Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Montgomery County Council to consider seizing Bethesda homeowners' land today
Timothy Firestine, Chief Administrative Officer of Montgomery County, is asking the Council to condemn the land outright using its power of eminent domain. In a memo on behalf of County Executive Ike Leggett, Firestine writes that MCDOT wants to install a 24" drainpipe, curbs, storm drains and gutters along Wapakoneta Road, from Namakagan Road to Walhonding Road. The County has negotiated with 5 homeowners on Wapakoneta and Wehawken since April 2015 to obtain right-of-way for the improvements, and temporary space for construction staging.
So far, MoCo has reached agreements with 2 of the 5 affected property owners. The project is running out of time to negotiate further, Firestine says, and he is now asking the County Council to "obtain immediate possession of portions of those properties for which the County has not yet been able to negotiate an amicable resolution with the Property Owners."
Homeowners of one of the Wapakoneta properties in question are currently reviewing a potential agreement with the County, but have not signed it yet. Owners of the second home on Wapakoneta have not agreed to sell. Firestine says they "do not want to lose their trees."
The permanent easement being sought along Wapakoneta is 1,505 SF; the two construction easements would be 2,502 SF (Wehawken) and 1,500 SF (Wapakoneta).
Today's agenda item is an introduction of the Advance Taking resolution. A worksession on the matter is currently scheduled for November 2.