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County Grants Westfield Parking Waiver

Westfield will not be required to build new parking structures for the new Costco in Wheaton.

The Department of Permitting Services has ruled that Westfield does not need additional parking for the new Costco wing at Wheaton Mall.

In November Westfield asked the county to waive a parking requirement set at 4.5 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of what is called “gross leasable area.” Last week, the Department of Permitting Services granted this request, lowering the parking ratio to 4.0. 

The Kensington Heights Civic Association and the Kensington View Civic Association had opposed the parking waiver request, arguing that because Costco has not yet been built, Westfield could not yet properly evaluate how much parking would be needed.

When Westfield first applied for the parking waiver, these community groups asked for an extended comment period, saying that the county had not given proper notice. But this request was denied.

The Department of Permitting Services director addressed the Costco gas station in her comments about the decision to grant the waiver:

Some urged that the parking waiver request not be determined until the decision about the proposed Costco gos station is made. That decision however is the subject of a special exception proceeding and is not a part of the parking waiver detesmíoetion. Concerns relating to the location, buffering, impacts and other matters related to the proposed gas station will be appropriately addressed in the special exception proceeding.

The construction of the new Costco wing will take away some of the mall's current parking spaces, but a traffic expert brought in by Westfield testified that even when Costco is built, there will still be excess parking.

Jennifer Morris February 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I have already left that mall without shopping because the costco construction took up all the parking. No park, no shop. Too bad, so sad.
Arnold Berke February 26, 2012 at 03:38 PM
WHEN are we going to learn that there is excess parking in these mega-malls, PLUS realize that the adjacency of Metro reduces the need for parking in the first place? Developments like this are all too often hijacked by whining civic associations whose only concern in the universe is whether someone will park on their street!
The Big Egg February 26, 2012 at 05:58 PM
When was the last time you took the Metro to shop at any Costco? I agree that placing a mall near Metro is a good idea from a planning perspective, but using Metro-proximity as a basis to reduce parking in conjuction with a planned Costco makes no sense.
ilkunta March 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM
EXACTLY. Costco parking lots are alays full. To not add aprking is stupid. Not to mention in December the Wheaton parking lot is ALWAYS full even the lots in front of the now empty Hechts/Costco. More parking is needed and this waiver shouldnt have been granted.
ilkunta March 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Arnold, Being next to parking reduces need for parking for office buildings. Being next to the Wheaton Metro doesnt reduce the need for parking in this case. Costco purchased are big bulky things. No one is going to take a 80pack of granols bars on the bus.
Shawn Punga February 22, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Hey Patch, get a non-Flash document viewer for mobile readers.
Commentous February 22, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Now this is really a "Wheaton Rewind." We've gone back a whole year for this piece!
Esther French (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Yes! I thought it'd be interesting to revisit this article since I posted it almost exactly a year ago and the conversation about Costco and Westfield is still going strong.
Commentous February 23, 2013 at 03:32 AM
You're right. It is interesting, though I hope you don't have a reason to post it again in another year.
Jim Core February 25, 2013 at 02:29 AM
This is the County of Special Treatment. Costco gets an exception from the parking regulations, an exception from the Forest Conservation Easement, a $4 million subsidy for the store, and Westfield got several million for the parking garage near the Macy's. Now they want a Special Exception to put the largest gas station in the county (something that will pump 10 to 12 times what a normal station pumps) next to homes. When viewed over time, this is clearly absurd.

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