School Bus Parking Debate Continues on June 21
It’s been over ten years since county officials knew the Shady Grove bus depot was going to have to be relocated as part of the Shady Grove Sector Plan, and during that time, a county official says over 200 sites have been considered for hundreds of school buses that are currently located at the Shady Grove bus depot.
For one reason or another, all but two of those sites have been ruled out: the Carver Educational Services Center parking lot, and 1000 Westmore Avenue.
On June 16, Greg Ossont, deputy director of the Department of General Services, was in front of the Montgomery County Planning Board to discuss 1000 Westmore Avenue, a ten-acre property the county plans to acquire and a property that county officials are evaluating for parking a maximum of 125 school buses on it.
During her testimony, Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton said she had learned some new facts about the acquisition that she said raised questions about the process. For one, she said the county had already executed and signed a contract for the property before the acquisition’s mandatory referral hearing. She also questioned how the county could justify moving school buses to neighbor an established residential community in order to build more new homes at the current depot site.
Many Rockville residents, including some who live in the Lincoln Park community, also testified in opposition of the Westmore Avenue plan. They expressed concerns about the buses impact on their quality of life and their property values.
Former Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo said he was disappointed about how the county executive’s staff had handled the site selection for the school bus parking.
Upon learning about the county’s contract on the Westmore Avenue property, several planning commissioners said the process disrespected the community and the board.
Planning Chair Casey Anderson said he was concerned about how the county could grow, and build new schools if it can’t find parking for its current school buses.
After listening to staff, Ossont and residents, planning board members unanimously agreed with planning staff in recommending disapproval of the proposed acquisition at the mandatory referral hearing.
So what happens next?
The Montgomery County Council has scheduled a June 21st meeting to discuss the school bus parking issue.
You may remember that just last month, Council President Nancy Floreen sent a letter to School Board President Michael Durso asking for all work on the proposed Carver bus parking site to be suspended until this Council work session was held.
According to the Council’s agenda, the June 21st meeting will begin with a closed session at 10:15 a.m. to discuss acquisition of real property for a public purpose and to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice. At 10:45 a.m. the public discussion on the bus depot and the proposed interim parking sites is set to take place, and if it goes long the meeting will continue, after a noon recess and some public hearings, at 2:15 p.m on Tuesday afternoon.
On its Facebook page, the Carver Coalition posted a photo of some signs that residents may be holding at Tuesday’s meeting.
Montgomery County will no longer consider the parking lot at Carver Educational Services Center on Hungerford Drive or an empty lot on Westmore Drive as possible relocation sites for the Shady Grove Bus Depot. CCM’s Susan Kenedy reports. Visit our PEG partner County Cable Montgomery to view more of its local programming.
UPDATED Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says he is withdrawing his request for a Declaration of No Further Need for Jeremiah Park, the current site of the Shady Grove Bus Depot. In a memo sent to Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen today, Leggett writes that he has directed his staff to finalize a plan that will […]
Montgomery County Council member Craig Rice is reminding residents that there is a bus depot in Clarksburg that is located right next to a community of townhouses. In fact, Rice says the townhouses came after the bus depot. He made his point at a Council meeting on June 21st to discuss plans to relocate the […]
The Montgomery County Council held a meeting today about the relocation of the Shady Grove Bus Depot. In the audience were members of the Carver Coalition who oppose parking school buses at the Carver Educational Services Center. The residents were not allowed to testify at today’s meeting but they carried signs and wore yellow t-shirts […]
Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton attended a County Council meeting on June 21st to learn the latest about plans to park buses at the Shady Grove bus depot elsewhere. In this MyMCMedia Extra, Newton explained that it is important for the city to be involved in the process if the county is considering parking sites in […]
At a County Council meeting today, Councilmember George Leventhal said he will not support putting school buses at the Carver Education Services Center. His remarks were greeted with applause from many residents in the audience. During his remarks at the dais, Leventhal also said he wishes he didn’t vote for the Shady Grove Sector Plan. […]
The Montgomery County Council held a meeting on June 21st to discuss plans for relocating hundreds of school buses from the depot on Shady Grove Road. There were dozens of Rockville residents in the audience opposed to plans to relocate the buses to the Carver Educational Services Center parking lot and to another site on […]
It’s been over ten years since county officials knew the Shady Grove bus depot was going to have to be relocated as part of the Shady Grove Sector Plan, and during that time, a county official says over 200 sites have been considered for hundreds of school buses that are currently located at the Shady […]
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