At our next ESSCA meeting on Monday, May 20, at 7pm, we will be holding a VOTE on an alley use exemption for the proposed daycare center redevelopment at 811 Sligo Ave.
Given the critical need for daycare in our community, this is an important vote.
You must be a dues-paying member of ESSCA in order to vote. Please visit our membership page for methods of payment, or you can pay in person at the meeting on May 20. Dues are $10 per household.
If you can't attend the meeting but still want to vote, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is some background on the issue from Karen Roper, Chair of the ESSCA Planning, Zoning, and Public Works Committee.
Alley use exemption required for proposed daycare at 811 Sligo Ave
It is against the County regulations for a development to use a public alley for its sole entrance or exit. The developers for 811 Sligo Ave are proposing to use the alley to Fenton as their only entrance or egress to the proposed Daycare.
ESSCA will be voting on whether or not to support an exemption so that the developer can use the alley as its sole entrance or egress.
Exemptions are issued by Montgomery County DOT. The County Planning Staff will make a recommendation in its report to DOT this summer. I cannot speak for them, but I assume Planning will recommend that an exemption be granted, as they are aware the project cannot go forward without the exemption. Planning will want to include ESSCAs opinion in their report, hence the necessity of ESSCA voting at our next meeting.
The exemption is only for the part of the alley from Fenton to the back of the 811 Sligo Ave property where it dead-ends with overgrown vegetation and does NOT include opening the alley to Grove. I asked the Planning Supervisor to confirm this and he responded:
"I think that, while of course related, these are two separate questions. The determination to allow use of the alley for access to the 811 Sligo site I would expect to be limited to this project, as is typical. The alley remains a public right-of-way within which the county may extend the paved section to Grove at their discretion. I am aware of no plans, near- or longer-term, to do so. "
I cannot speak for DOT, but, in my experience, this is a situation where DOT is likely to grant the exemption, as it would not impede the public use nor future plans the County might have for the site.