Montgomery County’s Department of General Services is taking a second look at the Planning Board’s design recommendations for the construction of a new Fire Station 18 near the Glenmont Metro Station.
But if the fire station goes through the planning and design phase again, delays would likely push back the start of construction, even though
The department’s deputy director, Greg Ossont, and Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers discussed the station plans at the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board meeting on March 20.
In order to provide uninterrupted fire and rescue services to the community, the new fire station must be built before a state highway project necessitates the old station’s closing, Bowers explained. This construction project will transform the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road, where Fire Station 18 currently sits, into a grade-separated interchange. In fact, the fire station relocation issue is already holding up the intersection improvements, Bowers said.
In December, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted 4-0 to disapprove the Mandatory Referral application submitted by the Department of General Services for the new fire station. , the Planning Board raised questions about the orientation of the building and how effectively fire trucks could access the intersection at Glenallan and Georgia avenues.
“We’ve taken a step back and looked at their design proposals,” Ossont said.
Ossont added that the county has not yet paid the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for the land, and the Department of General Services has asked WMATA for an extension of a year on the property settlement. The Kensington Volunteer Fire Department owns the land where the current station is located, and the county will build and own the new station.
A primary question in the design is where and how the trucks will enter and leave the fire station. Property downsizing, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements, and sediment control regulations have limited the space, Bowers said.
“It’s gone from something that was fairly workable to something that is now quite tight,” Bowers said.
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