Jody Kline, the applicant's attorney, says the developer needs more time to complete a traffic signal study at the intersection of River Road and Landy Lane. That proposed traffic signal has been part of the project plan since it was approved by a previous Planning Board in 2008. Kline says the study cannot begin until mid-September. They also need to prepare a Warrant Study, which then must be reviewed and approved by the Maryland State Highway Administration.
|Proposed location of a|
new traffic signal at
River Road and Landy Lane
|Traffic signal overkill?|
In this photo illustration I created,
the gold stars show how close
the 3 traffic signals would be;
a fourth is less than half-a-block
east of Landy Lane at
Little Falls Parkway
More controversial is the height of the building, which will be 8 stories in close proximity to single-family homes in Kenwood. While the developer, Sheridan Development Company, has the benefit of an existing approval for the project, 8 stories conforms to neither the new zoning code, nor to the heights proposed in the draft Westbard Sector Plan.
The WES project will contain 121 senior housing units, for residents 55-and-older. While it will not burden crowded local schools, it will produce an estimated 236 vehicles under the latest FHWA and Census numbers of 1.95 vehicles per household. That number could jump to 276 under the February 2015 study by Experian Automotive, which collects and analyzes automotive data.
Transit is poor in the River Road/Westbard area, with no direct access to downtown Bethesda.
Planning staff is recommending approval of the extension.
There are several other Bethesda items on the agenda for September 3:
The Lauren ultra-luxury condo project is seeking a Site Plan Amendment to relocate a bench, alter landscaping plans, and relocate a transformer on the site. That bench was determined to be a "pedestrian hazard" in its original location by the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services.
Staff is recommending approval of this request, as well.
Finally, the extension Douglas Development is seeking for its 8008 Wisconsin project is on the agenda. According to Douglas' attorney, Emily Vaias, the applicant needs more time to complete a noise study, and would like to simultaneously file the site plan and preliminary project plan findings.
Once again, staff is recommending approval of this request.
Top rendering via Sheridan Development Company
/Montgomery County Planning Department
Photo: Robert Dyer