Dry Cleaner at the Four Corner - the property has been down zoned as Open Space

The owner of a property at the four corner area (Rhode Island Ave, / Edgewood Road) is asking some questions about its recent zoning changes.

The parcel includes a dry cleaner and a grassy area behind it.

The property is owned by Randy Sahaban, who currently lives overseas. Randy’s son-in-law Sid Saab came to NCPCA’s November meeting and spoke about the zoning changes in the property.

Sid said on June 18, 2010, the M-NCPPC sent a letter to them informing that their property was zoned as Open Space.

The property had been zoned as commercial (C-S-C) before. He expressed surprise on singling out their property as a target for down zoning, whereas every other property around the four corner area remains as fully commercial zoned (C-S-C).

“It’s unconstitutional, the county cannot do this to us” – said Mr. Saab with frustration.

One NCPCA member asked if the zoning changes happened during the Route 1 sector plan revision process two years ago, when Tom Dernoga served as county council member.

“The more innocent explanation of (this changes) is that the County may have included the building property along with the grassy land and they marked the entire property as Open Space.” – said NCPCA president and former council member Mark Shroder.

Mr. Shroder however said “the less innocent explanation is probably turning the property into a Open Space and make this into a park eventually”.

Sid said under the new Open Space zoning, the options to use the property is limited; it can only be used as a barn, a contractor lot or the space must be left open. The property can only have the use it had before it was down zoned (a dry cleaner) for only six months.

NCPCA members supported a motion to up zone the property back to C-S-C, should the issue come before City council again.