Best case scenario would eliminate 75% of businesses on Georgia Avenue–right in the heart of Olney.
We've just found out that the location of The Backyard Naturalist may be in jeopardy!!
The State of MD is in the planning stages of a new Bus Rapid Transit system that would widen Georgia Avenue, consequently taking properties along the proposed route through the center of Olney.
In short, the character of the town of Olney would be irrevocably changed and there would be a loss of 75% of the businesses between Olney Elementary School and Route 108 – a three block area that is a significant portion of the town's center.
Additionally, there is a proposal for a new special tax district in Olney to help defray the costs of construction and management of the system. This is projected to include property tax increases and a special business surcharge.
If you are a resident of Maryland, particularly Montgomery County or the Olney area, we ask you to respond. During this planning stage, The State Highway Admin needs to hear from citizens, particularly if you disagree with their proposals. No feedback equals approval from what we've been told.
Although the SHA is trying to allay our fears in yesterday's article “Concerns intensify over BRT’s effect on Olney businesses” in The Gazette, the fact that affected business owners did not know this potential threat to our businesses is very concerning. This article explains the implications pretty well and The Backyard Naturalist's owner, Debi Klein is quoted.
We want all residents of Montgomery County to have full information and input on this matter. If you share our concerns, please send your comments to:
Note: See our page with more info and list of contacts.
Debi & Mike Klein
And The Staff of The Backyard Naturalist