First Memorial Bench Dedication

Amy Henchey cuts the ribbon at the dedication of the North Woodside Memorial Bench in honor of her late husband, Woody Brosnan. Photo by Ryland Owen

On May 1, 2022, the NWCA Board and Community Design Committee dedicated the first North Woodside Memorial Bench, in honor of longtime community volunteer, Woody Brosnan. The short ceremony, held in the “pocket park” at the intersection of Lanier Drive and 3rd Avenue, included a ribbon cutting by Mr. Brosnan’s wife, current North Woodside resident and NWCA Secretary Amy Henchey, plus memories of Mr. Brosnan’s dedication to local service by neighbor Gus Bauman.

If you would like to contribute to the cost of the bench you may make a donation to the NWCA’s new Neighborhood Beautification and Memorial Fund. To donate by check or PayPal, follow the directions on our NWCA Dues page.

NWCA President Genevieve McDowell Owen and NWCA Secretary and Woody Brosnan’s wife Amy Henchey sit on the first North Woodside Memorial Bench while other board members, Community Design Committee members, and neighbors pose behind. Photo by Anna White

Speed Limit Lowered on Georgia Ave

By Michelle Desiderio Foster

State delegates Al Carr, Lorig Charkoudian, and Jared Solomon point to the new speed limit sign on Georgia Ave. Photo by Michelle Desiderio Foster

The first of the long-awaited Georgia Ave. improvements in Montgomery Hills was implemented recently when the State Highway Administration (SHA) lowered the speed limit to 30 mph (from 35 mph) on Georgia Ave. from Spring St. to Wheaton. This speed limit was recommended in the Planning Department’s Montgomery Hills/Forest Glen Sector Plan adopted a few years ago. The speed reduction was just one of the significant improvements proposed for the corridor, including a green median, removal of the unsafe reversible lanes, wider sidewalks, a cycle track on the west side of the road, pedestrian-safety enhancements, a reconfigured Beltway interchange, and a new traffic light at Flora Lane.

A completed SHA design is expected by the end of 2022. Funding has been allocated for most of the necessary right-of-way acquisitions, and the county and state are cooperating to secure funds for utility relocation and construction. U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen secured one million dollars in federal funding for the project in the recent infrastructure bill that Congress approved. Utility relocation could start as early as January 2024. State Delegates Jared Solomon and Lorig Charkoudian have worked tirelessly on this project to ensure that it continues to move forward and to secure necessary funding.

State delegates Al Carr, Lorig Charkoudian, Jared Solomon and State Highway Administration employees pose near the new speed limit sign on Georgia Ave. Photo by Michelle Desiderio Foster

This article first ran in the Spring 2022 issue of the Beacon.

Traffic Report

By Jean Kaplan Teichroew

Adding a bump out and a stop sign will convert this intersection to an all-way stop. Image provided by Oscar Yen, MCDOT

The NWCA Traffic Committee and six neighbors met with Oscar Yen, an engineer in the Traffic Engineering Studies Section of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), on April 13 to review pedestrian safety and traffic-calming measures at key neighborhood

Read on for highlights from his summary evaluation and recommendations, which include conducting a speed study on Luzerne near Louis and preparing a work order to add crosswalks with proper striping and/or stop-bar markings at the intersections listed below. (MCDOT will also perform another traffic study for all-way stop controls and other traffic-calming mitigations once Woodlin Elementary School and the Talbot Ave. bridge reopen and heavier traffic resumes.)

Louis and Luzerne
Examine the feasibility of a curb bump out on Louis at the stop sign and trim foliage blocking the stop sign and the east leg approach of Luzerne.

Louis-Glen Ross-3rd-Warren
Build a bump out at the southeast corner of the intersection of 3rd Ave. and Glen Ross Rd. to convert this intersection to an all-way stop control and address the no-stop condition for Warren St.

Create a bump out to reconfigure the intersection to a 90-degree T-shape, and possibly relocate the stop sign to increase its visibility.

Hanover and 3rd
Readjust the crooked stop signs and research a more visible location for the sign on Hanover near the fire hydrant.

Grace Church and 3rd
Add stop-bar street markings to help draw attention to existing stop signs, especially when foliage obscures them.

Talbot Ave. Bridge
MCDOT will conduct a traffic study once the bridge reopens and evaluate for additional traffic-calming measures.

This article first ran in the Spring 2022 issue of the Beacon.

How to Remove a Racist Deed Covenant

By Ricky Albores, Honorary NWCA Member

As you may know, the Maryland Legislature passed a law in 2020 to allow residents to file amendments to historic deeds to remove racially restrictive covenants from land records.

I had heard that some homeowners associations had successfully applied to have racist covenants stricken from their deeds as early as 2019. In November 2021, I contacted the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s office for instructions on how to do this myself under the 2020 law. They sent me an intake form and instructions. I had already found the original deed to our house in the Maryland Land Records. The process took a little time to work my way back through the intervening deeds, which contained the relevant deed book/folio and page numbers to find the first deed from the Woodside Development Corporation to J. Reginald Boyd, the buyer who had our house built.

Once I found the deed, I was hoping it didn’t have a racially restrictive covenant, but alas it did. The 1925 deed provided, among other things, that:

“For the purpose of sanitation and health, neither the said party of the second part [buyer], nor their heirs or assigns shall or will sell or lease the said land to any one OF A RACE WHOSE DEATH RATE IS AT A HIGHER PERCENTAGE THAN THE WHITE RACE.” (Emphasis added)

I printed out the deed, crossed out the offensive covenant, filled out the State of Maryland Restrictive Covenant modification form, and took it to the Montgomery County Circuit Court, where a clerk took my documents, but issued no receipt or copy. Three months later I received my original signed and approved intake form and modified deed. Upon examination, it appears the county attorney approved the modification on January 18, 2022. I looked up the modification in the Maryland Land Records and found the modification online. All in all a fairly simple process after finding the deed. Also a satisfying personal endeavor that I’m happy to share with my neighbors across Georgia Ave.

Editor’s note: Ricky recently moved to nearby Woodside Park, after living on Hanover St. for 20 years. Many properties in North Woodside have similar racist deed covenants.

» Want to find out if your house has a racist deed covenant? You’ll need to do a chain of title search to dig up old deeds.

Street Tree Report (Summer 2022)

Closeup of a Yellowwood tree, blooming for the first time this year, on Elkhart St.

The county arborist has inspected our street tree requests. We will receive 31 new street trees sometime between late fall of this year and spring of 2023. Thirteen of those will be shade trees. You’ll see pink splashes painted on curbs around the neighborhood where the trees will go.

Most species requested were natives. This means we will increase the number of host plants for certain native moths and butterflies, and provide a more welcoming environment for our native birds, who eat the caterpillars of those moths and butterflies, as well as the nuts, nutlets, catkins, seeds, berries, and drupes that the trees provide. The native species will be planted by Casey Trees in conjunction with the county using a grant from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Quality Protection Fund, administered through the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The non-natives will be funded and planted in the usual manner by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation tree division.

Most people get their first choice of species. First choices for shade trees this year included blackgums, American elm, a couple of kinds of oaks, American linden (basswood), Lacebark elm, and an American sycamore. First choices for minor trees included crabapples, sweetbay magnolias, redbuds, chokecherries, hophornbeams, a serviceberry, and one or two ornamental (Japanese) cherries.

The county will give us one ornamental native shade tree in the pocket park at Lanier Dr and 3rd Ave, five feet behind the Lanier Dr guardrail. As this is not a priority location, they will use a tree freed up by cancellations, but have tentatively scheduled a blackgum. If that isn’t available, they will pick a native with either flowers or attractive fall foliage. This plan was approved by the neighborhood Community Design committee.

Casey Trees has not yet removed the stakes and straps on the trees they planted in spring 2021 for reasons related to the pilot nature of the project that year. However they will remove them when they take the stakes and straps for trees they planted this past spring.

Finally, some of our Yellowwood street trees bloomed for this first time this year. This is a relatively rare tree and I had never seen it in its full glory. The photo above is a closeup of one on Elkhart St.

— Phyllida Paterson, Tree Committee

Memorial Bench Ceremony Invitation

Please join the NWCA’s Community Design Committee and the NWCA Board for the dedication of the first North Woodside Memorial Bench on Sunday, May 1st, at 11am. The new bench honors longtime community volunteer, Woody Brosnan, and will be located at the “pocket park” at the intersection of Lanier Drive and 3rd Avenue.

The short ceremony will include a ribbon cutting by Mr. Brosnan’s wife, current North Woodside resident and NWCA Secretary Amy Henchey, plus memories of Mr. Brosnan’s dedication to local service by neighbor Gus Bauman.

Donations of light refreshments for the event, such as cookies and drinks, would be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to contribute to the cost of the bench you may make a donation to the NWCA’s new Neighborhood Beautification and Memorial Fund. To donate by check or PayPal, follow the directions on our NWCA Dues page.

New Neighborhood Street Trees

A new street tree on Lanier Dr

Casey Trees was in the neighborhood last month, planting our latest batch of street trees in cooperation with the county, courtesy of a Chesapeake Bay Foundation grant.

You’ll see new trees on 2nd, 3rd, Elkhart, Luzerne, Lanier, Louis, Glen Ross, Glenridge, Hanover, Rookwood, and Stratton. Some less-common species we are getting this year include a black willow on Hanover St and a bald cypress on Glen Ross near the 5-way intersection.

The Tree Committee is starting to collect names for the next round of plantings to go in this fall or next spring. If you want a new street tree or trees and think you have the space, contact the Tree Committee.

Special thanks to Casey Trees and county arborist Jack Pond. Jack inspects, chooses species, and coordinates with Casey Trees. Casey Trees applied for the grant and does the planting.

20% Discount on Mosquito Traps – Order Now!

Our Woodside neighbors across Georgia Avenue have their own version of our North Woodside Mosquito Busters project. Called WOMP (WOodside Mosquito Project) they have set up a website providing information and an easily accessible order form to purchase the traps at a 20% discount. The group has graciously looped us in on their project.  We are so grateful! 

How to order? Visit WOMP’s website. It takes just seconds to order – with  a variety of payment options.  Deadline for this exclusive 20% discount expires March 31, 2022. Distribution of purchased traps (some time in April) will be coordinated by WOMP.  It is advised that our traps be set up in early May.  

To date, we have 95 households in North Woodside participating in our program. Haven’t signed on yet to be a North Woodside Mosquito Buster?  You can do so here.

Learn more about the North Woodside Mosquito Buster project.

North Woodside Mosquito Eradication Plan – Are You In?

Spring is coming – and so are those nasty mosquitos! A number of our neighbors are working together to implement a community-wide preventative strike against these menacing pests so we can all enjoy being outside in our yards, decks, and porches bite free!

This effort focuses on invasive mosquitoes that lay eggs in standing water. No standing water? No eggs! So, the first thing is to be watchful every 3-4 days for standing water in bird baths, lawns, planters, etc. In addition, studies have shown that communities that have a coordinated implementation of installing GAT traps have been highly effective in drastically reducing mosquito populations. The success of this model relies on community-wide organization and individual investment. As of March 5th, more than 60 households in North Woodside have indicated their buy-in – you can too!

What is a GAT Trap?

A scientist in Australia has come up with this insecticide-free way to combat mosquitos. The approach involves two things: using these low-tech traps and getting to know your neighbors.
GAT stands for Gravid Aedes Trap. Aedes is short for Aedes albopictus, known as the Asian tiger mosquito, which bites aggressively night and day. The trap is basically three plastic buckets stacked together. The mosquitoes fly into the trap through a hole in the top bucket but have a hard time flying out. To make matters worse (for the mosquito) you can dangle a piece of sticky paper inside the top bucket to catch a wayward pest that happens to land there.

The traps are low maintenance: Simply add some water and a few blades of grass, place in shade/part shade, and about once a month, pull out the sticky card and throw it away. Then replace the water and blades of grass and a fresh sticky card. Put out between May 1-June 1 and continue your monthly maintenance until fall. The traps come 2 to a box with 20 cards to last you two seasons of use.

Your participation in this effort is easy to do!

  • Indicate your participation by entering your household information on the survey accessible by visiting the North Woodside through this online form: NW Mosquito Form
  • Commit to a buy-in of two traps, estimated to cost between $50 – $70 for the two. (We are exploring the possibility of ordering in bulk to reduce costs.)
  • Communicate with your assigned “Captain” to purchase your traps, attend a mutually scheduled group workshop (no more than 30-minutes) for installation instructions, and then set your traps!

That’s it!

Mosquito Busters Captains* will be assigned to coordinate the efforts on your street. They will be in contact with you for next steps.

Thanks for your consideration to participate in this community project! Please sign up by March 16th.

* In the spirit of “divide and conquer” we have established the role of Captains to facilitate the implementation of this plan among nearby neighbors.  The role of Caption is designed to:

  • Serve as conduits to coordinate our collective efforts.
  • Communicate with their nearby neighbors to ensure the implementation of this project (mostly likely 6 – 10 households per Captain).

Specifically, GAT Captains will:

1. Participate in a meeting among fellow Captains to ensure a cohesive strategy for implementation.

2. Distribute flyers to their neighbors about the program for those who have not yet indicated interest online, with directions on how to join us.

3. Coordinate neighbors to purchase traps in bulk to reduce costs.

4. Distribute traps to neighbors and coordinate a mutually convenient time for a workshop on how to set the traps and how to space them for maximum effect.

5. Pair next door neighbors to coordinate installation and spacing.

It is estimated that commitment to be a Captain will require less than 6 hours over two months.  Maybe less.

Added Bonus: This plan will help neighbors connect with one another and form friendships while providing a unified attack to prevent these menacing biters from taking away our joy of being outside!

Questions? Contact the Mosquito Busters Group.

Neighborhood “Snow Patrol” Ready to Serve You

Homeowners are legally required to clear the sidewalk in front of their home within 24 hours of the end of a weather event. Need help shoveling your sidewalk, driveway, and/or walkway? Or know of a neighbor who does? Contact the North Woodside Snow Patrol Group.*

Interested in joining the neighborhood “Snow Patrol”? The group communicates via a listserv subgroup. If you are a neighborhood resident who subscribes to the main neighborhood listserv, click here for directions on how to subscribe to the subgroup.

* Note: delivery of emails from addresses not subscribed to the main neighborhood listserv may be delayed for moderation.