BROOKDALE COMMUNITY
ANNUAL MEETING

MAY 22, 2007
7:35pm

Chair: Steve Heyman, Brookdale Executive Committee President

I. Treasurer's Report: As of June 1, 2006 there was $13,224.07 in savings. With dues and expenses figured in, the amount is currently $15,515.82. Of that, $5,000 was put into an interest-earning certificate of deposit (CD), which matures in July 2007. At that point, the term will be extended.

II. New Brookdale Playground: Marina Bowsher reported that contractors had been hired for the new playground and work was scheduled to begin in June. The project should take 3 weeks to complete. The community expressed its opinion last fall concerning the placement of the park (the current site vs. a site across the street; the current site was preferred ). There were questions raised about the plantings around the park and whether a dog run could be put in. The Montgomery County division of Parks and Planning has its own nursery and will plant bushes and trees in response to a community request (they did this for Boundary Park in Brookdale). But the County does not do landscaping. It is possible that several old trees may be lost in the digging and installation of the new playground. We will request that the County plant at least four or five trees in anticipation of this loss around the playground. Weeding can be done by the Weed Warriors, the volunteer group of gardeners in the area. The County also does not fence in parks as a policy and so a dog run cannot be put in the Brookdale Park area. Steve Heyman noted that the County is set to upgrade Willard Park (off River Road) in the next year or so and will consult the Brookdale Community on planning.

III. Bob Cope gave a report on development in the Friendship Heights and Westbard areas. Bloomingdales is set to open around Labor Day at the old Hecht's site. Construction was delayed because of management changes. Next year, in 2008, a community center at the corner of Willard and Friendship Roads will open. The County Recreation Department will run it, at a cost of roughly $600,000 a year. Office buildings will border Wisconsin Avenue (at the actual site of the old Hechts), and are scheduled to open in 2009. There will be a multi-lane drop-off area in front of the Metro on Wisconsin. A Whole Foods will also open in 2009 near the corner of Wisconsin and Willard, as will retail shops, behind the community center.

At the Geico site, 8-story condominiums are provided for in the current site plan. It is unclear whether Geico will build the units or re-negotiate the site plan.

In old Bethesda, the former building height restriction of 8 stories has been changed to 17 stories. Housing units are planned for Battery Lane. The Westbard sector plan is under negotiation; there are many plans being studied, including for 16-storey buildings at the old Giant site. The Washington Episcopal School on River Road wants to build an 8-storey apartment unit along River Road. Brookdale has been asked to contribute $3,000 to neighboring communities for their work on limiting development of the Westbard shopping area, in part, due to the generous contributions Brookdale received from other communities when Brookdale was originally negotiating the Geico site plan. After a show of hands it was decided that $3,000 would be given to support community involvement in the Westbard sector plan.

The bus station and depot at the corner of Wisconsin and Western Avenues now houses older buses as the newer (cleaner) ones are too big to fit in the turn-around. These older buses will be used until 2008 at which point a new bus station will need to be found.

IV. Neighborhood Watch: Steve Heyman reported on the police community meeting from February 26. This presentation was reported in the last Bugle, April 2007. There was some discussion about organizing a Neighborhood Crime Watch. If this is done formally, signs are given out that say "Neighborhood Crime Watch" and posting them is considered to be a deterrent to some crime. The existing listserv is also an important way to guard the community because it keeps people informed about recent incidents. Basic safety principles are also important to observe, such as locking car doors. One ongoing issue with police protection is that Park police do not always coordinate with County police and citizens don't always know who has jurisdiction over which areas.

V. Larry Howe - curbs, infrastructure. Larry reported that in August all of Brookdale east will get curbs - this is the side that petitioned to get the curbs last year. Steve volunteered to look into getting more stop signs for the neighborhood.

VI. Marie Moylan reported on the Progressive Renovation Tour, where interested parties would tour remodeled Brookdale homes. It is tentatively planned for October. Anyone interested should contact Marie.

VII. New Officers for Brookdale Executive Committee: Vice Presidents Barbara Ingersoll of Brookdale South and Eric Wallgren of Wohlshire are retiring after many years of loyal service to the Brookdale community. We will miss their input. Mike Makuch chaired the nominating committee which recommended nominating the following new individuals for the positions of Vice President Brookdale South and Vice President Wohlshire (Abner Oakes and Risa Elias respectively) and renominated Steve Heyman as President, Marina Bowsher as Vice President Orchardale, Sarah Jessup as Secretary, Suzanne Richman as Treasurer, and Marie Moylan as Vice President Brookdale North for the 2007- 2008 Executive Committee. The nominees were unanimously elected.

VIII. An issue was raised by Elsa Skaggs in absentia. She is concerned that toys left on front yards detracts from the beauty of the neighborhood. In response, many people commented that the neighborhoods were about community and families and children, and that toys left on the front yard were a part of that identity.

IX. Barbara Ingersoll mentioned that Diana Lowry, a neighbor on Park Avenue, was terminally ill and had an 18 year old son with special needs. Barbara asked for volunteers to help care for the boy, to help him get ready for school and to prepare his lunch. She will post the information on the listserv.

X. A trash can is needed for the bus stop at the corner of Cortland and Western Avenue. Steve said he would raise the issue with Metro.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:37pm.

Submitted by Sarah Jessup

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