It was the community's idea to ask the Montogomery County Planning Commission to draw up a master plan for the small up-county town of Boyds, according to Julius J. Cinque, president of the Boyds' civic association. But 2 1/2 years later, Boyds residents contend, the master plan has not worked out quite the way they had expected.
The community, Cinque said, had hoped tp protect the rural atmosphere of Boyds, primarily by banning construction of a rock quarry and by alleviating some water and sewer problems.
Instead, the master plan, which Montgomery County planners have recommended that the County Council approve, would permit consideration and possible development of a rock quarry. It also advises that a man-made lake be built for emergency water use and recreational purposes.
The recommendation on the rock quarry set the community on its heels.
"We wanted to protect the community against future industrialization," Cinque said. "We wanted (the county) to say the land is rural and it should stay rural."
The lake proposal wasn't quite what Boyds residents had in mind, either. It calls for a 458 acre lake with possibilities for boating and a park for "camping, cabin rental, group picnic area, nature center, equestrian center . . ."
"We were talking about a water reservior," Cinque said, "one that would not affect housing and not create a carnival-like atomsphere in the center of town."
Even though the planners did propose a sewer system that appeared to win community approval, Cinque said, all in all, the community is disappointed.
"I think the community is saying, "Who the hell needs this?"
Saying they do not want the master plan, 49 Boyds residents signed up to present their objections to the County Council at a public hearing held this week on the plan.
The council has held two public hearings on the plan, but the second hearing this week was brief due to a snowstorm. The council, which is expected to vote on the plan in mid-March or later, will hold another public hearing within the next few weeks.
Boyds is a rural community west of Germantown, centered at Barnesville Road, near the B&O Railroad above White Grounds Road. There is a general store, a post office, rolling fields for horses and diary farms and a population of 300 residents, who all have the same telephone exchange.
Boyds also has the distinction of being the site of a large deposit of diabase rock, which is used in making concrete, cement asphalt. Rockville Crushed Stone owns 1,863 acres of that rock, or more than half the 3,085 acres in the town.The company's property covers just about all of Boyds below Barnesville Road, which divides that town in half.
Boyds residents also have objected to a recommendation that the water problems be solved by building a 12-inch water main.
"The community doesn't need a 12-inch water main," Cinque remarked. "We don't want to encourage rampant development - townhouses and multiunit houses. One of the reasons we have stayed a low-density area is because of the low water supply."
A rock quarry uses large amounts of water for its operations, according to Cinque.
After reviewing the plan, the community has come up with propsals of its own.
"We want a new geological survey of the area to determine if water can be made available from wells," said Cinque.
The association has armed itself with a report, as long as the master plan, put together by community residents, some of whom are geologists and environmental specialists. The report is designed to counter an environmental statement Rockville Crushed Stone submitted to the planning commission.
David E. Betts, attorney for Rockville Crushed Stone, said of Boyds, "It's a crossroads and a few nice houses. It's a lovely, unspoiled part of the county. Residents think a quarry would ruin them, but the fact is that the rock is a natural mineral resource that the county uses 2 million tons of per year."
And the amount needed is always increasing, said Betts.
James G. Topper, general manager of the firm, noted that diabase rock, the type found in Boyds, is important to the company for several reasons.
Diabase, as opposed to serpentine, which is being quarried at a company site in Travilah, is better to use in building and surfacing main roads since serpentine becomes slick and polished, increasing the possibility of skids.
In addition, he said, few businesses want to use serpentine because it cannot meet strength requirements and because it contains abestos, which some persons believe may be carcinogenic.
As a result, Topper said, business at the Travilah quarry has been "gradually withering away. We could do 50 percent more business "with a diabase quarry)."
Meanwhile, Rockville Crushed Stone also is not satisfied with the master plan, according to Betts. The firm wants an an outright zoning exception for quarrying and crushing rock in Boyds, he explained, instead of the present proposal that would require the County Planning Commission to review the environmental impact of a rock quarry, and then would require the County Council to amend the master plan.
Rockville Crushed Stone wants the entire operation to be on 500 acres of the land they now own, he said, about one half mile northwest of White Grounds Road and south of Barnesville Road. The actual quarry - a 200 to 300 feet deep hole at its deepest - would take up about 150 acres, according to Betts. Another 150 acres would be used for crushing and stockpiling the rock, and teh remaining 200 would be landscraping buffer.
Betts said the explosive blasting and crushing operations would not be disturbing to neighbors because berms - 50 foot mounds of dirt that can be built around the rim of the quarry - would muffle the sounds. In addition, the quarry uses thousands of gallons of water to constantly water down the rock and the equipment to prevent dust, Betts explained.
But the residents of Boyds are mainly upset by the truck traffic and noise.
"You and I could be standing next to each other and not talking if trucks go by," said Cinque. "The major impact is the truck traffic. Rockville Crushed Stone said 750 trucks a day. That's 1,500 runs. About every 20 seconds a truck goes rolling by."
However, Betts said the community was over-reacting to the problem of truck traffic. "The maximum is 750. This is the absolute maximum. It would be a gradual rise. And that's assuming absolute full maximum blasting. The fact its nothing to be afraid of. It's 20 years down the road."
The few residents who spoke at the public hearing this week stressed that they are concerned about the impact of the truck traffic.
"When you start running that number of trucks down Clopper Road," said Thomas Fisher, who lives on Clopper Road outside of Boyds, "the noise and traffic will make homes uninhabitable."
Officials of the firm have pointed to the development near the 23-year-old Travilah quarry as an example that a quarry does not inhibit development. The real impact of a quarry can be seen in the expensive homes that have sprung up arou d the Travilah quarry, company officials say.
"Every house in Glen Hills, Piney Glen and Potomac Heights came after our quarry," said Topper. "And they are in sight of the quarry. There are more houses within one mile of the Travilah quarry than there are around the (proposed) Boyds site."
Topper said there are no occupied houses on the 500-acre site in Boyds with the exception of a trailer home.The rest of the land they own in Boyds will not be affected by the quarry, he added.
"There's no right or wrong in planning," said Perry Berman, who directed the master plan study of Boyds which he said would have been done, sooner or later, regardless of wether or not the community requested it."We're saying if there is a need for a quarry, we'll have to re-examine that, otherwise wed like to keep Boyds a home in the country."