Costco Wholesale applied for permission to build a mega gas station VERY close to the Kensington Heights neighborhood. Costco is supported by Westfield Group and Montgomery County government. Mega gas stations, if sited too close to homes, schools, and outdoor recreation facilities, expose people to unacceptable health risks. They also have negative impacts on quality of life because of increased air pollution, noise, traffic congestion, and potential degradation of ground water quality. Mega gas stations are a growing trend that should concern every neighborhood. More info is at www.stopcostcogas.org
Costco may receive approval for S-2863. But any such "victory" will bring significant negative impacts upon Costco, Westfield, and Montgomery County Government. Citizen opposition to the proposed siting of the mega gas station has been steadily growing over the nearly three years that this battle has been taking place. In this era of "social-media", concerned citizens have the tools to drive public opinion - of a corporation or an elected/appointed public official - from positive to negative in a surprisingly short time period.
Costco should plan to deal with increasing regulatory guidance as to the proper placement of mega gas stations and the growing tendency of citizens to consider not only the cost of gasoline to individuals, but also the impact of unwise business decisions on the broader community.
To reiterate: Costco should withdraw Special Exception application S-2863. Costco should work with Westfield Group and all levels of Montgomery County Government to find a site for the proposed Costco mega gas station that is at least 1000 feet from homes, schools and outdoor recreation facilities.