NOTICE: Efforts to update this section continue, but have proven extremely time consuming. We will continue to post an updated Exhibit List (see just below) after each hearing. We will also post links to digital versions of certain exhibits as time permits. We remind all visitors to this website that hard copy of all exhibits are available at the OZAH offices in the County Council Office Building.

This is an extremely large section. Please scroll down to the very bottom of this page for a detailed explanation of how the various sections are arranged.

The listing of All OZAH Exhibits for Case No: S-2863, distributed at the start of the March 11, 2014 Hearing is available here. Note: The list is nearly 50 pages long, so it takes a long time to load!

Digital versions of items in the OZAH EXHIBIT LIST - Case NO: S-2863; with brief explanations

We are posting the most current/useful Exhibits first and will fill in 'gaps' as we progress. If the item does not have a clickable 'Available here', we do not have a digital version of the item.

NOTE: Some of the digital files are quite large and may take a LONG time to load!

Items 1 - 18 are filings made by Costco in late November/early December, 2012 as parts of the original application that became S-2863.

1. (a) Application form
(b) Transmittal letter from Patricia Harris, Esq. dated 11/13/12
**(a) and (b) were originally filed as a combined file containing a cover letter and the actual filing document. Available here.
**(c) and (d) These appear to have been documents NOT relevant to S-2863. They will not be removed from the OZAH Exhibit list for procedural reasons.

2. List of adjoining/confronting property owners. Available here.

3. (a) Petitioner's Statement. Available here.
(b) Letter of Authorization from Wheaton Plaza Regional Shopping Center, LLP. Available here.

4. (a) Survey plat/existing conditions. We believe that 4. (a) and 4. (b) were originally filed by the applicant as one combined filing, available here. We will check this at the OZAH office as soon as possible.
(b) Prop. Special Exception Plan.
(c) Cover sheet.
(d) Overall Illustrative plan. We believe this was filed as part of a combined exhibit, available here. We are unable to reconcile the digital filings we received on CD from the applicant with the 'names' in the OZAH listing; we will check this at the OZAH office as soon as possible.

5. (a)-(d) Planting plans. All components of this exhibit (a) - (i) were apparently originally filed as one document, available here. We will check this at the OZAH office as soon as possible.
(e) Landscape master plan.
(f) Landscape sections and elevations.
(g)-(i) Green wall details.

6. Lighting plan. Available here.

7. Elevations: north and south end; east and west side; controller enclosure. We have no digital file with this name; we will check this at the OZAH office as soon as possible.

8. (a) NRI/FSD (large plan). All elements of this Exhibit are available here.
(b) NRI/FSD (reduced plan)
(c)-(d) M-NCPPC Forest conservation exemption letters.

9. Wheaton Central Business District Sector Plan. Available here.

I0. Land Planning Report. Available here.

11. (a) Traffic Impact Analysis. This was filed as two documents, available here and here.
(b) Vehicular Circulation Plan. Available here.

12. Overall proposed conditions. We believe this is the document available here, but are not certain; we will check this at the OZAH office as soon as possible.

13. Engineering Report. Available here.

14. Neighborhood Needs Analysis. Available here.

15. (a) Environmental Report. This was submitted as two documents, available here and here.
(b) Health Report. Available here.
(c) Transmittal letter from Patricia Harris, Esq.

16. Impact on nearby property values. Available here.

17. (a) Resume of Thomas Flynn. Available here.
(b) Resume of Stephen Gang. Available here.
(c) Resume ofJoel Russell. Available here.
(d) Resume of Mark Willard. Available here.
(e) Resume of Joseph Cronyn. Available here.
(f) Resume of David Sullivan. Available here.
(g) Resume of Dan Duke. Available here.
(h) Resume of Kenneth Chase, MD. Available here.

18. (a) Zoning Vicinity Map. Available here.
(b) Tax map. Available here.
(c)-(d) Aerial photographs. We have digital versions of a number of aerial photographs but are not certain which two correspond; we will check this at the OZAH office as soon as possible.

19 - 42 are various items of correspondence that are either procedural in nature or are letters requesting to be listed as Parties of Record or indicating support for the applicant. We have no digital records of any of these.

43. Date Filed: 12/12/12 Order Denying Opposition's Motion for Continuance of the Hearing. Available here.

44-47 are various items of correspondence that are either procedural in nature or are letters requesting to be listed as Parties of Record or indicating support for the applicant. We have no digital records of any of these.

48. Date Received: 12/19/12 E-mall from Mark Adelman with the following attachment:
(a) Motion to Reconsider Ruling of December 12, 2012 dated 12/19/12. Available here.

49. Date Filed: 12/28/12 Order Denying Motion of 'Stop Costco Gas Coalition' to Reconsider Denial of Their Motion to Continue the Hearing. Available here.

50-53 are various items of correspondence that are either procedural in nature or are letters requesting to be listed as Parties of Record. We have no digital records of any of these.

54. Date Received: 1/3/13 Letter dated 1/3/13 from Patricia Harris to Martin Grossman in response to issues raised by Maryland-National Capital Park (available here), with following attachments:
(a) Stormwater Management Concept Approval Letter. Available here.
(b) Supplemental Report to the Air Quality, Noise and Odor Analysis Report. Available here.
(c) Overview of Environmental Report(11/12). Available here.
(d) Revised Cover Sheet Plan.
(e) Survey Plat/Existing Conditions.
(f) Proposed Special Exception Plan. 15.Available here.
(g) Overall Proposed Conditions.
(h) Overall Illustrative Plan.
(i) Truck Turn Exhibit. Available here.
(j) Aerial Photograph. Available here.
(k) Landscape Master Plan.
(1) Landscape Sections and Elevation.
(m) SWM Planting Plan (L1.01). Available here.
(n) SWM Planting Plan (L1.O2). Available here.
(o) SWM Planting Plan (L1.03). Available here.
(p) SWM Planting Plan (L1.04). Available here.

55. is a letter requesting to be listed as a Party of Record. We have no digital record of this.

56. Date Received: l/22/13 Letter from Patricia Harris to Martin Grossman dated 1/22/13 transmitting the following:
(a) Supplemental Report to the Air Quality, Noise and Odor Analysis Report dated 1/16/13, which supersedes the Supplemental Report of 12/18/12.
(b) Vehicle Queue Summary, Sterling, VA, 1/11/13.
(c) Vehicle Queue Summary, Sterling, VA, 1/12/13.
(d) Exit Count Summary.
(e) Summary Table, Costco Gas, Sterling, VA 2012 and 2013.
(f) Color Craphic - Costco Fuel Peak Queue, Wheaton, MD.
(g) Pedestrian Crossing Exhibit.
(h) Proposed Ring Road Pedestrian Crossing at Stephen Knolls School.

57-65. are various items of correspondence that are either procedural in nature or are letters requesting to be listed as Parties of Record. We have no digital records of any of these.

76. Date Received: 2/28/13: Pre-hearing statement and supporting matedals from the Stop Costco Gas Coalition. Items (a)-(w). These were submitted just before the hearings, scheduled to begin on March 11, were rescheduled to begin on April 26. Modified versions of most items were submitted on March 26, 2013 (see Exhibits number 87 below). Items 76 a-w remain in the record but are not relevant.


87. Date Received 3/26/13: Pre-hearing submission from Stop Costo Gas. Available here.
(a) Statement regarding the relevance of ZTA 12-07 by Lary Silverman, Esq. Available here.
(b) Statement critiquing Costco's Land Use Report by Mark Adelman, PhD. Available here.
(c) Statement critiquing Costco's Traffic Impact Analysis by Mark Franz. Available here.
(d) Statement critiquing Costco's Traffic Impact Analysis by Mark Adelman, PhD. Available here.
(e) Analysis of congestion within Wheaton Plaza by Mark Adelman, PhD. Available here.
(f) Air Quality lmpact Assessment by Henry Cole, PhD. Available here.
(g) Statement on health concerns by Abigail Adelman. Available here.
(h) Statement on a lack of adequate disaster and emergency plans by Patricia Mulready. Available here.
(i) Statement of landscaping and forest conservation pians by Mark Adelman, PhD. Available here.
(j) Audubon Naturalist Society critique of the forest conservation plan. Available here.
(k) Statement on water resources by Larry Silverman, Esq. Available here.
(l) Statement critiquing the engineering report by Mark Adelman, PhD. Available here.
(m) Summary statement by Mark Adelman, PhD. Available here.
(n) Statement by Mark Adelman, PhD "Framework: Outside the Box." Available here.
(o) Planning Staff Report. Available here.
(p) CD containing Exhibits 87(a) - 87(o).

90. Received 4/9/13: Supplementary exhibits from Stop Costco Gas:
(a) Response to Costco's assertions on air quality
(b) Analysis of the Clean Air Act
(c) Items of public records: aerial photos of costco stores/gas stations, Planning Board Transmittal Letter, Westfield Parking Space waiver, EPA letter. Available here.
(d) CD mntaining Exhibits 90(a)-(c)

95. Received 4/16/13: Memo with hearing submissions from Pat Harris on behalf of Costco.
(a) Resume of Wes Guckert, Traffic Consultant
(b) Resume of Cina Volpicelli ofMulvanny G2 Architecture
(c) Power Point to be used by David Sullivan during his testimony. Available here.
(d) CD of Exhibits 95 (a)-(c)


128. Received 5/10/13: Memorandum from Pat Harris transmitting the following attachments:
(a) Supplemental Traffic Analysis prepared by Wes Guckert. Available here.
(b) Traffic Data Plan from 4/27/13. Available here.

174. Modified Sullivan power point presentation. Received 6/24/13. Available here.

189. Received 7/1/13: Letter...transmitting supplemental materials for David Sullivan's testimony (6/17/13, 6/19/13). This Exhibit has multiple parts and the parts are not fully compatible with the format of our website. We have uploaded the contents of the entire CD containing the various parts (189 a-i), placed in a single folder on an alternative website and available here.

198. Received 7/5/13: Need Analysis from Thomas Point Associates, Inc. Available here.

321. Email sent from Dr. Adelman on 10/16/i3 submitting the powerpoint to be presented during his testimony.
(a) Dr. Adelman's powerpoint presentation "An Analysis of Costco's Case in Chief..." Available here.
(b) Email from Marty Grossman 10/16/13, asking for clarification of the 'Part I' in Dr. Adelman's presentation title.

358. Received 11/4/13: Email from Dr. Adelman, submitting a powerpoint to be presented with his testimony on traffic impact.
(a) Powerpoint presentation on Traffic Impact
(b) Revised powerpoint (corrections in red). Available here.
(c) Graph, Available here.

364. Email from Michele Rosenfeld, sent 11/10/13, sending electronic copies of Excel spreadsheets that may be used by Dr. Cole during his testimony.
(a) CO Monitor Values. Available here.
(b) NO2 Values from Nearby Monitors, 2009-2012. Available here.
(c) PM2.5 Air Quality Readings: summary chart and monitor specific readings. Available here.

391. Received 11/19/13, submission of materials from Michele Rosenfeld in advance of Dr. Colešs testimony:
(a) EPA Memo dated 6/29/10 'Guidance Concerning the Implementation of the 1 Hour NO2 NAAQS for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program' Available here.
(b) May 2013 EPA 'Draft Plan for the Development of the Integrated Science Assessment for Nitrogen Oxides ­ Health Criteria.' Available here.

393. Received 11/20/13: submission from Michele Rosenfeld in advance of testimony by Dr. Cole, Dr. Breysse and Dr. Jison.
(a) Modification of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform with the UNšs Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), published by the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Available here.

394. Received 11/20/13: submission from Michele Rosenfeld in advance of testimony by Dr. Cole, Dr. Breysse and Dr. Jison.
(a) 9/9/09 EPA Letter from CASAC 'Comments and Recommendations Concerning EPAšs Proposed Rule for the Revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Nitrogen Dioxide'. Available here.
(b) 9/10/13 EPA letter from CASAC 'CASAC Review of Policy Assessment for the Review of the PM NAAQS ­ Second External Review Draft (June 2010)'.
(c) 6/18/13 EPA letter from CASAC 'Consultation on the EPAšs Draft Plan for the Development of the Integrated Science Assessment for Nitrogen Oxides ­ Health Criteria (May 2013 Draft)'. Available here.

404. Email from Michele Rosenfeld 11/25/13 with copies of items that Dr. Cole plans to reference during his testimony.
(a) Power point slides. (See exhibit 406 for revised version).
(b) FHA Report - Traffic Congestion and Reliability: Trends and Advanced Strategies for Congestion Mitigation. Available here.
(c) FHA Report ­ Implications of the MOVES2010 Model on Mobile Source Emission Estimates. Available here.
(d) EPA Questions and Answers on the MOVES2010b Mobile Source Emissions Model Revision. Available here.
(e) Summary of EPA Regulations and Guidelines filed on behalf of KHCA. 11/25/13. Available here.
(f) Power point ­ Wheaton Costco Gas Air Monitor Locations. Available here.
(g) CD of Exhibits 404(a) ­ (f)

406. Received at hearing on 12/5/13: Revised Dr. Cole slides (Ex. 404(a)). Available here.




***************************************
OLDER SECTIONS - no longer relevant

New Filings to the OZAH Hearing Examiner (3/26/13)**

A mega gas station is not 'just another gas station'.


Relevance of ZTA 12-07 - a broad perspective of how ZTA 12-07 (which effected changes in the County Code) ought to guide the evaluation of Costco's new application (S-2863).

Critique of Costco's Land Use Report - a section-by-section, point-by-point rebuttal of Costco's claims, showing that the applicant has failed to prove almost any of the assertions that County Code requires the applicant to prove. Mirroring the format of Costco's Land Use Report, this critique makes frequent reference to our other filings, thus linking them into a coherent whole.

Expert Critique of Costco's Traffic Impact Analysis - our consultant raises concerns about probable congestion and safety impacts, within the Mall, especially in the parking lot where Costco proposes to site the mega gas station.

Critique of Costco's TIA - expanding on the report of our traffic expert, our dismissal of the TIA focusses on congestion that will be caused within the Mall, as well as the impacts on area traffic at certain intersections (not addressed by the TIA), and on public safety.

Analysis of Congestion within the Mall - a graphic representation of the congestion that is likely to be found in the critical parking lot once the Costco Warehouse store is opened and if the mega gas station is actually built and in operation.

Expert Air Quality Impact Assessment - understanding impacts of the proposed mega gas station on air quality in neighborhood is vital to assessing the attendant risk to health. Our consultant analyses the flaws in Costco's assertions (via its Environmental Report) that air quality impacts will not be sufficiently negative to impact public health.

HEALTH MATTERS - our detailed discussion of the risks to public health if Costco is given approval to build/operate its mega gas station. We would have preferred to rebut Costco's Health Analysis, but they did not file one, and still have not filed one, despite the recommendation of Planning Staff that S-2863 be denied because of staff concerns about health risks.

Lack of Adequate Disaster and Emergency Plans - Costco did not file any materials related to this and it is unclear if the Code actually requires them to do so. But we assert that they should have, in order to satisfy Adequate Public Facilities (APF) mandates. First responders (fire and police) cannot be expected to assess the impact of the proposed mega gas station if there is no Disaster/Emergency Plan on record.

Landscaping and Forest Conservation Plans - our criticsm of Costco for planning to do "landscaping" work within Wheaton's Green Forest Buffer despite having used an invalid exemption to justify NOT filing a Forest Conservation Plan.

ANS Critique of Forest Conservation Plan - in support of our filing on the FCP matter, the Audubon Naturalist Society detailed how Costco's poorly constructed stormwater management system is already damaging the forest stream buffer.

Water Resources - an explanation of the complex geography of the underground stream beds in the vicinity of the site and why Costco's methodology for protecting the watershed is unclear, inadequate, and/or of questionable construction quality. Prepared by one of our members who has extensive experience in environmental law, this filing is a logical "bridge" between our two filings on the Forest Buffer matter (above) and the filing (below) on Costco's Engineering Report.

Critique of Enginering Report - a detailed analysis of Costco's astonishingly brief engineering report, identifying its many deficiencies. We call attention to the complete absence of any information on how the underground storage tanks (for gasoline and those for holding excess storm water) are to be monitored to assure no cross contamination, which would result in contamination of the underground water resources referred to above. Costco seems quite proud of its 'reputation' for building its facilities to high quality standards, but is apparently reluctant to provide any details as to how it actually does this.

Concise Summary - because the amount of material in all our filings is so great, we were concerned some core points might have been obscured. This filing attempts to present a VERY brief synopsis of many key points in a readable format. It is just one page long (there is a cover letter and four pages of detailed endnotes) so the reader can 'see' the essential argument very clearly.

Framework: Outside the Box - while plowing through all the filings and opposition filings required/generated by the Special Exceptions process, it is easy to 'lose sight of the forest for the trees'. This filing is an attempt at a broader perspective of the overall process by which S-2863 will be 'decided'.

Planning Staff Report

Per the Hearing Examiner's instructions we filed three brief additional Exhibits, on April 9, 2013.

Response from our Air Quality Expert - in relation to certain assertions made by Costco in its filings of March 26, 2013.

Analysis of the Clean Air Act - in relation to certain assertions made by Costco in its filings of March 26, 2013.

Various Public Documents - a number of documents, including 3 aerial maps of Costco stores/stations, that we may refer to during our testimonies at the Hearings.

**When the OZAH Hearing Examiner changed the dates of the upcoming hearings (from a series of 4 days in March, to a series of 8 running from late April through early June), he also allowed that some/all filings be re-submitted by March 26. While most of our filings are essentially the same as those made (in late February) for the previously scheduled hearings, we have eliminated some and refined others. The Hearing Examiner also instructed Costco, the SCGC, and KHCA that a limited amount of supplementary filings could be made, but no later that April 9, 2013.

Costco Filings, March 26, 2013

Costco filed 10 additional documents. These are in addition to its earlier filings - which are available at the bottom of this page in sections according to the dates of submission. We have not provided names for each of the most recent filings because each "Exhibit" is named in the Cover Letter. Please note that many of these documents are large (Exhibit 01 is is 88 pages of pictures!) and may take a LONG time to download.

Cover Letter

Exhibit 01

Exhibit 02

Exhibit 03

Exhibit 04

Exhibit 05

Exhibit 06

Exhibit 07

Exhibit 08

Exhibit 09

Exhibit 10

Our Filings to the OZAH Hearing Examiner, February 28, 2013

A mega gas station is not 'just another gas station'.


Relevance of ZTA 12-07 - a broad perspective of how ZTA 12-07 (which effected changes in the County Code) ought to guide the evaluation of Costco's new application (S-2863).

Inconsistencies in Costco's Filings - presents in tabular form the many places where Costco's filings and multiple re-filings are in error and/or have internal inconsistencies. If you intend to assess Costco's case on your own, you may find this filing helpful to you.

Critique of Costco's Land Use Report - a section-by-section, point-by-point rebuttal of Costco's claims, showing that the applicant has failed to prove almost any of the assertions that County Code requires the applicant to prove. Mirroring the format of Costco's Land Use Report, this critique makes frequent reference to our other filings, thus linking them into a coherent whole.

The Sector Plan and Smart Growth - explains why Costco's proposal does not satisfy the burden of proof as to compliance with the Sector Plan, especially as regards the vision of Smart Growth directives. The sector plan (on which the Planning Board based its rejection of Costco's application) is also relevant to the matter of the Forest Conservation Plan issue (see below).

Expert Critique of Costco's Traffic Impact Analysis - our consultant raises concerns about probable congestion and safety impacts, within the Mall, especially in the parking lot where Costco proposes to site the mega gas station.

Critique of Costco's TIA - expanding on the report of our traffic expert, our dismissal of the TIA focusses on congestion that will be caused within the Mall, as well as the impacts on area traffic at certain intersections (not addressed by the TIA), and on public safety.

Analysis of Congestion within the Mall - a graphic representation of the congestion that is likely to be found in the critical parking lot once the Costco Warehouse store is opened and if the mega gas station is actually built and in operation.

Expert Air Quality Impact Assessment - understanding impacts of the proposed mega gas station on air quality in neighborhood is vital to assessing the attendant risk to health. Our consultant analyses the flaws in Costco's assertions (via its Environmental Report) that air quality impacts will not be sufficiently negative to impact public health.

Supplemental Report of Air Quality Expert - at the request of Planning Staff, our expert provided a list of studies that Costco could have, and should have, done in order to reveal the actual additional degradation of air quality in the vicinity if the proposed gas station is approved and built.

Idling and Other Non-Inherent Adverse Effects - an explanation of the reality that the extensive idling of cars that will occur at the proposed mega gas station is an integral part of the negative impacts the station will have - here specifically with respect to air quality. It will also have a number of 'non-inherent adverse effects', others of which are called out in this filing.

HEALTH MATTERS - our detailed discussion of the risks to public health if Costco is given approval to build/operate its mega gas station. We would have preferred to rebut Costco's Health Analysis, but they did not file one, and still have not filed one, despite the recommendation of Planning Staff that S-2863 be denied because of staff concerns about health risks.

No Need for Proposed Gas Station - a rebuttal of Costco's 'Neighborhood Needs Analysis', showing that they have not met the burden of proof on this matter.

Lack of Adequate Disaster and Emergency Plans - Costco did not file any materials related to this and it is unclear if the Code actually requires them to do so. But we assert that they should have, in order to satisfy Adequate Public Facilities (APF) mandates. First responders (fire and police) cannot be expected to assess the impact of the proposed mega gas station if there is no Disaster/Emergency Plan on record.

Landscaping and Forest Conservation Plans - our criticsm of Costco for planning to do "landscaping" work within Wheaton's Green Forest Buffer despite having used an invalid exemption to justify NOT filing a Forest Conservation Plan.

ANS Critique of Forest Conservation Plan - in support of our filing on the FCP matter, the Audubon Naturalist Society detailed how Costco's poorly constructed stormwater management system is already damaging the forest stream buffer.

Water Resources - an explanation of the complex geography of the underground stream beds in the vicinity of the site and why Costco's methodology for protecting the watershed is unclear, inadequate, and/or of questionable construction quality. Prepared by one of our members who has extensive experience in environmental law, this filing is a logical "bridge" between our two filings on the Forest Buffer matter (above) and the filing (below) on Costco's Engineering Report.

Critique of Enginering Report - a detailed analysis of Costco's astonishingly brief engineering report, identifying its many deficiencies. We call attention to the complete absence of any information on how the underground storage tanks (for gasoline and those for holding excess storm water) are to be monitored to assure no cross contamination, which would result in contamination of the underground water resources referred to above. Costco seems quite proud of its 'reputation' for building its facilities to high quality standards, but is apparently reluctant to provide any details as to how it actually does this.

Real Estate Marketing Study - as part of its effort to prove there is no adverse effect on the neighborhood, Costco filed a real estate analysis: 'Impact on Nearby Property Values Report'. While home values are not the most important issue to many people who oppose S-2863, we have filed this rebuttal to Costco's assertion that home values in the neighborhood will not be negatively impacted by the proposed mega gas station.

Concise Summary - because the amount of material in all our filings is so great, we were concerned some core points might have been obscured. This filing attempts to present a VERY brief synopsis of many key points in a readable format. It is just one page long (there is a cover letter and four pages of detailed endnotes) so the reader can 'see' the essential argument very clearly.

Framework: Outside the Box - while plowing through all the filings and opposition filings required/generated by the Special Exceptions process, it is easy to 'lose sight of the forest for the trees'. This filing is an attempt at a broader perspective of the overall process by which S-2863 will be 'decided'.

Planning Staff Report.

Our Filings to the Planning Commission

The New ZTA and Costco's Latest Application for a Special Exception - This filing is a broad perspective of how ZTA 12-07 (which effected changes in the County Code) ought to guide the evaluation of Costco's new application (S-2863).

Critical Factual Assumptions: Sources, Calculations, and Contradictions - Evaluation of Costco's filings regarding S-2863 is made more difficult for all parties because of a variety of internal inconsistencies, mislabelling of documents, omission of essential data, and factual errors. If you intend to assess Costco's case on your own, you may find this filing helpful to you.

Dissection of the Flaws in Costco's Land Use Report - The Land Use report is the closest thing to an overall justification of S-2863. In this filing we critique that report in a section-by-section, point-by-point rebuttal of Costco's claims, showing that the applicant has failed to prove almost any of the assertions that County Code requires the applicant to prove.

The Sector Plan and Smart Growth Requirements - This filing explains why Costco's proposal does not satisfy the burden of proof as to compliance with the Sector Plan, especially as regards the vision of Smart Growth directives.

The Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) Costco Filed is Technically Accurate, But Largely Irrelevant to the Issues at Hand - Our rebuttal of the TIA focusses on congestion that will be caused within the Mall, the impacts on area traffic at certain intersections (not addressed by the TIA), and on public safety.

Report, by an Expert Consultant, on Costco's TIA - The consultant concurs with us about the probable congestion and safety impacts. He provides data on these issues. He also agrees with our assessment that the TIA is technically correct. (He does not comment on our observation that carefully done TIAs have failed to protect our County from traffic congestion.)

Air Quality Impact Assessment, by an Expert Consultant - Understanding impacts of the proposed mega gas station on air quality in neighborhood is vital to assessing the attendant risk to health. Our consultant analyses the flaws in Costco's assertions (via its Environmental Report) that air quality impacts will not be sufficiently negative to impact public health. He points out studies that should have been done.

Additional Information Needed for a Valid Air Quality Assessment - In his discussions with planning commission staff, our consultant was asked to provide information on studies he would recommend in order to accurately assess the air quality issue, and thus provide a firmer base upon which to evaluate health risks. This is his supplemental memorandum.

Idling and Other Non-Inherent Adverse Effects - The extensive idling of cars that will occur at the proposed mega gas station is an inherent part of the negative impacts the station will have - here specifically with respect to air quality. It will also have a number of 'non-inherent adverse effects', others of which are called out in this filing.

HEALTH MATTERS - Our detailed discussion of the risks to public health if Costco is given approval to build/operate its mega gas station. We would have preferred to rebut Costco's Health Analysis, but they did not file one.

There Is No Demonstrated 'Need' for the Proposed Costco Gas Station - The manner in which the issue of 'need' is addressed is complicated. The applicant is required to file a demonstration of need, based on a 'market analysis'. Here we rebut Costco's 'Neighborhood Needs Analysis' and thus show that they have not met the burden of proof on this matter.

Supplement to Legal Analysis re: Need Standard - This filing supplements the one (above) on the 'needs' issue. It explains how a previous court ruling is relevant to S-2863 and why it adds weight to our assertion that Costco's application must be disapproved.

On the Lack of Disaster and Emergency Planning for the Costco Gas Station Special Exception Application - Costco did not file a Disaster Management Plan (DPM). They should have, as part of the requirement that they satisfy Adequate Public Facilities (APF) mandates. First responders (fire and police) cannot be expected to assess the impact of the proposed mega gas station if there is no DPM on record.

Costco/Westfields's Landscaping and Forest Management Plans: One Step Down the Slippery Slope - We criticize Costco for planning to mess with Wheaton's Green Forest Buffer despite having used an invalid exemption to justify NOT filing a Forest Conservation Plan.

Audubon Naturalist Society Filing on Costco's Failure to File an FCP and Its Cavalier Treatment of Stormwater Management - The ANS supports our filing regarding the FCP matter and details how Costco's poorly constructed stormwater management system is already damaging the forest stream buffer.

Comments on Real Estate Marketing Study - As part of its effort to prove there is no adverse effect on the neighborhood, Costco filed a real estate analysis: 'Impact on Nearby Property Values Report'. While home values are not the most important issue to many people who oppose S-2863, we have filed this rebuttal to Costco's assertion that home values in the neighborhood will not be negatively impacted by the proposed mega gas station.

Concise Summary - The amount of material in all our filings is so great that we were concerned some core points might have been obscured. This filing attempts to present a VERY brief synopsis of many key points in a readable format. It is just one page long (there is a cover letter and four pages of detailed endnotes) so the reader can 'see' the essential argument very clearly.

OUTSIDE the BOX - While plowing through all the filings and opposition filings required/generated by the Special Exceptions process, it is easy to 'lose sight of the forest for the trees'. This filing is an attempt at a broader perspective of the overall process by which S-2863 will be 'decided'.

Filings, Letters, Comments by Others

Comments on Our Petition - Some of the people who have signed our petition made specific comments. You can see them (and add your signature to the petition) by going to the Change.org site, via the click.

Physician Writes to Planning Staff - A concerned citizen, who is also a practicing physician, explains to planning staff the various health risks posed by the mega gas station, with special emphasis on respiratory system impacts.

Letter to Planning Staff - A concerned citizen enumerates why S-2863 should, based on County Code and the evidence at hand, be disapproved.

Impact on Real Estate Value - A professional real estate agent explains why property values ARE negatively impacted by proximity to a large gas station.

Open Letter to the Board of Education - This citizen, concerned about the health risk to students at Stephen Knolls School, sent this letter to the BoE and the Superintendent, asking them to speak out against Costco's application.

Letter to Planning Staff - This citizen, discusses many of the issues, beginning with the fact that there is no need for the proposed mega gas station.

Letter to the Editor of the Gazette - A citizen asks "...who cares for children's health and safety...?

Items Added to the S-2863 Files

Motion Denied - On December 28, 2012, the Hearing Examiner denied our request to reconsider his ruling of December 12, 2012.

Motion Filed December 19, 2012 - While it is NOT yet a mailing to all Parties of Record (technical issues), we post here a Motion we filed asking that the Hearing Examiner reconsider his ruling of December 12 (see below) and reevaluate the arguments as to why the hearings in the matter of S-2863 should be deferred to later in 2013 (we would prefer June, 2013).

Order of December 12, 2012 - The ruling of the Hearing Examiner which denies the requests of opponents of S-2863 to delay the Hearing dates, which will therefore be in mid-March, 2013.

Exhibits Filed by Applicant

Exhibit A and Cover Letter - The initial filing document for what became S-2863.

Exhibit B - An 8 page document explaining the application and listing/identifying all attachments; we have used this listing to help in identifying (below) what is contained in the various Exhibits. This document lists Exhibits A through CC. The list does not include an Exhibit called out as a Health Analysis (although reference is made to such an Analysis in the Land Use Report, Exhibit O, even though none exists). The CD containing all the lettered Exhibits does contain a file called 'ChaseCostcoReport", which turns out to be what we have labelled the 'Health Letter' (scroll down in this listing). Thus the list of Exhibits does not contain any Exhibit constituting a Health Analysis and none was in fact filed. The only material Costco submitted pertaining to Health is the file we have included here as a 'Health Letter', but Costco did not chose to include this in its list of Exhibits.

Exhibit C - A listing of Adjoining and Confronting property owners; i.e those who were in essence considered Parties of Record as soon as S-2863 was filed. The number of PORs has continued to grow as citizens have become aware of the issue.

Exhibit D - A letter from Westfield authorizing Costco to apply for the gas station special exception, including a map showing the new siting.

Exhibit E - A property map of the area (tax map), including the mall, where the proposed gas station would be sited.

Exhibit F - Two even more detailed property maps (certified zoning map).

Exhibit G - A color aerial view of the area around the proposed gas station site with various structures labelled (a very large file).

Exhibit H - Three contour maps of the area around the proposed gas station - these constitute a 'Special Exception Site Plan and Survey Plat of Existing Conditions'.

Exhibit I - Two more maps (one in color and thus a large file) of the area around the proposed gas station. These constitute an 'Overall Condition Plan and Overall Illustration Plan'; they indicate, among other things, where pedestrians will walk alongside the ring road.

Exhibit J - This is an eleven page Landscape Plan, with numerous drawings and maps.

Exhibit K - Labelled a 'Vehicular Circulation Plan' this is a one page map with proposed routes of ingress/egress marked in different colors. There is no associated text.

Exhibit L - Labelled a 'Lighting Plan' this is a one page map, with various symbols explained in a table (in the map). There is no associated text.

Exhibit M - This is a portion of the Wheaton Sector Plan (21 pages, with many graphics).

Exhibit N - This is a one page graphic 'Signage Plan'.

*****Exhibit O - This 31 page document is the 'Land Planning Report'. It is crucial to the argument in support of the SE application. Read the Conclusion (p. 26). If you can help the SCGC argue against any element of this document, please contact one of the SCGC Coordinating Committee (see the listing of committee members on the JOIN, DONATE, MEMBERS page of the SCGC website).

*****Exhibit P is 'The Traffic Impact Analysis for LATR and PAMR' It is very long and in two parts:
Exhibit P1 - This 147 page document contains text a various graphics. If you can help the SCGC argue against any element of this document, please contact one of the SCGC Coordinating Committee.

Exhibit P2 - This 128 page document ('Capacity Analysis Worksheets') is primarily a series of graphics. If you can help the SCGC argue against any element of this document, please contact one of the SCGC Coordinating Committee.

*****Exhibit Q - This 53 page document is the 'Neighborhood Needs Analysis'. It is crucial to the argument in support of the SE application. If you can help the SCGC argue against any element of this document, please contact one of the SCGC Coordinating Committee.

Exhibit R - This 21 page document is the 'Engineering Report'.

Exhibit T - This 17 page document is an 'Impact on Nearby Property Values Report.

Environmental Report - This 187 page (yes - 187) document was not assigned an Exhibit code on the CD we received. It addresses issues of Air Quality, Noise and Odor. HELP!!

Environmental Report - Appendices - This is a 408 page (!!!) set of appendices to the Environmental Report.

There is also a file 'Appendix AB' that appears to be related to the Environmental Report. However it contains no covering explanatory information and consists mostly of compressed files that, even when 'unzipped', cannot be read by our computer system.

Health Letter - This is a brief letter from a physician, apparently filed by Costco to justify stating that citizen concerns over the health risk due to the proposed gas station are unfounded.

Lastly, there are two Excel spreadsheets, with no explanation of their relevance. Upon inspection, it appears that they are related to noise studies; each is a listing of a large number of dB readings, all taken on the same day. If you are interested in looking at these files and attempting to determine what they mean, we urge you to examine the materials at the BoA/OZAH offices.

Exhibits U through CC are resumes of people who prepared documents, and/or will testify, in support of Costco's application. Each is available below.
Exhibit U
Exhibit V
Exhibit W
Exhibit X
Exhibit Y
Exhibit Z
Exhibit AA
Exhibit BB
Exhibit CC

Costco filed a series of supplemental materials. We have not had time to review these in detail, but have uploaded them to this website into folders designated by the date of the CD that contained each set of filings. Clicking on an item under the date folder header will allow you to access these supplementary filings and download any in which you are interested.

DECEMBER 12, 2012

Appendices.pdf

Kensington Heights 2011 Appendix U.xlsx

Sterling Costco Study 2011 Appendix O-Q.xlsx

AERMOD-NOV-09.ZIP

CALPUFF-NOV-09.ZIP

CONC.XLSX

FREQUENCY.ZIP

January 3, 2013

01.Letter.PDF

02.Stormwater Management Concept Approval Letter.PDF

03.Costco-Supplemental-Report.pdf

04.Overview of Environmental Report.pdf

05.Overall Proposed Conditions (123112).pdf.pdf

06.Overall Illustrative Plan (123112).pdf.pdf

07.Truck Turn Exhibit (123112).pdf.pdf

08.12-27-12 Aerial Photo.pdf

09.12-27-12 Sections.pdf

10.12-27-12 Planting Plan.pdf

11.L1.01-Planting Plan-40scale.pdf

12.L1.02-Planting Plan.pdf

13.L1.03-Planting Plan.pdf

14.L1.04-SWM Planting Plan.pdf

15.Special Exception (123112).pdf

January 22,2013

Costco-Supplemental-Report.pdf

Costco-Wheaton_Stephen Knolls Circulation Map_01-21-2013.pdf

MNCPPC 2013 Price Cascades Plaza- SAT - Sterling VA.xls

MNCPPC 2013 Price Cascades Plaza-FRI- Sterling VA.xls

MNCPPC costco 2012 & 2013 Sterling Va Results V 2 for MNCPPC.xlsx

MNCPPC Costco Fuel Queue Exhibit- Special Exception - 01-10-2013.pdf

MNCPPC Flashing Ped Xing Sign.jpg

Only the top section of this page is of use to those who wish to 'follow' the progress of the ongoing Special Exception Hearings. Unless you wish to understand why this page is so complex, you need not read and further in this note.

Our entire section of S-2863 filings continues to evolve as the Special Exception process progresses; the top section of this very long page is the section that will be the most useful to those who wish to examine digital versions of pertinent exhibits while the Hearings are ongoing. However, it is by no means complete at this time because of the complexity of the process and the limits on our time. In the earlier stages of the process, exhibits were filed with either the Board of Appeals (and then transmitted to the Hearing Examiner and/or the staff of the Planning Board) or were filed directly with the Planning Board staff. During that phase, we were receiving digital versions of nearly all exhibits and were posting them to the various sections in the lower portions of this section. Until the OZAH Hearings began (on April 26, 2013), it was reasonably effective for us to post such exhibits as we received them, using the identifiers provided by those who filed the exhibits. During that phase, the OZAH office was compiling a master list of ALL filings, labelled according to OZAH procedures.
Once the Hearings began, our posting system quickly became irrelevant, both because of the different methods used to label the various exhibits and because many new exhibits were being added during the course of the hearings.
The sections below the top of this page (there are a large number) reflect the multiple batches of filings that were made prior to the start of the hearings. For the most part, these sections are of no use at this point, but we have left them as is, in case anyone is interested in tracking the progression from original filing, through revisions, to the now current OZAH list. As of May 6, 2013 it had become obvious to us that the only operative Exhibit List for these hearings is the OZAH list and that all of the filings that we had previously posted had been renumbered in conformance with OZAH procedures. Thus anyone wishing to reference the various exhibits must do so using the OZAH listing. While all such documents are available - in hard copy - at the OZAH offices, OZAH does not post digital versions on line. The digital versions posted to our website (as a service to our members) are not directly accessible on-line via the OZAH numbers. We are in the process of creating a listing here of all exhibits, identified by the OZAH number; this will take some time but we hope to have the list as complete as possible and as soon as is possible. For technical reasons we may not be able to populate the list in a strict numerical sequence; that is, we may add more recent items sooner than we add older items. In all cases the Item number IS the OZAH Exhibit number and the items will appear in numerical order. NOTE: In some cases the OZAH offices have separated items that we received as a combined filing, whereas in other cases the OZAH offices have combined items that we received as separate filings. We will do our best to indicate this. Similarly there are some items on the OZAH list for which we have not (or not yet) received a digital filing. We apologize for all instances of apparent inconsistencies and remind all visitors to this section that - ultimately - the one official record of each Exhibit is the hard copy available in the OZAH offices.

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Last modified:Wednesday, March 12, 2014.