Neighborhood News

WWW.EBCA.ORG JAN/FEB 2009
Representing the 1200 households North of East-West Highway, South of Jones Bridge Road, East of Wisconsin Avenue and West of Columbia Country Club.

President’s Notebook
By Ilaya Hopkins, President
We’re wrapping up the old, ringing in the new. The last general membership meeting of the year followed our new tradition of hosting a cookie exchange before the meeting. We have some terrific bakers in the neighborhood and those present got to sample the delights. Tori Hall arranged to have all the supplies there to make trays for our local fire (Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Old Georgetown Road/Cedar Lane), police (District 2) and rescue (BCC Rescue) squads. We owe these folks plenty so it is a nice opportunity to spread the holiday cheer. The business meeting was an update on current issues – education and the Purple Line in particular. Minutes from the meeting are posted on our website, www.ebca.org. Our next EBCA general membership meeting will be March 18th at the Lynnbrook Recreation Center building on Newdale Road. Looking ahead, 2009 has a lot of promise. EBCA will continue to follow issues of importance in our community such as elementary school assignments, decisions on the Purple Line, the fate of the Lynnbrook Recreation Center and the transportation infrastructure around National Naval Medical Center, home of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. We will hold elections for EBCA officer positions at the May 20th meeting. If you have interest in any area of community leadership, let us know by sending an email or posting it on the EBCA message board. In addition to having everyone pay their dues, we welcome input and involvement from as many residents as possible. If you love to plan events that are important to our community, we need you on the Social Committee. Traditionally, events include the Community Yard Sale, Labor Day Picnic, Halloween Parade, happy hours and other social gatherings. The possibilities are many! It is a fun way to get to know your neighbors and get involved in the community. For more information, contact president@ebca.org. Our Neighborhood News needs a few good neighbors to help with content and production. If you have a few hours to spare and are interested in helping with this vital link to our neighbors, please contact president@ebca.org or newsletter@ebca.org. Thanks to you all for ongoing support. Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Elementary School Choice
By Monica Hayes, Education Chair
In September, EBCA mailed surveys to 1280 households in our community to ensure we could represent the community’s views on elementary school options for our neighborhood. The survey was also available at three parks and was distributed at neighborhood events, including the Halloween parade. Flyers were posted, and reminders were included in the EBCA newsletter and email list, and it was available on the EBCA website during September and October. As of October 31st we received 315 responses. East Bethesda is very fortunate that all four elementary schools our children attend are excellent, and community residents showed support for each of these schools in the survey. However, as you can see below, less than 3% of our Continued on page 2...

Coming Up Next
General Membership Meeting Wednesday, March 18th, 8 p.m. Lynnbrook Recreation Center

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Neighborhood News

J/F 2009

School Transfer Season Underway
By Monica Hayes, Education Chair
Parents wishing to transfer their children from their assigned public school for the 2009-2010 school year may apply to do so between February 1st and April 1st. Students in Montgomery County Public Schools are assigned based on their place of residence or in accordance with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and are expected to attend their assigned school. Changes, however, from one school to another are permitted for students who are exempt or who are granted a change of school assignment based upon unique hardship. East Bethesda’s assigned track for elementary school is Rosemary Hills Primary School (a kindergarten through second grade school) for kindergarten through second grade, and Bethesda Elementary (a kindergarten through fifth grade school) for grades three through five. East Bethesda’s assigned secondary schools are Westland Middle School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) has rescinded the agreement made in 2000 with our community that had allowed space available flexible transfer options for elementary school assignments. However, MCPS clarified that in addition to geographic assignments, any student attending Rosemary Hills Elementary School has a choice of matriculation to the assigned paired school or to another of the paired schools in the cluster. The Board initiated this option in 1983 when it acted to establish school pairings. EBCA residents who would like to request their child attend either North Chevy Chase or Chevy Chase Elementary Schools in third grade should contact Rosemary Hills Elementary School for information on accessing those options. Parents who would like to request transfers to Bethesda Elementary, or other school transfer options, may do so using the standard MCPS transfer process. MCPS student transfer information can be found on the MCPS website at: www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/ info/transfer.shtm. Parents requesting sibling transfers to Bethesda Elementary should also refer to Supplement A of the MCPS FY 2010 Capital Improvements Program for restrictions on this option. Supplement A is posted on the EBCA website Local Education page and can be found on the MCPS website at: www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/ departments/planning/PDF/ CIP10SupplementA.pdf.

School Choice
Continued from page 1... community prefers our assigned school track of Rosemary Hills K-2 then Bethesda ES 3-5. This is not surprising, as virtually all East Bethesda residents have traditionally taken advantaged of the flexible transfer options, formerly available in the 2000 agreement between Montgomery County Public Schools and our community. The survey also showed that an overwhelming majority of respondents, about 67%, prefer Bethesda ES from kindergarten to 5th grade as the assigned school track for our community. Kenneth Tercyak, a neighborhood resident with training in population science and survey methods, led the survey data entry, analysis and reporting effort. Ken and his staff also developed an “EBCA School Assessment Survey Final Report” which is available on the EBCA website, www.ebca.org. Ken will summarize the survey findings for our community at the March 18th general membership meeting. Ilaya Hopkins, President David Saltzman, 1st Vice President Tori Hall, 2nd Vice President A.B. Carneal, Recording Secretary Jack Hayes, Treasurer Dan Fox, Immediate Past President Andy O’Hare, Crescent Trail Monica Hayes, Education Rebecca Fayed , Membership Eleanor Rice, NIH Liaison Kevin Kraus, Parks & Playgrounds Social Events, Vacant Carmen Abrams & Dorian Patchin, Website Leslie Weber, Welcome Packets

East Bethesda Citizens Association, Inc. PO Box 41020 Bethesda, MD 20824 www.ebca.org
Neighborhood News Jay Briar, Editor newsletter@ebca.org Sponsorship, Vacant sponsorship@ebca.org

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Neighborhood News

J/F 2009

EBCA Holiday Marianne & Caroline Duffy Remembered Cookie Exchange
By Tori Hall, Vice President
On December 4th, a group of East Bethesda mothers planted over 100 flowering bulbs at Lynnbrook Park in memory of Marianne and Caroline Duffy, former longtime residents of East Bethesda who died in a car accident last February. The mothers chose to remember the Duffys at Lynnbrook Park because their families had played at the playground so often with the Duffys. The daffodils and anemones are self-propagating and should multiply over the years. The bulbs were planted on the bank facing the intersection of Newdale Road and Lynbrook Drive, in an area somewhat protected from mowing and foot traffic. Two memorial benches are planned for the grounds of Blessed Sacrament Elementary School, where Caroline Duffy attended, as well as a luminary event at the school on February 18th and a memorial mass on February 22th, both open to all friends and neighbors of the Duffys.

Neighbors shared their holiday treats in December, just before the general membership meeting.

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Neighborhood News

J/F 2009

Neighborhood Roundup
Imagination Stage The clock ticks as playwrights, directors and actors from professional Washington, D.C. theatres craft ten-minute plays in just 24 hours, culminating in an evening of unpredictable, one-of-akind theatre. The production will take place on Saturday, February 7th at 8:00 p.m. at the Imagination Stage. Tickets are $10.00 and more information is available at www.bethesda.org/arts/Play-In-ADay/play-in-a-day.htm. Examiner Newspaper Some neighbors have expressed concern about the unsolicited delivery of the Examiner Newspaper. Individual households are not able to opt out of delivery but the entire neighborhood has that option. Subsequently, individual households can then call to have delivery resumed. Papers are often delivered to houses that are vacant or where the owners are on vacation. Additionally, the amount of paper and plastic used for delivery may be inconsistent with the area’s commitment to going “green.” This issue will be taken up at the next General Membership Meeting. If you have comments, please email Marney Bruce at marneyb@earthlink.net. Park Police Number If you see suspicious activity around the playground or the recreation building on Newdale Road, please call the Park Police at 301-949-8010. For more information, visit their website at www.montgomeryparks.org. A wealth of information about our region and Montgomery County government can be found at the BCC Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda or online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ bcc. Sign up for e-subscriptions and receive email announcements about county information. East Bethesda Garden Club The next meeting of the East Bethesda Garden Club will be February 10th at 7:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be David N. Wesley, ISA Certified Arborist. He will be discussing appropriate urban trees, tree and shrub care, pruning, nutrition and insect/ disease control, and organic treatment options. Meetings are at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month and guests are always welcome. For more information about the EBGC, contact Nancy at 301-656-8754. Parking Permits East Bethesda Parking Permits that expired in 2008 are valid through January 31, 2009. If you are a current permit holder, you should have received a renewal application in the mail. The Cheltenham Parking Garage office also issues permits. You should have your car registration with you. The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, call 240-777-8770. BCC Regional Services Center Lynnbrook Tennis Courts Bob Kane, Construction Manager for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), informs EBCA that the tennis courts at Lynnbrook Park were temporarily lined for play until next spring when the weather will be warm enough to apply the regular color coat system: three coats of latex paint mixed with sand. They were unable to complete the color coat this fall as the pine needles, leaves and falling temperatures inhibited the work. He anticipates completion in April. Childcare Center The staff and parents at Lynbrook Childcare Center ask that neighbors in East Bethesda be mindful of small children and the staff who take care of them. The children are frequently outside in the tot lot and on the blacktop. If you bring your dog to the area, please have it on a leash and clean up after your pet. Sadly, not everyone does this on a regular basis and it makes for unpleasant experiences for all involved. Thanks for your cooperation on this. Childcare Co-op As part of the war effort during World War II, neighbors in East Bethesda started a babysitting coop. In addition to providing much needed help, the coop was an incredible community builder. It was active until recently. If you are interested in helping to start it up again, please send an email to president@ebca.org.

ON FACEBOOK? JOIN THE EBCA GROUP!

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Neighborhood News
By Chuck Sullivan

J/F 2009

Council Changes Zoning Requirements
The County Council recently passed Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 08-11 sponsored by our Council representative Roger Berliner which regulates the size of home improvements, specifically those like East Bethesda. This legislation ties the allowable lot coverage to the size of the lot rather than the zone. Most of the lots in East Bethesda are zoned R-60 and were previously allowed lot coverage of 35%. The new regulations reduce the allowable lot coverage to 30% for lots 6,000 square feet or less. This is a reduction of 17%, or 300 square feet, of home improvements. There is a sliding scale based on the lot size: the larger the property, the less allowable lot coverage. The ZTA also revises the method of calculating the Established Building Line which affects the front yard setback and requires the County to standardize the sloping lot criteria. The changes apply to any building permit submitted after April 28, 2009. The ZTA also includes certain exemptions and grandfathering clauses. Further information about how this legislation will impact your property is available at www.renewingmontgomery.com. This website also provides links to review the legislation and other pending Council actions related to home improvements. Renewing Montgomery is a communication initiative providing information on the challenges associated with home improvements in established neighborhoods. Renewing Montgomery made a presentation at the May 2007 EBCA general membership meeting. The Council is now deliberating Bill 15-08. This Bill would require all applicants to notify all adjacent and confronting property owners 30 days before applying for a building permit, and provide verification to the County that the notification occurred prior to obtaining a building permit. The notification must include a description of the proposed improvements. Currently there is a notification requirement for demolition permits and a 30 day appeal period for all building permits. The Council is scheduled to vote on the Bill January 27, 2009. Whether you support or oppose this legislation, you should express your opinion to the Council President at councilmember.andrews@montgomerycountymd.gov.

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Neighborhood News

J/F 2009

THERE’S MORE ABOUT EBCA ON OUR WEBSITE: WWW.EBCA.ORG
Have you received your invitation? No need to wait, anyone can register with the EBCA website! If you provided your email address when you paid your EBCA membership dues, you should have received an invitation to register at the EBCA website to receive important e-Alert messages regarding events and important topics. If you haven’t received the invitation, no need to worry. Just go to www.ebca.org and provide your name and email in the box on the upper right corner. One of the cool new features on our website, www.ebca.org, is the EBCA Message Board. This is a great way for you to share information with your neighbors. There are a variety of categories – restaurant reviews, EBCA-cycle (like FreeCycle in our neighborhood), general information and upcoming events. Anyone is welcome to post on this part of the website. Check out the postings and provide some of your own. Recent postings are also on the home page. Comments are always welcome: webmaster@ebca.org.

Recent Home Closings
4708 Rosedale Avenue 4306 Sleaford Avenue 4406 Highland Avenue 4404 Chestnut Street 4520 North Chelsea Lane 4606 North Chelsea Lane 4606 Highland Avenue 8607 Terrace Garden Way 4507 Chestnut Avenue 4414 West Virginia Avenue 4414 Rosedale Avenue 4319 Chestnut Street 8107 Kentbury Drive $700,000 $718,000 $745,000 $749,000 $749,500 $828,750 $839,900 $979,000 $1,135,000 $1,170,000 $1,200,000 $1,508,050 $1,950,000

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Neighborhood News

J/F 2009

Updates from Councilmember Berliner
The following are excerpts from the Berliner Brief, distributed by District 1 Councilmember Roger Berliner. On December 2, Councilmember Phil Andrews (District 3) was elected Council President and my colleagues honored me by electing me Council Vice President. For my District 1 constituents, the real significance of being elected Vice President is that, if tradition holds, I am in a position to become Council President a year from now. This marks the first time in the history of District 1 that your representative on the Council has held such a leadership position. The County is engaged in a range of activities with an eye to meeting the county’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. As a result of the legislation the County Council passed in April, the County has convened a Sustainability Working Group tasked with developing a Climate Action Plan for Montgomery County. It consists of 15 government and regional organization representatives and 11 public members with expertise in areas such as business, communications, land use/ building, clean energy, water quality, and habitat protection. The Emergency Medical Services Transport Fee Bill, also called the “ambulance fee,” was proposed by the County Executive as part of the FY 2009 County Operating Budget. After considerable reflection, I concluded that I could not support such a fee at this time. As a result, I joined with Council President Andrews to table the County Executive's proposed bill. In September, the State of Maryland announced massive reductions in its Consolidated Transportation Program. As a result, Montgomery County faces over $100 million in local transportation spending cuts, affecting a number of high priority projects. BRACrelated spending was cut by $16 million, amounting to a 30 percent funding reduction for planned intersection upgrades including Wisconsin Avenue at Cedar Lane, Wisconsin Avenue at Jones Bridge Road, Connecticut Avenue at Jones Bridge Road, and Cedar Lane at Old Georgetown Road.

Advocate for the best schools for East Bethesda! Become a member of EBCA today!
Please support our neighborhood activities, this newsletter, and the community activism that makes East Bethesda one of the most desirable places in which to invest and raise a family. $15 per member, but additional contributions are always welcome. EBCA - Membership P.O. Box 41020 Bethesda, MD 20824 Members _____________________________________ Address _____________________________________ Phone _____________________________________ E-mail _____________________________________ Number of Members _____ x $15 each = $_____ EBCA will not share your contact information with anyone outside of the organization.

Inside This Issue
Education Update .................... 1 Neighborhood Roundup ........... 4 Zoning Changes........................ 5 County Council Update............ 7

Did you know that this newsletter is also available online? See www.ebca.org for this and past issues.