|Scale-It-Back.com is a collaborative effort of community and civic organizations in
Montgomery County, Maryland who believe growth must be carefully managed to
prevent unprecedented levels of traffic congestion, pressure to build on the ever-
decreasing green spaces and the degradation of our existing communities and
The commercial development proposed in the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master
Plan is entirely too dense for the suburban residential character of the area,
particularly on Belward Farm which is adjacent to three established neighborhoods.
Belward Farm continues to be the center of the controversy. In the late 1980s, the
Montgomery County, MD officials were frustrated with Belward's late owner Elizabeth
Banks because she refused to sell her property to developers or the county for
commercial or residential development.
The county brought in Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to convince Ms. Banks that the
University would build an academic campus on her farm. Ms. Banks, a former
educator, sold Belward Farm to JHU for one/tenth of its market value based on their
promises. Soon after Ms. Banks' passing, the county, at the request of Johns
Hopkins, rezoned Belward Farm for a massive commercial office complex for
approximately 15,000 people.
Hopkins' proposed money-making commercial real estate venture on Belward Farm is
a clear violation of donative intent.
The officials at Johns Hopkins, Montgomery County and the State of Maryland do not
seem bothered by this and are determined to proceed with the terms of the master
plan as well as the building of the Corridor Cities Transitway which, though lacking in
public support, is necessary for Hopkins to realize their full development capacity on
For more insight please see the documents below and additional documents on the
INTERNAL LETTER FROM JOHNS HOPKINS IN 1988
TEN TERMS OF AGREEMENT, BELWARD FARM
Comparison travel times for the CCT, the Ride On and driving
Overlay of the CCT alignment with current Ride On buses
After scathing criticism at the Montgomery County Delegation hearing, Ike Leggett
withdraws the enabling legislation for the Independent Transit Authority:
Leggett withdraws proposal for independent Montgomery transit authority, Jan 31,
Montgomery County Civic Federation position on Independent Transit Authority,
Jan. 29, 2015
Update on the Independent Transit Authority proposed by Ike Leggett, Jan. 27, 2015
Update email to residents about the CCT Advisory Committee debacle, Sept. 17, 2014
Notes on response from Rick Kiegel regarding the final route for the Corridor Cities
Transitway, June 13, 2014
Maryland Court of Appeals refuses to hear Belward Farm case, Mar. 25, 2014Johns
Hopkins vs. MoCo farm: Whose wishes should prevail?, Washington Post Magazine,
Feb. 28, 2014
REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PETITION from the family of Elizabeth Banks, Jan. 27, 2014
ANSWER TO PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI from Johns Hopkins, Jan. 22, 2014
Plaintiffs in Belward Farm Lawsuit Announce Intentions to Petition Maryland's Highest
Court in Continued Effort to Preserve Land and Donor's Intent, November 22, 2013
Decision of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, Nov. 22, 2013
Hopkins has respected Belward restrictions, October 23, 2013, Fritz W. Schroeder,
Baltimore - The writer is vice president for development and alumni relations at Johns
Hopkins University. (Related article below.)
Will Hopkins respect its donor's wishes?, The Baltimore Sun, By Anne D. Neal,
October 16, 2013
Press Release regarding the hearing from the family of Elizabeth Banks, Sept. 4, 2013
Notes from the Belward Farm/Johns Hopkins hearing in the Court of Special Appeals.
September 3, 2013
Belward Farm and our Truth- and Transparency-Challenged County, Feb. 28, 2013
To read all of the documents regarding the Belward Farm/Johns Hopkins
debacle, please CLICK HERE.
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