Deadline Passes for Costco To Appeal Ruling Squashing Plans for 16-Pump Gas Station in Wheaton

Critics of station proposal celebrate end to protracted legal fight


Opponents of a plan to build a large Costco gas station at the Westfield Wheaton mall are rejoicing at the conclusion of a protracted legal battle.

Costco earlier this year was unable to persuade the Maryland Court of Special Appeals that Montgomery County officials unfairly prevented it from building the 16-pump fueling station. The company could’ve appealed the ruling but had not done so by the May 31 deadline, according to a spokesman for the Maryland judiciary.

The news that Costco hadn’t appealed the decision was a welcome one for the Stop Costco Gas Coalition and the Kensington Heights Civic Association, both of which had fought the station plans.

“In this day of endless defeat, we stood up to bullying,” Abigail Adelman, chair of the Stop Costco Gas Coalition, said in a prepared statement. “I will always be proud of our incredible effort.”

The residents had argued the station would’ve been incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood because of the traffic and fumes it would bring. The proposed station’s proximity to the Kenmont swimming pool and the Stephen Knolls School, a public school that serves developmentally disabled children and young adults, also caused concern.

Graphic showing the proposed location of the gas station in relation to other properties. Courtesy of Stop Costco Gas Coalition.

“KHCA is committed to supporting the school community in our area. We were glad and incredibly grateful to work with parents at Stephen Knolls Elementary School to address concerns regarding harmful effects that would have adversely affected students already dealing with complex health issues,” Shruti Bhatnagar, who chairs the education committee for the civic association, said in a prepared statement.

Costco Wholesale Corp. had initially filed its application to build the station in 2010, but later withdrew its submittal and offered a new proposal three years later. A county hearing examiner recommended denying the application following a series of hearings that spanned 17 months. The Montgomery County Board of Appeals adopted the recommendation in April 2015.

Costco challenged the appeals board decision, but a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge and later the Maryland Court of Special Appeals sided against the company.

An attorney for Costco did not return a call requesting comment.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

New Development at Westfield Montgomery Mall Could Bring Apartments, Upscale Dining

Property owners reveal proposal for mixed-use project on Sears site

Man Walked Into Bethesda Workplace, Stole Credit Card From a Purse, Police Say

Authorities ask public’s help to identify the culprit in the June 8 theft

Voter Asks Board of Elections To Review Connections Between Blair and Developer-Funded Group Empower Montgomery

Montgomery County executive candidate was previously listed as a co-founder of the group, but his campaign called the allegations ‘meritless’

Neighbors and Friends Ask Why Police Officer Had To Fatally Shoot Silver Spring Man

They say Robert White was a gentle, caring man who struggled with mental illness
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module

Joel Rubin for Delegate District 18

Apple Ballot endorsed, Chevy Chase Town Council member and Obama administration official, Joel will put education first so all students succeed. Early voting ends June 21.


Bethesda Magazine Green Awards

Nominations are now accepted. The submission deadline is Friday, June 29.