SCGC achieved the first of its two stated goals (see below): construction of the proposed Costco Gas Station has been stopped. As is frequently the case when a corporate bully is thoroughly beaten at the initial level (in this case THREE levels), the bully is appealing to the Circuit Court, using all the tired and false assertions that bullies like Costco always use. Once the trash talk from Costco's new lawyers (the old ones are in disgrace, but still feeding at the trough) is over and the Board of Appeals decision is upheld, this website will be archived. The second goal of the coalition (see below) is being pursued by the Mega Gas Station Setback Coalition (see the MGSSC website here.)
IS COSTCO ESSENTIALLY LYING AGAIN? The war is NOT over! See the recent update of April 23, 2015.
FINAL DECISION IN COSTCO CASE: DENIAL OF S-2863! See recent updates (March 13, 2015) for a synopsis of the most recent events and what remains to be determined.
NEW VISITOR TO OUR WEBSITE? For a very brief introduction, entitled "The Status, The Problem, A Solution", click here.
A new coalition has been formed, to pursue the legislative objectives (see objective 2 below) of the SCGC. For more information on The Mega Gas Station Setback Coalition, please visit their website by clicking here.
Many materials (exhibits) filed in connection with OZAH CASE NO: S-2863 are here.
Welcome to the SCGC website. We are a growing coalition of individuals, civic groups and environmental activist associations working to prevent the construction, by Costco, of a Mega Gas Station at a site within the Wheaton (MD) shopping plaza operated by Westfield Corporation. We believe the proposed location (see below) is too close to homes, a public school, and a swim club that are adjacent to the plaza. Furthermore, we believe it will create a number of significant adverse effects on those who shop at the stores close to the parking lot, including those who shop at the Costco store. The eventual precise location raises a number of concerns. This not a nimby issue; rather it is a NOBY (No One's Back Yard) issue because Costco and other retailers will use approval of this Mega Gas Station as a precedent for the establishment of comparable facilities at other locations that similarly fail to provide an adequate buffer zone. In the absence of an adequate buffer zone all citizens who live, shop or work near such Mega Gas Stations will be subjected to a variety of unnecessary negative impacts. Put most simply the SCGC has two major goals:
1. preventing the approval of Special Exception Application S-2863, i.e. Costco's proposal to place a mega gas station in Westfield Wheaton Plaza in the specific location (within a crowded parking lot) in close proximity to homes and other sensitive land uses - see picture below) and
2. advocating for statewide legislation that will establish a safe buffer around any potential mega gas station site, no matter what retailer proposes such a mega gas station, so as to "protect everyone's backyard".
For more information, look at the BACKGROUND and CONCERNS pages. On the BACKGROUND page you can find detailed information on Costco's current Special Exception Application and the various hearings by which it is being processed. The other pages accessible from the toolbar (above) suggest actions you may wish to take; provide an on-line 'join us' form, contact information and a means for contributing to help the SCGC defray its costs; and show an events calendar as well as the most recent updates on our internal blog.
Below is a Google map of the area in Wheaton/Kensington where the Westield Wheaton Plaza interfaces the Kensington Heights community (the indicated distances were measured using Montgomery County's Easement Locator Tool and the Google Earth Ruler Tool). It shows the close proximity of the most recently proposed siting of the gas station to homes, Stephen Knolls School, Kenmont Swim Club, and the Wheaton Metro Station.
Below the map is a link to a YouTube video in which a Kensington Heights resident makes a presentation about citizens' concerns.
To view the video presentation (made before the proposed site location was revised slightly, but still essentially relevant) click here
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