Quince Orchard Residents Submit Petition to Force Churchill Group to Clean Construction Site
Residents in Quince Orchard Park and The Vistas are trying to get Gaithersburg officials to force the Churchill Group of Rockville to clean up a construction site residents say is dangerous and unsightly.
About 180 Quince Orchard Park and Vistas residents signed the petition and presented it to the Mayor and Council during an Aug. 18 meeting that says:
“We the undersigned citizens and residents of “the Vista’s” and the neighboring community of Quince Orchard Park are seeking the support of our Gaithersburg City leaders to accelerate Churchill Group nativities to remediate long-standing and unfinished construction activities that include removal of construction debris and unused structures, removal of bulldozer created dirt and debris “mountains” and the correction of numerous landscaping deficiencies throughout the Vistas community. These longstanding uncompleted tasks are also raising serious health concerns related to rodent and insect infestation and safety issues related to unsecured hazard and debris area; all of which impact home values. Residents efforts to deal directly with the Developer, Churchill Group, have been , at best, patronizing. This petition seeks City intervention to accelerate Developer correctional efforts to include an execution timeframe that will satisfy City protocols as well as meet resident expectations.”
Resident Ahmed Kilani is spearheading the effort and said was prompted after years of not getting any response from the Churchill Group to requests to clean up the property.
“We are not just going to drop it. I don’t like what I see,” Kilani said.
Attempts to reach Eric Tovar, owner of Churchill Development were unsuccessful. An automatic email replay stated he was out of the office through Aug. 24. According to the city, The Churchill Development company built 13 single family homes and 13 townhomes in the Vistas community.
Mayor Sidney Katz said the company has made some progress on the citizens’ request this week.
“They are starting to go down the list,” Katz said.
City Manager Tony Tomasello said the city has issued several notices to Churchill alerting of them of a construction trailer that had to be moved off the property and grass that needed mowing. Churchill responded by removing the trailer this week, he said. But, he said some of the citizens complaints cannot be addressed until final site work is completed. Notices do not carry a fine. If Churchill does not respond to the city notices, citations with fines attached are the next step, according to Tomasello.
“Final grading needs to be done and some of that dirt in the pile is needed for those activities,” Tomasello said adding that additional dirt is needed to convert the current sediment control pond to a stormwater management pond. Also, he said the company can not plant new grass in August.
“Progress is being made. The extra bit of community input is powerful,” Tomasello told MyMCMedia Friday.