Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Council Approves Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan

Yesterday we approved the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan with amendments addressing specific aspects of the plan after several months of work by the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and the full Council.

The plan will significantly alter the small community located along Connecticut Avenue near the Beltway interchange. The Purple Line is planned to go near Chevy Chase Lake, and the plan includes certain staging of the redevelopment to be coordinated with the progress in building the future east-west transportation line that will connect the Bethesda and New Carrollton Metrorail stations.

The Chevy Chase Lake plan has involved many opinions from residents, current business owners and developers concerning the changes to the 1990 Bethesda-Chevy Chase Master Plan. Issues involved included how quickly development would be allowed to proceed, the height of buildings, increasing the amount of new housing to be allowed and the future of the current Chevy Chase Lake shopping centers on the east and west sides of Connecticut Avenue.

We reduced the maximum height of new buildings on the Chevy Chase Lake East shopping center from the 150 feet recommended by the Planning Board to 120 feet. We also educed heights on properties closest to existing homes including on Newdale Mews, Arman’s gas station and the eastern portion of the Housing Opportunities Commission property.

The new zoning will allow the development of a mixed-use community on the Chevy Chase Lake East shopping center including retail, commercial and residential development. The approved plan also requires the redeveloped shopping center to include public open space and amenities that make it an appealing destination for the entire community.

The sector plan recommends mixed-use zoning for most of the other properties in the Chevy Chase Lake Center.

The Chevy Chase Lake shopping center on the east side of Connecticut Avenue, which has existing development approvals, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Housing Opportunities Commission mixed-income project will be allowed to redevelop immediately after the properties are rezoned as part of an upcoming Sectional Map Amendment because they meet the criteria for Stage 1 development.

The remaining property owners will have to wait until construction begins on the Purple Line between Silver Spring and Bethesda before they can begin applying for development approvals. This will ensure that a significant portion of new development will be completed at approximately the same time that construction is completed on the Purple Line.

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