Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Toll brothers talks about their plans for the WMAL field

Last night, representatives from Toll Brothers meet with the West Fernwood Citizen's Association to talk about their plans for the WMAL transmitter site. It is nice to see homebuilders engaging nearby residents early in the process and I hope this continues.

A representative from Toll Brothers (far right blue shirt) answers residents questions about the WMAL tower site.
Plans are still being developed, so nothing they said was final, but there were a few useful bits of information that they did have.

Currently the site is zoned R-90, which is single-family, 9,000 square foot lots.  The site is 75 acres, so that works out to about 330 units. They are required to have 12.5% of the units be moderately priced dwelling units (MPDU).  They will most likely take advantage of an MPDU option that allows up to half of the units to be townhouses, but the exact mix of houses to townhouses hasn't been decided.  Adding townhouses doesn't allow for more units on the site, it would come with more open space. Everything they see so far suggests that R-90 is good zoning from a marketing and investment perspective, they don't have plans to request re-zoning (but of course, that could change).

Currently the site is under contract and they expect it to close within 90 days. They have done one of several required traffic studies, some survey work and some environmental evaluation.  They are planning to do a 24 hour noise study today that will assess the noise levels coming from 495.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cunningham Falls State Park

 Cunningham Falls state park is about an hour north of here.  The main draw is a day-use lake area on Hunting Creek Lake.  There are two beaches, a roped off swimming area in the lake with lifeguards, lots of picnic areas, paddle boat and canoe rentals, fishing, hiking, and a snack bar.

The park is very popular, and on holiday weekends fills to capacity.  The snackbar has typical fast food like hamburger, hotdogs, soft pretzels and ice cream.  There is a bathouse with showers so you don't have to go home with a wet or sandy bathing suit on.

Also in the park is a large campground that you can reserve a site at.  Each site has a gravel dust base (smooth, but not the most comfortable surface), a picnic table, a fire ring, and space for a couple of cars and tents. Some of the sites have electrical hookups, and, if you aren't into tent camping, there are several one-room cabins you can rent.  The cabins have beds (bring your own sheets or sleeping bags) and electricity as well as the outdoor picnic table and fire ring.

Cunningham falls, Maryland's tallest waterfall, is less than a mile from the lake and there are several trails you can take to get there.  I made a separate post on the falls.

Related posts:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Plants and animals around Cunningham Falls

The area around Cunningham falls is loaded with plants and animals. When I was there I saw dozens of small toads, deer, and lots of interesting and colorful fungus and flowers.

This deer was hanging out along the cliff trail.

Indian pipes. These low-growing small flowers usually come out of the ground in small clumps.

Orange and Yellow mushroom.  It was growing right in one of the campground areas.

Odd-shaped fungus growing from the side of a tree stump.

Related posts:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hiking to Cunningham Falls

There are three trails that go to the falls, one from the campground and two from the day-use area.

There is a parking lot at the start of the trails, or, you can walk up from the main parking area.

Falls Lower Trail

The Falls Lower Trail is a half mile, crushed gravel trail which, although it has ups and downs, is a fairly easy walk through the woods.

Cliff Trail

The other trail that starts in at the same spot is the Cliff Trail.  This is a more traditional dirt trail with lots of exposed rocks.  There is a significant slope up at the beginning of the trail, then a downslope at the end.  It is also a bit longer, three-quarters of a mile instead of half a mile.

Campground Trail

The last trail starts from the campground and connects to the Cliff Trail.  It is predictably called the Campground trail.  It starts at the base of the Bear Branch Loop near the dumpsters.  From there it goes through wooded hills until it gets to the top of the Cliff trail.  It is about three-quarters of a mile from the start to the falls.

Related posts:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cunningham Falls

 At 78 feet, Cunningham Falls is the highest waterfall in Maryland.  It is a cascading type of falls.

 The falls is located in Cunningham Falls state park.  In addition to the falls, there is camping and a day-use area with a lake, beach, swimming and boating.

During the summer, lots of people hike up from the lake to the falls.  There are two trails that go there, both starting from the same parking lot.  There is also a trail from the camp grounds to the falls.

Related posts: