In Support of Green Spaces

Editor’s Note: This is part two in a small series of articles by author James Wisniewski about the important and significance of green spaces in Greenbelt. Read his first article here.

“Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is easy for us to take Greenbelt’s beauty and green spaces for granted in much of the same way many Washingtonians take the monuments and other DC landmarks for granted.  We do so knowing that green spaces are only a short distance away. After the Prince George’s County Council introduced a new zoning ordinance on October 23, 2018 allowing for increased density, increased building height, and less green space, Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI) and the City of Greenbelt acted quickly to get the county to create an exception based on the historical significance of Greenbelt, known as the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Zone (NCOZ). Due to the complexity of the terminology in the proposed NCOZ, we need to make sure that the regulations:

  1. Do not allow for the removal of green spaces and
  2. Keep the integrity of historic Greenbelt intact.

Continue reading “In Support of Green Spaces”

Green Spaces Are The Place To Be

Greenbelt is … green.

When I first met my wife, I had spent my entire life living in one Montgomery County zip code. As our relationship grew, we discussed which of us would move. I enjoyed living in my neighborhood, but Lauren loved Greenbelt. It was the only place she had ever lived and she told me she never wanted to leave. Why? What about her neighborhood was any different than the neighborhoods in which I had been raised? Spending any amount of time here in Greenbelt quickly changes that perspective. Greenbelt’s location, accessibility, and affordability are hard to rival in DC’s metropolitan area and the small, intimate community feel is also quite appealing. Continue reading “Green Spaces Are The Place To Be”

Opinion: One Member’s Insight on Crawl Space Improvements

This year, after GHI Members voted to approve asbestos remediation in frame homes, contractors began that work alongside the crawl space improvements already scheduled through the Homes Improvement Program (HIP). These two projects are different and are being carried out by two separate contracting companies. While the asbestos remediation is ahead of schedule, the crawl space improvements have fallen months behind schedule. As a result, many courts will have their insulation removed because of the asbestos remediation, but the insulation WILL NOT BE REPLACED UNTIL SPRING 2019. GHI Members without crawl space insulation will endure winter with colder homes and/or higher electricity bills.


Crawl space work began in my court on October 24, 2018. We were not given prior notice of the impending work nor what it would entail. The first step of the asbestos removal was cleaning which resulted in extremely loud noises, shaking, and odors within our unit. We reached out to Tim Goins, the now-departed GHI employee in charge of this project, and were told this was normal and to be expected; expected for him, but not for us nor other Members as we were never given notification before work started. Mr. Goins then explained that the asbestos remediation project was a 3-step process. Cleaning was the first step and entailed removing old vapor barrier, insulation, trash, and other debris. The second step would be the asbestos removal. The third and final step would be part of the crawl space improvement project and included encapsulating the asbestos, installing the vapor barrier, and installing the insulation. Mr. Goins told me this process would last three weeks and was scheduled to be completed the week of Thanksgiving. After reaching out to Joe Wiehagan, Director of HIP, we were told this information was incorrect and that the crawl space insulation crew was so far behind schedule that we would not have insulation installed until mid-February 2019 at the earliest. Continue reading “Opinion: One Member’s Insight on Crawl Space Improvements”