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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 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

In its letters, KHCA argues that the special exception process is outdated because it was not designed to handle "mega stations."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 , 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.

has the support of Montgomery County Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Nancy Navarro, Valerie Ervin, Hans Riemer and Craig Rice.

Thursday's planning board meeting will be streamed live online.

Wheatoner June 07, 2012 at 01:35 PM
You know, between KHCA and weare[rich white]moco, it seems more and more that Patch is just becoming a megaphone for the anti-development NIMBY minority in the county. It's unfortunate because it gives these folks the illusion of being a large force, when in fact they are just a few people railing against the rising tide of progress. I guess that's the downside of giving everyone a voice, but sometimes I long for the days in which I could avoid the cranks by simply avoiding "community meetings."
Esther French (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Hi GinWheaton, you are welcome to write a letter to the editor or start a blog in our Local Voices section expressing your views: http://wheaton-md.patch.com/blog/apply
ED June 08, 2012 at 01:57 AM
It's really sad when a mega-gas station is considered the "rising tide of progress" in a Smartgrowth area.
jenny June 08, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I do not consider a huge, unnecessary gas station to be the rising tide of progress. That is pretty ridiculous, actually. Just because Costco wants to put one there doesn't mean they should be able to. And I am not a participant in any of those groups you are quoting, and disagree with them in many ways.
JDB June 08, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I don't live by the Costco site and I am not a member of KHCA but I do live in Wheaton and oppose the gas station. Wheaton Patch does a wonderful job of bringing us local news and events while providing a forum for any reader to express his or her opinion. Patch has been fair, factual, and timely in their coverage of the Costco story.

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