Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nancy Navarro Calls for District 4 Parkland Acquisition (Updated)

Following is the press release from the Council Member's office.

Update: The resolution was endorsed by the Audubon Naturalist Society and the Montgomery Countryside Alliance and passed on a 7-0 vote.

Councilmember Nancy Navarro Calls for District 4 Parkland Acquisition

Proposed Parkland Purchase Would Mitigate ICC Impact & Protect Environment

Contact: David Moon (240) 777-7953 or david.moon@montgomerycountymd.gov

ROCKVILLE, MD – As part of her ongoing desire to mitigate environmental impacts from the ICC, Nancy Navarro announced her staunch support for a County Council resolution to approve the purchase of 52 acres of land for Burtonsville’s Fairland Park. The parcel contains old growth forest over 100-years-old, as well as wetlands and bogs that would serve as a buffer for the ICC, which is located only 1.5 miles away. Groups ranging from the Sierra Club of Montgomery County to the East County Citizens Advisory Board endorsed the purchase.

Navarro noted: “The ICC cuts aggressively through District 4, and as a result, the residents of my community are shouldering many of the highway’s negative impacts. But by saving this delicate land from development, the County would be taking a step forward to demonstrate basic fairness. We transferred so much land to the State for ICC construction, that it only makes sense to take advantage of these rare opportunities to preserve replacement land.”

The land would be sold to Montgomery County by Fairland Development LLC, at a cost of $8,750,000, which has been negotiated down from the original asking price of $11,550,000. If the County Council rejects the purchase, this sensitive land will undoubtedly be developed into 109 housing units. Navarro highlighted the fact that this acquisition would not have been possible were it not for the weakened financial conditions in the development and housing industry. “The housing crash has presented Montgomery County with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect and preserve land at a steep discount.”

The County Council will vote on this resolution during its July 14th session today.