Monday, May 29, 2017
This space used to belong to Pho Hoa Binh 2. City Taste will offer a fusion of Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine, including sushi.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Allies of the Council in the local media went even further than the Council's own press release Thursday, falsely declaring that taxes had decreased - even as the release stated otherwise. Fake news. In fact, the Council posted a required ad in local newspapers several weeks ago announcing a budget with an increase in taxes. This follows last year's all-time-high property tax increase of 9% (which many County homeowners found actually translated into tax hikes of 10% or more, based on - yep - those automatic tax hikes that happen whether the Council increases the rate or not), and a major hike in the recordation tax.
So "holding the line" in this case means we're still at the highest level of taxation in Montgomery County history. The Council didn't have to move a muscle to get all that, and a little bit more, from your wallet for this budget.
As I reported a few weeks back, the budget massively overpays for procurement purchases, and funnels money to key donors and political allies in often-duplicative non-profit social services. Some who receive salaries from those non-profits turn portions of their tax hikes into campaign donations for the very councilmembers who voted to approve the funding for their organizations. Funding for a new microlending "Bank of the County Council" can also be "paid forward" by recipients to the campaigns of councilmembers. Those involved in determining who receives the microloans are either directly appointed by the Council, or are within their direct orbits of political influence.
Whether you pay taxes in Montgomery County can also depend on who you are. As I reported this week, developer Regency Centers was found to be in arrears to the County, having not paid their tax bills on two Westbard properties. Yet their development proposals are being pushed through the approval process, at taxpayer expense. As you know, ordinary citizens like you and me can be denied various government benefits and services if we are delinquent on our taxes.
There's a lot in this budget for the beleaguered County taxpayer to review, and perhaps even more for the FBI to examine. Such an examination could turn the Council's unwarranted budget victory lap into a perp walk outside of 100 Maryland Avenue.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
MoCo HOC audited by feds: 75% of units didn't meet HUD standards, 405 code violations found (Photos)
|Would you use this moldy|
shower at an HOC unit
in Montgomery County?
|One of two gas-venting|
violations found in HOC housing
auditors said "could result in an
|Exposed sewer pipe|
where a toilet was removed
but never replaced
Once again, the Montgomery County Council has failed to perform its oversight role over the HOC.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Initially, delivery was expected by Summer 2018. The project website has more recently said Spring 2019, which would be 24 months from now. However, this week, Montgomery County Department of General Services Deputy Director Greg Ossont reported that "we're about 30 months out." That would be near the end of 2019, a full 18 months later than the original target date.
I did find what appears to be a new rendering of the rear of the building (or at least, it's new to me), on the project website, and it looks pretty impressive. This is where the circular driveway will be for drop-offs and book returns.
Rendering courtesy Montgomery County
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Getting permission to do so should not be a problem for this project, Area 1 Regulatory Supervisor Elza Hisel-McCoy told the applicant Tuesday. "You're at the intersection of Main and Main in downtown Silver Spring, and you need 4 feet," he explained. The site is at the crossroads of Georgia and Colesville Road, two of the heaviest-traveled commuter routes in the state of Maryland. It is currently home to a gas station.
The Board isn't likely to take up the matter until September, and the applicant may need to request an extension for the review before then.
Rendering via Montgomery County Planning Department
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
There's now an official date for the Wheaton redevelopment groundbreaking. It will take place on Sunday, June 4, at Lot 13 in the Wheaton Triangle. The event has been scheduled as part of Taste of Wheaton. Part of Lot 13 will then close as soon as the next day, as construction begins on the new Montgomery County government office building. A Bozzuto apartment building will be constructed separately on the other part of Lot 13.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Police say Lievano turned himself in late last night, and was transported to the Central Processing Unit. He is being held on a $10,000 bond.
Lievano is the second MCPS security employee in a month to be charged with having sex with a minor girl at the school he was assigned to. In the first case, at Richard Montgomery High School, it was revealed that MCPS had failed to do a background check on that employee, who had faced charges in a strip club gun incident easily found through a Google search.
Detectives say Lievano and the girl at Lee MS started "dating" on March 29, after an exchange of text messages. They did not say how the suspect obtained the girl's cell phone number. "Inappropriate sexual contact" took place between the two at his home, and her home.
Police ask anyone who believes that his/her child may have been victimized by Lievano in a similar way to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Whatever it's ultimately called, Studio Plaza will hold 415 residential units, 15% of which will be affordable. It will also boast 10,500 SF of retail, and 35100 SF of public space, including a green plaza, a through-block walk and public art displays. The building design is by WDG Architects.