Fight Looms Over Chevy Chase Lake Development


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After a Planning Board worksession yesterday, it appears the cooperative tone residents had hoped would prevail in Chevy Chase Lake development talks will be replaced by protests at the County Council. Residents had hoped proactive outreach by the Chevy Chase Land Company, which wants to rebuild the strip malls on both sides of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road into a mixed-use commercial and residential area, would mean recognition of their concerns about traffic and building heights. The Planning Board's approval on Thursday of a 150-foot height limit for a building next to the proposed Purple Line, 60 feet higher than the 90-foot limit residents argued for, slashed those hopes. Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee member and Chevy Chase Village Board of Mangers Chair Pat Baptiste said residents would fight that decision before the County Council, according to the Washington Examiner. The County Council has final approval on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, which will set zoning guidelines in the area for the next 20 years. Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier also said the project would not bring more congestion to already congested Connecticut Avenue, a point of contention with Baptiste and the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee. The Committee is a broad coalition of residents, municipal leaders and others concerned about the scope of development in the Sector Plan update. In September, as both sides prepared to make their pitches to the Planning Board, Baptiste expressed optimism because of the cooperation with the Land Company, at that time represented by point person Lisa Fadden. Disagreements on building heights remained, but Fadden recently left the Land Company for another job.

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