Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Douglas Development is seeking an extension for its 8008 Wisconsin Avenue mixed-use project in downtown Bethesda. Emily Vaias, the attorney for Douglas, has requested the delay because of concerns that Montgomery County's Bus Rapid Transit plan could seize more right-of-way along the section of Wisconsin Avenue that fronts the proposed apartment building.

Vaias writes that her client has been consulting with the Montgomery County Planning Department and Maryland State Highway Administration on potential alternative designs. That work has finally begun to produce some solid ideas for a revised design in the last week, Vaias says. These new alternatives would accommodate a future BRT line in front of the property. It is interesting that this issue has come up, as the County Council has previously claimed the right-of-way would not be widened along Wisconsin in downtown Bethesda.

The applicant is now requesting its appearance before the Montgomery County Planning Board be postponed from late March to June. 8008 Wisconsin Avenue was already granted an extension in late 2014.

Commissioners will take up the issue at the March 19 Planning Board meeting. Planning staff is recommending approval of the extension, and have suggested June 28, 2015 as the new hearing date. The site is currently occupied by a vacant surplus store on Wisconsin, and the "beer house" along Cordell Avenue.


Woodmont said...

BRT boondoggle continues.

Will it go the way of the DC and Arlington streetcar?

Anonymous said...

Do we get to see any plans or renderings?

I wonder how much right of way the county could take? The sidewalk is already narrow enough there as it is.

Maybe Douglas takes this opportunity to add some extra retail? #wishfulthinking

Robert Dyer said...

6:00: There aren't any renderings with this application, but there surely will be for the June meeting, by which time they will have worked out the redesign.

Anonymous said...

Oh is the June presentation to the board you mentioned a public meeting?

Robert Dyer said...

9:21: Yes, and will stream live on the Planning Board website.

Anonymous said...

Oh cool thanks Robert. Do you have a link?