Colonial History Cited in Silverwood Challenge

Judge clears way for city to join in opposing a challenge to development near Shady Grove Metro.

A Rockville woman is using an argument rooted in Maryland’s colonial days in a lawsuit that seeks to block the proposed Silverwood project on Frederick Avenue, The Gazette reported this week.

On Tuesday, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled that the Rockville City Council may intervene in the case, according to online court records. The council voted 4-1 on Jan. 9 to have the city attorney represent Rockville.

Cathy Scott says her ancestors could be buried on the property near where Silverwood/Shady Grove LLC intends to build a six-story 417-unit apartment building with ground floor retail on the 4.3-acre former Reed Brothers Dodge site at 15955 Frederick Road, The Gazette reported. That would give her access rights to the site, she argued.

The state’s Office of Cemetery Oversight’s website states that: “A person who is related by blood or marriage or who has a cultural affiliation with a person interred in a burial site may request that the owner of the burial site or of the land encompassing a burial site grant reasonable access to the burial site for purposes of restoring, maintaining, or viewing the burial site.”

In a Jan. 27 filing in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Scott, who lives in King Farm, says she is a descendant of Ralph Crabb, who purchased property that includes the Frederick Road site in 1722, The Gazette reported.

According to Peerless Rockville, Crabb is not among those buried in a family cemetery at the intersection of Derwood Road and Indianola Drive, just outside city limits, The Gazette reported.

An attorney for Silverwood told The Gazette that the developer believes Scott’s petition is without merit.

Scott and former Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo have filed separate petitions for judicial review of decisions by the city. Scott's seeks a review of the council's decision to annex the property. Giammo's seeks a review of the city Planning Commission's approval of the project.

Giammo told The Sentinel in December that his problem stems largely from his belief that the approval decision was not consistent with the city’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The ordinance seeks to ensure that transportation infrastructure, public schools, fire and emergency service and water and sewer service, can sufficiently handle the impact of new development.

Changes to the standards that govern how the ordinance is applied to development projects were made in February 2011. Those standards are now in conflict with the ordinance, Giammo told The Sentinel.

The city’s Planning Commission voted Nov. 30 not to reconsider its Oct. 26 approval of the project, The Gazette reported.

Scott had requested the reconsideration, citing concerns about added traffic the development would bring.

Traffic and noise due to the project’s proximity to the Shady Grove solid waste transfer station and the Shady Grove Metro station were at the heart of more than five hours of debate by the Planning Commission on Oct. 26, Metro Business Media reported.

Jeff Hawkins February 17, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Hey....I'm against the development, but that sure is a stretch saying her G-Grand Pappy is buried "somewhere" over yonder. Heck if she lives in King Farm her house might be sitting on "ole" Ralph already! Or he might be lying in the middle of 355! Frankly......in this area we got folks buried all around us that we don't know about. Anyway....good luck with that! I had ancestors that were "returned to cultivation" years ago :)
Temperance Blalock February 17, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I'm an amateur genealogist, and I found a book in the library that showed the 50-acre piece of property in Accomac, Virginia that my ancestor Thomas Blalock received around 1635 as payment for an indentured servitude, and where he is believed to have been buried. One summer I drove out to the Eastern Shore and located the property, on which there was a small commercial building. It did not occur to me that I had the right to tell the current owner of the property that he must procure my cooperation before he builds on or modifies the property.
Theresa Defino February 17, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Why are you against it?
Jeff Hawkins February 17, 2012 at 08:59 PM
@Theresa "Why are you against it?" I guess generally speaking I'm just an old stick in the mud and are mostly anti-development in most cases. The big sticking point for me on this one is "location". To me it seems like a terrible spot to build and I do also understand that it's close to Metro and those advantages. Even with that.......I just don't like it. Hey...it will be built regardless........nothing is going to stop "progress"!
Roald Schrack February 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
This argument about ancestral remains is delightful. It is universally applicable. It can be used to stop the rebuilding or new construction anywhere. Have the opponents of Victory court heard about this?


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