Skip to comments.In Md., a Neighborhood Vanishes (environmentalism destroys a neighborhood!)
Posted on 05/24/2008 7:12:17 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A few miles off Interstate 270, in the heart of bustling Montgomery County, a once-thriving neighborhood has taken on the feel of a ghost town.
Half the homes are vacant, their windows broken or boarded up. Driveways are strewed with debris. "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dog" signs dot trees. Banging sounds come from empty houses where burglars pry copper pipes from the walls.
The culprit is not foreclosure but the imminent arrival of the six-lane intercounty connector that will slice through the Derwood neighborhood. This week, highway workers demolished a brick house and will soon raze five more on Garrett Road.
That will leave Mike Vechery's house alone at the end of the road. A short walk to the local park will become one mile after the state reroutes his residential street around the highway. His address will change. And his property value, predicted Vechery, who works in real estate, will drop by more than 35 percent.
"I've lost my road. I've lost my neighborhood," said Vechery, who lives in Bethesda but had considered moving one day to the five-bedroom home, which he rents out. "I'll have the ICC in my front yard and side yard, but they don't want to discuss anything. . . . It's going to change the whole way of life here. That's something they haven't really recognized."
Across the planned highway route, Kim Asbury and her parents are hoping to stay in their home of 44 years but will soon have six lanes of traffic and concrete sound walls cutting them off from all but two of their remaining neighbors.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The toll highway between Gaithersburg and Laurel was long planned to run about a half-mile from Cashell Estates, which is off Redland Road about five miles northeast of downtown Rockville. But three years ago, residents learned that state highway officials had changed the route to cut through their neighborhood to reduce the environmental harm to nearby Rock Creek.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
In a manner reminiscent of Jenjis Khan???
What say you Mons. Kerry.........?
This road will be useful. I am all for it. If the course of the road didn’t effect this guy, some other person would be complaining.
DC suburbs have the worst traffic in the nation. It took 2o yrs to build this because of whiners like this guy. Im sure he made a pretty penny off his properties, I'm not feeling too bad about it. Anybody who's lived in DC for 20 yrs has done pretty well off of real estate, Im sure.
Better than destroying a neighborhood just to "save the environment."
Human beings are not part of "the environment", doncha know.
“As of July of this year it is slated to be assessed at $591,000.”
Doesn’t mean he’s going to get that amount if he sells.
"Rock Creek" is not merely a creek.
Rock Creek Park is a very long, heavily used, public park, stretching from beyond Bethesda deep into the District of Columbia, that is more than twice the size of Central Park in New York City and which happens to have a creek running through it.
They can assess the property for ten bucks or ten million bucks, and it makes no difference: assessments notwithstanding, it's not worth a plugged nickel. In fact, it's worse, because this guy still has to pay property taxes on a $591K assessment when the house is useless.
Have you driven past there? I go by that construction on my way to work every day. The road runs right through what used to be their back yards. There is no way those houses can ever be sold. They are worth nothing.
They are when you are talking about a very heavily used urban park.
See Post 10.
According to the article a local realtor says the house will lose 1/3 of its value, meaning it will still be worth $100K more than he paid. Some of the people here are complaining because their land IS being taken, others are complaining because their land ISN’T being taken. There is no question that inequities can occur with the use of eminent domain, but at least in this case it is for a legitimate public use.
at least in this case it is for a legitimate public useThat's what I was thinking. Its is for a road (the original intent of the law) and not to build a shopping mall.
Fine to have the connecter, but it is already too late to relieve the traffic congestion, and there is no place else to go build.
Considering that nothing is selling in this area unless it is in magnificent condition, has a great location, and is extremely handsome--and then only after six months to a year on the market--I don't know how this "local realtor" came up with that idea. Perhaps if this were still 2005 when buyers were being desperate and crazy, yes. Now, who would buy such a thing?
I'm not saying that my heart is bleeding for this guy--he could have sold it in 2005. But then someone else would be having this problem. These things are always unfortunate.
That is true, which is why they have to use the force of law.
They could always elevate the highway where it goes through the park to minimize the environmental damage. Furthermore, the article doesn’t even say whether the highway would have actually gone through the park.
I also find it amazing that there are people on this thread who have more sympathy for the park’s customers than they do for the displaced (by environmentalism) homeowners.
It is indeed a legitimate use, but what I was trying to point out was how the highway’s planners ultimately decided to put the Rock Creek watershed’s environment above the rights of the homeowners. Green is mean, in this case.
What do you think that Rock Creek Park runs through for mile after mile after mile?
Woods? Cow pastures? Corn fields? A dry lake bed?
No. Rock Creek Park runs through NEIGHBORHOODS.
Rock Creek Park is two or three blocks wide and runs for miles through residential neighborhoods on both sides all the way from beyond Bethesda to downtown District of Columbia.
When I was stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, my house was right at boundary of the Medical Center and one block away from Rock Creek Park.
The question is not whether a highway crossing Rock Creek Park will go through a neighborhood or not.
It WILL go through a neighborhood. That is why it is called an URBAN park.
The only question is whether it will go through Fred's neighborhood or Tom's neighborhood with either Fred or Tom whining about how the route was chosen to advance "environmentalism" while ignoring people.
IIRC, a lot of the designated route for the ICC was left undeveloped in anticipation of the highway being built. It is entirely possible that the portion of the route that was moved went through one of these undeveloped areas.
Seems he is miffed that he didn't get 400% profit from the state.