Monday, February 25, 2013


Dissatisfying all-around, future luxury residential building 4831 West Lane is heading back to the Montgomery County Planning Board with 2 minor adjustments from planning staff:

A 15' setback from the property's western boundary, and a 15' setback from the northern boundary.

This is unlikely to satisfy nearby homeowners who have expressed concerns about the project's size, and the possibility that traffic volumes will exceed Montgomery Lane's capacity.

Transit-oriented development folks could ask, on the other hand, how planners who claim to be "smart growth" gurus could approve a 7-story building only a football's throw from Metro.  While a 10-story building is going to loom over single-family homes in the Sacks subdivision. Does that make any sense?

The Arlington Road corridor was always going to be a huge challenge, and someone was sure to be dissatisfied no matter what, for that reason.

You have a residential neighborhood right behind the library. And homes and townhomes new and old.

That part of town was once claimed to be where affordable apartments would be provided. Developers and their buddies on the County Council made sure that didn't happen. Instead, boutique luxury mini-hulks and $1M+ townhomes began to pop up.

There are only so many sites around Metro, and so many in that spot have now been wasted in that fashion.

On the other hand, if you approve so many townhomes, don't you then have to rethink the idea of a 7-story building right next to them? This is what happens when you have a County Council beholden to developers: a complete hodgepodge mishmash.

Maybe they should call 4831 West Lane "Hodgepodge Lodge."

This particular building has a small section of glass at the entrance, but the rest is simply mundane. I cut-and-paste, therefore I am.

And, man, get a load of that sketch of the future building at Hampden and Arlington Road. Holy Berlin Wall, Batman!

Let's hope that's not the finished product. Yikes.

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