Kensington parking lot nears completion

A major Kensington, Md. community parking lot is on the verge of completion, according to the town council’s Sept. 26 meeting. The 54-space lot, located on Metropolitan Avenue, near the town’s MARC station, is part of the city’s greater revitalization efforts.

The town, which has struggled to attract commercial interest and customers in recent years, expects to see an increase in economic activity along with the new lot.

“We’re trying to build an area that allows people to enjoy the assets of the town on both sides of the railroad tracks,” Councilman John Thompson said. “Our community is separated by two major arteries. One is the CSX tracks, and the other is Connecticut Avenue.”

Including a $530,000 contract with the company Environmental Construction and Design, the lot will cost the town roughly $700,000, according to town building inspector Neil Stablow.

The town will use $5,000 to install more efficient LED lamps, which Stablow says “will last longer and will save the town money,” with “a payback of two to three years” to the lamps’ lifespans.

The lot will contain what Stablow calls a “state-of-the-art” catch basin designed to process rainwater collected from the site and remove pollutants.

The sole point of contention regarding the lot, which was debated and ultimately approved in June, was meter installation. Kensington is leasing the lot from Montgomery County, and meters will help pay that lease. However, some, like Councilwoman Lydia Sullivan wondered if residents would pay for the parking.