Application Boundary Area

Little Falls Swimming Club gladly accepts applications from houses in Montgomery County within the boundaries described in our by-laws. Our full by-laws can be found here.

Here is the relevant section from our by-laws describing application boundaries.

Section 11. Effective January 1, 2004, applications shall not be accepted from anyone living more than 4,000 feet from the Club property. Effective January 1, 2006, no applications shall be accepted from persons unless they have primary residence in that part of Montgomery County enclosed by the combination of these two boundaries:

a. Commencing on the west side of River Road at Little Falls Parkway, proceed west along the south side of Little Falls Parkway until it intersects with Massachusetts Avenue, then proceed south along the east side of Massachusetts Avenue until it intersects with Western avenue, N.W., then proceed east along the north side of Western Avenue, N.W. until it intersects with Cortland Road, then proceed north along Cortland Road as if it continued to Willard Avenue (so as to include all of the houses on Sherrill, Saratoga, and Baltimore Avenues and on both sides of Cortland Road), then proceed along the south side of Willard Avenue to River Road, then proceed along the west side of River Road to Little Falls Parkway to the point of origin; and

b. The area that lies west (and south) of Massachusetts Avenue, east of the Little Falls Creek, and within 4,000 feet of the Club property.

Any applicant placed on the wait list after January 1, 2006 may only remain on the wait list if their primary residence remains within this boundary prior to the date they accept associate status.

Why is there a wait list?

The pool operates under a special exception (called “conditional use”) of Montgomery County zoning, and the exception governs all our operations. The county Board of Zoning Appeals limits the membership to 377 families. Our wait list now consists of over 260 applications.

Your position on the wait list

Priority on the list is determined by the number of points you have accrued.  Your points are the sum of:

1.  Points for distance:

Distance points are based on a set of concentric rings centered on the pool. Applicants who live within 400 feet of the pool receive 10 points; within 800 feet 9 points, etc. We use a list of house numbers to determine what ring your house falls in. There are 10 rings. People who live beyond the outer ring (4,000 feet from the center of the pool) will never get in the pool, so we do not accept applications from those people. Your distance points are awarded at the time of application and, as needed, recalculated if the applicant moves within the membership area while on the waitlist.

2.  Points for time

Time points accrue at a rate of 1 point for every 6 months you are one the wait list.

3. Points for home ownership

Homeowners receive 5 points when the application is received, on a one-time basis. Renters receive no such points for three years, and then they receive 5 points, as long as they are still renting. Since the average wait on the list in recent years has been five years, the practical effect of this distinction between owner and renter does not exist.

How long will you be on the wait list?

Your wait depends on the number of points you have accrued, and how many members resign or become inactive. Each spring at the beginning of March, bills are sent to full members of the pool, with a reply due by April 1. Each full member must pay the summer dues, go inactive, or resign.

For every full member resignation, we offer a full membership to the top family on the associate list.

For every inactive member, we offer their space to an associate for one season. The families on last year’s associate list receive these offers first, in priority order based on the order in which each family moved from the wait list to the associate list.

If there are still inactive slots open after all associates are admitted for the season, we go to the wait list and offer associate status to the people with the most points on the wait list.

We try to complete all these transactions before the pool opens each year. The post cards or letters that note your position on the wait list are generally mailed in mid- to late May. If people resign mid-season or mid-year, we will fill the slot immediately.

Some complain that these rules seem arbitrary. They have been in effect for decades, however. They are spelled out in the bylaws of the pool, and can only be changed by a formal vote of the membership. The fact remains that, so long as demand for membership exceeds our zoning limit, no amount of tinkering with the rules will eliminate the wait list to the satisfaction of all families that are waiting.

Popular misconceptions

  1. You get no extra points for having children.
  2. You get no extra points if your parents were members in the past.
  3. Pool membership does not convey with the house you buy, ever.
  4. People have been told by friends and neighbors that the wait list should take 3, 4, or 5 years. That really depends on how many people give up their memberships or go inactive each year. We can’t predict that.
    In the past, some people have moved away and kept their memberships. Until February 2004, our bylaws did not prohibit this. However, by vote of the membership in February 2004, “any applicant who becomes a member or associate on or after January 1, 2004, shall forfeit that membership if he or she later moves to a location more than 4,000 feet from the Club property.”
  5. You cannot apply for separate tennis membership. In 1998 our tennis and pool memberships were merged. Now when you are a member of the pool, you are also a tennis member.