Save the Forested Buffer in the Wheaton Sector Plan

Sligo Creek, a tributary of the Anacostia River

Today AWS is calling on Montgomery County Council to save the last remaining forested area in the Wheaton Sector Plan.  This green forested buffer contains remnant streams and headwater catchments that drain to Sligo Creek (of Northwest Branch of the Anacostia) and to Lower Rock Creek.  Mapping, protecting, and expanding existing green forest buffers is one of the most important first steps we can take in any watershed restoration program.  The Council did the right thing by making watershed restoration a core objective of the sector plan, but now they must finish the job by enacting specific protections for the forest buffer around Wheaton mall.

Wheaton Sector Plan: Preserve and Expand the Green Forest Buffer

AWS colleague and friend Diane Cameron has blogged about this issue as well - Save the Forested Buffer in the Wheaton Sector Plan

You can help!

Send an email to Montgomery County Council expressing your support for retaining existing forest buffer.  Suggested text:

Dear Council President Ervin and Councilmembers,

Thank you for agreeing to make the restoration of Sligo Creek and Lower Rock Creek watersheds, one of the core objectives of the Wheaton Sector Plan. This is a notable step forward - if it is well-implemented.  Now, we urge you to take the next step in achieving this watershed restoration objective by adopting clear and strong Sector Plan language that preserves the only green forested buffer in the Wheaton Sector Plan area. 

In order to provide clarity in protecting this crucial green infrastructure parcel, we must:

- specify its size in the Sector Plan text and maps (as was done for the 46 acres of forest in the Germantown Master Plan, Montgomery College District); planning staff have now told us that is approximately 5 acres and ranges between 30 and 200’ in depth;
- map it clearly and completely in relevant Sector Plan maps, including natural resource and building height maps (as was done for the White Flint Sector Plan)
- expand it;  and
- permanently and legally protect it.

Accordingly, we ask the Council to ensure that the Wheaton Sector Plan language, as it is approved and finalized, will:

- Specify that the green forested buffer adjacent to the Westfield Ring Road will be protected via conservation easements;
- Specify the precise location of the green forested buffer on Sector Plan maps, including on the Building Heights map, as was done in the White Flint Sector Plan;
- Specify that this existing buffer will be expanded in width by 20 feet, in order to provide adequate watershed and community protections; and
- Specify the number of acres that this protected buffer area will comprise.

Thank you again for your support of our local watersheds and a healthy local environment for our children!

Council Contact Information

All Councilmembers 240-777-7900 
Phil Andrews 240-777-7906
Roger Berliner 240-777-7828
Marc Elrich 240-777-7966
Valerie Ervin 240-777-7960
Nancy Floreen 240-777-7959
George Leventhal 240-777-7811
Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968
Craig Rice 240-777-7955
Hans Riemer 240-777-7964


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