Friday, September 25, 2015

American Plant would maintain a retail store in future building on its site: Westbard Public Hearing Part II

New details emerged regarding the future of the venerable American Plant at 5258 River Road during yesterday's Westbard Sector Plan public hearing. Jody Kline, their attorney, testified that the business would maintain a retail presence on the site, were it to be redeveloped.

While an American Plant retail store on the ground floor of a future mixed-use residential building there "wouldn't be selling bags of mulch," Kline explained, it would indeed continue to sell its many other home and garden products that would fit the new retail setting. American Plant has a second, larger location further west on River Road at Burdette Road.

Kline expressed strong concern about the plan's proposal to daylight the Willett Branch stream behind American Plant's property. That plan, he said, affects a significant percentage of his client's buildable land area, and would "severely impair" their ability to redevelop the property.

He echoed some other critics of the plan who have noted the current channelized stream frequently has little water running through it, questioning how that could end up looking like the significant water flows in the sample renderings used by planners. At other times, Kline said, the channel is raging with stormwater.

"In either event, I think some of the ideas are not practical, and would have a severe impact on our client," Kline said. Because so many different property owners are alongside the stream, its full rehabilitation and daylighting could take decades, if ultimately even possible at all. While the idea has tremendous support among residents, it would not be an amenity for the community in the short term by any means.


Anonymous said...

Home Depot is cheaper and the same quality. I don't feel like paying for ambiance when buying dirt.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:30 AM - I am curious what the price difference is between American Plant and Home Depot for something like mulch. If you lived in the Westbard area of Bethesda would it be cost beneficial to drive the 7 miles each way(Westbard to Home Depot Bethesda) to save $2-4 overall? It has been years since I have bought anything at American Plant since I live closer to the Bethesda Home Depot and from what I remember plants were significantly more expensive.