Friday, February 10, 2012
But Can They Build It?
Rock Creek Hills Park is unique among listed candidate sites for B-CC middle school #2 in that a "feasibility study" regarding the proposal to replace the park with a 3–4 story middle school complex has been completed. At Wednesday's meeting of the site selection advisory committee, Montgomery County Public Schools staff briefed committee members on the results of that study, without mentioning that all final feasibility study options require extensive & expensive regrading (for example, the athletic field would be dropped four feet) and the destruction of stands of specimen and significant trees, which would require Planning Board approval.
MCPS has not submitted a Forest Conservation Plan to the Planning Board, whose review is required and binding. An appropriate Forest Conservation Plan that preserves identified priority-one forest would result in 8.17 acres of buildable land, smaller than the MCPS-specified 10.1 acre minimum for a middle school (at Wednesday's meeting, the site of the former Lynbrook Elementary School was eliminated from consideration after its buildable area was found to be 8.5 acres).
Also at Wednesday's meeting, Parks Department staff reiterated Planning Board Chair Carrier's stated position that "parks are not free," and that compensation would be required for the loss of this very valuable asset.