This 50-foot tree fell in the Edgemoor neighborhood this afternoon.
Though it didn’t cause much damage (other than a few gardens) you’ll want to avoid the area of 7200 Fairfax Rd. That block is closed between Hampden Lane and the Elm Street walk-through. The Elm Street path is still open. Police have cleared the area of any hazards.
The number of modern homes in established Bethesda neighborhoods of colonials, Cape Cods and Tudors are increasing, and they always draw attention.
One on Hampden Lane even inspired some neighbors to scream at contractors and throw rocks through the windows, as chronicled in this Bethesda Magazine piece from January.
Here are a few of the new, modern homes in old Bethesda neighborhoods that are turning heads. Based on the most recently available property tax evaluations via Maryland’s public database, the properties (some which have homes still under construction) range from the $300,000 range to $3.5 million.
County Digging In For Fight Against Pepco Rate Hike Requests — Montgomery County has assigned a county attorney to work full time on making the county’s case against Pepco rate hike requests, a signal of the ongoing battles to come. [The Gazette]
Bethesda Neighbors Battle Over ‘Frankenhouse’ — Neighbors of a house construction project in Edgemoor apparently disliked the new-look home so much, they threw rocks through the windows and got into arguments with contractors. Then, the home started winning architectural awards. [Bethesda Magazine]
Most Marylanders For Gun Control Measures — Maryland voters favor a state assault weapons ban by a 62 percent to 35 percent margin and 71 percent support limiting gun magazines to 10 bullets, according to a poll. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has suggested he would pursue such laws in the General Assembly. [Baltimore Sun]
Flickr photo by Bill in DC
The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday approved a controversial plan for a seven-story, approximately 120-unit apartment in a neighborhood of townhomes near the Bethesda Metro station.
The 4831 West Lane project from D.C.-based SJG Properties raised the ire of many residents in the neighborhood, who said the building was too tall, would attract too much traffic to one-way and narrow roads and does not fit the area’s residential character.
But the Planning Board, in a hearing that dragged on for more than three hours and highlighted inconsistencies in the area’s Sector Plan guidelines, ultimately decided existing traffic problems shouldn’t discourage density just 900 feet from the Bethesda Metro station.
The Board voted 3 to 1 to approve the roughly 120 units (with 15 percent of those units reserved for affordable housing) despite neighbors’ pleas that 120 units would bring more traffic and more of the type of delivery trucks and service trucks that already clog up one way Montgomery Lane and narrow West Lane.
Board Chair Francoise Carrier proposed limiting the project at 100 total (85 market rate) apartments, which SJG attorney Pat Harris said would be the limit of what is economically feasible for the developer.
But Commissioners Casey Anderson, Norman Dreyfus and Amy Presley argued the Bethesda CBD Sector Plan calls for high density development close to the Metro station, while also recognizing it calls for the neighborhood in question to retain a townhome like character and pedestrian-friendly Montgomery Lane from the Metro to Arlington Road.
Vice Chair Marye Wells-Harley left before the Board voted.
To assuage resident concerns of increased service truck traffic on the streets, SJG included three loading dock stations on its building. But many argued delivery men and contractors rarely go where they are supposed to, instead stopping for a few minutes in the middle of Montgomery Lane or West Lane.
To discourage delivery men from stopping on Montgomery Lane, where the front lobby of the apartment is proposed, Harris said the lobby would be locked except to residents and all service trucks would be directed to loading docks.
“This project complies more closely with the Bethesda Sector Plan than any on this street,” Harris said. “Quite honestly, we’re a little taken aback by the level of opposition to this project.”
Residents and resident associations from the major surrounding communities, The Chase, the Villages of Bethesda, the Edgemoor and the Town Homes all sent letters in opposition of the project and came to the hearing yesterday. One resident claimed all 29 residents of the Town Homes were opposed.
“The Sector Plan says it should be townhouse in nature,” said one resident of the Edgemoor Condominiums. “This big bulky office-like square building is not the character of the area.”
The Planning Board’s approval does not guarantee the project will go forward. The issue will go before a county Hearing Examiner on Jan. 11 before ultimately going before the County Council.
Rendering via Montgomery County Planning Department
The Edgemoor Classic 5K has become one of the area’s most popular race events, with runners winding through the tree-lined neighborhood near downtown Bethesda and raising money for Bethesda Elementary School and the Bethesda Library in the process.
This year’s 15th Annual Edgemoor Classic 5K will mark a milestone moment of sorts. The event has raised thousands of dollars for the library and elementary school, both of which border the neighborhood on Arlington Road.
The race is set for Sunday, Nov. 4 at 8:30 a.m. with a start and finish behind the elementary school. Through Oct. 28, the registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for those age 18 and under. The adult fee then kicks up to $25 through race day.
The Edgemoor Citizens Association, which puts on the 5K, is celebrating the 15th annual race with a special race t-shirt ($15 for adults, $7.50 for kids) with designs from previous Edgemoor Classics.
The Jayna Murray 5K Run/Walk to honor the memory of slain Lululemon employee Jayna Murray was moved from its original date of Nov. 4 to Nov. 11 so it wouldn’t conflict with the Classic, Bethesda Patch reported last month.
To register, visit the race website.