County executive, internal business leaders and route organisation support improvements offering by automobile dealership in sequence to keep garage expansion
John Ourisman testifies during a County Council open hearing
via Montgomery County Cable video
Montgomery County’s brawl with Ourisman Honda in downtown Bethesda over a enlargement of a dealership’s garage into a common Capital Crescent Trail easement is headed to a fortitude after this month.
During a open conference Tuesday afternoon, a legislature listened from 9 people, 8 of whom authorized of a understanding struck between a county and Ourisman in that a dealership would yield route improvements including a new open piazza and landscaping in sell for being means to keep a mostly built garage expansion.
Part of a garage enlargement was built into an easement that a Bethesda Avenue business shares with a county. The association has confirmed that it believed it had a right to build on a property.
Citing a emanate with a easement, a county systematic Ourisman to stop construction on a building in Nov 2016.
Since afterwards a dual sides have negotiated a understanding in that Ourisman would yield about $1.4 million in improvements around a structure.. Those improvements embody a new 1,300-square-foot open piazza to be assembled subsequent to where a route meets Bethesda Avenue, new shoulders along a route subsequent to a Ourisman property, additional landscaping and a shade on a garage to make it some-more visually appealing.
A digest display how a garage could demeanour like when finished with a improvements. Via Council staff documents
The dealership also concluded to pierce a drive over divided from where a route meets Bethesda Avenue to revoke intensity conflicts between route users and cars entering and exiting a business. The business is subsequent to a bustling Bethesda Row sell area.
The legislature is scheduled to opinion Feb. 27 on either to approve a deal.
Diane Schwartz-Jones, a executive of a county’s Department of Permitting Services who has been doing a brawl for a county, told a legislature that a understanding enables a county to get route improvements while avoiding a presumably long authorised dispute. She pronounced it’s not transparent either a county would win if it asked a justice to confirm on a brawl over a easement.
Chris Conklin, a county’s Department of Transportation emissary director, told a legislature that County Executive Ike Leggett supports a deal.
The due pattern of a open plaza, that would be built where a route meets Bethesda Avenue nearby Bethesda Row.
Dealership owners John Ourisman pronounced a garage enlargement was designed to pierce vehicles some-more well into and out of a business. As a proprietor of downtown Bethesda and visit user of a route himself, he pronounced a dealership is “excited to be partial of a subsequent proviso of a trail’s beautification.”
Others, including Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce President Ginanne Italiano, Bethesda businessman Jack Alexander and Jane Mahaffie, a principal during a developer StonebridgeCarras, testified in preference of a deal.
“It’s a resolution that in a opinion enhances a sourroundings of a area,” pronounced Mahaffie of StonebridgeCarras, that grown a Flats during Bethesda Avenue apartments opposite a route from Ourisman.
Ron Tripp, authority of a route advocacy Coalition for a Capital Crescent Trail, pronounced Tuesday a organisation also supports a deal.
Citing National Park Service statistics, he remarkable about 82,000 people used a partial of a route that runs by a dealership in May, and pronounced a improvements would boost reserve and a coming of a route during a location.
Amy Patton, a proprietor of Bethesda’s Sacks Neighborhood, was a usually chairman to attest who didn’t specifically support a deal. She remarkable that she lives subsequent to a Ourisman Honda skill and would like Ourisman to determine to revoke sound and lighting emanating from a dealership.
Tuesday’s ubiquitous support for a understanding was in pointy contrariety to a antithesis voiced during evening village meetings final year, when many residents spoke out opposite a dealership for encroaching on a easement and called on county leaders to pull for some-more improvements.
The garage as it looked in Nov 2016 when a county systematic a business to stop work on a construction. Since afterwards a petrify walls nearby a route have been removed, nonetheless a steel-framed structure remains. Credit: Andrew Metcalf