Letter: Opposing Application for a Country Inn

Letter: Opposing Application for a Country Inn

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Recently, the owner of Old Angler’s Inn (OAI) in Potomac, Mark Reges, filed a conditional use application with Montgomery County to build a “country inn” on property which is adjacent to the restaurant. Our homeowner and civic associations strongly oppose this application and we wish to set the record straight as to information being disseminated about the proposal.

The proposed “country inn” is a 9,000-square-foot building with a commercial kitchen and four guest suites that will be rented on a nightly basis, just like a motel. The purpose of the facility is to host wedding receptions, banquets, corporate events and business meetings. The proposed “country inn” and OAI are related businesses. This is neither a “country inn” in the traditional sense nor is it “wholly compatible with … the surrounding community” as stated by Mr. Reges.

The property is located in a residential neighborhood and is zoned R-200 meaning that it is suitable for residences with approximately one-half acre lots. Within a mile of the site there are hundreds of homes and the area is unquestionably residential in character. The Potomac Subregion Master Plan discusses the desire to maintain the residential nature of the area and that special exceptions, now called conditional uses, should be limited in order to protect “residential communities from incompatible design of special exception uses.”

Our associations have specific concerns regarding the increased noise, traffic and parking problems along MacArthur Boulevard, the impact on neighborhood safety, and the economic and environmental damage that this proposal would cause. The Potomac Subregion Master Plan also calls for increased scrutiny in reviewing applications on properties adjacent to the C&O Canal National Historical Park. As a narrow river valley adjacent to water, sound carries extraordinary distances. Adverse impacts to the C&O Canal NHP include the noise generated by such a venue on park visitors and the additional traffic and congestion to an already overused access point along the river.

Mr. Reges is asking diners of OAI to sign a petition in support of the “country inn.” Patrons should not be misled into believing that the surrounding residential neighborhoods support this proposal or that it is necessary. There are many existing venues for wedding receptions and banquets in or near Potomac. Not only is there no economic need for the facility, there is no benefit to the surrounding residential neighborhoods or the greater Potomac community. We strongly oppose this proposal.

Stephen Lehrman, River Falls Homeowners Association

Keith Williams, Civic Association of River Falls

Curtis Uhre, Brickyard Coalition Inc.

Ginny Barnes, West Montgomery County Citizens Association

Gary Miller, Woodrock Homeowners Association