Planning to Meet on Proposed Country Inn in Potomac

Planning to Meet on Proposed Country Inn in Potomac

Civic groups voice opposition to proposed expansion of Old Angler’s Inn.

Several Potomac area civic and homeowners associations have joined together to express objections to a proposed country inn on the site of Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Blvd.

They object to the building of a 9,000-square-foot venue, separate from the existing Inn, which will operate as a special events venue. The new space, called a country inn, will have a commercial kitchen and four guest suites which can be rented on a nightly basis.

A letter to the editor of the Potomac Almanac, signed by representatives of five community associations: River Falls Homeowners Association, Civic Association of River Falls, Brickyard Coalition, West Montgomery County Citizens Association and Woodrock Homeowners Association, said, “the purpose of the facility is to host weddings receptions, banquets, corporate events and business meetings.”

The proposal is for a facility that can handle 280 guests.

The groups are objecting because they do not believe the proposed venue fits the description of a country inn and have concerns about increased noise, traffic and parking problems along MacArthur Blvd.

Mark Regis, co-owner with his wife Sara of Old Anglers Inn, said those concerns are legitimate, but he has had studies done to measure the impact of noise and traffic and they have all come in well below what is required by Montgomery County. As for parking, he said, the plans call for 80 parking spaces for the new building.

In a letter on the restaurant’s website addressed to “neighbors, friends and patrons” of Old Angler’s Inn, Sara and Mark Regis explain their view of the restaurant’s future and the use of the 7.5 acres it is situated on:

“After a through review of the different possibilities including subdividing the land into 1/2 acre lots, a clear plan for development has emerged that is intended to allow Old Angler’s to meet its full potential while preserving a majority of the surrounding land in its natural state. It is our intention to develop the property into a Country Inn. We envision a small but functional building for private events and overnight accomodations for approximately eight guests.”

Mark Regis explained in a phone conversation that he believes the country inn is a natural extension of what his family has provided at Angler’s Inn for almost 60 years.

“I’m trying to create something that is a natural extension of what’s here. It’s going to have the same look and feel of the existing Angler’s Inn,” he said. “Most of the property will remain in its [present] natural state.”

Susanne Lee, representing West Montgomery County Citizens Association, said there is a long list of reasons to oppose the plan but it boils down to this: “It’s just the wrong place to put a 300 capacity banquet facility,” she said.

Mark Regis said the opposition wants people to believe that “everyone” is against the new venue but that is not the case. He said he has received a lot of support.

One neighbor, Billy Belt, who lives in River Falls, wrote in support of the extension of Old Angler’s Inn.

“Old Angler’s Inn is not inconsistent with our neighborhood. Neither is the proposed addition. I note that Rockwood Manor, [also on MacArthur Blvd, near Old Angler’s Inn] which also hosts large gatherings, is also not inconsistent with our neighborhood. Indeed, these facilities lend a unique charm to our surroundings.”

The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold an open meeting on the Old Angler’s Inn request under the name Maryland Catering Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.

Citizens are urged to express their concerns via mail to the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings, 100 Maryland Ave., Room 200, Rockville, MD 20850.

Email can also be sent to Casey Anderson, Planning Board chairman at