A rear view of the garage construction. Andrew Metcalf
Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services (DPS) is working to determine if an expansion at Ourisman Honda may be encroaching on the Capital Crescent Trail.
The issue was brought up on the East Bethesda Citizens Association Facebook page last month. Users of the private group said they’ve reached out to Ourisman and the county’s Department of Permitting Services for more information about the construction.
DPS issued permits to Ourisman to alter its existing garage and install a canopy on its building, but the plans submitted to the department did not depict the location of the right-of-way, according to Judy Stiles, a spokeswoman for the county.
Much of the garage expansion already appears to be constructed, with steel beams and bricks holding up a multi-level garage right next to the trail and large cement blocks separating it from trail users.
Blocks separating the structure from the trail. Andrew Metcalf
The county’s permitting database shows two commercial building permits valued at about $3.6 million issued in Dec. 2015 for the dealership’s Bethesda Avenue address, as well as other right-of-way, electrical and fire permits. One of the building permits says the project will add a 27,000-square foot “business building” while the other says it’s to alter a 12,000-square foot “business building.”
Stiles said the permitting department does not know if the new construction encroaches on the county-owned trail’s right-of-way and staff is working to determine the dimensions and location of the right-of-way.
Jessica Fusillo, the outreach coordinator for DPS, said permitting staff will meet with officials from Ourisman and the parks department, which oversees the trail, to discuss the issue. Fusillo said the meeting is intended so all sides can come up with “the right solution for the issue.”
Officials at Ourisman Honda couldn’t be reached for comment.
A front view of Ourisman Honda. Andrew Metcalf