So you thought it was legal to take photos from a downtown sidewalk?

Not if you live in Silver Spring, Maryland where the private company that revitalized the area is now claiming ownership of the city’s downtown, thus barring photographers from snapping photos.

Never mind the fact that Montgomery County taxpayers paid $100 million towards the $400 million it took for The Peterson Companies to complete the project that included a bustling restaurant scene and business center.

The mind-boggling news comes to us from The Washington Post, which reports that earlier this month, longtime Silver Springs resident Chip Py ate lunch at one of the new restaurants, taking in the new atmosphere and all the positive changes.

After lunch, he decided to take some photos and was confronted by a private security guard who ordered him to stop.

“I am on a city street, in a public place,” Py replied. “Taking pictures is a right that I have, protected by the First Amendment.”

The guard sent Py to the management office of the Peterson Cos., the developer that built the new downtown. There, marketing official Stacy Horan told Py that although Ellsworth Drive — where many of the downtown’s shops and eateries are located — may look like a public street, it is actually treated as private property, controlled by Peterson.

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Py, 43, who knew through his old sales job that Montgomery County had made a huge public investment in the new downtown. County tax dollars accounted for $100 million of the $400 million it took to transform the area. “There’s all kinds of county activities there, promoted by county money. How could this be private?”

That is Peterson’s right, says Gary Stith, director of the county government’s office in Silver Spring. “It’s like any other shopping center,” he says. “The street was vacated by the county and is leased to the developer. We wanted them to maintain and manage the area.”

Methinks the citizens of Montgomery County are owed a significant tax refund.187

Not if you live in Silver Spring, Maryland where the private company that revitalized the area is now claiming ownership of the city’s downtown, thus barring photographers from snapping photos.

Never mind the fact that Montgomery County taxpayers paid $100 million towards the $400 million it took for The Peterson Companies to complete the project that included a bustling restaurant scene and business center.

The mind-boggling news comes to us from The Washington Post, which reports that earlier this month, longtime Silver Springs resident Chip Py ate lunch at one of the new restaurants, taking in the new atmosphere and all the positive changes.

After lunch, he decided to take some photos and was confronted by a private security guard who ordered him to stop.

“I am on a city street, in a public place,” Py replied. “Taking pictures is a right that I have, protected by the First Amendment.”

The guard sent Py to the management office of the Peterson Cos., the developer that built the new downtown. There, marketing official Stacy Horan told Py that although Ellsworth Drive — where many of the downtown’s shops and eateries are located — may look like a public street, it is actually treated as private property, controlled by Peterson.

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Py, 43, who knew through his old sales job that Montgomery County had made a huge public investment in the new downtown. County tax dollars accounted for $100 million of the $400 million it took to transform the area. “There’s all kinds of county activities there, promoted by county money. How could this be private?”

That is Peterson’s right, says Gary Stith, director of the county government’s office in Silver Spring. “It’s like any other shopping center,” he says. “The street was vacated by the county and is leased to the developer. We wanted them to maintain and manage the area.”

Methinks the citizens of Montgomery County are owed a significant tax refund.187

- Advertisement -

Support our Mission

Help us build a database of bad cops

For almost 15 years, PINAC News has remained active despite continuous efforts by the government and Big Tech to shut us down by either arresting us for lawful activity or by restricting access to our readers under the pretense that we write about “social issues.”

Since we are forbidden from discussing social issues on social media, we have created forums on our site to allow us to fulfill our mission with as little restriction as possible. We welcome our readers to join our forums and support our mission by either donating, volunteering or both.

Our plan is to build a national database of bad cops obtained from public records maintained by local prosecutors. The goal is to teach our readers how to obtain these lists to ensure we cover every city, county and state in the country.

After all, the government has made it clear it will not police the police so the role falls upon us.

It will be our most ambitious project yet but it can only be done with your help.

But if we succeed, we will be able to keep innocent people out of prison.

Please make a donation below or click on side tab to learn more about our mission.

Subscribe to PINAC

Bypass Big Tech censorship.

Carlos Miller
Carlos Millerhttps://pinacnews.com
Editor-in-Chief Carlos Miller spent a decade covering the cop beat for various newspapers in the Southwest before returning to his hometown Miami and launching Photography is Not a Crime aka PINAC News in 2007. He also published a book, The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which is available on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisement -

Latest articles