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Ourisman Honda and Capital Crescent Trail reach agreement in Bethesda

The rendering depicts a model of the Ourisman Honda dealership's decorative buffer between it and the Capital Crescent Trail. The buffer and landscaping are required as part of the agreement between the county and Ourisman in exchange for the dealership's continuing construction on its garage expansion. Photo courtesy Bethesda Magazine.

The rendering depicts a model of the Ourisman Honda dealership's decorative buffer between it and the Capital Crescent Trail. The buffer and landscaping are required as part of the agreement between the county and Ourisman in exchange for the dealership's continuing construction on its garage expansion. Photo courtesy Bethesda Magazine.

By Rebecca Hirsh

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The downtown Bethesda Ourisman Honda dealership will resume its parking garage expansion after the MCPS Department of Permitting Services ordered the dealership to stop construction in November 2016. In exchange for continuing to build on the Capital Crescent Trail, which is county-owned land, Ourisman will enhance the trailhead with landscaping and a decorative buffer between the garage and trail. The Montgomery County Council approved the agreement Feb. 27.

The dealership proposed creating a plaza and overpass as a potential solution in May 2017 but received public backlash. The final agreement retains some of the same features, including a public plaza, the Washington Post reported. The improvements will cost Ourisman Honda around $1.4 million, according to the council staff report.

The deal comes as an alternative to a legal battle, director of the Department of Permitting Services Dianne Schwartz Jones said in May.

Students are looking forward to the development in downtown Bethesda.

“Bethesda is a very common place for people to hang out, and after losing Barnes and Noble, it will be a nice addition to have a plaza,” sophomore Joanna Papaioannou said.

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