Published Letters to Gazette Editors Include Incorrect Information
Neighbors Respond to Set the Record Straight

Tim Begley of Brinklow writes,

It is unfortunate that many letters regarding the Ashton Meeting Place are contending that it would be out of character for this intersection. When you read most of these letters you find that most letters are not factually accurate.

Some facts that some of your recent letters to the editor about the Ashton Meeting Place seem to ignore. Fact: the Montgomery County Planning Commission does not have a definition of a "Rural Village". There is no quantitative definition in the Master Plan for this area that has building specifications, like height, square feet, etc. Therefore, there are no quantitative building (i.e. development) specifications of a "rural village". How could an area that is now filled with the so called McMansions and more being built everyday on every piece of vacant/idle land or farmland in the area, be a "rural village". It appears many people are overcome with subjective blindness.

Fact: The current buildings around at the NH Ave and Route 108 intersection where the Ashton Meeting Place is to be built have no consistent style or architecture or construction material. This intersection is a bunch of randomly constructed buildings. The Crown Gas Station does not look like Kimball's Service Center which does not look like the Ashton Village strip shopping center which does not look like Cricket Book Store which does not look like Sole D`Italia Restaurant which does not look like Shipley Plumbing which does not look like the Ashton Baptist Church which does not look like the Bank.

Therefore the contention that the "Ashton Meeting Place" would not be compatible with the current looks of the surroundings is absurd. You cannot make a valid comparison between random buildings and the proposed building and say it is not keeping with nature of the community. Randomness and consistent cannot be equal. More simply this is like comparing apples and oranges.

Other letters indicate traffic problems with the "Ashton Meeting Place", like a 350 car parking lot is too big. Now there is novel idea, let's make the parking spaces so few in numbers that cars become congested and backup on to the main streets. The developer wants to make it easy for people to get in and park their cars, above ground (295 spaces) or below ground (55 spaces), take your choice, and this is a problem? Actually, having some parking underground, a very good idea, minimizes surface blacktop and therefore water run off, an environmentally friendly solution.

None of the letters that appear to be against the "Ashton Meeting Place" acknowledge the desperately needed road improvements to this intersection that will be paid for partially by the developer and partially by the State (by agreement) which will benefit everyone. In the absence of this project, there are no road improvements scheduled for the NH Ave/Route 108 intersection any time soon. For this development project, the State Highway Administration improvement maps clearly show the improvements to this intersection are huge. From these maps, it is very easily shown that the net increase in the linear road space for cars to move in, for this intersection, will be increased between 88-91%. This means that we (which includes me and my family) will be able to utilize the right and left turn options that we do not currently have now. How many of you (including me) are waiting back at the high school to turn right to go south on NH Ave because three cars are stopped at the light to go straight east down 108 in the morning or evening? Most of this delay would be eliminated by the NH/Route 108 intersection improvement.

Imagine, wouldn't it be nice/novel not to have to use your car and be able to walk or ride your bike to the grocery store that is planned for this development project?

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