Montgomery Hills Street Fest Postponed to Spring 2023

From the Montgomery Hills Planning Committee:

Today, we made the hard decision to CANCEL the Montgomery Hills Street Fest. While we could deal with light rain, the forecast is calling for heavy rain and high winds, and therefore we are postponing the Fest until Spring 2023.  While Ian is dampening our fun, our thoughts are first and foremost with those in the wake of the storm.

Here is our plan going forward:

  1. Don’t head to the Fest,  instead head to Denizens and join us at the ‘Ian Can’t Defeat Us‘ Meet-up from 3 pm until 6 pm
  2. Order food from Meleket and Nothing Bundt Cakes, both of these local businesses planned to sell and share food at the Street Fest, let’s show them our support!
  3. Come to First Fridays! They’re BACK – look for upcoming information about November and December dates at MoHills restaurants
  4. Montgomery Hills Business Roundtable – coming this fall!
  5. 2023 MH Street Fest Take 2 – Stay tuned for the date 

Unfortunately, canceling the Fest means that we lose a significant amount of the funding we raised because we are obligated to still pay for the tents, tables, chairs, sound equipment, and porta-potties we rented. We are grateful to our generous donors — without whom we could not have a Fest. Once we have paid all non-refundable costs, we will bank the remaining funds for use for a 2023 Spring Street Fest. All donors will be recognized for the future Fest.  

Thank you for donating your time to volunteer and money to support the Street Fest! Everyone is welcome to join us at Denizens to celebrate our wonderful community where we all get to live and work and commit to making the Georgia Avenue corridor a safe, pleasant, and vibrant place to be!

Montgomery Hills Street Fest 2022

UPDATE 9/28/22: The Montgomery Hills Street Fest has been postponed to Spring 2023 (exact date TBD) due to weather.

After a two-year hiatus, the Montgomery Hills Street Fest is back! Mark your calendars for:

Snapshot of 2019 Montgomery Hills Street Fest

Saturday, October 1st from 3:00 – 7:00 pm 

Location: Columbia Boulevard (between 16th Street and Seminary Road)

WE NEED YOU…

To ATTEND this year’s Montgomery Hills Street Fest 

Visit our website to find out more about the music, activities, and food at this year’s Fest 

To VOLUNTEER to help ensure our Street Fest is a blast for everyone!

Visit the sign-up to choose a 1-hour shift to help ensure we have smooth event 

There will be great food and drinks for all who fest!

Denizens, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Meleket, Fred’s Ice Cream, Silver Spring Wings are just some of the foods and drinks you can sample while you are enjoying the music, meeting neighbors, browsing the vendor tables, playing games, and making art.

Again, visit the Street Fest Website to learn more about the event!

— Montgomery Hills Street Fest Organizers

Staycationer’s Guide to North Woodside

Sights to See: Natural Wonders, e.g. “The Niagara of North Woodside,” viewable whenever the sky really unleashes.

Want to know where some famous people grew up? Which house still has an old horse hitch and well in back? Where the hidden stream flows? Where to find some delicious guava, mango, or soursop ice cream on a hot and sultry day?

Discover the humble wonders of our very own neighborhood in The Staycationer’s Guide to North Woodside. Written and organized like a tourist guide book—Sights to See (Natural Wonders, Historical Sites, Botanical Gardens), Things to Do, Where to Eat, and How to Get Around—the guide’s 27 pages contain almost 60 things* to see and do around the neighborhood—something for all ages and staycation inclinations!

How to Get Around: By bike! Need a tune up? Contact Freewheeling Bike Tune-Ups, a free service of North Woodside resident Manuel Vera.

The guide was a fun little summer pandemic project a couple years ago for North Woodside resident Anna White. This summer it may be of particular interest to any new neighbors wishing to get to know their new home better, anyone who’s had their vacation plans scuttled by airline cancellations or Covid, and parents and caregivers of young children looking for ideas for simple, fun, and creative activities to pass away downtime.

North Woodside residents and NWCA members who are subscribed to the neighborhood listserv can access the guide in the listserv’s online file section (Click on the “Fun” folder). A digital or hard copy can also be requested by sending an email to the NWCA Communications Coordinator.

Enjoy the Local Art Scene: Check out the painted stones around the neighborhood!

Thanks again to all the neighbors who provided information for the guide!  If after skimming through it you’d like to suggest additional North Woodside-related history, places, things, or activities to include in an updated version, please do!

For a few more things to do and see listed in The Staycationer’s Guide to North Woodside, see below.

* Note: A few listings in the guide are now out-of-date.  Likewise, there are a number of brand new neighborhood sights to see and things to do that are not listed and may be included in a future revised version.

Things to Do: Peruse Used Books. Visit one of the four little libraries in North Woodside. Above: Children read books found in the Philip F. Welsh Memorial Library.
Participate in the Local Art Scene: Color in a North Woodside Coloring Page. Neighborhood resident Barry Galef created one for each of 12 neighborhood scavenger hunts that took place Spring 2020. The one above was for the Scavenger Hunt #1 (One-of-a-Kind Decorations).
Sights to See: Historical Sites, e.g. Houses That Mirror the History of Residential Architecture. Can you find the above Sears Kit House?
Sights to See: Botanical Gardens. There are many small and beautiful gardens to be found in North Woodside through the seasons.
Places to Eat: Tropics Ice Cream. The best tropical ice cream around!

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
intersections.

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.

Luzerne-Louis-Lanier
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.

(Doll) House Art Show

I’m having an impromptu art show for the young artists in my art camp this week. They assembled (doll) houses and created a theme, designing and creating all the accessories for the rooms. They are turning out amazing!

They worked so hard and I thought it would be nice to showcase their work on the last day of camp.

What: (Doll) House Art Show
Where: Bertie’s Art Studio 2002 Hanover (backyard)
When: Friday, July 15 at 3:30-4:00 pm

Light refreshments will be served.

— Bertie LoPiccolo

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.

Steps in the Chain of Title Search Process (Montgomery County, MD)

By Kirsten L. Crase, PhD

The best place to begin your chain of title search is Montgomery County Atlas.

  1. Enter the property address in the box at the top: A map identifying your property within its neighborhood context will appear.
  2. Double-click within the boundary line of the property (zoom in first, if necessary), and a box showing basic property details will appear (owner, land use category, assessment date, year built, etc.).
  3. Click on Data Description at the top of the box for a brief description of each piece of data listed; of most importance are the liber and folio numbers. This set of numbers constitutes the first deed in your chain of title.

Your next stop is the Maryland Land Records Database. You’ll need to submit a request for an account before you can access the database. Once you have your account and the liber and folio number for your property’s current deed, you can begin searching. It’s always best to start with the current deed, even if you’ve identified previous deed information.

  1. Select your county (Montgomery) from the upper-left drop-down menu.
  2. On the search page that opens, search using the top box, titled “Jump to New Volume,” searching via liber and folio numbers.
  3. Skipping the Clerk box, enter your liber number in the Book box and your folio number in the Page box.
  4. The deed document that opens will be the current deed for your property, which should list the current owners as the grantees (buyers), along with the grantors (sellers). It will provide the date of the property transfer and a description of the property, often including the lot number, block number, subdivision name, and the location within Montgomery County Land Records of the document recording the original platting of the subdivision within which it is located. (For example, “…the west 50 feet in width of Lot No. 3, in Block No. 20 by the full depth of 150 feet, in the subdivision of land known as and called B.F. Leighton’s Addition to Woodside, as per plat recorded in Plat Book A, Plat No. 60.”)
  5. With this information, you can visit plats.net. Start by selecting Montgomery County in the drop-down menu, and when the Basic Search box appears, enter the plat book number and plat number in the appropriate boxes. You should see the name of the appropriate subdivision and a hyperlink to an MSA (Maryland State Archives) accession number. Click on this link, and you will be taken to the original platting record of the subdivision (usually a map of the subdivision) within which your property resides.

At this point you know the starting point (current deed) and ending point (subdivision platting) of your chain of title, but you must fill in all the deeds in-between. To do this, return to mdlandrec.net and begin working your way backward from the current deed.

In the current deed, somewhere below the property description, there may be a paragraph that notes the liber and folio number of the previous deed. If so, return to the search page and enter this information, and continue following this process until you reach a deed that does not list the previous deed’s information. Unfortunately, this may happen at almost any point in the chain of title search.

When this happens, return to the main Montgomery County Land Records Indices page.

If the oldest deed you locate is from 1977 or later, click on “Individual Search” or “Corporation Search” in the left-hand column. This is a straightforward search process that involves entering the name in question and the date parameters.

If the oldest deed you locate is from 1976 or earlier, click on “Active Indices” in the column on the left. Since the grantee name is the only name you know at this point (i.e., the grantor on the oldest deed you’ve located), click on “Land Records, Grantee Index, 1777–1976” in the drop-down menu. Then choose which block of dates you want to search within. Begin with the most recent block of possible dates for the deed you’re searching for; for example, if your earliest known deed is dated March 5, 1975, begin with the indices from 1973–1977. Under this block of dates, look for the first letter of the owner’s surname, or corporation name, and then the first letter of their given name. Once this page opens, click on the red hyperlink on the right — “How to Use Montgomery County Land Record Indices” — for an overview of the process used to continue your search from here. Once you find the next-oldest deed, the previous deed’s liber and folio numbers may be listed here, but if not, repeat the process of using the Active Indices search option (or Individual/Corporation search, if it’s still later than 1977) to continue to work backward. You’ll know you’ve reached the end of your chain of title when you locate the deed in which the name of the grantor is the individual or corporation that platted the subdivision in question.