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County Council: Residents Dislike Proposed Smoking Ban, BRT Study Funding Slash and More

Notable outcomes include county residents speaking out against a proposed smoking ban, Council cutting funding for a bus study in half, and the approval of a controversial apartment complex in Bethesda.

The Montgomery County Council met Tuesday, Jan. 22. Notable outcomes from the meeting include:

County Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Smoking Ban

A bill, introduced by Councilwoman Nancy M. Floreen, intending to ban smoking on any property owned or leased by county government was met with negative feedback from county residents during a public hearing, The Washington Examiner reported.

One resident said the ban was comparable to making it "illegal to consume on county property food containing trans fats ... genetically modified corn snacks ... and sugary sodas more than 12 ounces," adding, "It should also be illegal to wear inadequate clothing in the wintertime," according to the report.

Others testified that the ban could hurt businesses that rely on tobacco sales and another said the belief that the ban would help reduce cancer is "naive," according to the report. 

SPEAK OUT: What do you think about the proposed smoking ban on any property owned or leased by the Montgomery County government? Tell us in the comments!

Read the full report on the public hearing for Montgomery County's proposed smoking ban on The Washington Examiner.

Council Cuts Leggett's Proposed Funding For Bus Studies In Half

County Executive Ike Leggett's proposed $1 million study on the Bus Rapid Transit system will only see half the funding, The Gazette reported.

The Council "supported a committee recommendation to provide the executive $450,000 from the general fund to study BRT in the current fiscal year, plus $50,000 more to hire a manager to oversee the studies," according to the report.

A major concern of the Council was Leggett requesting money for a BRT system without Council support, according to the report.

The Gazette reported Leggett's study would focus on the following issues:

  • Integration of Ride On and Metrobus
  • Pedestrian and bicycle access to stations
  • Signal priority
  • Park and ride
  • Organizational structures
  • Right of way and operational agreements with the state

Read the full story on the Council halving Leggett's proposal on The Gazette.

Council Approves Controversial Bethesda Apartment Complex

The Montgomery County Council approved rezoning at the Wildwood Medical Center on Old Georgetown Road that would allow for a new five-story, 58-unit apartment complex, BethesdaNow.com reported.

"Neighbors of the property at 10401 Old Georgetown Rd. argued against the plan because of school overcrowding, traffic and environmental concerns," according to the report.

Read the full story on the Wildwood apartment complex on BethesdaNow.com.

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