Glenn Dale Citizens Association
January 15, 2008




Opening.   The meeting began at 7:50 with all officers present.


Treasurer Report:  Balance is $1680.91.




1.  We discussed the property homestead tax credit.  . 


2.  Wanda Brooks, Olsen’s Office sent us a newsletter.  It included the national harbor.  “Back to the Delta Project.”  Revised Master Plan is going on now.  Scholarship opportunity.  Bowie will have a City Council Environmental Work Session at Bowie City Hall on January 28, 2008.  Staff from Annapolis and Rockville and other incorporated cities will share what they are doing.





Background:  Although elections were originally scheduled for November, they had been postponed due to a lack of quorum in November.  At December meeting there was a quorum, but everyone agreed when Tom Howe suggested that a larger selection of nominees would probably be available if election were held in January.  Therefore, the key order of business at this meeting was to elect officers. 


Henry and all the officers indicated that they were willing to serve another year if there were no other volunteers.  From the floor, one member nominated Mary for President; but Mary declined.  Lil Becker then announced that she wants to be Secretary.   Jim Titus indicated that he would be willing to step down, and there was a short repartee about whether minutes will still be uploaded regularly, as well as the idea of a more extensive web site that Lil had pursued a few years ago.  Henry asked whether we are planning the transition before the election was held; Jim said that the dialogue was in effect the nominating speech.  


Henry brought up the point that the bylaws include two secretaries, the other one being a corresponding secretary.  He asked Jim if he would be willing to serve in that capacity so that he could take the minutes when Lil could not attend.  Jim said that he was willing to be corresponding Secretary if the duties of that office were limited to taking the minutes no more than three times a year, and with a week’s notice.  Henry said that those would be the duties.


There were no further nominations.  By acclimation, the results of the elections were:

President:  Henry Wixon

Vice President: Mary Vondrak

Secretary: Lil Becker

Corresponding (backup) Secretary: Jim Titus

Treasurer: John Shields






Old Business.


1.   Bell Station Tree Buffer.  We will have a presentation from Bill Chesley later during the meeting. 


2.  RSSJ Property:  Nothing new to report.  Glenn Dale Commons.  As it turns out, contrary to what we expected at the January meeting, the Glenn Dale Commons detailed site plan did not pass.  The developer and planning people have met a number of times.  Planners proposed that certain units be eliminated:  three townhouse units and three 2-over-2 condos (i.e. pairs of condos that look like a single 4-story townhouse), for a loss of 9 units.  Developer has not agreed to that yet. 

Last month, it seemed that there would be an interim recreation center.  Now it is not clear whether or not that will happen.  (The proposed detailed site plan presented to the planning board included an amendment that if townhouses are built before single family homes, the builder will provide a townhouse for recreation, at least temporarily.  It will conform to the disabilities act.  It would have an elevator so it would be accessible.)


3.  The buffer at Bell Station Road.  Mary Vondrak enumerated the various aspects of the proposed project in the site just south of Bell Station road.  First question:  Why the proposal for Leland Cypress in this buffer?   Because the historic home has been moved, the 50-ft buffer may no longer be mandatory; thus the leverage to keep the buffer may be less.  The primary leverage (if any) is that the owner wants a change in the zoning. 


At this point, there is a bit of a conundrum.  If the buffer is retained, Chesley will build a wall that may kill some of the trees anyway.  If grading instead of a retaining wall is pursued, and the landscape buffer is brought back, the existing trees will be lost for sure--but there will not be a wall and this over the long run we may have a more natural landscape over the long run.    The proposal is that if we go along with dropping the 50-ft buffer, maybe they keep trees in two clumps near the proposal.


Henry indicated that after we adjourned, we would have a presentation to explore this issue in greater detail.


We adjourned at 8:45 PM





(These are Jim Titus’ notes from the presentation—not part of the official minutes for the meeting.)


Mike Nagy and Russell Baker.  Here on the Zoglio Commercial Property.  This piece is at intersection of MD-193 and MD-450.  The entire triangle there is zoned commercial office.  The current new building will be an office condo, managed by Chesley.   Access will clearly be difficult given how close they are to the intersection.  SHA granted one point of access at the end of the property, near the entrance to the gas station.  There will be a connection to Fairwood office park.


Existing buildings have 107,000 square feet.  Initially, they were proposing 90,000 square foot building.  Chesley is thinking of perhaps a third medical building, around 60,000 square feet.  You need 5 parking spaces per 1000 feet.   The footprint would be similar to one more of the existing buildings.  To the community, one of the advantages (aside from having doctors nearby) is that the rushour impact is different from a regular office building.  The traffic studies do not consider this aspect.  This would be three stories with parking underneath.  Visually, impact less than existing buildings because the garages will be below the road elevation, unlike this.  Chesley also doing the Ivy Creek subdivision.  This is the headwaters of “Northwest Branch”  (actually Folly Branch).  All the ditches here are untreated.  One the things they offer is to capture existing storm water going into Lottsford Branch/Folly Branch.  They would use an earth dike across part of the property to create a bog.  They have done successful stormwater management systems. 


68 acres off-site would be draining into this area, so in effect they proposed to mitigate the runoff problems for 68 acres in addition to their own property.   This facility will be providing water-quality control as well for the Zoglio and Fairwood sites. 


Concerning road access:  Why does this property need road access to MD-450 even though it is dangerously close to the MD-193 intersection?  The answer is that the two buildings have separate owners, so there is a fire-safety requirement to have direct access.  There is also a traffic issue.  


They will have tree planting around the property.  The fact that these buildings are bought by doctors helps encourage trees because upscale doctors usually want a reasonably nice building.   Arborists recommend starting over if you are going to have a buffer, because pre-existing trees usually can not withstand the disruption from taking down the trees around them—fall over due to wind, dies, or both.  Hence they propose clearing and then provide a real wetland and new trees.