April 12, 2001

Inside this issue:

President's Report
Westbrook's Annual Carnival
Brookdale Home Sales
Details on the Brookdale Annual Meeting
News on a Community Yard Sale, Brookdale Art, Spring Street Cleaning, Fourth of July Parade, Gardening
Crime Alert!
"Oases Next Door"
Commercialization of our Neighborhoods


Happy Spring!
Having made it through a cold but relatively snowless winter, I am sure you are all as happy as I am that spring weather has finally arrived. Hopefully, it will provide more opportunities for us to be together.

Community Issues:

The primary focus of the Executive Committee this winter has been on the internal community. We have continued work with the Department of Parks and Planning to complete the improvements to Brookdale Park. As promised, trees were planted, a fence was installed recently to prevent basketballs from escaping downhill from the court, a covered bulletin board was installed, and flagstones have been placed beneath benches in the playground. The old concrete slabs (for GEICO's kennels) have been removed and construction of a connector sidewalk is being carried out as I write. A replacement for the circular slide is on its way and will be installed shortly. We now have the second pole for the volleyball court. To celebrate the availability of the volleyball court, I would like to have the first children's game and the first adults' game staged. Please call to volunteer to sponsor these events. I have the net. All you need is a ball.

As requested, park police have inspected damage done to part of Boundary Park by a company building a new house on Park Place and notified the company they must return the area to its original condition. Barbara Ingersoll, vice president for Brookdale South, and Carol Brooks, area representative liaison, are working together to get input from neighbors and to obtain expert advice on the condition of the park and how to best maintain the health of this "little forest" so that we and generations to come can enjoy its beauty.

We are organizing a one-day Clean-Up Day in May or June for three areas identified. Watch for notices on the website and the bulletin board. Call me to volunteer to lead one of the efforts.

Request for Safety Inspections
In November I requested the county Department of Traffic & Parking Services to conduct several safety checks within Brookdale. These include striping of pedestrian crosswalks, reducing obstructions of view at an intersection, adding signs to indicate restriction of parking near corners, reducing signage obstructions, and determining the need for more stop signs. After many conversations with staff, I am told that they soon will be inspecting the various situations.


The primary concern for Brookdale recently in terms of development has been the attempted incursion of businesses disguised as homes on the major thoroughfares around Brookdale, namely River Road and Wisconsin Avenue. We have been working with the CCCFH and sister associations (especially Green Acres-Glen Cove) to ward off such attempts. The work with the office of Permitting Services of the County seems to have paid off in that the current owner of 4906 River Road now is selling it. (See article by David Scribner.)

Development: Hecht's
Development issues with respect to the three major tracts to our east have been on the "back burner" but are emerging again. Hecht's (Wisconsin Place) is moving toward the site plan stage with that hearing tentatively scheduled for April 26 at the Planning Board office at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. We have asked for an evening meeting so that more of you can be present. Watch the website and Brookdale Bulletin Board (in Brookdale Park) for more specific notices. Issues we anticipate are preserving the trees on Western Avenue adjacent to the Hecht's parking lot, redesign of the Metro exit at the corner of the site to accommodate the anticipated traffic flow, the choice of who will operate the community center and their fees, and the separation (or lack thereof) between the pedestrian and bike traffic on Western Avenue.

Development: Chevy Chase Land Co.
The Chevy Chase Land Company is moving toward site plan also, but may well be stymied for some time due to two law suits. Chevy Chase Village is carrying the ball on this site. On Monday March 19, Chevy Chase Village met with Parks & Planning staff to discuss the site plan being developed for about half that site
including the Clyde's and Giant portion. Issues discussed follow. The developer would like to remove the trees along Wisconsin Avenue to aid in construction of the low-rise office buildings north of Clyde's. The residents of Chevy Chase Village perceive a lack of safety improvements to Wisconsin Circle in the plan. The remedies offered seem more cosmetic than real. Suggestions were to install a mid-block pedestrian crossing with a traffic light and to add a tunnel connector from the Metro station directly to the corner where Clyde's will be located. No public hearing is scheduled yet. The traffic engineer revealed that the crossing of Wisconsin at Western Avenue would be widened from about 72 feet to 76 feet. No grocer has been obtained for the enlarged "grocery store" on the site. Furthermore, contrary to the agreement between Chevy Chase Land Co. and the Village of Friendship Heights that a grocery would operate throughout the construction phase (for which they gave up much development), the grocery will be closed and later a new facility will open.

There is no action on the GEICO site at this time. GEICO has sold one house on Cortland Road, leaving them with eleven houses and three empty lots in Brookdale at this time.

Annual Meeting
The Brookdale Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Westbrook Elementary School on Allan Road in the Multipurpose Room at the back.
Besides electing officers, we will discuss any development issues that have not already been resolved, and other topics you may have in mind. Please call or e-mail me if you have specific suggestions. Also, bring your checkbooks to pay annual dues. I look forward to seeing you then.
       Gwen Lewis
Westbrook School's Annual Spring Carnival

Friday, May 4
3:00 7:30 p.m.
Fun for the entire family! Rides, games, cakewalk, bake sale, white elephant, Superchance. Catering by Red, Hot & Blue and Armand's Pizza. Everybody welcome!

compiled by Hal Wolman

We welcome the following neighbors who have arrived in Brookdale recently:

Christine and Scott Montgomery . . . . . . . . 4712 Dover Road
Paul and Catherine (Cathy) Jones
& children Allie and Hale . . . . . . . . . . 4803 Dover Court
Alexandre and Kelly Tanzi and
3-year old twins Nicolas Alexander
and Stephanie Madeleine. . . . . . . . . . . . 4500 Cortland Road
Kathy Engebretson and her
daughter Emma (4 years). . . . . . . . . . . . 5014 Westport Road

We welcome Gail DeLozier back to her home on Westport Road after the devastating fire last April.

Births: Karen and David Baratz of Baltimore Avenue celebrated the birth of their daughter, Amanda Tess Baratz, on January 17, 2001 . . . John and Susan Lively of Baltimore Avenue welcomed a second daughter, Haley Ann Lively, on March 8, 2001 . . . John McClure Marder was born Friday, March 30, to Tom Marder and Nancy LaVigne, 4823 Park Avenue.

Death: Kay Kirkpatrick, long-time resident of 5006 Westport and retired teacher, died of cancer recently. We express our condolences to Jessica Porter.

Classified Ads

The classified section of the Brookdale Bugle is provided as a service to Brookdale residents, who may place ads at no charge. A fee of $15 will be charged for ads placed by non-residents and all ads are subject to approval by the Brookdale Citizens' Association Executive Committee.

Child Care Sought: Starting in November, Brookdale couple seeks nanny, family to share nanny, or family child-care home in Brookdale vicinity. Call Abner Oakes or Lolly Jewett at 301.652.8129.

Announcements & News

Community Yard Sale, Christi Perez

It's time for spring cleaning again! The Brookdale Community Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, April 28 from 9-3. Each participating family is responsible for pricing and sales and can set up in their own driveway or with another family. We are looking into the possibility of having one or more charities pick up any unsold items following the yard sale.

If you want to participate or help with publicizing the event, please contact me. It is important to let me know if you are participating so that we can direct customers to you with our signage. However, last minute entrees are not precluded.

Brookdale Art

On June 24, Grazia Narkus-Kramer will have an opening of her fabric appliqu‚ work along with other members of the Fabric Art Group at McCrillis Gardens, 6910 Greentree Road in Bethesda. The show continues through July 27; hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12-4.

Evelyn Aikman has an ongoing display of her photographs at Factory Photoworks Gallery in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. She will mount a new show on Labor Day.

If you would like to help organize or participate in a Brookdale Art-in-the-Park show for children and adults this spring or summer, please contact Grazia Narkus-Kramer or Gwen Lewis.

Spring Street Cleaning,
Diane S. Shea

Residential street sweeping by the Montgomery County Division of Highway Services will take place in Brookdale between April 23 and May 14. The exact dates will be listed on County Cable Montgomery, which will update which neighborhoods are being swept each day.

The County's contractor will post signs on light poles and other locations in the neighborhood in advance of the sweeping. Please note that the County will not sweep where cars are parked, so when the signs appear on your street, please move your cars.

This will improve the appearance of our streets and reduce the amount of debris entering the Chesapeake Bay from our storm drains. Please direct questions to the County's Division of Highway Services at or 240-777-ROAD.

4th of July Parade

For the second year, Ellie Shorb (301.652.6897) has agreed to organize a Brookdale 4th of July parade for bicycles led by a firetruck. Please offer her your assistance to make this a fun occasion for all. Watch for fliers and posters in late June for instructions.

Gardening Enthusiasts

Do you have questions? Do you have answers? How about getting together and making the gardens in our neighborhood grow better. However you would like to participate, let's get a Gardening Enthusiasts Group going. To "dig in" call Grazia Narkus-Kramer at 301.320.3183.

Commercialization of our Neighborhoods, David Scribner

Small businesses are attempting to locate in our residential neighborhoods. The new redevelopment of Friendship Heights and continued growth of Bethesda decrease the supply of older, smaller shop fronts, putting an upward pressure on the cost of typical commercial spaces available to small business owners. In addition to the decrease in the supply of affordable commercial space, the affluent residential growth has motivated entrepreneurs to attempt to locate their businesses in our neighborhoods.

It takes a coordinated effort of the local community associations, townships and County to keep the character of the neighborhoods residential. The only way to stop these businesses is to pay close attention to your neighborhood activities and notify your community associations of any questionable business activity.

Recently, small business entrepreneurs have attempted to locate commercial businesses along the main arterial routes into Friendship Heights. More than six businesses along Wisconsin Avenue, two on River Road and one on Western Avenue have tried to set up shop and change the residential character of the neighborhood.

When the newly approved Friendship Heights Sector Plan was under debate there was great concern that this type of problem would arise. The citizens worked hard to define development areas in the sector plan. Concerns of zoning use abuse were raised repeatedly. Generally, the zoning of our neighborhoods is R-60. This zoning defines specific conditions that a home owner/occupant must meet to have a business in their home. No business may locate in a residential house unless it is a home business and the business owner lives in the home. No home business can change the residential character of the neighborhood.

The County's system to register businesses is ineffective and leads to abuses and a need for community policing efforts. The County does not have the staff to police their own zoning and, according to Robert Hubbard, director of the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) must rely on the citizens for this oversight. Many of the businesses do not even attempt to use this registration process and just set up shop regardless of the approved use for the property.

County oversight has led our neighborhoods down the slippery slope of commercialization. Commercial businesses must not flow over the neighborhood boundaries. Neighborhood due-diligence is the only barrier to businesses locating in our area.

David Scribner III is the president of the Green Acres-Glen Cove Citizens Association

Brookdale Home Sales
Kathleen McElroy
There was one house for sale in Brookdale at the beginning of the
second quarter of 2001: 4603 Merivale. 

Four houses are under contract:
  4504 Dalton Road . . . . . . . . . . . .$750,000
  4510 Dalton Road . . . . . . . . . . . .$524,500
       . . . . . . . . . . . (originally $549,000)
  5315 Baltimore Avenue  . . . . . . . . .$569,000
  4622 River Road  . . . . . . . . . . . .$459,900
They sold in 1, 3, 21 and 7 days respectively.

One house sold and settled this year:  
  5329 Saratoga Avenue . . . . . . . . . .$415,000
    (originally $449,000, reduced to $435,000, sold in 35 days)

The following houses, which were under contract at the end of
last year, settled this year:
  4630 River Road. . . . . . . . . . . . .$458,337
  5141 Newport Avenue. . . . . . . . . . .$477,500
  4602 Harrison Street . . . . . . . . . .$680,000
  4711 River Road. . . . . . . . . . . . .$427,000
   . . . . . . . . with $6,000 in seller subsidies
  5014 Westport Avenue . . . . . . . . . .$652,500
Kathleen McElroy is a resident of Brookdale and a real estate agent who provides this information as a service to Brookdale.

Crime Alert
In mid-March about 2 a.m. a man stole a bicycle from one home on Andover, broke into a shed at another home, and later tried to open the front door of a third residence, parking the bike in front. About 10 minutes later, he returned and tried the door once more. The residents called the police, but the thief got away on the bicycle. Police say the typical pattern is to gain entry, then grab and run. Remember to keep doors locked at all times. Some such thieves operate in broad daylight.

In December and again in mid-March, a man in a charcoal gray Mazda parked on Cortland Road, seemingly for no purpose other than to observe residents coming and going. When a resident went out to investigate, the man drove away.

A hit and run was reported on Andover Road this Winter. The Brookdale residents' guest's car sustained $4,000 worth of damage.

Report suspicious activity to the Montgomery County Police at 301.279.8000 (non-emergency number). In an emergency, dial 911.

Clarification from Last Brookdale Bugle: It is true that much of our area was once the Shoemaker farm and that the old Shoemaker cemetery remains at the end of an abandoned alley behind the 4800 block of Earlston Drive. However, you cannot reach the cemetery from that direction now that fences have been installed. Access the cemetery from the alley that parallels Bayard Boulevard, to the north of Bayard. You can enter the alley from Allen Road and walk northeast, to its end. The iron gate and fence around the plot are on the left.

The Oases Next Door
Lewis D. Junior

A great part of Brookdale's appeal is its easy access to educational and cultural opportunities. Two valuable assets lie at our doorstep.

One major, and not enough known, resource is the OASIS program centered in nearby Lord and Taylor. For mature adults (55 and over), OASIS presents a variety of learning opportunities, lectures, seminars and outings. OASIS is directed to the arts, humanities, health and wellness, and volunteer services. Past offerings have included such diverse subjects as gardening, financial matters, Yoga, needlepoint, current issues, short stories, computer training, and journalism. Suburban Hospital is the local sponsor of the OASIS program and provides medical and lay experts for all health and wellness lectures.

Membership in nonprofit OASIS is free; most classes and courses are free of charge but some, such as computer training, dance and art, have a small associated fee, and there is a $15 registration fee each term. Classes and lectures are Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the OASIS site in Lord and Taylor, second floor, on Western Avenue. Outings and excursions are a notable feature at OASIS. Samples include the Kennedy Center, National Gallery, organ concerts at the National Cathedral, and the National Symphony.

Courses and events are led by instructors drawn from the rich cultural resources of the Washington area. Presenters for past programs have included such notables as Greta van Susteren, Leslie Milk and Ray Suarez. The OASIS program began eighteen years ago in St. Louis as the brainchild of Marylen Mann, who secured the May Company, parent company of Lord and Taylor, as the national OASIS sponsor. OASIS is now national with twenty-five centers throughout the country, three of which are in the Washington area. Those interested may request further information from OASIS at 202.362.9600, x560.

A second resource is the JCA Senior Net Computer Training Center in the Chevy Chase Pavilion. One of a number of such centers sponsored by the Jewish Council for the Aging, the Pavilion office provides computer training for seniors (50 or over) beginning with the basics to advanced (IBM/Microsoft only). Courses are one day a week for six weeks, either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday (Thursdays are reserved for student practice). The Center has student computers with access to printers and the Internet. Volunteers are on hand to provide one-on-one support supplementary to the instructors' presentations. Enrollment in Senior Net is $30 for one year, $55 for two and $75 for three. In addition, each six week course costs $75 (there are a few exceptions). For further information, call 202.237.7747.

Bugle Volunteers Needed
Are you in touch with politics, history, gardening, art, babies, schools? Are you interested in writing a story or report on an event for the Bugle? To discuss your ideas and our needs, call editor Gwen Lewis at 301.215.9224.

If you are a newcomer,
we hope you have already received a warm welcome. We would like to publicize your presence and other transitions in the Bugle. Please send them to Hal Wolman, secretary. The Brookdale Directory is useful in helping you navigate around the neighborhood. If you need a copy, contact your area liaison representative. Please contact Gia Regan (4723 River Road) with additions or updates to the directory: names, phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses.

The Brookdale Bugle is a publication of the
Brookdale Community Association.

Editor . . . . . . . . . . Gwen Lewis
Layout . . . . . . . . . . Gia Regan
Distribution . . . . . . . Evelyn Aikman, Lynn Sheridan

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