Community Liaison Council Meeting Minutes — March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013; 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Natcher Building, Visitor's Center Little Theater
National Institutes of Health

Opening Remarks

Ms. Miller reported that CLC member George Oberlander has resigned. Andrea Witt will serve as the CLC representative for the Huntington Parkway Citizens Association of 75 homes.

Stony Creek Storm Water Facility — John Hollister, Montgomery County Project Manager

Mr. Hollister announced the completion of a storm-water project designed to collect sediment and debris from the watershed. Contractors are removing equipment as they finish grading and landscaping the site, which should require another three weeks. Follow-up monitoring will occur to ensure the pond is working properly and the landscaping is taking hold. The pond should provide a stable aquatic habitat that attracts predatory insects that eat mosquitoes. Workers also installed aerators in the pond.

In response to a question from Ms. Rice, Mr. Hollister said the site will feature young, fast-growing trees, including cypress and river birch. The wetland grasses will become lush over time.

A preconstruction meeting in late September 2010 established a two-year timeline for the project. The discovery of bedrock as well as other issues pushed back the completion date. The project includes underground oil/trash collectors to collect restaurant grease dumped in storm drains as well as oil from cars on the road. Trucks will regularly clean out the debris collected in the pond or underground oil/trash collectors.

Children’s Inn Playground — Tony Clifford, Chief Engineer, ORF

A new playground behind the Children’s Inn now offers a safer, more vibrant place to play while diverting water runoff that was flooding the inn. The previous play area’s equipment used treated lumber that contained arsenic, said Mr. Clifford, and the mulch contained spores that posed a risk to kids with compromised immune systems.

Experts in the field of therapeutic play created an outdoor play space for children of all abilities --those in wheelchairs, those with visual and hearing deficits, and those with both physical and other sensory limitations. Designers also created the space with well parents and siblings in mind. The playground, suitable for children ages 6 months to 5 ½ years old, includes swings, instruments, playhouses and space for outdoor performances. Tents will provide shade for sun-sensitive children. Donors provided the funds for the project, which was built in part by community and NIH volunteers. Children from the NIH child-care centers will not use this playground.

NIH Northwest Child-Care Center — Phillip Neuberg, NIH

After a difficult start, plans are going forward for a new child-care center on the NIH campus. Staff in the new center will manage 170 children, ranging from infants to 6 years old. In the current facility, a modular building near parking lot 41, staff care for 33 children. Another center on campus serves 150 children.

The one-level building, which will be located on Center Drive just before the firehouse, will be adjacent to a forested area. The building’s green roof will offer storm-water benefits but will not be accessible to the public. The facility also will feature stone accents and plenty of natural light inside. A stone bell tower will serve as a visual landmark. The site includes fenced play areas right off of the classrooms. Canopy areas outside as well as gazebos will provide shade.

Mr. Neuberg, who chaired the site’s design review board, said the parking available at the facility will be for parents dropping off and picking up their kids. Staff park in regular NIH parking spaces.

Public funds will pay for constructing the facility. Parents who use the center will pay tuition that covers 100 percent of the operating costs. Ms. Savarese said 1,200 names are on a waiting list for child care. The new child-care center has been part of the campus master plan for a number of years. Because of the extent of the need, the campus is considering a third site, said Mr. Neuberg.

Planning and Development in Downtown Bethesda — Margaret Rifkin, Montgomery County Planning

Assessing current and future plans for jobs, housing and amenities, Ms. Rifkin gave a presentation on planning and development in downtown Bethesda. The discussion covered plans for the Metro Core District, the Central Business District (CBD) and the CBD Sector Plan Boundary.

The growth in Bethesda primarily involves infill, fitting development in between other buildings.
Downtown Bethesda currently has 41,500 jobs and 6,800 housing units. The vision is for 54,041 jobs and 9,912 housing units, said Ms. Rifkin. Most of the jobs are in retail, hotels and offices.

Bethesda continues to encourage more streetscape and amenities/art. The area reflects a garden/cultural district theme with stores that open right onto the street. The city encourages developers to come up with visually appealing plans that welcome pedestrians and a create a network of open space. The community also seeks to push more people toward public transportation. Ms. Miller said a bus route into Chevy Chase would promote greater transit use. Plans for Bethesda will be available for updating in 2014.


The meeting adjourned at 5:42 p.m. The next meeting will occur May 16.


CLC Members
Marian Bradford, Camelot Mews Citizens Assoc.
Margaret Dittemore, Huntington Terrace
Kira Lueders, NIH Alumni Association
Marilyn Mazuzan, Oakmont
Deborah Michaels, Glenbrook Village
Ginny Miller, Wyngate
George Oberlander, Huntington Parkway
Lucy Ozarin, MD, Whitehall
Eleanor Rice, East Bethesda Citizens Assoc.
Ralph Schofer, Maplewood
Jennette Wade, Whitehall
Andrea Witt, Huntington Parkway

NIH Staff
Tony Clifford, Chief Engineer, ORF
Brian Kim, Environmental Engineer, ORF
Brad Moss, ORS
Tara Mowery
Phillip Neuberg
Sharon Robinson, OCL
Mary Ellen Savarese, NIH Child-Care Specialist
Thor Sigfusson, ORF

John Hollister, Project Manager, Montgomery County
Margaret Rifkin, Urban Designer/Planner, Montgomery County Planning

Laura Jackson, Audio Associates

This page last reviewed on March 9, 2017