Olney community organizations fear that a proposed assisted-living facility could create safety and traffic issues, and impede the expansion of the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department’s Station 40.
While both the Greater Olney Civic Association and the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department support the concept of an assisted-living facility, members of both organizations discussed potential changes to the current proposal at Monday night’s GOCA meeting.
The 38-acre property is located in the 17000 block of Georgia Avenue, just north of the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department’s Station 40.
Alden English, past president of the fire department, said the department had passed a resolution to support the proposed development only if an allowance is made to allow the station to expand.
The station was built to 1968 standards. English said today’s equipment is larger and heavier. The department hopes to add three new bays, along with a community room. The expansion also would allow the addition of a women’s locker shower and dressing room, a larger bunk room, and additional storage space.
The proposed development is only 58 feet from the fire department’s property line.
Fire department officials have asked the property owner, the Danshes family and the developer H. H. Hunt, to donate a parcel about 18,000 square feet to allow for expansion.
“This is less than one-half acre of land and would be a great asset to the Olney community.” he said.
If necessary, English said the department would consider swapping a wooded portion of their land located behind the station, since county development guidelines require a large portion of the Danshes property to remain forested.
Chuck Graefe, representing the Southeast Rural Olney Civic Association, proposed a resolution to support the use of the property, but to opposed the project as presentedThe resolution, which was voted on and approved by GOCA delegates, listed four concerns: the need for acceleration/deceleration lanes, the need for a way to access the property from southbound Georgia Avenue without impeding traffic in front of the fire department, the need to implement a Silver Alert system for when a resident goes missing, reducing the footprint of the building, and the request for land donation to the SSVFD.
The attorney representing the Danshes family did not return phone calls by The Gazette for comment.
GOCA rejects upping ICC speed limit
GOCA delegates also voted to oppose any increase to the speed limit on the Intercounty Connector, based on concerns of added noise and pollution.
Transportation Chairman Paul Jarosinski said increasing the speed limit from 55 to 60 mph would only save 90 seconds if traveling the entire 18-mile length of the ICC, and raising it to 65 mph would save three minutes.
Calling HOA representatives
The July 10 GOCA meeting will have a different format. The focus will be on management of homeowner and civic associations to discuss items including pool management, landscaping, volunteers, dues, and other issues. All board members are encouraged to attend to share. The meeting begins at 7:30 in the Community Room of the Buffington RE/MAX Realty Centre, 3300 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney.
Computer help wanted
GOCA is seeking a volunteer to assist with communication via email, the website and Facebook. No writing required; information to post will be provided. It is estimated to require two to four hours each month in short increments, but a quick turnaround is needed. Students may earn service hours. For more information, contact President Barbara Falcigno at www.goca.org.