Sign in front of Old Angler's Inn solicits support for the proposed Country Inn on acreage behind the restaurant.
Photo by Peggy McEwan/The Almanac
The County Council met before a full house on Sept. 12 for public hearing on, among other issues, the definition of a Country Inn and the zoning it requires.
The hearing was an opportunity for citizens to testify either for or against the proposed zoning text amendment — ZTA 17-04 — that would restrict the location of country inns in R 200, residential zones.
The hearing was for most, not just an exercise in the finer points of zoning and space use designation, it was a time to voice support or opposition to the proposal by Mark and Sara Regis, owners of Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Boulevard to build a country inn on seven acres behind the restaurant.
The inn would be an event venue with a separate catering kitchen from that of the original inn and four overnight suites.
According to the Old Angler’s Inn website, oldanglersinn.com, the project has been in the works for three years and planners had made changes according to recommendations from public hearings to “mitigate any and all community and planning concerns.”
Mark Regis did not return a call to answer questions this week.
According to the website, the project received, “a long-awaited Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission staff recommendation of approval of the proposed inn.” The family was looking to obtain a final hearing this month when the “plan was put on hold until this ZTA is decided.”
Most of those who testified last week were there to support the ZTA, in this case in opposition to the Angler’s proposal.
Council President Roger Berliner reminded those present that to testify before the committee required preregistration and those who did speak had made the signup deadline. He said written testimony would still be accepted. Comments to council members can be emailed to CountyCouncil@montgomerycountymd.gov.
The opposing sides took on the demeanor of team rivals at a ball game. Each held up signs in support of their belief, wore “team” colors and there was even cheering, booing and applause in response to the testimony.
The outcome is still several months away. The zoning question must go to committee in the next month or two before the council makes its final decision.