Planning Board Will Discuss Gas Station Zoning Text Amendment
The Kensington Heights Civic Association, which supports the ZTA, has submitted testimony in response to an unfavorable planning department memo.
Last week Montgomery County planners wrote in a memo to the Montgomery County Planning Board that the special exception process currently in place is enough to regulate gas stations in the county.
In response, the Kensington Heights Civic Association, which represents the neighborhood bordering the proposed Costco gas station at Westfield Wheaton, submitted two letters this week to the planning board arguing just the opposite. (The letters are attached to this article in PDF form.)
The letters argue in favor of Zoning Text Amendment 12-07, which the planning board will discuss at its Thursday afternoon session.
ZTA 12-07 would prohibit the construction of gas stations that dispense more than 3.6 million gallons annually within 1,000 feet of “any public or private school or any park, playground, or hospital, or other public use, or any use categorized as a cultural, entertainment and recreation use.”
This ZTA would block the construction of the proposed 16-pump Costco gas station in Wheaton.
In its letters, KHCA argues that the special exception process is outdated because it was not designed to handle "mega stations."
Although the planning department memo recommended not approving the ZTA, it also considered the option of approving it with certain changes, such as shortening the separation distance from 1,000 to 300 feet.
The KHCA did agree with one of the planners' recommendations, that a specific point from which to measure the separation distance should be included in the zoning text amendment language.