Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal saw the real-life results of legislation last week, when he stopped by the Bikur Cholim house in Bethesda.
The house offers rooms and a kosher kitchen to families of patients receiving treatment at the nearby National Institutes of Health.
As he toured the house, Leventhal saw the downstairs playroom, stuffed with games, books and dolls.
Upstairs, he walked from one sunny bedroom to another. “Such nice big bathrooms,” he said, poking his head in and finding a Jacuzzi bathtub.
In 2015, there was no zoning category in the county for the house Bikur Cholim wanted to open.
“We don’t allow boarding houses in this neighborhood,” Leventhal explained. “So we had to create a carve-out.”
Leventhal sponsored a zoning amendment, categorizing the house as a “charitable respite house.” The all-Democrat Montgomery County Council passed the amendment unanimously.
Now Leventhal was seeing the results.
“It’s a beautiful home for people at a time of their greatest need,” he said.