Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Costco still fighting to build mega gas station at Wheaton Plaza
Arguments for both sides were presented in Annapolis yesterday. Thus there now remains a real possibility that the mega gas station could be built. There is only one higher court to appeal to in the state, whatever the outcome.
Here's what I find extremely intriguing. The Montgomery County Council strongly supports Costco, but viciously opposes Walmart, for purely political and ideological reasons. But when the Council used illegal means (placing and/or threatening limitations of property rights, which would have been overturned in court as spot zoning against one business), Walmart simply ran for the hills with its tail between its legs. I've never seen a "developer" run for their lives like that before or since in Montgomery County.
In the same spot, its plans vehemently opposed by community activists, Costco continually doubles down and throws everything but the kitchen sink at the neighbors. In the end, the Council supported the mustache-twirling robber barons of Costco (giving millions in Costco-targeted taxpayer funds to Westfield, to boot) over Walmart, against their own constituents. Interesting.
Whether you support or oppose the mega gas station is beside the point (I'd very much like to have Sheetz convenience stores in Montgomery County, but a "mega gas station" comes with those too) -- which big box is anti-community again?