I write in response to the May 23 article, “Montgomery County executive: Rapid Transit Vehicle system will be built.”
If the lawsuit my family is involved with succeeds, then there’s one place the bus route will not be built: Through Belward Farm, near Rockville.
Currently, the transit proposal bisects Belward Farm with a six-lane state road and a state-run mass transit system running along with it.
My Aunt Elizabeth Beall Banks would roll over in her grave if she knew the property she’d entrusted to Johns Hopkins University before her death was to be developed in this way. Famously known for running commercial developers off her property, she granted Hopkins the farm with the promise it would be used for a Hopkins-owned and -operated college campus with a private campus road network.
While JHU would rather develop a multi-million dollar “Science City,” with over 4.7 million square feet of commercial space, as a profiteering venture with the county, the university is actually prohibited under the deed restrictions from selling or donating any of the property.
Ultimately, while our family has no objection to the Corridor Cities Transitway and understands its importance, we trust that the Montgomery County courts will force Hopkins to honor its word.
That means the county and state could have no “plans” for the farm buses or otherwise now or in the future.
John Timothy Newell, Lebanon, N.J.
The writer is Belward Farm Successor and lead plaintiff in John Timothy Newell et.al. v. Johns Hopkins University.