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Advisory Group Concerned About Aging Master Plan

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm 959 2 Comments

Some resident members of a local advisory group are concerned about the balance of jobs, housing and public amenities in Bethesda as a new wave of development begins.

In a draft letter introduced on Friday, members of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group asked for County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and other Council members to look at moving up a revision of the 1994 Bethesda Central Business District (CBD) Master Plan, the document that dictates zoning guidelines and planning priorities for the area.

“Now is the time to recalibrate the balance of jobs, housing and public amenities that will allow the Bethesda area to continue to function [as] the economic engine for Montgomery County,” the draft letter read. “Residents of the CBD are particularly concerned that the level of new development allowed under the current sector plan may begin to tax the public services in the area.”

Not all the members of the Action Group, a group of residents, developers, business representatives, Bethesda Urban Partnership officials and other stakeholders created in 2006, shared that view.

The concerns have long been a point of emphasis of group member Jon Weintraub, chair of the Downtown Bethesda Condominium Association.

More than a dozen apartment, mixed use retail or office projects are planned or under construction in the CBD area.

Many of the projects require amendments to the 1994 Master Plan, which limited building heights and densities. Weintraub, who has previously said he is not against development, is concerned those case-by-case amendments don’t examine the cumulative effects development could have on roads, schools or Metro use.

The group will likely edit the letter before sending it to County Council representatives.

At its last semi-annual review of the Planning Department Master Plan schedule, the council was advised of a number of plans ahead of Bethesda in the work schedule.

Planning staff is scheduled to begin work on the plan in spring of 2014, a process that could take up to three years.

Flickr photo by IamJomo

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  • http://www.merujo.com Melissa Jordan

    Soon, it will be impossible for all but the affluent to live and shop in Bethesda. With the impending changes on Battery Lane, the days of affordable Bethesda will be gone. I was amused to read in another article the pondering from folks about the number of doctors who live on Battery Lane. Very amusing. My best friend lives on Battery Lane, in one of the buildings scheduled for eventual destruction. No doctors there – just people who won’t be able to live in the same neighborhood ever again. Sad.

  • Lou

    Bethesda, an already well populated area, will soon, if not already, have more residents than its infrastructure can support. This is already evidenced by trying to drive downtown on any given weekend. A nearly impossible task. Almost gone are the quaint little curio, clothing and used book shops (these are already gone) in Woodmont Triangle. Everywhere I look I see a variance sign. There’s nothing wrong with improvement but let’s not turn Bethesda into another Crystal City.

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