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Civic Leader Says She’s Not Against Longer Bar Hours In Bethesda

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 2/20/2014, 3:25pm  ET

Jane Fairweather, via Jane Fairweather Real EstateJane Fairweather wants to clear the air.

The prominent Bethesda real estate agent and civic leader said she’s not against recommendations from the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force that would mean longer hours and looser alcohol restrictions for downtown Bethesda bars. She also said the characterization of “universal opposition” to those recommendations in a meeting with county planners last week was an exaggeration.

Fairweather and Jon Weintraub organized the meeting of residents from the Edgemoor Condominiums, Fairmont Plaza, Chase, Hampden Square, City Homes and homes in the Edgemoor neighborhood as a general discussion about the upcoming Bethesda Downtown Plan rewrite.

On the Montgomery County Planning Department’s official web page for the Plan is a summary of issues discussed in the meeting.

The No. 1 issue listed was “universal opposition to the County Executive’s Nighttime Bethesda proposal, if it means extending bar hours and changing the revenue ratio.”

That caused some criticism of Fairweather on this site, criticism she said was unwarranted.

Fairweather said there were two people at the meeting who brought up their opposition to the recommendations. Fairweather and Weintraub advised those people that county planners would not be directly dealing with alcohol laws in the master plan rewrite.

“Bethesda, in order to retain its economic viability and to attract young people to live in the 5,000 residential units that we’ll have here, will have to keep up with the needs and some of those interests of the younger generation,” Fairweather said.

Fairweather is on the Board of Directors of the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce. She also helped organize a group to improve the Bethesda Metro station.

“That room was not universally against the Nighttime Economy Task Force,” Fairweather said.