Friday, June 17, 2016

Shocking Revelation: Leggett Already Bought Westmore Property For Bus Depot

At last night’s Montgomery County Planning Board meeting, Greg Ossont, Deputy Director of the Montgomery County Department of General Services (DGS), declared that it was premature for the Planning Board Staff to make assumptions about the proposed use of the Westmore Avenue property. Ossont insisted that the Planning Board should only consider whether the County could acquire the property and that the mandatory referral for the site plan based on its use was a separate process. Basically, his message was that the County is allowed to acquire property....

...Then Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton was the first to testify and she dropped a bomb shell which came as a shock to everyone.
After stating that she was in attendance with Councilmenbers Virginia Onley and Mark Pierzchala, Newton informed the Planning Board that several facts had come to light. The first was that the County had already executed and signed an agreement to purchase the property on Westmore Avenue without a mandatory referral from the Planning Board. This was obviously news to the Planning Board and they asked for a copy of the document to be submitted to the Staff. Second, the contract was for $12 million and did not contain a contingency clause. This was a done deal unless the County defaulted...

...The Planning Board had much more to learn about the situation. Several community members told them about the other property currently owned by Montgomery County Public Schools in Lincoln Park on North Stonestreet Avenue next to the historic Lincoln High School. Over 150 rusting trailers have sat on this property for years next to a landmark in Montgomery County black educational history, the oldest remaining high school constructed for black students in Montgomery County. As the largest property owner in the neighborhood, MCPS was described by those testifying as already suppressing their property values with this site which was “deplorable” and “an eyesore” and the bus parking will suppress the value even more...

...Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson “didn’t need to pile on” so he encouraged a joint effort to find a solution to the bus parking problem. Stating the development at Shady Grove made sense, he encouraged Rockville and Gaithersburg to help the county figure out where to put some of the buses. He was concerned that if we can’t find the place for 400 buses, there was not hope to find places for the five high schools and their feeder schools which will be needed for the County’s future growth...


  1. DUH! Casey Anderson, think maybe the County is built out? No- just keep approving more development, we will make more land.

    1. Just not in Potomac. or the ag reserve where lots are 5 acres and up. As Marc Elrich said, 'They don't want it there.'

    2. Sites like those are too far away to be useful for replacing a bus depot in central MoCo in any case - but otherwise, yeah. :-/

    3. That is wrong. The 20 acre Brickyard school site in Potomac was already up to be the bus depot and the neighbors to that site protested and had that plan shelved.

    4. *The* bus depot (as in the one to replace the Crabb's Branch depot) or *a* bus depot? There are other bus depots in MCPS, yes?

      I remember the protests but wasn't aware of the whole Shady Grove redevelopment plan at the time. Not saying you're wrong, just that I myself am fuzzy on the details. :-)

    5. While Lincoln Park neighbors are an under-served minority. So, yeah, of course Leggett will put the bus depot there. can't have fancy campaign cocktail hours in Lincoln Park like you can in Potomac.

    6. Yes, "the" bus depot was slated to be moved to the Brickyard Middle School site in Potomac. The Brickyard neighbors stopped that proposal cold.

      Leggett has been looking for a place to put the MCPS Shady Grove bus depot for years.

    7. Thanks, that fills in some blanks for me.

  2. With such a revelation
    Without an expectation
    The sharp administration
    Deserves standing ovation.


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