The Montgomery County Planning Board is set to consider Costco's special exception case for a 16-pump gas station in Wheaton on Thursday.
The proposed gas station would be located at Westfield Wheaton, where the Costco store is scheduled to open April 10.
The board will discuss the special exception case during its afternoon session at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring on Feb. 28.
For more background on the Costco gas station, read the topics page on Wheaton Patch.
Costco faces an unfavorable review from the Montgomery County Planning Department staff. The report, released earlier this month, states that Costco's "analyses and assertion of no adverse health impacts is based on insufficient information, and may have understated the exposure of the adjacent population to some of the toxics."
Costco "has failed to meet the burden of proof to demonstrate that the proposed use will not adversely impact the health of the residents, and visitors within the neighborhood as required," planning staff wrote in the report. (Read the full report here.)
Erich Brann, director of real estate development for Costco, responded to the report with this written statement:
“Staff agreed that we met every single one of the planning requirements. They also agreed that our modeling based on EPA standards puts the gas station well below levels that are considered health risks. And, in addition to being in compliance with EPA guidelines, our modeling shows we would be well under the California Air Resources Board (CARB) screening levels, which are among the most stringent in the nation. Yet somehow staff doesn’t think this is good enough, instead wanting us to meet some higher standard, one that they fail to define. It’s impossible to meet a standard that does not exist. The findings of our comprehensive and site-specific air quality, odor and noise study found there to be no significant health, environmental or noise concerns from our proposed gas station. We stand behind the findings of our study.”
Costco's application is scheduled to come before a hearing examiner on March 11, 15, 18, and 22 at 9:30 a.m. in the Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, Second Floor Davidson Memorial Hearing Room, at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.
Want more news about Costco and the Costco gas station? Sign up for the Wheaton Patch newsletter.