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Brickyard Road Controversy Goes Back To Court

Is Montgomery County's lease with the Montgomery County school board legal?

It’s been a quiet couple of months since a judge put a hold on the development of soccer fields on Potomac land currently housing a 30-year-old organic farm. But today, players in the Brickyard Road controversy head back to battle.

A Circuit Court judge is expected to decide one of the issues in the dispute—whether the Montgomery County School Board acted within its rights to lease the land to Montgomery County.

The Brickyard Soccer Field Project, headed by the county, would turn the land now occupied by the farm into a soccer field. 

The county is in dispute with citizen groups and residents over use of the land, the legality of the county’s decision to develop the soccer fields, and the transparency of its actions.

One of those questions – the legality of the decision – could finally be answered today when Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenburg decides whether the local school board acted within its rights to lease the land to the county to turn into soccer fields. The case is an appeal of an earlier Maryland State Board of Education decision siding with the school board in support of its lease with Montgomery County.

In August, Greenburg granted a stay on the land and the Brickyard Soccer Field Project, halting plans for Montgomery County to take back organic farmer Nick Maravell's farm on the land, as the appeal of school board decisions played out. The decision came hours after Gov. Martin O'Malley issued a statement on the controversy in favor of the organic farm.

It's a complicated issue. Check out our past stories on the Brickyard Road controversy here.

David Epstein February 09, 2013 at 12:03 AM
The land should have been sold either as individual lots or to one or two developers. This land will never be used for a school, there is no evidnce that we need more soccer fields, and the soccerplex is not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars. The county should also be publicizing the fact that the Avenel Sewage Treatment Plant will never be built and start an open discussion of that land. Maybe these two subjects should be discussed together. While we are at it, why doesn't the PGA have to pay property taxes at a rate more commensurate with what homeowners pay.

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