JOYCE STROTHER

The Glass-Glen Burnie Foundation’s mission states that properties will be preserved as historic buildings and grounds for educational and other benefit of the public forever. Contradictory to this, the managers of Glen Burnie are asking City Council to approve a 74-unit PUD 55-plus housing development on 20 acres of Glen Burnie property. Parks and green space are what make a city special, appealing and desirable. Clustered housing developments do not. To have Glen Burnie and surrounding land in the middle of our city is truly an asset that should be preserved. Do the current managers of Glen Burnie want to be remembered as the ones that “sold out” and deprived our citizens of this asset?

The Winchester community supported The Trails at the MSV by their generous donations. Most thought these 20 acres were part of that system. How many of those would have donated if they had known Glen Burnie was going to sell the 20 acres to an out-of-state developer. Most of the buyers for this PUD will come from Northern Virginia as most local retirees cannot afford the $600,000-plus homes.

Williamsburg Heights’ residents have made the Council aware of serious flooding issues in their subdivision due to unresolved stormwater drainage issues. This development will only compound the flooding of their lots and homes.

The PUD Plan calls for the opening of Jefferson and Nester Streets to the streets of this development. The Jefferson extension will only increase the traffic around Handley High School, jeopardizing student safety. The Nester access would not only throw additional traffic into Williamsburg Heights but would make the Seldon/Meadowbranch Avenue into a dangerous intersection.

The existing wildlife habitat on this land would be destroyed along with the tree canopy. The construction traffic, noise and dust would go on for years. Blasting could have serious consequences for the surrounding area of historic homes in the Handley High School area as well as Early’s Green and The Mews Condos.

As one of my neighbors told the City Council at the November 23rd meeting, “just because you can does not mean you should.”

I encourage all to voice your opinions and concerns to the managers of Glen Burnie, the Planning Department, our mayor and city council members. After the December 14th council meeting, it may be too late and this precious open space may be gone forever instead of preserved for the benefit of Winchester’s current and future generations.

Joyce Strother is a resident of Winchester.

(5) comments

delaurel66

The MSV has over $34 million dollars in assets. Selling 20 acres for $1 million dollars is not going to make much of a difference. if the MSV does in fact go forward with the sale after Winchester City residents have supported them for so many years, perhaps Winchester City residents should just stop donating money to them any longer. The MSV obviously does not abide by their mission statement. Perhaps the MSV should consider donating the land to the City so it can be used as a park?

AdoptDontShop2

Do you have knowledge of what it costs to run the MSV and how it projects its future viability? Do you know if it was able to keep all of its staff employed during the pandemic? Other than some of the wealthier residents of Winchester, who has argued against this development?

I have my own issues with the MSV. I do not believe it serves the average Winchester resident. Consider its entry fees, membership rates and programming.

However, I do not believe the MSV and its board have any obligation to give the City its land just because some wealthy residents will have 70-some more wealthy residents nearby. Also, turning the land into a park will not solve the housing problem we have in Winchester.

GreaterThanScott

But the snooty residents who border this property did not want a walking trail because of the 'element' it would attract to their neiborhood. Do you think that these same NIMBY's would want a full blown park in their fancy neighborhood with all of those 'elements' enjoying a public park??

delaurel66

First off you are speaking of something you know nothing about. We are not snooty and a PRIOR board member of a HOA made the comment they did not want the trails. That is because they did not want people on the trails coming into their PRIVATE development, parking their cars and making a nuisance. This 20 acres should not be developed. It should stay as it is Open Ground. Winchester does not need anymore $500,000 houses. Winchester needs affordable housing the people who get up every day and go to work can afford, Along with senior citizen housing.

AdoptDontShop2

Continue organizing against the plan as presented to City Council. If you are successful, the MSV still has the right to sell the property and the developer still has the right to build on it and more houses even. In fact, voting for the plan is the only way that City Council and, in effect, local residents have any voice in how the housing development differs from by-right standards already in place.

Also, the MSV is a private organization. To keep its doors open, it needs to produce revenue, fundraise, and manage its existing resources. During the pandemic, museums--and their revenue--were one of the hardest hit sectors in our economy. If local residents want to keep the MSV open without the sale of the property, local residents need to step up and donate funds equivalent to the sale of the property.

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