Sharon Dooley receives endorsement from the Gazette for District 2, August 2, 2010
Hanson was derelict in responsibility, Gazette, August 11, 2010
July 12, 2010 - During the Gaithersburg Germantown Chamber of Commerce candidate
forum, both Marc Elrich and Duchy Trachtenberg remarked about the frequent conflict
between the Council and the Planning Board during Chairman Royce Hanson's term. In
regard to the Growth Policy, Nancy Floreen said it was not a responsible document,
Marc Elrich said the Council could not rely on the Planning Board for accurate
transportation data. Duchy Trachtenberg said she thought the Council could look
forward to a more collaborative, transparent and productive relationship with the
Planning Board now that Royce Hanson has been replaced by Francoise Carrier.
Royce Hanson served as the Chairman of the Planning Board and presided over the
Gaithersburg West Master Plan process. His attitude toward the residents was one of
total indifference. He sat stone-faced during our testimony waiting to dismiss us and
proceed with his own agenda.
On his last day as Planning Board Chairman, Hanson quickly approved the Design
Guidelines for the master plan even though they did not include guidelines on
neighborhood compatibility. Buildings as high as 150 feet, 40,000 additional jobs and
5,700 additional housing units had been approved for the already-crowded area around
Shady Grove Hospital and Belward Farm. Compatibility with the existing neighborhoods
was clearly not his concern, even though Belward Farm is immediately adjacent to three
established residential neighborhoods.
As a Councilmember he says he would further his personal cause, the preservation of
the Agricultural Reserve...a worthy cause but not if it is done to the detriment of the
rest of the county. It has been said that he would like to jam as much density as
possible into the lower areas of the county in order to protect the Ag Reserve.
In reality, it is highly unlikely that all of the people who fill the newly-approved jobs
(68,000 in Germantown and 40,000 in Gaithersburg) will live down-county. Many will live
in northern Montgomery or southern Frederick Counties...putting increasing pressure
on the Ag Reserve anyway. Those who commute from Virginia will find the shortcuts
through the rural rustic roads of North Potomac and Potomac.
Resident opposition to the Gaithersburg West Master Plan, newly dubbed the Great
Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan, was unprecedented, yet Hanson was indifferent
to our concerns.