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Nursing Home on Democracy?

Plan filed for 360-unit “Ingleside at Potomac.”

A company which operates two continuing-care facilities in the region would like to build a third on Democracy boulevard, about one mile from the Potomac Village Shopping Center.

The facility, tentatively called Ingleside at Potomac, would consist of 280 independent and assisted-care units plus an 80-room nursing home.

Robert Dalrymple, attorney for Ingleside, did not return calls by presstime.

Ingleside has submitted a pre-preliminary plan to the Park and Planning Commission. They want to combine two properties, one of which is known as the Tauber property, into one which would total just over 28 acres. “They need to subdivide it,” said Callum Murray, Potomac Team Leader for Park and Planning.

Ingleside will also require a Special Exception in order to operate a facility in an area now zoned RE-2 (one house per two acres).

“No application to change the zone was submitted [during the development of the Master Plan],” Murray said.

INGLESIDE'S PLAN was submitted and distributed to adjacent property owners and citizens groups last week, so many groups have not yet had an opportunity to study it and form an opinion.

“Our decision is to withhold judgment until we have an opportunity to meet with the developer,” said Tom Farquhar, headmaster of the Bullis School. Ingleside would abut the grounds of Bullis.

Some groups, however, have had an opportunity to review the proposal. “West Montgomery does have some very serious concerns about this proposal,” said George Barnes, president of West Montgomery County Citizen’s Association.

West Montgomery fears that the facility could have a tremendous impact on the community in an area which already has a concentration of Special Exceptions. “The site is next door to an extremely large Special Exception [Bullis]. It is across the road from a major institutional facility [The Bolger Center], which has no regulatory oversight on it at all,” Barnes said. The Bolger Center is a training facility for the US Postal Service.

West Montgomery is also concerned about the size of the facility, noting the 280 assisted living apartments. “That’s not beds — That’s units,” Barnes said.

In documents filed by Dalrymple on behalf of Ingleside, the size is asserted to be in character with the area, noting the size of Bullis at approximately 100 acres and the Bolger Center at approximately 17 acres.

"WE CONTEND that the proposed use will be aesthetically more pleasing and less impactive in all respects than would the division of this property into approximately fourteen two-acre lots with large single-family homes,” states the application. “Life care (continuing care) facilities are considered to be extremely low generators of traffic to the neighborhood road network.”

Ingleside plans to offer transportation management plans to limit traffic.

They also say they will maintain shift changes outside the morning and afternoon rush hours. They expect to have approximately 150 employees spread over three shifts, which would equal almost 300 trips per day, if none of these employees go out to lunch.