Montgomery County and it’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is trying to convince Wheaton Woods residents at a community meeting 20 to 40 foot rain gardens in their front yards on the county's right of way are a good idea.But they look kind of like a ditch. . .
One homeowner says "You created the problem and you're looking to solve it through us."
The county started installing rain gardens six years ago and more are on the way. It’s all part of the county’s Green Street Program.
Rain gardens collect toxic runoff from the streets during rainstorms so it doesn't end up in the Chesapeake Bay.
So far the county has built 300 rain gardens in neighborhoods and many are several feet deep. The county is in charge of maintenance.How much does it take to dig a hole? Somebody is making good money at this.
According to the county, each green street storm water improvement costs about $25,000 - $35,000 for design and construction.
Costs depend on size, design, traffic control during construction, and other site specifics. Maintenance costs paid by the county are $2,000 per year for each green street storm water improvement.I hate it when that happens.
Director Lisa Feldt of Montgomery County's DEP says "It's not a hazard and in fact you see some right behind you here at Dennis Avenue where we are sitting and I think you heard from some residents who say how happy they are with the facilities here."
Maria Michas who lives in Silver Spring isn't a fan of her rain garden that already gobbled up a friend.
"This was full of leaves and they didn't see it. They fell down. They fell in." says Michas.
Over near Sligo Creek… homeowner Kit Gage says rain gardens have helped drainage issues along her street, “Overall I would say there is tremendous support for these in the neighborhood."Good point. You want your children playing in these pollution collectors? I would have played in them happily as a kid.
In Kensington Estates, homeowners are fighting back by creating mock-ups to show the county's future plans for their front yards.
Jeff Giuliani who lives in Kensington Estates says "I believe the pollutants that were filtering off into the bay are now sitting in my side yard."
Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner who supports the county’s Green Street Program says "This is county property in which our DEP, really I think did themselves a disservice and our residents a disservice by coming forth with a plan that was probably far too aggressive and far more aggressive than it will ultimately be."
Neighborhoods don't get a vote either.