Developers won approval for a nursing home in Silver Spring from the Montgomery County planning board last week after agreeing to change the work hours of the facility's future employes so they will not add to rush-hour traffic.
The planning staff had recommended that the application for a 150-bed nursing home from Meridian Healthcare be denied because rush-hour traffic around the site on Bel Pre Road is above capacity.
But attorneys told board members that Meridian would be willing to adjust the work shifts so they change at 3 p.m. rather than during the 5 p.m. rush hour, said Denise Smith, administrative aide in the planning department. As a result, the board ruled that the application "would not result in adverse traffic impact," and it approved the facility, Smith said.
Like other jurisdictions in the area, Montgomery County often won't approve development in areas where roads are overcrowded and unable to absorb increased traffic. Planners said the nursing home case is one of the first times that work shifts have been altered to bypass the traffic problem, but they said that developers and the county are coming up with more and more ways to fit development into areas with overcrowded roads.