County Council President Anticipates Changes to Bethesda Land-Use Plan

Transition from urban to residential areas an issue


Published:

Council President Roger Berliner at Monday's meeting with reporters.

Douglas Tallman

County Council President Roger Berliner said Monday he expected his council colleagues to alter the revised Bethesda Downtown Plan to “more gracefully” transition from urban areas to the edge communities surrounding downtown Bethesda.

Residents have complained to the council about the heavy densities of proposed high-rises in the downtown plan, which will guide development in Bethesda for the next 20 years. County planners drafted and edited the plan before sending it to the council for approval.

“How you harmonize [the residents’] quality of life with what you want to see on Wisconsin Avenue and other places is important.,” Berliner said in a meeting with reporters. He said the work on this plan will be harder than others because people live next to what is contemplated in the plan.

“I don’t think the planners did this particular piece justice,” he said.

He noted the letter that the council recently received from groups representing 10,000 residents documenting flaws in the plan.

“We’ve heard recently in a joint letter from a number of organizations concerns that we have heard previously and concerns that I quite frankly share,” Berliner said.

The council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee started work on the plan Monday afternoon. Once the committee completes its work, the plan will go to the full council.

“It is so important that people who live [in downtown Bethesda] today do not take on an undue burden for the future of our county,” Berliner said. “Finding that balance is always difficult, but I feel like that’s our obligation, is to make sure that the quality of life for people who live there today is not degraded but in fact enhanced.”

More than 14 million square feet of commercial development exist now in downtown Bethesda, according to county documents. The plan would increase commercial development to nearly 16.5 million square feet. The plan area has 9,603 dwelling units; that number would increase to 17,957.

Berliner said the county can have both thriving urban areas and residential areas.

“They do not have to be in conflict with one another and that’s going to be my goal in this plan,” he said.

 

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Montgomery County Students Outperform Peers on PARCC Tests, Still Struggle to Meet Standards

Local students make some gains in third year of statewide assessment

MCPS Sees Decline in Reports of Suspected Child Abuse Filed By Staff, Volunteers

School officials release second report on implementing abuse and neglect policy

Business Notes: Lakeforest Mall Sold for Fraction of Former Worth

Plus: Suburban Hospital adds new surgical director; Gaithersburg biotech firm moving to larger headquarters

Weekend Events: Free Outdoor Movies and Dedication to Prince

What’s happening Aug. 25-27
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

Beautiful Brick Colonial

Potomac, $1,089,000

Luxury Colonial in Glen Echo

Bethesda, $1,195,000

Renovated Colonial in Potomac Village

Potomac, $1,198,000

Stunning Custom Home With Every Amenity

Chevy Chase, $3,395,000

Great New Price

Potomac, $1,119,000
Edit Module

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit Module