Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is Leave the Zone Alone the New No Train on Wayne?


It may not be common knowledge to outsiders, but along with being required by law to own a second generation Prius with an Obama bumper sticker, all residents of the neighborhoods immediately surrounding downtown Silver Spring must clearly display yard signs supporting/opposing at least one local issue.

Based on my recent observations, it would appear that "Leave the Zone Alone" is the new NIMBY yard sign du jour.

If, unlike me, you don't happen to live in the Seven Oaks-Evanswood neighborhood, you probably wouldn't know what the hell this means. Even if you inspected the sign closely, you'd probably still have to Google "R-60". Rather than being an obscure droid from the original Star Wars films that George Lucas dredged up to sell more action figures, it's actually one-family residential zoning in Montgomery County.

Sure, the phrase rhymes, but what does it mean to the citizen who lives his life without joining the local listserv (God forbid). How is he to interpret this message? Are you upset the ESPN Zone closed? Is someone messing with the Langley Park AutoZone? At least be clever and upload a "Leave Britney Alone" parody video to YouTube. Or how about one with an enraged Hitler learning about the rezoning of the Chelsea school site? I'd link to that one in a heartbeat.

Personally, I find that this signage falls short of the standard set by No Train on Wayne. I may not agree with that particular position*, but at least with that sign everyone got the message: You don't want no damn train to be on Wayne. That and purple is a much friendlier color. The red and black color scheme of this new sign is just so angry.

(My memory may be hazy, but I swear I once saw a sign where someone had covered up the word "NO" so that the sign just read "Train on Wayne", which made me laugh. Or it didn't. What would have definitely made me snicker is if a pro-purple line group had produced a sign that read "Run a Train on Wayne". Of course, this would be slightly less amusing were your name Wayne.)

I guess it's still better than "Access for All". I suppose nothing really rhymes with bridge, though. Points for anyone who can come up with a good pro/anti-library bridge rhyme.



*After commuting from downtown Bethesda via East West Highway a couple times in the past few weeks, I have come to better appreciate the urgent need for the Purple Line.



35 comments:

Terry in Silver Spring said...

So, what IS the zone?

On another subject, does anyone know what's coming into that building on Georgia Ave with the tile roof at the intersection with the new Montgomery College building?

Sligo said...

The Zone is the residental zoning for the site of the (former) Chelsea School.

Regarding the other building, it's going to become apartments.

Anonymous said...

Library bridge: "Rent, don't vent." MoCo's missing a great opportunity here to add to the massive body of dumb decision making in its portfolio. They should scrap the bridge proposal and open up a golf cart rental facility. People could use the carts to get back and forth across Wayne. MoCo could also close off Ellsworth to auto traffic and make it a golf cart and pedestrian-only zone.

dan reed! said...

The zone is R-60 (single-family homes), as it says on the sign. Developer EYA (they built the townhouses at 2nd & Colesville) wants to rezone it to RT-15, or townhouses. You can see images of the proposed development, and comments from neighbors who support and oppose it, here.

Anonymous said...

All this Nimbyism is making me wonder why I even chose to live near downtown Silver Spring in the first place. From what I understand Silver Spring has improved dramatically from the 80s and 90s. People, let it continue to improve for crying out loud!!!!

Bridge: Don't be petty just cross the street already!

Robert said...

The library bridge is what we need.
"Access for All," yes indeed!

-----------------
"Anonymous" should try crossing the five lanes of Wayne in a wheel chair, on crutches, or with a bag of books and a couple of pre-schoolers in tow.

Anonymous said...

"'Anonymous' should try crossing the five lanes of Wayne in a wheel chair, on crutches, or with a bag of books and a couple of pre-schoolers in tow."

What do all of these groups of people do now? Do they avoid crossing any multi-lane roads that don't have a bridge?

Or is the critical factor the bag of books? So perhaps crossing multi-lane roads is not a problem for these groups of people, but doing so with a bag of books is not practical?

Anonymous said...

The NIMBY's in SOECA are completely oblivious. They are so worried about this townhome development that they fail to see what they will likely get if the rezoning is denied: 25 massive homes on teeny tiny lots OR a parochial school with up to 400 students (Chelsea has 80). The existing zoning and the master plan are worthless things to consider...what needs to be considered are the three "alternatives" (76 high-end townhomes, 25 massive mcmansions or a very busy school).

jag said...

this has nothing to do with the dummy saying people magically won't be able to walk across Wayne anymore once the library is built, but thought this was worth mentioning on the blogosphere:

Jackie's is having an all-you-can-eat bbq on sunday - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161832973883488

Scott said...

I learned recently that given county rules about providing access for the disabled to the library, it will actually cost more than building a bridge. As for slogans how about "bridging differences"?

Anonymous said...

I think the best solution for the bridge issue is to not allow handicapped people to use the library at all. That way they won't have to cross 5 life-threatening lanes of traffic and the county won't lose a dime. Problem solved. Makes you wonder why nobody thought of this earlier.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

Good grief. Wayne Avenue isn't the Beltway. I cross it regularly with kids in tow, balancing packages, and even in bad weather.

There's a perfectly nice crosswalk at either end of the block (well, that Library construction makes the one end a mess at the moment). The pattern of lights is reasonable and easily understood.

Please don't act like families will have to make a D-Day landing to get to the library.

Anonymous said...

The Library crossing is the deadest horse of all. As for the sign, it looks kind of cool, but your right, who the hell knows what a zone is? I might have gone with, "Keep Chealsea, Single Familea!" If you're looking for political signs though, nothing beats Takoma Park during an election cycle.

Mortis Olaf said...

It's not just the budget, it's the principal. Sky bridges are antiquities, like bomb shelters and internet cafes.

Anonymous said...

It just goes to show you how few people really give a sh** about the Chelsea School site being rezoned for townhomes. Look how many responses to your post have anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

It's us versus them. Us (I presume generally younger humans like my family) who want Silver Spring to continue to improve through smart growth and them (I presume dinosaurs) who want Silver Spring to either remain the same or revert back to the beginning of time. Against the townhomes, pro- bridge, attempted historic designation of the church are either stupid and pointless anti-growth tactics or a waste of money or both.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous Thursday, June 30, 2011 2:09:00 PM

The NIMBY's in SOECA are completely oblivious.. . The existing zoning and the master plan are worthless things to consider...what needs to be considered are the three "alternatives" (76 high-end townhomes, 25 massive mcmansions or a very busy school).

Leaving aside your lazy and derogatory label of opponents as "NIBMY's" -- this is an issue that thoughtful people have considered for more than a year -- and your condescending opinion that other people have not considered what else might be developed on that site, your worst offenses are engaging in mindless fear-mongering and your failure to appreciate that those 3 possibilities you mention are far from the only potential developments on the site.

Anonymous said...

"those 3 possibilities you mention are far from the only potential developments on the site."

Okay, let's hear it..what do you propose as a good use of a space so close to downtown SS? And why not nice townhomes where more people can live and enjoy what SS has to offer. Remember, planning 101: density is not necessarily a bad thing...especially when trying to create an vibrant urban area, which sorry to tell you that site is part of due to its location.

Anonymous said...

"those 3 possibilities you mention are far from the only potential developments on the site."

You are incorrect. There is only one potential for development on that site--the townhomes--because there are no other developments currently proposed for the site.

The so-called "alternatives" are imaginary "potential" developments that the NIMBY's hope may come around if the rezoning is denied. H

And you're right...NIMBY is not the correct term for the opposition. It is NIMFY since the most vocal opposition are along Sprinvale and the new townhomes/mcmansions/school will be in your front yard.

NIMBY-SIB said...

Does anyone know when demolition of City Place Mall is slated to begin?

Anonymous said...

this is an issue that thoughtful people have considered for more than a year -- and your condescending opinion that other people have not considered what else might be developed on that site, your worst offenses are engaging in mindless fear-mongering

No one said the opposition wasn't well-planned by thoughtful, well-meaning people--you inferred that. The most thoughtful and well-meaning people, hoewever, can also be wrong and misguided (see Jimmy Carter). And as far as the mindless fear-mongering, I believe the NIMFY's have that down pat...just read/watch the opposition's testimony on the MoCo planning board Web site (the SOECA quality of life will be destroyed by the townhomes!).

Easley Does It said...

Gotta say, the most important bit of news in this thread is the all-you-can barbeque at Jackie's.

As for the Chelsea site: Is anyone being displaced? No? Are we talking about a home for the criminally insane? No? Then I guess I don't much care. Development of upper middle class townhomes on the edge of an urban district... shocking. Though I will mourn the loss of an awesome sledding hill.

As for the library bridge: I certainly empathize with the plight of the disabled, and think they should find a way to include handicapped spots directly on that massive library site instead. I'm less sympathetic to those "juggling packages and pre-schoolers" having successfully done both at the Wayne/Fenton intersection for years.

Anonymous said...

Sl-easley done does it again.
Nuf-said!

Mortis Olaf said...

Bridges are gay, NIMBY's are gay, zoning is gay, historic designation is gay, and City Place is gay. There, now no more trolling.

MimiX said...

Every time someone leaves this comment:
"... try crossing the five lanes of Wayne in a wheel chair, on crutches, or with a bag of books and a couple of pre-schoolers in tow."

I will continue to leave this comment:

I cross Wayne and many other local streets with my preschooler and my toddler ALL THE TIME. Sometimes we have a stroller, sometimes one is riding a scooter, sometimes I'm carrying books or groceries or the toddler. This is what being an urban family is about, and I have absolutely zero problems with it and zero interest in seeing money go to a bridge that's supposedly for my benefit.

Stop namechecking us poor pitiful mommies with babies who can't cross the street without a zillion dollar bridge. We can cross the street just fine, thanks.

Liz Brent said...

To MimiX,

Thanks for your comments! That was exactly how I felt when some in SOECA were in an uproar about the transitional housing next to Ertters. Oh the kids! Not next to a school! Kids and families can deal with urban life just fine. That's what a lot of us are here for. My kids walk right next to the transitional housing (I assume that's what it ended up being) each day to school And those building have never looked better, BTW. Stop with the kid excuses!

As far as EYA and Chelsea, bring it on. It's just what is needed there.

Justafed said...

So although I think the townhouses would be just fine here, I don't think one should ignore the underlying principle: developers do what they do to maximize their profits. So if the two scenarios under consideration here are 75 townhouses vs. 25 single family homes, the SFHs would have to yield a profit 3 times more than the town homes. Given that it is easy to see how new townhouses could go for $500K and up, but that ere is *no* precedent for $1.5M houses in our area (not even sure anybody has actually sold one for even $1M), the preference of the developer is completely obvious. Even if EYA ends up backing down the density to 50 town homes on the site, they pretty much have to end up ahead of where they would be with SFHs, given that even nice town homes are significantly cheaper to build.

Clancy said...

Although I had walked by the Chelsea School dozens of times over the years, this weekend I went out of my way to walk its perimeter. I'm fairly certain that the "Leave the Zone Alone" signs were in all but one or two yards facing the property.

One thing I had never really noticed before: Much of the Chelsea School grounds are a real eyesore. Dilapidated blacktops, failing fences, weeds, graffiti, etc. It is understandable that those most adjacent to the site are concerned about what might be built there, but whatever it is has to be better than what is there now.

For the most part, I really don't understand the concerns over rezoning, but could see some issues with traffic. It really is a transitional neighborhood and this development would be an ideal transition from downtown to the single family homes (much more so than, say, plopping something like the Springvale Terrace retirement center in the middle of single-family neighborhoods). Unless some efforts are made to discourage the use of Pershing and Ellsworth, those two streets could see much higher use between Springvale and Dale if 75 new units were constructed at this location. While perhaps overstated, that is a legitimate concern of the residents on those streets and worth addressing.

Anonymous said...

"Without the Bridge, there will be carnage!"

Gary said...

OK, so we're tearing down City Place and building a library (and fighting over a bridge), when City Place has a bridge already?

I think the streets around Chelsea site can handle a couple hundred extra trips a day. If anyone in the neighborhood is really upset, they can trade for my house in Woodside Park; I'd love to be able to walk downtown in under 10 minutes.

Golf Stats Tracker Pro said...

Thank you Dan for the info lol I was ready to google the "R-60", but i didn't have too now. It's quite funny that everyone have to display at least one of these banner on their lawn. The good thing is they can always generate a conversation between the community members though.

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