Residents Voice Concerns at Brickyard Lot's Public Meeting

Many frustrated citizens got to sound off about the future of a 20-acre lot on Brickyard Road in Potomac.

Many Montgomery County residents got a chance to express their opinions about the future of a and their discontent with the government’s process at a public meeting on Monday night, but many felt it was too little too late. 

In early March, the Board of Education currently owned by Nick Maravell, who has done organic farming on the lot behind his house on Brickyard Road for 31 years. The county is signing a lease with Montgomery County Schools on Tuesday that will allow the county to send out requests for proposals in hopes of building soccer fields on the land, said Director of the Department of General Services, David Dise.

Monday’s meeting at was the first opportunity for many residents to express their support or opposition of the soccer fields. However, many expressed frustration that their opinions were not taken into consideration in Montgomery County’s process until this point.

“Our request would be that the process be stayed, that the contacts be put on hold, they should not be signed this week,” said Dolores Milmoe of the Audubon Naturalist Society. “The RFP should not go out and we should insist on an appropriate process to determine the fate of that land.”

While a vast majority of the attendees expressed concerns about the development of soccer fields on the lot, two people spoke out in support of soccer fields. One of the people in favor of the fields was Doug Schuessler, the Executive Director of MSI Soccer—a soccer league that has been accused of knowing about the county’s intentions before Maravell was informed. 

“The reality is that we do have far too few fields,” said Schuessler, who told the crowd that he first heard about the county’s idea to build soccer fields on the land at the same time Maravell did. “There would be no point in trying to find opportunities to build new fields if we didn’t need them.”

At this point, county officials will meet and talk about different options, seek a traffic impact study and send out request for proposal for a private organization to fund, design, construct and maintain the fields, Dise said.

dennisadams123 April 05, 2011 at 07:09 AM
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. Walt disney said that. Best place to learn now a days is called "High Speed University" article by a famous editor check it out.
Maria Fusco April 05, 2011 at 11:46 AM
I don't understand your comment ~ I understand that there were many informed speakers, and that many were saying that they learned a lot about the importance organic farming. I also understand that by end of mtg, somehow slipped out that the lease was being signed this morning, perhaps has already been signed.
SatJiwan Ikle-Khalsa April 07, 2011 at 11:19 PM
wow. with a room full of OPPONENTS (90% or more in favor of keeping the farm), your video clip highlights 3 proponents (county, soccer field builder, soccer association) and only 2 opponents (Milmoe and Clark). the efforts to be "fair and balanced" give your viewers the wrong -- very wrong -- impression. the text was equally lacking (2 proponents to 1 opponent). i was inside the standing room only cafeteria for part of the meeting and saw no fewer than 15 people speaking in favor of saving the organic farm, with over a hundred supporters in the room.
Sarah Beth Hensley April 08, 2011 at 02:13 PM
SatJiwan, I apologize if you think I gave the wrong impression. That was certainly not my intention. You can certainly take what you would like from both the video and text; however, I wanted to show both sides to the story when it came to public comments. I used many shots of signage against the soccer fields and in favor of Nick's Organic Farm to show the strong support in the room. As for the sources in the video, I included three people who supported Nick's Farm (Barnes, Milmoe and Clark), two who were in favor of the soccer fields and one voice from Montgomery County. And with the text, I though sentences like, "While a vast majority of the attendees expressed concerns about the development of soccer fields on the lot, two people spoke out in support of soccer fields," described pretty clearly that most of the people were there is support of the organic farm. Thanks for taking the time to read Potomac Patch and, as always, we welcome your feedback.


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