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John

Westminster, MD

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#1
Aug 24, 2006
 
Hi:
My wife got a job with Hughes in Germantown and we are looking to move to that area by end of this year/beginning of next. We are interested in buying a townhouse and have thus far looked at a few properties. We are interested in a new construction by Porten Homes on 355(Frederick Road), 2-3 blocks south of the intersection of 118 and 355.
I like the area in general from whatever little I have seen of it. I wanted to know what you guys who live there think of that area in general, crime, schooling etc etc wise.......
Thanks a lot in advance
Scoff

Gaithersburg, MD

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#2
Aug 24, 2006
 
It would benefit you to keep your eye on the police logs here and decide if you can deal.
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Police...
I live in Germantown. I am from Boston though and also lived in Baltimore for 2yrs. To me, let's just say that if you like to read police logs and hear stories on the street and from co-workers and stuff, you will not be bored in Germantown! People I know from urban areas don't think it's too bad but people I know who've lived here since way back when it was quiet and they weren't jamming Sec 8 people in say that it's "gone down the tubes" and many we know have fled up to Frederick or Carroll counties.
BTW, I would very much like to get a discussion going on crime, and particularly the growth of gang activity, in this area. If anyone's interested....
John

Richmond, VA

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#3
Aug 25, 2006
 
Thanks a lot. I have heard stories here and there about the safety and crime related issues in Germantown. But given the fact my wife's workplace is going to be in GT, it was an easy choice for us. Plus when we looked around, almost all the areas in the DC metro region have ssome afety issue or the other, unless you want to move really farther out.
Bottom line is that I can live with a larceny here and a burglery there as being the trade off of living in close proximity to a big city as long as things don't get too bad... gangs, shootings, muggings, rapes....
Scoff

Washington, DC

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#4
Aug 25, 2006
 
Yeah, well keep your eye on that log. It's not SE DC or Detroit but it sure aint Mayberry!
Ray

Gaithersburg, MD

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#5
Aug 28, 2006
 
John,

I've lived in GT since 1997. In fact, when I came there were more cows than people. I'm very pleased with the area. There is diversity of people, the old (i.e., Boyds), the new (Blackrock center) and the ugly (lake area off Wisteria). Also, lots of shopping options (lakeforest mall - 3/4 miles up 355 from where you are looking. Finally, I have now owned 2 Porten homes and the quality of their products are second to none. They have been building in MC for over 50 years. I currently own a Porten property in Clarksburg for almost 2 years. As for Wendy Newman (she knows me) as she was just terrific in facilitating the process. Best Wishes to you and your wife !!!
sue

Lutherville Timonium, MD

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#6
Aug 31, 2006
 
I hated Germantown (where I moved from 1 year ago after being there for 2 years). I moved there after living in Baltimore City for 3 years. The teenagers run rampant and are violent. Several muggings and rapes have been reported.

If you can afford it, buy in Clarksburg instead. Germantown is dangerous. The neighborhood across the street from the GT Porten Homes construction is not that great. I lived near those new homes and there was a rape recently. Someone broke into a house and raped a woman while she was sleeping.

I agree with Scoff -- it's not SE DC and sure aint Mayberry, but there are better options.
Scoff

Washington, DC

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#7
Aug 31, 2006
 
Yeah Sue, or even Frederick County. We are having a baby in the winter and the stuff I see and hear about Really makes me think that this might not be the place to bring up a child. Perhaps you rememeber the child that brought his felon Dad's gun to school and shot a classmate. Was it 6yrs old or 8ys old, I forget? And there was the fatal beating after a football game, a knifing or two after football games, etc. I didn't want to sound alarmist, rather I thought it would be better for someone to put their ear to the ground and see for themselves. City friends wave me off as alarmist, country friends can't believe I live here.

Anyway, we want to bring up our kid with some diversity but the problem is around here it's not just diversity of skin color or place of origin. It seems to be diversity of where on the scale some people are from civilized all the way down to complete feral savages.
worried mom

Baltimore, MD

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#8
Sep 5, 2006
 
I am living in Germantown currently (have for 6 years) and cannot wait to get out. I have a teen daughter and I won't let her leave the house. Last weekend I was trying to sleep when I heard 5 shots fired. I learned today from another parent that it was a gang shooting/murder, about 10 blocks over. Sorry to say this is becoming a normal thing in this area. A year ago there was another youngster killed a few blocks over, same thing....gangs. Cops are everywhere day & night, cannot get a handle on it, it would seem. We also have dogs fighting rings in the area. I have been working with the local cops to try to break up these rings. The gangs are everywhere, at the mall, the grocery store parking lot, the school playground, etc..... I will not sit outside as we could so many years ago, I don't walk the dog, wash the car, nothing.... The sounds of guns are becoming more normal, the armed robberies are increasing, burglaries are filling up the pages of our newspaper, car break ins are at an all time high. Every week I read the local paper and see all the assults, robberies, etc...... it is so sad. I grew up in Mont Co and never experienced this. As a parent I am scared to death. We are searching for housing out of this area and hope to move ASAP.
Best bet if you have to move here is to head towards Kensington or Rockville or north towards Clarksburg or Damascus (I have friends in all and say the areas are completly different). Germantown may be pretty to the outside eye and have tons to offer, but you cannot utilize much with the way things are.
There is very little area in G'Town that it not affected. Since I have a teen and many kids at our home daily we discuss this. They tell me of all that they hear and are afraid of. We live in the Fox Chapel area, but believe me it is everywhere here. Stay away from Germantown if you can. If you are looking at the property between 355 & 118, that is a danger zone. Milestone, Fox Chapel and the area near the community center are as well. Brandermill is a mess. The lake near Wisteria brings alot of violence too. The worst is in the neighborhood where the streets are named after spices (Nutmeg, Allspice, etc...)The homes are beautiful, but the neighborhoods are all the same. Please visit the area before you buy. Drive around day & night. See what looms around the streets, hanging out on street corners. Check out the gang clothing. Call the local police department (we now have 2 offices in G'town thanks to all the crime). They will tell you the # of active gang members in the immediate area. Ask them about MS13. A very violent gang that is all over G'town. Also go to the national sex offender website. Germantown is full of convicted felons regarding child sex crimes.
I am not trying to sound dramatic but if you have kids or plan to this is not the place to be.
P.S. I work in Germantown as well as live here.....I would much rather commute.
Scoff

Richmond, VA

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#9
Sep 6, 2006
 
At about 7:35 last night I was walking my dog on Father Hurley between the Middlebrook plaza and 270. I heard 3 gunshots up I guess in the Pickering (?) area. I shoot so I know the difference between a gunshot and a firecracker (gunshots sound like a loud crack, firecrackers go POW).

Yeah, if I had to do it over I think I'd have gone to Poolesville or Damascus and dealt with the commute. We're having a baby soon so this is a real issue for us now.
Simon

Rosedale, MD

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#10
Sep 6, 2006
 
My wife and I lived at Milestone for 5 years. We moved out in 2005. We witnessed a DRASTIC decline in the % of respectful people moving into the area and a DRASTIC increase in the % of people who were SEC8 and didn't care what they did or how it affected others. The gangs started about 2002 or a little later and no one did anything to curtail this. I knew it was going to get worse and I was right(unfortunately). We had 2 vehichles vandelized 4 times. I could go on and on but as others have put it... if possible,stay out of Germantown and ESPECIALLY away from Milestone!!!
Houdini

Rockville, MD

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#11
Sep 6, 2006
 
What is happening is they are relocating a good bit of SE, DC, section 8 to Germantown. A good friend of mine works for a non-profit who helps replace these families, and she told me the three top places for relocation is: Bowie, Alexandria, and Germantown. The reason for these particular places is due to a large amount of apartments that take Section 8 vouchers, urban social-engineering, and need accessibility (these three areas provide good public transportation, and also have a lot of health care places, grocery stores, and 'art centers' within walking distance). Projects are a thing of the past, mixed income housing is what they attempt to do these days.

The violent crime rate in Germantown has skyrocketed in the last two years.

I'd suggest looking into areas like Poolesville, Damascus, Barnesville, etc...Poolesville won the top city in the US a few years ago. Good schools, small town, almost zero crime (they had their first robbery in ten years a few weeks ago), and everyone knows everyone.

I live in Clarksburg, and we're getting it up this way...You can easily tell the Section 8 families here. They live in the smaller townhouses (MPDU)-and they congregate in large groups. One of my neighbors had her car vandalized after telling a group of 'thugs' they cannot use the community gym because they were underage.
Newbie

Toms River, NJ

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#12
Sep 6, 2006
 
I just recently purchased a home in the Brandermill area and I have to say that so far it's okay. I had my concerns as well. I read the police reports and forum comments before finalizing my decision. I think, in this region (DC/MD/VA), there is a growing gang presence, but there is crime virtually everywhere. You can move to the areas mentioned, but I think the key to living in this region is vigilance and community involvement. Crime, unfortunately, is inescapable these days. Reserve judgment and visit the area yourself. Visit the stores and neighborhoods. Keep things in perspective (Germantown has a pretty large population). Also, I think it's unfair to associate the crime problem with Section 8 residents.
Scoff

Washington, DC

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#14
Sep 6, 2006
 
Newbie wrote:
Also, I think it's unfair to associate the crime problem with Section 8 residents.
You think maybe it's all the Indians moving into the area then? I dunno, it seems to me like an increase in Sec 8 housing and a skyrocketting crime rate coinciding with one another is rather telling.
Milestone - I lived there too before I bought the single family I'm in now. It was quite nice, I thought, back in 2000 but man did it go down hill. I heard of lots of vandalism, the grounds started to look trashed, and groups of people would be hanging around drinking and smoking on the steps of the buildings by fall of 2004 when I left. You just never saw that in 2000. As I was getting ready to leave a friend told me that Milestone had to fulfill and obligation to reserver 20 percent of their units for Section 8. So there ya go, another coincidence.
By the way, if you want to look at comments on particular apartments go to www.apartmentratings.com . Also on there there's a way if you fish around to see numbers of units. They have price ranges and they'll list a number of units that instead of a dollar figure they'll say something like 'below market'. Something like that. Those are your Sec 8 apartments. Sure enough after checking that site, about 20 percent (of the 3 bedroom ones anyway) were in this category.
As far as mixing people together, I'm all for it. Different colors, different accents, different origins - GREAT. Mix em all in and let people FORGET about color. That would be great. That's the kind of community I want my kid to grow up in. IF (and it's a big IF) these people are all on the same pages as far as their responsibilities in the community, about abiding by the law, about pulling their own weigh, about taking pride in themselves, etc. etc. The problem arises when the 'enlightened' social engineers try to jam people with a ghetto mentality into a suburban neighborhood. Their naive thinking is that it gives the ghetto people a chance to move up but what it does is bring the 'hood to the suburbs.
Sad to say but I will because it's the common sense truth and I'm not running for office any time soon anwyay.
worried mom

Costa Mesa, CA

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#16
Sep 7, 2006
 
Part 1:
I think the reality is that no matter what the reason for the decline in G'town, it is happening and getting worse by the day. I agree that Section 8 housing may be bringing in some undesirables, but I know plenty of kids who are heading down the wrong road who live in nice big houses single family homes in G'town. My opinion is that the parents seem to be the biggest contributing factor. I am not saying they are bad parents......they are just not involved. They have no idea where their kids are or what they are doing and with whom they are doing it. I have kids at my house all the time and rarely does a parent ever care to call to make sure I am home to supervise or that their child is welcome to come. Most of the kids state to me that they have curfews of 11pm or 12 midnight, if any (and I mean on schoolnights too). These kids are 12, 13, 14, 15. What kind of parent lets their kids run the streets all hours of the night and have no idea where they are? When my teenager goes to someone’s house I make sure a parent will be there and ask with the activities are. Many times I get parents who seem shocked, and some annoyed when I call and question if they are staying home and chaperoning our teenagers. If no parent is present, my child does not go. There are just too many things that could happen. Even with good kids, they can at these ages make some pretty dumb decisions, my child included.

Many evenings we have kids over who at 7pm or 8pm state they have not had dinner, there is nothing in their house to eat or their parents are not home yet and they cannot get in. Many, many nights I wind up feeding more than my own family, to the point where when I buy groceries now I always plan meals for at least 4 (there is only 3 in my family), just in case. And usually the food does not go to waste.

When the kids go out, like to the movies, I NEVER am able to get another parent to drive, so my husband and I always wind up picking up all the kids & taking them and then driving them all home. Many kids show up with no money, as at the last minute the parents back out or never arrived home to give them the money they were promised. I have started cutting coupons from the entertainment books, searching for deals & sending them to earlier shows since I wind up footing the bill, so no one is left out. I fell so bad for these kids.

Some are single parents and are so busy working to make ends meet they cannot be there for their kids, some are married couples, who are deeply invested in their jobs and other activities and the kids take a backseat. Some live with grandparents, aunts & uncles who have little idea of what is going on in the community. Some have wonderful parents who want to be involved and the kids themselves are just the issue, just bad kids. There are so many different scenarios, I cannot put the blame on one group, one race, one family type. The basic point is these days, no matter where you live, parents just don't seem to care as much (not that they don't love their children) and don't seem to want to invest the time to get their kids raised right. You see it on the news all the time, kids get arrested for killing other kids and the parents seem clueless that anything was wrong in their kids world, or that they kid may be troubled.

(see part #2, ran out of space)
worried mom

Costa Mesa, CA

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#17
Sep 7, 2006
 
Part 2:
I attend all school functions and have since she started school. It amazes me that when I go to back to school night, a classroom that has 30 kids and only 5 or 6 parents show up. At plays, sports, recitals, the seats are empty. Do the parents not care to see what their children have worked on and are presenting their skills? Science fair night was a joke. These kids worked months and their parents don't even show up to see it. Kids get awards and their parents don't come to see them presented? What is going on???? I have spoken to the counselor at my child’s school and she agrees that it is a HUGE issue, the lack of parent involvement, and how bad the kids feel. The bad feelings then turn into anger, either they direct inwards at themselves and become self destructive or outwards and become violent. That is why any of my child’s friends I can get my hands on and get to listen I make an effort to show I care. I take interest in ALL their projects, hoop & hollar when they are ALL presented with their awards, go to their sporting games even if my child is not on the team, etc... It does take a village to raise a child. Unfortunately in G'town alot of the village does not want to be bothered.
Germantown just happens to be an area where there are alot of troubled kids and messed up families, for whatever reason. I have lived in Mont County since I was born, and know all areas in the county. Sure there are other bad ones, some parts of Silver Spring, College Park, Takoma Park all have high crime and drug infestation. Wheaton has had its share of ups and downs, depending on the neighborhoods. Kensington, Bethesda, Chevy Chase all tend to be better areas, the crime is much lower per the families I know that live in those areas. Rockville made the top 100 cities to live in list for 2006, but it still has some bad spots. Gaithersburg has some wonderful areas, but also has some drug holes. It is everywhere and please don't think my comments above were to say G'town was having issues no one else is, BUT I can say that of all the areas close, it by far appears to be the worst. I live it day and night. I am scared, my child is scared, my child’s friends are scared. We watch our backs all the time, and that is a crazy way to live.
Germantown has wonderful shopping, excellent restaurants & fun places to go. As things were built up, I always used to say that I never needed to leave G'town as everything you could ever want or need was within 5 minutes driving. That is still true, BUT....... violence is out of control, burglaries are a daily occurance, armed robberies are common on the streets in broad daylight, kids are running the streets day & night with no place to go, police are everywhere, the sound of sirens echos in your ears.....etc........ If you are looking to raise children: toddlers, kids or teenagers I strongly recommend you look somewhere else, until somehow, someday, someone gets a handle on the issues. There is no such thing as *safely* riding you bike, taking a walk, walking the dog, washing your car, having a block party, playing at the local park, around here. We recently had our 2 cars broken into (right in front of our homes while we were home, but on different days) and went to court once they caught the guy. The detective who appeared stated that he worked in the G'town precinct but would never live here. I talked with him at length about the area and he agreed that things have gone from bad to worse and he agreed that if raising children, this was not the area to do so.
(see Part 3)
worried mom

Costa Mesa, CA

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#18
Sep 7, 2006
 
Part 3:
To Newbie, I have lived here for 6 years, in the same house in Fox Chapel. I know the Brandermill community well and have many friends that live over there as well as all over Germantown. I am glad that you have not experienced what so many of us have. I don't want to sound negative, but give it time, you will see. I hate it and it makes me so angry, but it is the truth. If you have children, please watch them carefully, their life depends on it. Make sure you get to know their friends (and their friends parents). Supervise them and make sure places they go are safe and if you even question it, don’t allow them to go. Keep your eyes and ears open and stay on guard at all times. There is very little "community" where you or I live. Germantown itself, the businesses & the schools try very hard to organize things, but there is so little participation from the families in the community. I am very active in my community, my development and my child’s school, but in reality it helps very little with the overall problem.

I can only hope one day Germantown can be what is fully capable of being: A wonderful place to live. Unfortunately I doubt I will see it. I have got to move for the safety of my family. My child deserves better and I want her to live a more normal life, where a kid can be a kid and not worry about getting "jumped" or shot.

I wish all of you the best in your decisions and hope that you take my words to heart. Even though I don't know any of you or your families, I care. I care that you all get the kind of community that we all long for and deserve.
worried mom

Costa Mesa, CA

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#19
Sep 7, 2006
 
Part 1:
I think the reality is that no matter what the reason for the decline in G'town, it is happening and getting worse by the day. I agree that Section 8 housing may be bringing in some undesirables, but I know plenty of kids who are heading down the wrong road who live in nice big houses single family homes in G'town. My opinion is that the parents seem to be the biggest contributing factor. I am not saying they are bad parents......they are just not involved. They have no idea where their kids are or what they are doing and with whom they are doing it. I have kids at my house all the time and rarely does a parent ever care to call to make sure I am home to supervise or that their child is welcome to come. Most of the kids state to me that they have curfews of 11pm or 12 midnight, if any (and I mean on schoolnights too). These kids are 12, 13, 14, 15. What kind of parent lets their kids run the streets all hours of the night and have no idea where they are? When my teenager goes to someone’s house I make sure a parent will be there and ask with the activities are. Many times I get parents who seem shocked, and some annoyed when I call and question if they are staying home and chaperoning our teenagers. If no parent is present, my child does not go. There are just too many things that could happen. Even with good kids, they can at these ages make some pretty dumb decisions, my child included.

Many evenings we have kids over who at 7pm or 8pm state they have not had dinner, there is nothing in their house to eat or their parents are not home yet and they cannot get in. Many, many nights I wind up feeding more than my own family, to the point where when I buy groceries now I always plan meals for at least 4 (there is only 3 in my family), just in case. And usually the food does not go to waste.

When the kids go out, like to the movies, I NEVER am able to get another parent to drive, so my husband and I always wind up picking up all the kids & taking them and then driving them all home. Many kids show up with no money, as at the last minute the parents back out or never arrived home to give them the money they were promised. I have started cutting coupons from the entertainment books, searching for deals & sending them to earlier shows since I wind up footing the bill, so no one is left out. I fell so bad for these kids.
worried mom - part two

Costa Mesa, CA

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#20
Sep 7, 2006
 
Some are single parents and are so busy working to make ends meet they cannot be there for their kids, some are married couples, who are deeply invested in their jobs and other activities and the kids take a backseat. Some live with grandparents, aunts & uncles who have little idea of what is going on in the community. Some have wonderful parents who want to be involved and the kids themselves are just the issue, just bad kids. There are so many different scenarios, I cannot put the blame on one group, one race, one family type. The basic point is these days, no matter where you live, parents just don't seem to care as much (not that they don't love their children) and don't seem to want to invest the time to get their kids raised right. You see it on the news all the time, kids get arrested for killing other kids and the parents seem clueless that anything was wrong in their kids world, or that they kid may be troubled.

I attend all school functions and have since she started school. It amazes me that when I go to back to school night, a classroom that has 30 kids and only 5 or 6 parents show up. At plays, sports, recitals, the seats are empty. Do the parents not care to see what their children have worked on and are presenting their skills? Science fair night was a joke. These kids worked months and their parents don't even show up to see it. Kids get awards and their parents don't come to see them presented? What is going on???? I have spoken to the counselor at my child’s school and she agrees that it is a HUGE issue, the lack of parent involvement, and how bad the kids feel. The bad feelings then turn into anger, either they direct inwards at themselves and become self destructive or outwards and become violent. That is why any of my child’s friends I can get my hands on and get to listen I make an effort to show I care. I take interest in ALL their projects, hoop & hollar when they are ALL presented with their awards, go to their sporting games even if my child is not on the team, etc... It does take a village to raise a child. Unfortunately in G'town alot of the village does not want to be bothered.

Germantown just happens to be an area where there are alot of troubled kids and messed up families, for whatever reason. I have lived in Mont County since I was born, and know all areas in the county. Sure there are other bad ones, some parts of Silver Spring, College Park, Takoma Park all have high crime and drug infestation. Wheaton has had its share of ups and downs, depending on the neighborhoods. Kensington, Bethesda, Chevy Chase all tend to be better areas, the crime is much lower per the families I know that live in those areas. Rockville made the top 100 cities to live in list for 2006, but it still has some bad spots. Gaithersburg has some wonderful areas, but also has some drug holes. It is everywhere and please don't think my comments above were to say G'town was having issues no one else is, BUT I can say that of all the areas close, it by far appears to be the worst. I live it day and night. I am scared, my child is scared, my child’s friends are scared. We watch our backs all the time, and that is a crazy way to live.
worried mom - part two

Costa Mesa, CA

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#21
Sep 7, 2006
 
Some are single parents and are so busy working to make ends meet they cannot be there for their kids, some are married couples, who are deeply invested in their jobs and other activities and the kids take a backseat. Some live with grandparents, aunts & uncles who have little idea of what is going on in the community. Some have wonderful parents who want to be involved and the kids themselves are just the issue, just bad kids. There are so many different scenarios, I cannot put the blame on one group, one race, one family type. The basic point is these days, no matter where you live, parents just don't seem to care as much (not that they don't love their children) and don't seem to want to invest the time to get their kids raised right. You see it on the news all the time, kids get arrested for killing other kids and the parents seem clueless that anything was wrong in their kids world, or that they kid may be troubled.

I attend all school functions and have since she started school. It amazes me that when I go to back to school night, a classroom that has 30 kids and only 5 or 6 parents show up. At plays, sports, recitals, the seats are empty. Do the parents not care to see what their children have worked on and are presenting their skills? Science fair night was a joke. These kids worked months and their parents don't even show up to see it. Kids get awards and their parents don't come to see them presented? What is going on???? I have spoken to the counselor at my child’s school and she agrees that it is a HUGE issue, the lack of parent involvement, and how bad the kids feel. The bad feelings then turn into anger, either they direct inwards at themselves and become self destructive or outwards and become violent. That is why any of my child’s friends I can get my hands on and get to listen I make an effort to show I care. I take interest in ALL their projects, hoop & hollar when they are ALL presented with their awards, go to their sporting games even if my child is not on the team, etc... It does take a village to raise a child. Unfortunately in G'town alot of the village does not want to be bothered.

Germantown just happens to be an area where there are alot of troubled kids and messed up families, for whatever reason. I have lived in Mont County since I was born, and know all areas in the county. Sure there are other bad ones, some parts of Silver Spring, College Park, Takoma Park all have high crime and drug infestation. Wheaton has had its share of ups and downs, depending on the neighborhoods. Kensington, Bethesda, Chevy Chase all tend to be better areas, the crime is much lower per the families I know that live in those areas. Rockville made the top 100 cities to live in list for 2006, but it still has some bad spots. Gaithersburg has some wonderful areas, but also has some drug holes. It is everywhere and please don't think my comments above were to say G'town was having issues no one else is, BUT I can say that of all the areas close, it by far appears to be the worst. I live it day and night. I am scared, my child is scared, my child’s friends are scared. We watch our backs all the time, and that is a crazy way to live.(see part 3)
worried mom - part two

Costa Mesa, CA

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#22
Sep 7, 2006
 
Germantown has wonderful shopping, excellent restaurants & fun places to go. As things were built up, I always used to say that I never needed to leave G'town as everything you could ever want or need was within 5 minutes driving. That is still true, BUT....... violence is out of control, burglaries are a daily occurance, armed robberies are common on the streets in broad daylight, kids are running the streets day & night with no place to go, police are everywhere, the sound of sirens echos in your ears.....etc........ If you are looking to raise children: toddlers, kids or teenagers I strongly recommend you look somewhere else, until somehow, someday, someone gets a handle on the issues. There is no such thing as *safely* riding you bike, taking a walk, walking the dog, washing your car, having a block party, playing at the local park, around here. We recently had our 2 cars broken into (right in front of our homes while we were home, but on different days) and went to court once they caught the guy. The detective who appeared stated that he worked in the G'town precinct but would never live here. I talked with him at length about the area and he agreed that things have gone from bad to worse and he agreed that if raising children, this was not the area to do so.

To Newbie, I have lived here for 6 years, in the same house in Fox Chapel. I know the Brandermill community well and have many friends that live over there as well as all over Germantown. I am glad that you have not experienced what so many of us have. I don't want to sound negative, but give it time, you will see. I hate it and it makes me so angry, but it is the truth. If you have children, please watch them carefully, their life depends on it. Make sure you get to know their friends (and their friends parents). Supervise them and make sure places they go are safe and if you even question it, don’t allow them to go. Keep your eyes and ears open and stay on guard at all times. There is very little "community" where you or I live. Germantown itself, the businesses & the schools try very hard to organize things, but there is so little participation from the families in the community. I am very active in my community, my development and my child’s school, but in reality it helps very little with the overall problem.

I can only hope one day Germantown can be what is fully capable of being: A wonderful place to live. Unfortunately I doubt I will see it. I have got to move for the safety of my family. My child deserves better and I want her to live a more normal life, where a kid can be a kid and not worry about getting "jumped" or shot.

I wish all of you the best in your decisions and hope that you take my words to heart. Even though I don't know any of you or your families, I care. I care that you all get the kind of community that we all long for and deserve.

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