Calling all Treasurers

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by David Humpton, EVP

Beth-Ellen Berry announced to the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors during the June Board meeting that she would be stepping down as Treasurer after serving for the past 7 years. Her experience and background with non-profit accounting and auditing, coupled with her knowledge of MVF’s operations and finance, were vitally important to the financial turn-around of MVF’s financial health. She will be greatly missed. So now our challenge is to find an equally as dedicated and qualified volunteer to continue the progress in which Beth-Ellen was so instrumental. Please see the MVF website for further information and contact CFO Greg Snellings at gsnellings@mvf.org if interested.

County road maintenance
Every once in a while, MVF staff receives calls about the poor condition of county maintained roads in and around the Village. Montgomery County DOT has requested that all maintenance complaints be put into the 311 system. The road that gets the most complaints from residents, especially recently, is Watkins Mill Road. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of trying to dodge the potholes or rough patches in driving up the hill from Stedwick Road to Apple Ridge Road. Staff is working with Councilman Rice’s office to determine if the section of Watkins Mill Road from Stedwick Road to Apple Ridge Road can be repaved, or if better patching can be completed. Hopefully progress can be made.

Village Center update
The developer, Atlantic Realty Companies, is progressing through the county’s development review process, and recently met with MVF’s Commercial Architectural Review Committee, who reviewed the concept plan for the new project and offered various design comments. They will review the plan in more detail once formal sketch/site plans have been submitted to the county’s Planning Department. The owner submitted their sketch plan for the project and was awaiting initial comments from county planning staff about the completeness of their application by July 18 or thereabouts. It is anticipated that the planning staff will take about a month to review and that a Planning Board hearing could be held before year end.

Airbnb coming to your neighborhood soon?
Did you know that short-term rentals of your home are currently illegal in Montgomery County and are a violation of the zoning ordinance? The county is working on legislation to allow and regulate short-term rentals so that they can operate legally in various zones. Back in February, the MVF Board adopted a position opposing the bills, unless they could be amended to protect residential property owners from negative impacts such as insufficient parking and effects of exceeding occupancy limits.
The county council held a public hearing, and the testimony that night was overwhelmingly negative. The county council became busy with budget deliberations, and the bills were put on hold. In late June, The Montgomery County Council asked the Planning Department to hold meetings with residents and stakeholders to get feedback on short-term residential rental agreements such as Airbnb in order to help draft legislation. The planning staff is expected to provide a report to the county council in late fall.