Thursday, June 4, 2009

Planners: Developer must provide service access to businesses - Gazette

Opponents of Studio Plaza project in Fenton Village say plan would hinder, block use of alleys

by Jason Tomassini | Staff Writer | Wednesday, June 3, 2009

After granting early approval for a mixed-use development planned for Fenton Village, the Montgomery County Planning Board told the developer last week that future plans for the project must ensure nearby businesses have access to service alleys, a problem that has enraged merchants and residents in the Silver Spring neighborhood.

Property owners have complained that Silver Spring-based developer Robert Hillerson's Studio Plaza project, proposed for the county-owned Parking Lot 3 at the corner of Thayer and Silver Spring avenues, will hinder customer and delivery access to their buildings. The project would require the abandonment of several alleys currently used by businesses near the site.

Planning Board Chairman Royce Hanson said the board would not intervene in arguments between the property owners and the developer. But he said subsequent plans for the project must "show adequate access for customers and deliveries to the adjacent projects" before they will be approved.

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