Citizens File Notice of Potential $40,000,000 Claim Against Board of Education
Preserving our Neighborhood
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Keith Williams 301-983-5334
Curt Uhre 301-806-0024
POTOMAC, MD – March 8, 2012 – The Brickyard Coalition, Inc. filed legal notices with the Maryland State Treasurer of possible monetary claims against the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) in regard to the Brickyard site. The notices state that the members of the Brickyard Coalition’s legal, property, civil, and constitutional rights (both state and federal) were violated by the BOE’s egregious actions in regard to the Brickyard school site. This notice is required by law if citizens wish to sue and seek monetary damages from the Board of Education or any of its officials. Over four hundred individuals, as well as multiple civic organizations, filed the notice. Each claimant could receive up to $100,000.
The notice of claim was filed one year after the Board of Education vote—without community input—on March 8, 2011, to lease the Brickyard property to Montgomery County. The County Executive’s proposed plan is to construct a commercial soccer complex containing up to four soccer fields, parking lots for almost 300 cars and facilities such as concessions and rest rooms, on this public land for private use. This soccer complex will overwhelm and cause negative repercussions to the residential neighborhoods on Brickyard Road as well as the surrounding roads and communities.
The Brickyard Coalition believes the proposal violates the Potomac Master Plan and will create serious traffic, safety and environmental problems in the area. Years of careful, patient, inclusive and transparent planning that allowed Montgomery County to develop zoning regulations and guidelines within the mandate of the well-thought-out Master Plan will have been both wasted and flaunted if the County Executive is allowed to proceed in this manner. The Master Plan was crafted with essential community input Montgomery County was previously renown for.
The Brickyard community has been organizing in opposition to Mr. Leggett’s proposal since it first discovered that the County Executive has been secretly planning since November of 2009 to deliver 20 acres of public land on Brickyard Road in Potomac to a private corporation for development. If this is permitted to happen, it will set a terrible precedent and no community within Montgomery County will be safe from such schemes, secret planning and private development on public land.
The Board of Education has twice been found to have violated the Open Meeting Act in regard to the Brickyard site. Specifically, the BOE twice excluded the public from discussion of its plans to lease, without competitive bid, this public land to the County Executive when the law required it to publicly discuss such plans.