STOP the PARK and RIDE
PROTECT the Agricultural Reserve!
David and Ruth Petke
If you would like to receive updated information about the project to include future meetings with the county regarding the Park and Ride, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very opposed to the Northern Damascus Park and Ride Lot planned for construction in a Residential setting!
This Park and Ride location is in opposition to the guidance provided in the June 2006 Damascus Master Plan (DMP)!
Montgomery County has contradicted the original vision of the 2006 Master Plan when they, at the last minute, negotiated the Park and Ride with the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer to accommodate parking for the church.
The first four bullet points in the Development Guidance for the Transition Area on the Northern side of Damascus as stated on page 25 of the approved Master Plan are as follows:
1. “Minimize impervious surfaces through environmentally sensitive site design techniques (for example, the use of shared driveways, pervious pavement, and narrow roads that still meet safety requirements).
2. Provide storm water management controls utilizing environmentally sensitive design techniques that avoid concentrating run off into high quantity flows, with a preference for on-lot quantity and quality treatment options (or alternatives that provide similar environmental benefits) and disconnected imperviousness design techniques, infiltration of runoff and open section roadways.
3. Design to allow views of protected open space and vistas of surrounding rural areas.
4. Protect sensitive environmental features, minimizing development impact.”
Additionally, this location is adjacent to recommended Legacy Open Space area and as such is considered a high priority for environmental protection. If anyone other than the County was trying to do this development it would fail in order to protect the Little Bennett Creek headwaters. Pages 80-81 of the Master Plan recommends against this type of disturbance.
“Legacy Open Space Program
Montgomery County’s Legacy Open Space Program is a key component to achieving the environmental and open space conservation goals expressed in the Damascus Master Plan including preservation of open space for agriculture and natural resources protection, protection of drinking water quality in the Patuxent reservoirs, and protection of rural vistas.” DMP pg.80
As you can see by this map from page 82 of the Master Plan, the planned site of the Park and Ride borders on Legacy Open Space.
This Parking Lot is tantamount to constructing a commercial use adjacent to an environmentally protected area. This kind of intrusion was STOPPED in Phase Four of Clarksburg development just last year!
This Park and Ride will destroy more than an acre of Forestation within the primary targeted property – these trees are typically forty feet or more in height. There are also some remarkable old Sycamore Trees, more than 60 feet in height, that will be cut down for the construction of the Park and Ride.
Wild life, to include deer, foxes, box turtles, wild turkeys, and many others, will become homeless with the construction of the Park and Ride.
No Park and Ride should be located in a Residential Neighborhood!
The proposed site of the Park and Ride is located in the heart of a Linear Residential Neighborhood consisting of houses facing Route 27 with yards backing to beautiful fields and wooded areas.
Placing a 4+ acre Park and Ride with spaces for 250 cars complete with high intensity lights, buses, cars, and trucks coming and going all day and into the evening is not consistent with a Residential Neighborhood or the vision of the 2006 Damascus Master Plan to protect and preserve the rural open spaces of this Transitional Area.
The March 13, 2008 drawing of the planned Park and Ride consumes the complete 4.02 acre at 27100 Ridge Road and takes a third to a half an acre of the adjacent property at 27020 Ridge Road - for a total of nearly 4.5 acres.
With 250 parking spaces and a 4.5 acre footprint, this project has a significantly larger impact on the local rural residential area than what was envisioned only two years earlier in the 2006 Damascus Master Plan. Page 62 of the approved Master Plan says, “This lot should be about two acres in size and have no fewer than 200 spaces.” The proposed Park and Ride does not comply with the Master Plan. According to the blue print drawn up in March 2008, the Park and Ride will be more than twice the area described in the Master Plan. This will then have twice the impervious surface and twice the impact on the Legacy Open Space and the Residential Neighborhood.
Park and Ride Lots should be in commercial areas where this type of lighting and traffic density are acceptable; not in a Residential Neighborhood. Placing this Park and Ride in the middle of a residential neighborhood is like building a truck stop/gas station complex in the middle of a housing development.
Montgomery County has NO Park and Rides of this large capacity located in a Residential Neighborhood.
This Park and Ride will have Significantly Negative Impacts on Northern Damascus, some are listed below:
This will create a Traffic Nightmare for the Park and Ride Neighbors. There will be nearly 250 additional automobiles, plus Montgomery County Transit Buses – the Buses will run every 30 minutes from 5AM to 9PM in and out of our Residential Neighborhood.
A Much Higher Ambient Light Level will be ever present in this Residential Neighborhood. This will be very detrimental to viewing the stars that can be seen in the dark night sky in northern Damascus now.
Crime will increase in this Residential area. Due to unknown people coming and going in the midst of a Residential Neighborhood, children will not be safe to play in their own yards.
Wild Life will be impacted. Deer, foxes, wild turkeys, squirrels and box turtles are just a few of the animals that call this neighborhood home.
Who Gains / Who Loses by the construction of this Park and Ride?
We understand that a solution needs to be found, however, placing this enormous Park and Ride in a Residential Neighborhood that backs to Legacy Open Space is not the right answer for Damascus as documented by the approved 2006 Master Plan!
We welcome your comments regarding the Park and Ride. For information regarding upcoming public meetings, please contact us at email@example.com