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October 20 12-4pm
About the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee
The Rustic Roads Program preserves Montgomery County’s historic and scenic roadways that reflect the agricultural character and rural origins of the County. The members of the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee oversee the program, and advise the County Executive, Council and Planning Board on matters affecting the Rustic Roads.
Seven citizen members (three farmers, two civic association members, a member with knowledge of roadway engineering and a member with knowledge of rural preservation techniques) serve on the committee, together with a representative appointed by the Planning Board and staff provided by the County Executive. The members review Master Plan designations of the roads, development proposals, public projects such as bridge replacements, and they promote public awareness and knowledge of the roads.
Keeping access to the Potomac River open is critically important to the millions of people who live throughout this iconic watershed," said Caroline Taylor, Executive Director of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. "We applaud this effort to require the Trump Administration to conduct an open public process to ensure the Potomac River community's voice is heard."
Montgomery County's Ag Reserve, comprised of nearly 106,000 acres, is one-third of the County's land mass and provides local food/fiber, environmental and economic benefits for our region. No surprise then, that voters are interested to hear what both incumbents and seat seekers have to say about their vision for and thoughts about this special place.
Much like in the 2014 election, MCA has again put 9 questions about the Reserve, land use, farming, water quality and transportation to the many candidates vying to represent Montgomery County at the local and state level. As a 501c3 nonprofit - MCA can not endorse but we seek to provide information on where the candidates stand.
Below are all the candidates in the general election (see surveys with all primary candidates here). Candidates who returned the survey by the deadline have their unedited results linked below in red. We are grateful to those who took the time in the busy election season. Check your voting status and find your sample ballot here.
(*We sent Ms. Floreen our survey questions when she entered the County Executive Race after the primary in an attempt to get the views of all Executive Candidates. All other surveys were completed before the primary election)
County Council District 1
House of Delegates
Anne R. Kaiser
Michael A. Ostroff
Brian J. Feldman
House of Delegates
Cheryl C. Kagan
Josephine J. Wang
House of Delegates
Kumar P. Barve
Julie Palakovich Carr
County Council At-Large
Chris P. Fiotes, Jr.
County Council District 2
County Council District 3
County Council District 4
Susan C. Lee
House of Delegates
House of Delegates
House of Delegates
Bringing urban and suburban visitors to these farms to experience our way of life is enjoyable for all concerned. The zoning that controls the Agricultural Reserve requires farms to produce a significant portion of the products that they sell to visitors. The idea of waiving this requirement for alcohol producers is unfair to the many farmers who have worked to create their businesses in keeping with the environment. And it will put all of the agricultural lifestyle we have created at risk. - Letter from the Town Commissioners of Barnesville - who have made a resolution opposing the ZTA
Having been a “value added” farmer in Montgomery County for over 30 years, I can attest to the need to allow farmers some zoning flexibility to serve their customers, to responsibly shepherd their land, and to meet their economic needs. However, there is always the temptation to use farmland as an inexpensive alternative to commercially or industrially zoned land. Safeguards should be built into this amendment to ensure that it will benefit farmers who actually are actually cultivating the soil and are adding value to their own products on their own land. - Nick Maravell- Nick's Organic Farm Read More
Agritourism can be an important economic as well as regional community-building activity, but we are very sensitive to the potential for jumping onto this bandwagon without thoroughly thinking through what does and does not make sense. Let’s not undermine the very intention of preserving a functioning agricultural landscape by assuming that what looks like open space out here is available for new businesses that do not actually engage in agriculture related to their products.- Lee Langstaff, Shepherd's Hey Read More
This kind of slow erosion to disconnected uses has always been one of the biggest threats to the integrity of the Ag Reserve, and therefore to sustaining it as a genuine agricultural resource for the country. - Scott Fossler, Former County Council Member Former Mayor of Chevy Chase Read More
This is a hasty and poorly thought out proposal to replace farming with an industrial use contrary to protecting the Agricultural Reserve. In addition to violating Reserve Master Plan provisions, the proposed ZTA provides no environmental safeguards. Where are the needed protections for soil, streams, forest and wetlands? How will sewer and water be provided? What about SW management and setbacks from legitimate farm uses? In promoting this ZTA, the Council would be treating the land we've reserved for farming as a commodity suitable for a commercial enterprise that violates the very reason we preserved so much of Montgomery County for farming. - Conservation Montgomery Read More
We support the long term goals of bringing thoughtful economic development that aligns well with the nature of the Agricultural Reserve, but not without a comprehensive and transparent vetting process of the ancillary effects in the local community, and the financial impacts on Montgomery County at large. The rush to do this before newly elected officials have a chance to provide input and shape the plan, especially a newly elected District 1 Council member, concerns us; likewise the lack of an opportunity for many stakeholders to testify. Erosion of the Ag Reserve is a very real threat. A little caution now could prevent onerous and expensive remediation down the road.
- District 1 Neighbors Read More
With regard to 18-03, I urge caution. The ZTA seems well-intended as one means of providing additional sources of income to farmers, but as drafted, is fraught with, I hope unintended, potentially adverse consequences. Though framed as an accessory use, an enterprises such as a winery, brewery, or distillery could become the primary use, especially if combined with an event venue. This would be contrary to the AROS plan and, indeed, could be detrimental to the character of the Reserve and, thus, no boon to Agrotourism, one of its objectives, as well as harmful to farming adjacent lands. It seems to me the problems can and should be fixed. - Dr. Royce Hanson, Former Chair of MNCPPC, Architect of the Ag Reserve Read More
Update: At the Council Work session on 9/18 despite strong concerns and remaining questions communicated by several council members including Roger Berliner, Nancy Navarro, and Sydney Katz, The council did not agree to defer passage of this zoning change until the taxpayer funded agri-tourism study is complete in early 2019. They opted instead to press forward with some possibility of amendments. Stay tuned. There is still time to weigh in and please do. For those who have written in, many thanks and you may want to respond to the email that you received from Councilmember Riemer. We've seen some good responses with thoughtful remaining questions and concerns. Scroll down for the original action alert.
While no one is actively trying to use and throw away more stuff on purpose, some of us more than others are succeeding in reducing, reusing and recycling the physical items that come into our lives and this reduction in waste is great. But where do you aim your efforts to really make a dent in creating less waste, knowing that the impacts of our waste already cast a long shadow on our shared world?
What do these two groups of bikers have in common? There is a route for both of them to enjoy in the 11th Annual Ride for the Reserve! With Routes from 10-58 miles and farm refreshment stops along the way there is something for everyone and everyone ends up at the gourmet picnic at Kingsbury's Orchard. New this year - there are options to ride as a team or be a 'virtual rider' and help fundraise to meet our goal.
Alcohol production/big event venues in AR and rural residential zones: ✔️by PHED Committee under proposed ZTA 18-03.
MCA attended both Council Committee sessions. The following responds to the Committee action and follow-up correspondence that the many letter writers (THANK YOU!) have received from Committee members. Please watch for an upcoming action alert from us prior to the full hearing on this matter that will take place, we are told, in September. More emails, calls etc. will be needed.
Thanks to all our Volunteers who did everything from parking to check in to setting up Jenga. They also helped construct the stage and test it out with incredible moves afterward:
Master Plan Update
Take Action Now
Ten Mile Creek
Local Food Connection
Community Supported Agriculture
Restaurants & Retail
Artists of the Reserve
Montgomery Countryside Alliance
P.O Box 24, Poolesville, MD 20837
301-461-9831 • firstname.lastname@example.org
MCA is proud to announce that we have been once again recognized as one of the best small charities in the D.C. region by Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. A panel of 110 expert reviewers from area foundations, corporate giving programs, and peer non-profit organizations evaluated 270 applications.
MCA is known as an effective and innovative non-profit whose efforts to preserve and promote Montgomery County’s nationally recognized 93,000 acre Ag Reserve have brought increased public and governmental support of local food production and farmland and open space preservation. Most importantly, MCA’s efforts are putting more farmers on the ground and keeping them there.