Dealers weigh-in on proposed zoning amendment in Mont. Co.

Dealers weigh-in on proposed zoning amendment in Mont. Co.

[I]A problem or two for dealers[/I]

As local jurisdictions will do from time to time, Montgomery County embarked on an in depth review of its zoning ordinance, which brought the zoning staff together with elected officials. What resulted is a fairly substantial overhaul of the countys zoning laws responding to the ebb and flow of population density as it impacts formerly rural areas, turned urban, which then impacts how residential land uses interact with business retail and industrial uses, and how all the public services– like roads– will connect them.

The process is at the County Council, which held public hearings recently so all stripe of private and business citizens and their lawyers could weigh-in on what the zoning staff has recommended to elected officials. Joining with a number of its auto dealer members in the county, WANADA testified before the Council about dealer concerns relative to what appears to be unintended, but seriously detrimental, consequences in the proposal.

Specifically suggested changes WANADA and the dealers put forward would:

1. Fix a section that would require dealers to apply separately for land use approvals on service/repair facilities, vis–vis vehicle sales operations; and

2. Expand a provision for vehicle storage lots beyond use only for towed vehicles, to include storage lot use for dealer vehicle inventory as well.

As the process goes forward from here, county dealers and WANADA remain engaged with the Council and staff to see through the changes to the changes dealers have recommended. At this point, WANADA has no reason to believe its few, but important, recommendations wont be welcomed and implemented by zoning planners and elected officials so as to be reflected in the amendment when finalized. WANADA will take care that all members, especially those in the county, are kept informed of further developments.

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