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Planning Board Discusses Pooks Hill Apartment Proposal

by BethesdaNow.com — October 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm 1,207 2 Comments

A proposed apartment project at the Pooks Hill Marriott hotel site was already facing questions from the community about increased traffic and the project’s true level of accessibility to two nearby Metro stations.

Based on comments in a Thursday morning hearing on the zoning amendment that would allow the three high-rise buildings, at least one Planning Board commissioner might have similar concerns.

County planners presented the Scope of Work for the Pooks Hill minor master plan amendment, a routine procedure to outline a schedule for the plan.

Property owner CMG Bethesda Owner LLC wants to build the 20-story buildings on underused parking lots of the Marriott (5151 Pooks Hill Rd.), which planners say conforms to county planning strategies by developing on surface parking lots near transit stations.

The Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station is about a mile to the north. The Medical Center station is 1.3 miles to the south. But pedestrian traffic to both stations would have to contend with the major Beltway, I-270 and Rockville Pike intersection.

After the presentation, Planning Board Commissioner Casey Anderson said he would like to see more in the plan about ways to connect the prospective apartments with the Metro stations.

“It’s over a mile from each Metro. It’s a weird sort of island,” Anderson said. “I just say this now in the interest of trying to get a jump start on what I would be asking at worksessions. That would be my concern.”

Planners will hold an open house for the project kick-off on Nov. 13, and a community workshop in February or March of next year before presenting a staff draft to the Planning Board in April.

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  • Patricia Tiede

    The new development would have traffic flowing onto Pooks Hill Road which does not have 24/7 access to the only road other than Wisconsin Avenue- which is already backed up during rush hours due to the BRAC project at Bethesda Naval and Walter Reed. There are no turn restrictions onto Linden Lane which feeds onto Old George Town Road. Restrictions are from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. All of Pooks Hill Road inhabitants live in condos and multi-family dwellings. This would add extreme hardship to the community. Please investigate thoroughly.

  • Norman Kamerow

    To add over 1000 cars twice a day to the already congested Pooks Hill Rd and Rockville Pike intersection is not good planning, and should be studied very carefully by the appropriate authorities. In addition, what effect would 3 20 story buildings have on sewers?

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