contact the new membership chair.
For your convenience a copy of the AHCA Membership Form is here.
Just print it out, fill it in, and send with your check to Jane (effective 12/06/2014).
The Neighborhood Watch Program is currently defunct. Anyone who is interested in forming a new one or reforming the old one please contact the new officers of the AHCA.
FYI, there is an excellent online "Neighborhood Watch Manual" at the following website: http://www.usaonwatch.org/assets/publications. This document was prepared by the National Sheriffs' Association. I recommend it to you for your spare time reading.
NEW INFORMATION regarding a new traffic pattern for the MD 97(Georgia Avenue) at Randolph Road utility relocation project can be found on the State Highway Administration website. There will be ongoing construction projects taking place at or near the Georgia Ave. Randolph Road intersect, getting ready for the huge intersection construction. Various updates will be coming out telling what is happening, but be cautions in your driving in that area because you will be coming upon new developments all the time! (Update: The construction has now started, so remain vigilant for signs of construction in your travel through that area.)
The SHA has a newsletter which is updated frequently and has information on current and upcoming road construction and changes. You can see it here at http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/districts.aspx?did=d3
As you most likely already know, the next five years will find the intersection of Georgia Ave. and Randolph Road the scene of major delays, while the new complex, over-and-under intersection is being constructed. (Note: See SHA newsletters link below to get additional information on the Georgia Ave. Randolph Road detours and other up-to-date local road information.) This has already been designed and funded and the engineering has started. Meanwhile, the Volunteer Fire Department Fire House at the intersection will be demolished, and a new one built on the west side of Georgia Ave. north of Layhill Road, across from the Glenmont Metro station. This new station was initially expected to be completed in 2012, but appears like there will be considerable delays in that date.
Once again, the SHA has a newsletter which is updated frequently and has information on current and upcoming road construction and changes. You can see it here at http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/districts.aspx?did=d3
The County Code Modifications of last year were passed, and now you can learn first hand what it means for you, for me, for all of us. There is a new web site which describes these new laws which went into effect on April 24th, 2011, and you can read about it here. As the web site states, "Preserving the quality of life in Montgomery County neighborhoods needs help from all of us. New County laws initiated by the County Executive and approved by the County Council are designed to help protect our residential neighborhoods. For exact details see the legislation or call 311.
Sections of the above web site link address the following: Home-based Businesses; Parking for Heavy Commercial and Recreational Vehicles; Parking Off-Street; Paving Front Yards; How These Laws Are Enforced; and Contact Information on who to call. It was partly our efforts that got these regulations on the books, but now it is up to YOU to to see that violations are reported and the intent of the regulations are fulfilled!
LINKS OF INTEREST
...MONTGOMERY COUNTY ADOPTS NEW 311 NON-EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER!
You can now call 311 for ALL Montgomery County phone numbers, and the operator will transfer you to the appropriate department. Read about it in more detail on this card(in both English and Spanish).
... MAP with Boundaries of the Aspen Hill Civic Association, Inc.
...Web site of Montgomery County, MD.
...Speed cameras are EVERYWHERE!. UPDATE - MAY 2013 - Apparently MoCo has taken down their web site showing speed and red light cameras; however an alternative source of that info can be found on Google maps at a link that won't allow me to post it. Also, Google individual cities like Rockville and Gaithersburg. Be especially careful in DC, where the fines are extremely high. I just try to never go into DC anymore.
...Online Montgomery County Services.
...Pothole repair Services. (Note: This really works!)
...Friends of the Aspen Hill Library
...Weekly Updates of Community and Public Service News called Connected Communities. (Note: For your information we are in Mont. Co. Police District 4.)
...Location of AHCA in Police District 4
...Crime reports for our area
Note: Brookside Gardens is closed for reconstruction during the summer 2014 season. That also includes the butterfly garden. Contact their website for information on when they might reopen.
Brookside Gardens is a beautiful gemstone in our community, one that everybody should appreciate and utilize as much as possible. Recently last year their tulip display was especially notable, and one of my photographs of it is below. This year I didn't care that much for the tulips, but a photo of some daffodils is shown below the tulips. And, don't forget the butterfly display in the greenhouse that is already up and running. One of my butterfly photographs is also shown below. Brookside Gardens is a real gem in our midst, you should make use of it for your walks or visits whenever possible.
I hope you have enjoyed visiting the AHCA Website. We will be adding more content and information about our area and things going on in our area as it becomes available. Come back to visit us again soon.