Civic associations have begun to elect representatives for a new committee that will choose the site for a second middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster.

The Montgomery County Board of Education had approved a site in Rock Creek Hills Park last April, but neighbors protested the location, and many argued the selection process was unfair. Superintendent Joshua Starr restarted the process in November.

One area resident, who’s also a real estate agent, posed a question yesterday on The Washington Post’s new real estate blog, Where We Live.

When it comes to schools and real estate in the D.C. area, the formula seems paradoxical: Every buyer wants to live in a great school district, but no home owner wants to have a school in his or her neighborhood, let alone across the street ...

Are schools really so bad to be close to? And how about the property values, how will a nearby school affect them? As Realtors, we get this question a lot.

As an education reporter, I’ve seen these debates play out everywhere I’ve worked.

School officials tend to argue that they are good neighbors: They offer parks, playgrounds or sports facilities that can be used by the community, and they serve a public good. But like nearly any new development, they bring traffic and noise. Neighbors worry about crime or loitering teens or property values.

Catarina Bannier, the real estate agent who wrote the blog post, attended her civic association meeting last night to vote for a committee representative.

More than 100 people were there, she said. One of the sites under consideration is nearby, next to the Coffield Community Center. Neighbors aired concerns about open space and traffic, and other possible implications. But she was pleased to see that many people seemed open-minded.

“I have never seen a [civic association] meeting that was that well-attended and that civilized,” she said.