|Chart purporting to show|
number of low-income housing
units to be dumped at Westbard
The chart claims the Housing Opportunities Commission property (Westwood Tower and parking lots) will generate only 19 low-income units at the standard 12.5% affordable requirement, or 23 if the Council mandates 15%. Wrong! The HOC has said it plans to build two 75' buildings, with 30% of the units being affordable. That means the real number would be more like 90 low-income housing units. And that's in addition to the 43 already on site, which HOC just announced it plans to double within Westwood Tower in the coming years to around 86, according to Councilmember Roger Berliner.
For the Bowlmor site, which the PHED committee voted to accept at 110' height last Monday, the chart says only 19-23 low-income units will be generated. My estimate is at least 38 affordable units there.
And on the Capital Properties/Park Bethesda site, a laughable 63-75 units are predicted. Try 125, as the developer has promised 25% of the 500(!!) units it plans there will be affordable housing.
19-41 units are promised for the American Plant/Roof Center site. Not true. For 350 units at 15%, the actual number of low-income housing units there would be 53.
Rather than assemble the River Road properties, the staff report refers to how many affordable units might be built on an individual gas station site, for example. In reality, these properties will be assembled before redevelopment, and they are getting heights of 75' apiece.
Finally, the chart entirely excludes the Little Falls Library site, which the Council PHED Committee has yet to declare entirely off-limits to a proposed 75' affordable housing building. With the County as a partner in redeveloping the library, expect that to further inflate the number of affordable units, and the type of services-dependent clientele to be served by those units, as witnessed in County-involved developments like The Metropolitan in downtown Bethesda.
Merely adding up the more realistic numbers for the HOC, Bowlmor, Park Bethesda, and American Plant sites, you get 306 low-income units from those properties alone. That's nearly the amount the chart claims will be generated by a full build-out of every property in the sector plan, 338 units. Add the eventual total of 86 low-income units in Westwood Tower, and you exceed the full build-out figure planners cite, with 392 units at barely 50% build-out.
Then consider the potential units that Equity One will have to add if the percentage is bumped up to 15%, and all of the unknown units generated along River Road at 75' heights everywhere, and the unsettled 97' tower planned for the Washington Episcopal School site, and the biggest wild card, the library site.
You're talking about hundreds more units than what the chart claims, potentially over 1000 low-income residents stranded away from Metro and County services, and the biggest low-income housing dump in a Montgomery County community in history.