Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Public Meeting April 4- Please Attend!

Please plan on attending the public meeting to discuss installing soccer fields on the Brickyard School Site.
Be advised- this is not a "hearing" but a "meeting", a proper public hearing has not been held nor been scheduled on the topic of the use of this public land (besides this one that assumes its use will be soccer fields). 
We will be "live blogging" from this event and hope to have some video available the next day. Check back here that evening for a play-by-play.

When:   Monday, April 4 at 7:30pm
Where: Potomac Elementary School, 10311 River Road, Potomac MD
Also: Please show your support for the Brickyard Farm and public process by wearing green.

 Please Read on for an update from Brickyard Farmer Nick Maravell, with video of Ike Leggett's comments on this issue at the recent Kensington Public Meeting.

Dear Supporters,

I am asking for your help again. Montgomery County will hold a public meeting on Monday April 4 at 7:30 p.m. on the proposal to install soccer fields on the un-built school site that I have been farming organically for over thirty years. The meeting will be at the Potomac Elementary School, 10311 River Road, Potomac MD.

It is important to have a good showing of support at this meeting where you will be able to ask questions and comment on issues to County project staff. The exact format of the meeting will be decided soon, and we will get back to you when the County has that information available.

To show your support, please wear something green—a shirt, scarf, hat, jacket, etc. Our large showing at the March 8 Board of Education meeting was noticed.
I always hold out hope that our public comment could lead County Executive Ike Leggett to reconsider the situation and explore alternatives that would better satisfy the expectations of all members of the community.

Background and periodic updates are on our website
http://www.nicksorganicfarm.com Click on the Media tab and the Brickyard Property tab to see our press release and letter to our supporters after the school board vote to lease the land to the County. Also on the website are local newspaper articles, testimony given to the school board by me and others from all parts of the County, and selected insightful letters from supporters.

The letter from Ginny Barnes summarizes the position of the West Montgomery County Citizens Association, the major civic association in the Potomac area. The letter from Diana Conway outlines the views of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, which promotes sustainable agriculture. The letter from Councilman Berliner describes the lack of normally expected process on this matter. Councilman Levanthal has expressed sympathy for Councilman Berliner's position as well. The column from Peggy Dennis in the Montgomery Sentinel (under the media tab) and the letter from Professor McKittrick both touch on the process as well as the agricultural issues.

Please contact me and/or check the following websites if you would like any further background information.
A good blog on this issue:
http://brickyardblogmontgomery.blogspot.com/More background :http://mocoalliance.org/2011/03/brickyard-farm-what-you-can-do-now/

For a March 23rd response on YouTube from County Executive Isiah Leggett on this issue, go to minutes 29:50 to 32:00http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRzedk7LthE
We are encouraging continued letters and written comments on this proposal be sent to editors of your local newspapers, the County Executive, the County Council, and the Board of Education. For all these email addresses go to: http://www.nicksorganicfarm.com/contacts.htmlSend a cc to us at nicksorganicfarm@comcast.net

Let me know if you want more information. We will get you more information when we have it.

The County announcement is printed below:

From: Hartman, Ken
Kenneth.Hartman@montgomerycountymd.govSent: Friday, March 25, 2011 3:53 PM
Subject: RE: Brickyard Junior High Site Meeting - location update
Importance: High
* * * PLEASE NOTE UPDATED LOCATION * * * The public meeting on the Brickyard Junior High School soccer field proposal will be held on Monday April 4, from 7:30-9pm at Potomac Elementary School, 10311 River Road.
I am assisting the Department of General Services and Department of Recreation in facilitating this meeting of local neighbors and Potomac community groups to discuss the development of a request for proposal (RFP) and contract for services for soccer fields on the Brickyard Junior High School property.

As you may know, the Montgomery County Board of Education recently authorized a lease with Montgomery County for the 20-acre school site on Brickyard Road. Montgomery County intends to use the property for development as soccer fields. The Board of Education action stipulated, and the County agreed, natural turf fields without lighting or sound system. The Board of Education also stipulated that the County sublease the property for use as a farm in 2011 and work to assist the former lessee in relocation.

In addition to these stipulations, the County's project management team needs neighbor input on other operational parameters and concerns. This information will be used to draft the RFP and contract. Neighbor feedback is critical in ensuring the property is a good neighbor, while meeting the broader County need for additional fields for organized play. At the meeting, project staff will outline milestones in the process ahead and opportunities for public involvement.

Please pass this along to interested members of your community.

The following is a link to the location of the Brickyard property:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=active&q=brickyard+road,+potomac,+md&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Brickyard+Rd,+Potomac,+Montgomery,+Maryland&gl=us&ll=38.997683,-77.220165&spn=0.00517,0.007467&t=h&z=17_______________________________________________Kenneth B. J. HartmanDirector, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Bethesda - Chevy Chase - North Bethesda - Potomac - Rockville 4805 Edgemoor Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814
o: 240-777-8206
f: 240-777-8211

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