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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you summarize what the Sandy Spring Farm Road story is about?
A: Yes. The story is about property owners who, until 2006, accessed their property from the privately maintained Farm Road. These owners and their ancestors have had access to their properties from Farm Road for more than 100 years. Farm Road is listed on their property deeds and these owners continue to this day to pay taxes and garbage collection fees for their property. Tax assessors have come to inspect their property by way of Farm Road. Emergency medical service vehicles have also responded to their needs using Farm Road.
The story is that these property owners have been told since 2006 by the local Planning Agency that Farm Road does not exist and that they do not have access to their land. It is also about the Planning Agency disregarding the law and discriminating against some of the most vulnerable families and people in our community - single moms with five children and men and women in their 80’s. These families have lived their entire lives peacefully in Sandy Spring - until some have attempted to force them from their family properties and they contend, steal their land.
Q. What documentary evidence is there that the Farm Road exists?
A. State property maps, US Geological Survey maps, current photographs, video, tax records, surveys, and recent address assignment records. Click on the following links for examples.
Video of Farm Road being driven over days after a man-made blockade was removed following a Federal Court action.
Planning Agency's address assignment book. This document has a copy of an excerpt of State Property Map glued to the upper left corner of the page with a red line depicting the Farm Road. To the right of this image a number of house locations were hand drawn with addresses, and subsequently crossed out with a letter "X".
The Planning Agency refused to allow the document to be copied, however a digital copy was obtained. Click here to view it.
Q. Why does the Planning Agency contend that the residents wish to have the Farm Road converted into a public road?
A. That question may best be directed to the Planning Agency because there is no publically available information to support that position.
Q. Is it true that fifty year old trees are growing in the Farm Road?
A. No. Trees are not growing within the roadway. The Farm Road used to connect to two public roads. In approximately the year 2000, one end was cut off. The remainder of the Farm Road does not have trees growing in it, but rather vehicles trapped due to barriers being erected within the past two years. There are no trees growing in the Farm Road from the point that it connects to the public road and the point at which it dead-ends at the Dellabrooke Subdivision.
Click here for a video of the road being used.
Q. Is it true that easements to some properties also run to the Farm Road?
A. Yes, however the Planning Agency has taken the position that it does not recognize private easements - a position contrary to its past practice and common land-use practices across the country. Click here to view the past Chairman of the Planning Agency's position that private easements should be recognized by his former agency.Last modified 04/16/13 2204
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