Glenn Dale Citizens Association

3. Glenn Dale Commons. About 73 single houses near Northern Avenue parcel. Called "townhomes", they are really double decked condos that look like townhouses. This would mean 204 units. There is some indication that this higher zoning is contingent on a TDR? We are unsure, but we think that the density of the condos is not dependent on the TDR, but the proposed 602 units of senior housing does require the TDR?

4. BG&E Plans to cut down all the trees along the WB&A Trail from Lincoln-Vista to where the large transmission lines cross the trail near mile 4.5.

Guest: Mike Fowler of BG&E/Constellation Energy. This power company has merged with Florida Power and Light. BG&E is the oldest utility in the United States. We had a brief discussion of deregulation.

Transmission line paralleling WB&A Trail. This property is owned by Park and Planning. The transmission line serves 24,000 people. The power company can not allow interference by tress. There have been a number of power outages from such interference. Here, the problem is not tress falling on the lines, but rather sagging lines touching the branches. BG&E always trims on a 5-year cycle—but this time the effort will be more substantial. BG&E will be clear-cutting all the land within its easement. BG&E will contribute funds for Park and Planning to plant relatively shorter trees during Fall 2006. They have to wait a year, because the natural trees will keep coming back for a time, and BG&E wants to just mow the area until those trees are gone for good.

<> BG&E talked to all property owners, and visited us as part of effort to try to alert the general user. They also cut trees on private property.  Trees may remain along the WB&A in a few places between mile 0 and 4.5, because occasionally the utility right of way diverts from the old railroad bed that the trail follows.  Also, in some cases the BG&E easement is less than 100 feet wide.  (For example, the trees between Mockingbird Lane and the WB&A, just east of the gravel portion of Mockingbird Lane, has signs suggesting a tree conservation area--it would anaomalous to have a tree conservation area if BG&E is going to clear-cut it.  Mike said that they don’t plan to mark it, or flag, the areas that will be cut.  Park and planning has not really warned users.

Note:   Residents and political leaders in Virginia have been much less accepting of proposed tree cutting along a similar trail.  Google has 47 documents if you  search  "W&OD" and "cut trees."   Aside from the fact that W&OD is a far more popular trail than WB&A, it may be in the long-term interests of trail users to not fight BG&E.   Some of the best available corridors for cost-effective bike trails in Maryland are along power company rights-of-way.  The power companies are more likely to be open to trails along those corridors, if they are able to co-exist without major battles.  Although trees make for better scenery and shade during summer, the County has been unable to keep its trails free of branches and leaves; the poorer sceneary may have the silver lining of a better trail surface.


BG&E. Baltimore Gas and Electric

TDR. Transferable Development Right

WB&A. Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis Railroad