Thursday, January 19, 2017
15 local governments & organizations call on MoCo Council to revise Bethesda Downtown sector plan
The letter is also calling for not only the return of citizen advisory boards for master plans, but also a Design Review Advisory Panel with citizen representation, which would weigh in on building designs. Many residents have complained that their input no longer matters since those advisory bodies were replaced with week-long charettes.
Several elected officials signed the letter, including Scott Fosler, a former County Councilman and current Mayor of Chevy Chase; Jeffrey Slavin, Mayor of Somerset; Michael Denger, Chair of the Board of Managers of Chevy Chase Village; and William Brownlee, Chair of Section 3 of the Village of Chevy Chase.
Also signing were many civic associations, including the East Bethesda Citizens Association, Chevy Chase West Neighborhood Association, the Edgemoor Citizens Association, the Sacks Neighborhood Association, the Battery Park Citizens Association, the West Fernwood Citizens Association, the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, residents of Middleton Lane, the 7420 Chevy Chase Drive condominium association, and the Bradley House condo association.
Rounding out the signatories was Mary Flynn, head of the Coalition of Bethesda Area Residents, the citizen group that has spearheaded the efforts to scale back the plan.
One notable detail that jumps out - 25 life members and former members of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad submitted a separate letter in which they endorse the Squad property and the Bethesda Fire Station 6 remaining as public safety facilities only. Rather than have new stations built by a developer who would also add residential units, they say station renovations and replacements should instead be co-funded by the County. Both stations are owned by their respective organizations, not the County.
Flynn said those signing the letter are optimistic that the high level of detail in their recommendations will lead the Council to take their concerns and proposals seriously. All told, the letter represents over 10,000 Bethesda households.
To read the full text of the letter, recommendations and attachments, click here.