Tuesday, June 21, 2016

County Council staff bus depot recommendations a slap in the face to residents

The Montgomery County Council will take up the controversial school bus depot issue this morning, but the Council staff report makes an equally controversial set of recommendations. It recommends parking Montgomery County Public School buses at the Carver Educational Services Center, and at 1000 Westmore Avenue, a property already purchased by the County for that purpose. Or, to use their convoluted language, they are "not recommending against" using them for bus parking.

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)
We won't know the Council's reaction to the recommendations until later this morning. But the Council staff's intent seems to be the same as the County and MCPS: Pit neighborhoods against each other, and ultimately drop the depots where they conclude political power is weakest. Residents are simply gladiators in the arena for the Emperors-with-no-clothes' entertainment. The interesting twist here is that the residents affected by the Carver, Westmore and Avery Road sites have all been politically strong in their response so far.

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.


Anonymous said...

"Pit NIMBY against NIMBY"


Anonymous said...

@5:42 How wonderful that the horrific lack of planning makes you so happy. You must be who the County does this for. The hateful democrats glued to their computers all day with no clue what it takes to plan for development in a large county are happy. Start writing some big checks to your favorite democratic officials to keep them in office.

Anonymous said...

@6:29 Are you a Trump supporter

Anonymous said...


Why do you still live here? If you're so tired of Democrats, move to South Carolina or Alabama.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people complain about how liberal Montgomery County/Maryland is, and they choose to live here. Virginia is right across the river. Leave us to suffer in our "socialist" regime.

Anonymous said...

7:15 AM MoCo is great, but could be greater!
Dyer and others are trying to help it reach greatness.

Anonymous said...

"Dyer and others are trying to help it reach greatness."

Yeah ok...

Anonymous said...

Carver was a good site for it, so hopefully that will become reality. It is right on Rockville Pike, so has easy access to a main thorougfare.

Westmore is a poor choice unless they reconnect the far end to Rockville Pike. Accessing it entails driving down 1-2 miles of narrow, residential streets.

Anonymous said...
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