Monday, March 31, 2008

amish market signs twenty-five year lease for laurel location (updated)

WHAT'S UP THE PIKE: Our "District 4 Head-to-Head Tour" continues as we interview Democrats Steve Kanstoroom and Pat Ryan along with Republicans Thomas Hardman and Robert Patton.

Burtonsville's Dutch Country Farmers' Market, a draw for shoppers throughout the region, will be moving to eastern Laurel, according to an article from last week's Laurel Leader sent to us by an anonymous commenter over the weekend.

After twenty years in the Burtonsville Shopping Center at Route 198 and Old Columbia Pike, the so-called Amish Market will be moving to a shopping center on 198 on the Prince George's/Anne Arundel county line and near the Laurel Park racetrack, says market manager (and purveyor of small backyard structures) Sam Beiler. The market has signed a twenty-five year lease for the space.

Last year, it was booted out by developer Chris Jones, who plans to eventually redevelop the strip mall and bring in a large grocery store. After the market's management announced it was opening a second branch in Upper Marlboro, a cadre of community leaders and elected officials - including County Executive Ike Leggett and former Councilmember Marilyn Praisner - attempted to help the new market find a new location in the immediate Burtonsville area. As recently as last month, Leggett suggested that the market could move to a nearby site in the Burtonsville Industrial Park.

I'm curious why MoCo and the Burtonsville community couldn't keep the market here. It appears that neither Prince George's nor Anne Arundel counties took the same interest (as municipalities) that Montgomery did. Shouldn't that mean something? The Dutch Country Farmers' Market has been a part of our community for twenty years. I'd think they would have worked harder to stay here.

Nonetheless, the new site is only five miles east of Burtonsville, thus keeping me in hot wings and lemon squares for years to come.


Anonymous said...

This is a clear example as to why we need Mark Fennel on the County Council. If Mark had been there, this ore would not have taken place. We need a strong advocate for District 4 like Fennel, not just some at-large representatives, who have District 4 as an afterthought.

There is a political vacuum in District 4 because Mrs. Praisner died. And look what took place in the interim. One of the crown jewels of District 4, the Amish market movfed out.

We need Fennel in this seat asap. He is opposed to the largest property increase in 20 years that the County Executive has proposed. he will not vote to exceed the charter limit on property taxes.

76 year old Don Praisner is in favor of this huge property tax increase and said at the Peoples Community Church on Saturday that he will vote to exceed the charter limit on property taxes. No wonder he is duckiing an interview with JUSTUPTHE PIKE.

Fennel for Council and Property Tax Relief!

Anonymous said...

For a little more on the Amish Market issue, see last week's Prince George's Gazette info at:

C. P. Zilliacus said...

(1) I am confident that Mr. Fennel
would not be able to do squat to
keep the Amish Market in
Montgomery County. It's PRIVATE
property, after all.

(2) I know exactly where the
market is relocating to. It's
a vacant building that's on
the right when driving west
on Md. 198, just after crossing
the Patuxent River from
Prince George's County to
Anne Arundel County.
There's already a sign
up proclaiming the pending
arrival of the market.

Thomas Hardman said...

It really would be nice if we could retain these wonderful people and their even-more-wonderful food somewhere here in District 4.

As I travel around the district, I'll be looking for potential sites in case one is available, and if I should find such a site, I'll try to pitch it to both the "Dutch" and whoever operates the property.

Frankly, the old "Mayflower Buffet" building here in Aspen Hill has lots of parking, though the building is a bit small. Maybe they could have a "satellite" facility here?

By the way, am I the only person here who suspects, perhaps reasonably, that (a) "anonymous" who started the comment thread here might be Robin Ficker, and that (b) whoever it is might have had one espresso too many?

Anonymous said...

Technically...the Amish Market is moving to the Incorporated City of Laurel, which is entirely in Prince Georges. This would make sense, as the City did pursue them on their own last year. Apparently, they were successful. To my knowledge, neither AA nor PG pursued them.

Dan Reed said...

Whoops! Now that I look at the map again it is very clear the site is just inside the Prince George's County line. Thanks for letting me know. It's fixed.

Anonymous said...

The present council has blown it on this one. Mrs. Praisner died on Feb 1. Her memorial mass was not till Feb 9th. The Council waited until the 19 to set the elecdion dates. Then set them back to April 15 and May 13 so that the newly elected District 4 council member could not participate n budget deliberations and votes. Nobody was watching the store in District 4 because the position was vacant.

Mark Fennel would have lined up an alternative site in Montgomery County and worked with the Amish Market. He shops there. If you want to have young, energetic, 42 year old, not sluggish 76 year old leadership in District 4 so that debacles like this Amish episode don't happen again, Vote for Mark Fennel for County Council and Property Tax Relief!

Thomas Hardman said...

For what it's worth, there's simply no point in talking about what someone would have done, that's purely conjecture. There's no way to tell whether or not the "Dutch" would have accepted an alternative, or that one could have been found which could have been acceptable to them.

Keep in mind that the Amish are permitted to use certain types of technical devices so long as they lease the property, and don't actually own the property. Possibly no appropriate sites could be located in Montgomery which would not have to be bought rather than leased. It might be that if the Amish and Mennonites actually bought the place, they couldn't sustain the level of business they need to turn a profit, without making some use of things such as digital scales and electronic calculators.

As to Mr Fennel -- or anyone -- shopping there, we all do, I think.

And in case nobody noticed, Mr Praisner wears his beard as do the Amish. The full beard with no moustache is signature of the Amish, who don't wear one because when they were oppressed by Hessen mercenaries back in Germany, the Hessens all wore moustaches.

How's that for deep cultural understanding?

Anonymous said...

A couple remarks about the Amish Market. Chris Jones to my knowledge didn't kick them out. The Amish wanted to double the size of their business and the redevelopment of the property could not accommodate them because they are only a 3 day a week venture. Chris jones worked very hard to find them a place in Burtonsville. As far as Ike Leggett wanting to help...the Amish had a chance to move to the Sarem Farm just north of the Giant where the carnival always is. They had a leased worked out and everything. There would be buggy rides etc. Ike Leggett put the kabosh on it because it was to close to Dustin Rd where he has a house and he didn't want the traffic.

Anonymous said...

Mark Fennel would have kept the Amish market in Burtonsville if he had been on the council. He puts District 4 ahead of the countywide view. There are 4 countywide members of the council to take the countywide view.

Anonymous said...

Mark Fennel walks on water and cures the lepers.

Thomas Hardman said...

It's so sad that most of the lepers can't reach him when he's out there walking on the water. It's a little difficult to swim when all of your flesh has fallen away.

[ cheerful grin ]

Anonymous said...

The problem in finding a site is that the Dutch Village Farmers Market is open only a few days a week. The rest of the shopping week the Dutch Village Farmers Market is only a drag on the shopping center.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in burtonsville for 10years, it's a darn shame that the departure of the Dutch market was allowed to happen. We're a nice little community & this was a community store, and I was proud to say it was in my ittle corner of the world. What will I say now, oh yea I have a shoppers, or a whole foods, or some other snooty store I don't shop at. It just doesn't sound the same as the Dutch Market. When are we going to find out what is replacing the market? My only wish is that if Dunkin donuts stays and i hope it does it should also be a drive in. NJ has several and they are amazing.