County Planning Board Withholds Support For Proposal to Build New Inn Next to Old Angler’s Inn

Potomac restaurant operator wants to construct four-bedroom inn with banquet space


Via Old Angler's Inn

The owner of the historic Old Angler’s Inn in Potomac has hit another setback in his quest to construct a companion building with a banquet hall and four overnight guest rooms. 

On Thursday, the Montgomery County Planning Board decided not to support Mark Reges’ request to open a 9,000-square-foot country inn after members found they lacked enough information to give his proposal a full evaluation.

The proposed development project on roughly 7 acres along MacArthur Boulevard in Potomac has generated significant community pushback, planning staff reported. Though Reges has downsized and tweaked his plan several times, surrounding neighbors, cyclists and others are still worried the proposed building would bring traffic and noisy celebrants to the sensitive area, just outside the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

“This is not a quaint, rustic auberge nestled in the woods implied when you hear the phrase ‘country inn.’ It is, rather, a banquet facility for weddings, bar mitzvahs and anniversary parties,” Rod Mackler, first vice president of the C&O Canal Association, told the board.

Reges and his wife, Sara, contend their country inn would sit three football fields away from the nearest homes and would be constructed to muffle noise. Compared to other options for development, building an inn would allow them to conserve the bulk of the wooded property and minimize the area’s disruption, they assert.

The new building would be similar in design to Old Angler’s Inn, the restaurant Reges’ family has managed for six decades. The historic inn originally opened in 1860 and offered lodging to travelers heading to Washington, D.C. In more recent years, the inn has functioned as an eatery, beer garden and wedding venue. 

When Reges initially submitted his development plan in 2015, he wanted to build an eight-room inn featuring a ballroom. He later scaled that back to four bedrooms and lowered the banquet hall’s maximum capacity from 240 to 160 guests.

During the meeting, county planners said Reges’ development request has merit, but they must subject it to a heightened level of scrutiny because his property borders the national park. They said they weren’t able to complete their analysis because several pieces of information—such as an acoustic report, forest conservation plan and sight distance evaluation— arrived too close to the hearing date, giving them little time to review the materials.

Reges’ attorney, Jody Kline, argued the board now has all the information needed to back his client’s plan. However, he asked the board at least to recommend a deferral on a decision rather than an outright denial.

The board’s recommendation will now go to the county’s office of zoning and administrative hearings. A hearing examiner is set to review Reges’ proposal Feb. 24. 

Board Chairman Casey Anderson said the board’s letter to the examiner would explain that the denial recommendation was based on information gaps and doesn’t necessarily reflect members’ appraisal of the project.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Substitute Teacher Charged With Inappropriately Touching Student Worked at 14 MCPS Schools

Case against Katz only pertains to alleged behavior at Cloverly Elementary in Silver Spring

Teen Who Nearly Drowned Was Taunted by Friends To Jump Into Potomac River Near Great Falls

Visitor reports that others egged on young man, who was rescued downstream

Winter Storm Watch Goes Into Effect Early Wednesday

MCPS will dismiss on a normal schedule but cancels afternoon activities

Bethesda Delegate’s Anti-Harassment Bill Clears House; Frosh and Raskin Plan ‘March for Our Lives’ Events

News, announcements and other helpful links for Tuesday
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

Beautiful and Spacious

Potomac $1,450,000

Custom Dream Home

Bethesda $2,695,000

Renovated and Expanded

Bethesda $1,425,000

Lovely Home in Chevy Chase View

Kensington $1,949,000

Stunning River Views

Potomac $2,770,000
Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module