Two years ago, East Silver Spring resident Hannah McCann saw an empty parking lot near her house and sought to make use of it with a flea market. Today, the weekly Fenton Street Market has dozens of vendors and a new home at Veterans Plaza. Yet the market's success may come to an end as Montgomery County wants to collect higher fees for using the plaza - as much as $35,000 a year, reports the Examiner.
The county's Office of Community & Public Facilities has other, more profitable uses in mind for Veterans Plaza, McCann writes on the Fenton Street Market blog:
We have prided ourselves on being excellent tenants, using the space responsibly and leaving it better than we found it at the close of each market day. I live in this community, and I’m personally invested making our neighborhood shine. The Fenton Street Market has activated a formerly empty expanse of concrete in our downtown with a vibrant, community-based enterprise that stimulates the local economy (read the results of our 2011 economic impact study showing we bring more than $1.9M a year to downtown Silver Spring).
And yet, it has been suggested to me by the county personnel charged with contracting the space that the community might benefit more from the Plaza being used as a putt-putt golf course next summer.
Check out the market's website for more information, and watch this space for updates.