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WHAT HAVE FOREST BUFFER CONSERVATION & WATERSHED PROTECTION GOT TO DO WITH A MEGA GAS STATION?

Costco/Westfield are messing with Wheaton's Green Forest Buffer and the watershed by which groundwater reaches the Chesapeake Bay.

WHAT HAVE FOREST BUFFER CONSERVATION & WATERSHED PROTECTION GOT TO DO WITH A MEGA GAS STATION?

 

Plenty!  As part of its struggle to block Costco's request for Special Exception to build a mega gas station in Westfield Wheaton Mall, the Stop Costco Gas Coalition is calling attention to the fact that Costco has not filed a Forest Conservation Plan, claiming an exemption that SCGC finds invalid (www.stopcostcogas.org).

 

Wheaton's Green Forested Buffer, a portion of which is owned by Westfield Group, is a thin 10-acre strip of woods that protects Kensington Heights residents from the air, noise, and light pollution generated by Wheaton Mall.  The largest collection of trees in the entire Wheaton Sector Plan area, this forested buffer conveys stormwater from the Mall into Sligo, Silver and Rock Creeks.  Westfield recently sold half the woods for upzoned transit-oriented residential development, and pierced the heart of remaining forest with bulldozers to construct an outfall that dumps stormwater from the Costco project into Silver Creek.  This was done without a Forest Conservation Plan, in stark contrast to the spirit and letter of the Wheaton Sector Plan, as approved in 2011, to mandate additional protection and special status to Wheaton's green forested buffer.

 

Now Costco also wants to build a gas station, the busiest in Montgomery County, right above the headwaters of Silver Creek and next to single-family residences, and plans to do more work in the forested buffer with a Forest Conservation Exemption that is inaccurate and invalid.  According to the SCGC, if Westfield & Costco are allowed to proceed, one of the results will be further damage to our dwindling forest buffer and further degradation of the groundwater that drains, via our regional watershed, into the Chesapeake Bay.  The SCGC is urging concerned citizens to contact the Planning Board about this environmental injustice.

 

For more information, read here and here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Danila Sheveiko February 19, 2013 at 04:28 AM
Dear Homewood resident: The construction project you mention on the site of the former Wheaton First Baptist Church is located at 10914 Georgia Avenue - not on Viers Mill, as you continue to insist, so please check your facts before casting aspersions. Similarly, your continued insistence that we are doctoring the photos does not withstand scrutiny. On the other hand, I challenge you to show the good people reading this thread at least one photo with at least one item of landscaping you claim Westfield and Costco installed to remediate the damage caused in the Wheaton forested green buffer. If you will not produce a photo in response to my challenge, your silence on the matter will speak volumes.
Homewood resident February 19, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Never said "doctoring." Sorry. Misleading, yes. Doctoring, no.
Danila Sheveiko February 21, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Dear Homewood resident: Our photos are misleading? How so? Also, Patch readers are still waiting for your photos to back up your claims of Costco/Westfield landscaping in the buffer.
Kathy March 01, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Kensington wake up....Not only is this area buffer at risk but has anyone seen all the tree trucks crucifing the trees around Kensington? They are destroying , cutting down trees all over Kensington. this is i a huge worry also.
Homewood resident March 05, 2013 at 02:54 AM
I uploaded a photo of the buffer -- one tree deep. from that tree to Veirs Mil Road the buffer is gone completely.

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