Darnestown youth center approved

Maryland Gazette Newspapers, MD
July 28 2004

Darnestown youth center approved

by Shannon Baylis Sarino
Staff Writer

A plan to build an Armenian youth center on 15 acres in Darnestown
was approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board July 22.

The plan will feature a 300-seat sanctuary, said Catherine Conlon, a
county planner. The sanctuary will also be used as a youth center.
Approval was also granted on the conditions that no weekday childcare
program or private school be allowed, and a portion of undeveloped
land would be given to a neighboring homeowners association.

The youth center, which is affiliated with the Soorp Khatch Armenian
Apostolic Church in Bethesda, will be built on the north side of
Darnestown Road, about 2,000 feet north of Seneca Road. According to
the planning staff report on the center, an application to build the
center was originally submitted in 1987. Hearings on the application
were held in 1989, 1995 and 2002.

The current plan consists of three parcels. The community center
parcel is made up of about 15 acres of land and eight acres of open
space and includes the house of worship, parking lot and septic
fields. The residential parcel — which contains six already existing
houses — is about 16 acres of land. The final parcel of almost two
acres of land is dedicated park land.

Conlon said before construction on the sanctuary can begin, the
center must record the lot and transfer ownership of the open space
to the Indian Run Homeowners Association, the houses neighboring the
center’s site. After the initial grading and septic digging has been
done, the center will begin landscape planning to create a buffer
between the center and the houses. Although the center does not need
to go before the Planning Board again, it could be some time before
construction begins, she said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress