Judge Refuses to Block

Rosemary Village Sale A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge last week denied an injunction to stop the $25.5 million sale of Rosemary Village, a run-down cooperative for low- to moderate-income families in Silver Spring, to a private developer.

Montrose Smith and other residents of the complex had filed a suit to try to stop their 416-unit property on East West Highway from being sold to Fairfield Residential LLC of California.

Two-thirds of the residents at Rosemary had voted in November to sell and abolish the limited-equity cooperative, and allow Fairfield to renovate and turn the complex into market-rate apartment rentals in exchange for an estimated $26,000 to $42,000 for each unit.

But not all of the residents were in favor of the sale. They argued that the voting process was tainted and that other options for saving the cooperative weren't explored by the board of directors.

The property has become run-down since it turned into a cooperative in 1978 because residents voted against raising the monthly charges to live there. The complex now faces 6,000 housing code violations from Montgomery County and is in need of about $17 million worth of renovations.

Fairfield plans to close the deal this year and do the renovations over the next few years.

Women's Groups Plan

Legislative Briefing Paid parental leave, stalking legislation and how to assist the working poor after welfare reform are among the issues that will be discussed at the 23rd annual Women's Legislative Briefing on Feb. 2.

Jane Smith, chief executive officer of the Business and Professional Women/USA, will present the keynote address. Eleanor Smeal, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, will be featured in a session addressing women's issues in Congress.

Upcoming legislative initiatives in the 2003 Maryland General Assembly will be covered in workshops on work and women, health, domestic violence, family law and effective lobbying. There will also be a workshop on international women's issues. The event will conclude with a reception providing guests the opportunity to meet with county and state elected officials.

The briefing, which is free, will be held 12:30 to 5:45 p.m. at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase. Online registration is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cfw. On-site registration will be held from 12:30 to 1 p.m. the day of the briefing. For more information, call 240-777-8330.

Staff writer Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.