Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Developer seeks yet another delay on Washington Episcopal School high-rise in Bethesda

A developer whose high-rise building project at the Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda has already been delayed multiple times is seeking yet another extension. The excuse? The same as was given almost a year ago: a traffic signal warrant analysis for the intersection of Landy Lane and River Road.

Unbelievably, planning staff are recommending the Montgomery County Planning Board grant the extension at its meeting tomorrow. You've got to be kidding me - you had a year to complete a traffic signal study, and you couldn't do it?

In theory, developers have to move forward with a project with some reasonable wiggle room for extensions because, eventually, the conditions under which it was approved may no longer exist. The real reason for the multiple delays of this now-100' tall tower appears to be that the developer wants to convert this senior housing project to non-age-restricted housing. Why else would they claim they cannot complete a basic traffic study, and repeatedly stall until the Westbard sector plan changed?

Switching from senior to all-ages by itself totally blows aside all of the calculations made at the time of approval on the impact of this project on roads and schools.

The Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights opposed the extension in a letter to planners, noting that the project has now been pending for eight years. They also recalled the Planning Board stating that the last extension would be the last such delay granted.

Finally, the CCCFH is urging the developer and planners to ensure that a site plan is submitted for the project, as required by law, saying that the extension should provide them ample time to get it done.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now Dyer is complaining that a high-rise building in Westbard is not being built fast enough?

Robert Dyer said...

Not what I said. The question is, why are they stalling on the project - to get approval for conversion to all-ages? That would not be preferable to the community, hence, of course people want to be sure they move forward with the senior plan, not a new plan.

Anonymous said...

Dyer is circulating a petition that says "Whereas we in Westbard already got our fair share of young whippersnappers..."

Anonymous said...

Glad I live in Bethesda proper and not the xenophobic Westbard area! Between this and the recent debacle those residents sound like total jerks

Anonymous said...

Who cares? Why wouldn't they get the extension?

Elm said...

6:19am FYI: there is no incorporated part of Bethesda. We are all Bethesda, from Montgomery Mall to Westbard to the downtown.

Anonymous said...

The sketch drawing of this building makes it look like a high-end condo building (like on Willard) not a senior friendly residence??? More bait and switch!!! Also, the installation of a traffic light at the bridge looks to be the absolute worst place possible. Too much going on there with the McD's and the side road businesses. An accident waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

Please, anything outside of 20814 is not real Bethesda. Real Bethesdians would not hold the same racist and xenophobic views as those in Westbard

Anonymous said...

Bethesda does not have a McDonalds; Westbard does. That tells you everything you need to know.

@ 6:38 AM - Why do you believe that installing a traffic light at that intersection will make things worse?

Elm said...

6:44am A chain restaurant? Wow, none of those in the downtown? I guess subway, Panera,dunkin, etc. closed overnight.

Anonymous said...

Best Dyer neologism from the previous month:

"Organized mass sharing effort"

Anonymous said...

News Flash! Another building Dyer cannot afford to live in...

Anonymous said...

Aren't you the same people who were bemoaning the loss of the Pearl St McD's? how now there would be none in downtown Bethesda? How we lost access to the one on base, leaving only the one and it was being leveled for the new building?


Anonymous said...

Another developer-issue post, another influx of developer trolls. As on cue, bringing up the race card that only they seem so concerned about & calling residents names.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this will be great. All the old white Westbarders currently living in single-family homes can move here, and their houses can be sold and the lots redeveloped.

Anonymous said...

And by the time it's built, provided it hasn't been changed, you Westbard-bashers will be the old white people NIMBYs in Bethesda and my generation will be in power.

Poppy said...

While I stand behind the idea that we are all Bethesdians, I do agree with 6:40 that the residents of Westbard have shown that they have some deep-seated issues with xenophobia. More than anything else, Westbard needs a shot in the arm of good old fashioned progressive thought. Hopefully the new affordable housing in the Westwood development will help change the attitudes of Westbard.

Anonymous said...

I see "Poppy" is now pro-developer.
Who is penning "Poppy"? And what is his agenda?

Poppy said...

I am not simply 'pro-developer' rather I am, as I always have been, PROgressive. Developers who pledge to bring more high end retail to our area are very progressive. If those developers are also going to mix some affordable housing into their developments, is that really something to be upset about?

Anonymous said...

Yes it is. No poor people, especially of the Latino kind, should be in Poppy's Bethesda. Keep Bethesda clean! Make Bethesda Great Again!

Anonymous said...

Real talk though if Dyer ran a campaign on the platform of building a wall between MoCo and DC, he would prob have a solid following

Anonymous said...

@10:02 his party would be the blend of Socialistic Communism. Modern Day Nazis

Elm said...

"Modern Day Nazis" - the name of Dyer's next album!

Anonymous said...

LOL @1020 lets hope the Modern Day Nazis dont have to wear ties cause Dyer would be the first to go if that was the case.

Anonymous said...

"Poppy" is whatever "her" author cares to make "her." Currently, that author is using the Poppy character to insult Dyer's readers. Blatant insults didn't work, so the "Poppy" character was created to he can use the guise of satire to laugh at you.

Fiction.

Anonymous said...

I read Dyer's blog every day and find Poppy amusing and refreshing, I don't feel insulted in the least.

Here's to Poppy! Cheers!

Elm said...

I knew anonymous wants to be Robert Dyer, but now he's posting insults under my handle.

Elm said...

The anonymous negative man likes to post under female pseudonyms here. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Elm would like an album about Nazis! Though if it's Dyer singing it will probably be out of tune

Anonymous said...

10:38AM is "Poppy"

Anonymous said...

Landy Lane a future River Road bypass which is supposed to funnel traffic from the New Westbard to Little Falls Pkwy appears now to need much greater size & traffic capacity especially with this massive development? Surprise, Surprise once again! MOCO Planning at its worst.

Anonymous said...

10:23 am seems to be the local town hysteric. I think you all know who we mean.

Randomly Chosen Bethesda Street Name said...

@ 10:02 AM -

Mexico begins at Western Avenue.

Anonymous said...

This just has me thinking how excited I am for:
WEST WHAT? WEST BARD!
WEST WHAT? WEST BARD!
WEST WHAT? WEST BARD!

Anonymous said...

11:16AM - The truth sure makes you want to lash out. Every time someone points out that Poppy is fake you come back in attack mode. Is the truth hurting your feelings so badly that it makes you fighting mad?

Anonymous said...

20816 is *not* xenophobic and racist.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't say much for your sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

2000 MORE CARS! 2000 MORE CARS!

Anonymous said...

Converting to all age-units would eliminate the supposed rationale for this project. The County Council granted approval for 100 feet so that it could be used for senior housing.

I agree with CCCFH. Time to take back the site. A year for a traffic light study is egregious.

Anonymous said...

Who ever created poppy's blog shrouded the registrar's information behind the domain host. Very interesting the depths someone will go to fake a person

Anonymous said...

Who is behind the Poppy character?

Anonymous said...

Who is Poppy's stalker? Bethesdans are concerned for her safety from this weirdo.

Anonymous said...

"Traffic" is always caused by other people's houses, never one's own.

Anonymous said...

GREATER GREATER WESTBARD!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

@2:20, thanks for sharing the breaking news! Looks like Robert got #scooped!

Anonymous said...

1:43 - There you go again! A post or two about the charade of "Poppy" and you're calling people names. I guess if you can't laugh at people one way, you'll resort to another. Silly little sicko.

Robert Dyer said...

2:20: Yeah, thanks for spamming, er, sharing that important news from Kensington, which is not in Bethesda. Once again the failing local website turns to my comment section in its desperation to find readers.

Anonymous said...

What is Dyer's basis for his claim of "failing"? Is his blog "successful"?

#DodgingDyer

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That doesn't look like senior housing to me? What a crock of crap we got sold. Liars and Scammers. All of them, vote them out!

THE GREAT WESTBARD 2016 FLIM-FLAM STRIKES AGAIN

Anonymous said...

END AGE DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING NOW!!1!

Anonymous said...

They should add traffic reports as a category at the local Edward R Murrow awards.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:30 PM - How about an award for sign unveilage reporting?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 5:48: Dyer should get an award for his coverage of the retail and restaurant beat.

Meanwhile, keep the traffic reports coming. Is there a way to set my GPS to use Aaron's voice? On second thought, I'll take the default voice.

Anonymous said...

How about having Dyer as the GPS voice, so he can shriek about unbuilt freeways along your route?

Anonymous said...

No lie,I'd pay for tarnation bob as my gps voice

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to introduce 3:42 to Google Maps or Waze. Maybe he doesn't have a smartphone?

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to introduce 7:46 PM to the notion of planning in advance.

Anonymous said...

Kind of sad that a traffic report is the best you can tout. That venture really needs to do better with all of the full time staff and millions of dollars it claims to make.

Ever think of an investigative series? Enterprise reporting? Tough questions for our local government? Put your millions to work for once. I know you can do it!

Robert Dyer said...

3:39: As Tommy the Matchmaker used to say on the ads, "Isn't it obvious?" If a competing website has to post urls to its articles in the comment section on my website they're clearly failing. When they have to get a taxpayer bailout from Montgomery County Government, to use taxpayer resources to promote their site on government email and social media accounts, they are clearly struggling.

In contrast, the whole reason the MoCo cartel needed alternative sites, and needs to pay you to post troll comments here all day, is because my site has indeed been successful in building a large local audience.

Anonymous said...

The project should die, or change the entrance completely. The studies must keep coming back telling them that a light a River and Landy is too complex for the intersection (without allowing a clear path for a much larger traffic capacity). It is obvious that the entrance should take place through Little Falls / WES. The only answer is to get our cut through back that WES stole from us, and open Landy Lane back up. Kenwood residents should be doing whatever they can to open Landy Lane back up so cars stop cutting through their neighborhood. A road between Little Falls and Massachusetts Ave (via a small section of Westbard) is the only answer. I would also highly suggest making this project a mixed use property and bringing the "office park" back. The bottom floor should be commercial/office/store fronts which would allow for doctors or groceries, so the tenants/ elderly people do not have to walk across the gas station parking lot to get their groceries, or pick up their meds. Simply put, WES created this mess by closing the Landy Lane cut through, and wants to eat it's cake too. They should NOT get an extention, and go back to the drawing board!

Anonymous said...

Nice assessment 1:59AM. Sadly, I don't think logic is a resource used by the planning board.

Anonymous said...

1:59
Agreed. That location is absolutely horrible for a major intersection smack in the middle of the 5200 block of River. That alone should add another 5-10 minutes of backup just to get through that area. Planners making decisions who don't live here and are clueless. Definitely amateur hour gone wild as Dyer suggests often.

Robert Dyer said...

3:05: I totally agree. There's even talk of adding a fifth traffic signal at Butler. If either of those happen, the SHA has lost all credibility about how there were rules for distances between lights. It's one thing if they

run a road from Westbard to LF Parkway and put a light on River for that crossing. But without that, 5 signals in one block?! Nuts. That light at LF Parkway is a killer, too. What is it, an hour per cycle now to get the green?