It is hard to believe that staff could recommend this, after the ghastly litany of County abuses of the Lincoln Park neighborhood that was recited during a public hearing before the County Planning Board last week. That hearing concluded with the board recommending against acquisition of the Westmore site by the County - an irrelevant vote, as the County had already secretly purchased the site.
Council staff has also put the Blair Ewing Center on Avery Road back on the table, sure to be highly controversial in both Rockville and Aspen Hill. Use of the Blair Ewing Center site would create a domino effect, requiring moving the alternative education facilities there elsewhere. "Elsewhere" was English Manor Elementary School in Aspen Hill when this last came up. Avery Road was ultimately dismissed as a bus site after a well-organized opposition effort by Aspen Hill residents.
I am shocked - shocked - that Avery Road has risen from the dead. Of course, I'm joking, as I've been predicting this would happen for several months. The other site proposed for a permanent depot is the Oaks Landfill at 6001 Olney-Laytonsville Road. Both sites, particularly Olney-Laytonsville Road, are still within 6:00 AM-bus-honking earshot of nearby houses.
|Residential neighborhoods lie|
directly adjacent to a proposed
bus depot site at
6001 Olney-Laytonsville Road
(red pin at right)
The report suggests removing the Public Safety Academy and Gude Drive Landfill sites from consideration. And it recommends the Council not approve the Declaration of No Further Need for the existing Shady Grove bus depot on Crabbs Branch Way. In doing so, it assumes the County Executive can change the terms to not require the depot to be vacated and turned over to the developer in 2017. The County (a.ka. you, the taxpayer) could ultimately face legal action from that developer, which already has approval for 345 townhomes and 344 apartments on that property, known as Jeremiah Park.