Potomac residents have not given up.
Three residents have appealed a Maryland State Board of Education decision allowing the Montgomery County Board of Education to lease 20 acres of school system land on Brickyard Road for soccer fields, said Curt Uhre, a member of the Brickyard Coalition. The coalition has been fighting the soccer fields since the idea was first placed on the school board agenda in March 2011.
Those who were listed on the state board case, an appeal of the local board’s decision, have 30 days to appeal the July 24 decision.
The appeals were filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Uhre said.
He expects more coalition members will follow suit.
Although it is costly for residents to hire attorneys and continue to fight against the county, Uhre said it is worth it to preserve their neighborhood.
“We feel that this soccerplex is going to have drastic consequences,” he said. “It threatens our community as we know it. And we don’t say that dramatically, we have looked at the traffic and other [problems] it will bring. As long as this community continues to believe in this message and this fight, we will continue to fight it.”
In its opinion, the state board wrote that because the county board ensured in the proposal that the school system could, with two years notice, take back the land to use as school property, the use was reasonable.
This month, Nick’s Organic Farm, which has been on the land for more than 30 years, will vacate the property. Montgomery Soccer Inc. will move in.
This past spring, the county approved the company’s bid to build, maintain and manage the fields, county spokesman Patrick Lacefield said.
The coalition argues that an education article prohibits the agreement.
“We may have had to dig into pockets [to fight this], but sometimes you have to protect your freedoms and protect your beliefs, and that is part of the process,” Uhre said.