Wednesday, June 10, 2015
8-story senior housing project moving forward in Westbard area of Bethesda (Photo)
Sited next to a WES athletic field, senior housing will prevent the project from impacting already-overcrowded schools in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster. It is decidedly urban in character, however. In fact, it is far taller than the heights now being proposed by planners for River Road, which many feel are too high as it is. The only tall buildings in the area are non-compliant with current zoning, and therefore grandfathered in. This building literally looks like something in downtown Bethesda, only there's no Metro station in the Westbard area.
The project also put the cart before the horse, much like the EYA townhomes off Little Falls Parkway. A zoning change to allow the residential use on the school site was approved back in 2008 by the Planning Board. Both decisions were rushed through by the Planning Board, but only now is the larger Westbard Sector's future being discussed in the sector plan rewrite. Before any comprehensive discussion or decision could be made about what land uses the community would prefer or find appropriate, here are two residential uses randomly plopped down on the map. Their placement will indeed bias future decisions in favor of residential use, which is of course what developers want.
Having said that, the rendering of the building looks better than I expected, and the project obviously will be of financial benefit to the private school.
Rendering courtesy of Sheridan Development
via Montgomery County Planning Department
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