Ourisman Honda is demolishing a large concrete wall that was constructed as part of its garage expansion near the Capital Crescent Trail in downtown Bethesda.
Ourisman got permits for structures on the site back in 2015 and began work in 2016, but
DPS Director Diane Schwartz Jones said Ourisman failed to include the easement boundaries on the building plans it submitted to the department to obtain construction permits. She said there would have been “no way” for the plan reviewer to know about the easement by looking at the plans and so the department issued construction permits for the project.
Someone filed a complaint after work began and after inspectors looked at it County officials determined that it encroached on the trail easement. A stop work order was issued (which they have appealed) and the county began talks with Ourisman about how to proceed. Those talks are not complete, though the wall is being torn down.
On Wednesday [February 22], about half the wall had been torn down and pieces could be seen inside a dumpster on the car dealership’s property on Bethesda Avenue near Bethesda Row.
the wall’s removal doesn’t mean the garage under construction will be removed as well
Brewer said Ourisman and the county remain in negotiations about how to handle the garage encroachment issue.
“We’re still in a prolonged discussion with the county about the bigger picture,” Brewer said.
I got nothing against Ourisman, but it looks like they're building on land they acquired from CSX 2 years before the county bought the rail line. It's too bad the County didn't buy that land then, it could have made a nice trailside park in an area that is reportedly short on park space.
Here's what the Ourisman side used to look like before the wall was built.
Of course the trail would't be right up against Oursiman if the trail had been built as planned in the original Lot 31 plan (Lot 31 is the development on the other side of the trail). That left a small buffer with trees and a retaining wall (circled in Green) on the Ourisman side of the trail, but over time it was eliminated to make more room.