MARYLAND

Costco gas station remains on hold in Montgomery County

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Through the trees of a Montgomery County neighborhood, residents can see and hear the buzz around the soon-to-open Costco.

Lawrence Harris has lived in Wheaton for four decades.

"I was actually for Costco when it moved in," Harris said.

But he's on the fence about the 16-pump gas station that could come with it.

He added, "I’m for it to some degree, but my concern is the impact on the people who live nearby."

Montgomery County planning officials say despite efforts by Costco to install a large, discount gas station, the area isn't zoned for it, and they recommend that county officials deny the chain's request.

Wheaton resident Ben Vivari said, "I'm disappointed. I thought we could have used one and don't see a good reason not to put one in here."

Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier says a gas station would encourage traffic to the area, which goes against the long term plan to make Wheaton Mall transit oriented.

"We really felt that it was inconsistent with the primary objectives of the master plan to have a gas station right on the edge of that mall property," Carrier explained. 

But some shoppers say convenience should trump an idealistic plan.

Gaithersburg resident Ian Pryce said, "I think it would be very convenient. I drove in from Gaithersburg, and right now, I really need some gas."

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