Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chevy Chase Land Company Unveils Its Plans

Red Numbers Indicate Number of Floors

Last night at the 4-H Center, the Chevy Chase Land Company unveiled its vision for the land it owns at Chevy Chase Lake near the proposed Purple Line stop. They proposed 4.3 million new square feet of development, including 900,000 square feet of commercial office space, 200,000 square feet of retail space, 3000 new residential units (over 3 million square feet), and a hotel with 150 rooms.

The photo above shows the Land Company's proposed new street grid with the main street paralleling the path of the Purple Line which goes above ground due to the need to cross Connecticut Ave. The Land Company's plans includes 12 high-rise buildings of ten stories or higher, 4 mid-rise buildings of five to nine stories, and 3 low-rise buildings with four stories--the red numbers in the photo indicate the number of stories. (There is a somewhat larger photo of the central area plans after the jump.)

The following is an artist's rendition of the Land Company's proposed development presented at the meeting at the 4-H Club. The strip rising toward the Purple Line with the biker on it is the Trail.

The Land Company did not commit to limit the number of parking spaces per housing unit or for the office space in response to a question by Richard Hoye--former aide to former Councilmember Trachtenberg--about parking and encouraging transit. There was discussion of potential widening of Connecticut Ave. in a manner similar already planned for Jones Bridge Rd. to handle increased traffic. I did not learn about the availability of short-term parking for retail shoppers, though it was stated that there would be no long-term parking for people wishing to commute--the latter is consistent with the current plans for the Purple Line light-rail station.

I do not know if the plan includes any bike lanes on either Connecticut Ave. or the new internal street grid beyond the possibility of biking on the Trail. The Land Company stated that their plans included wide sidewalks, particularly along the proposed Main Street. Some of the high-rise buildings are very close to existing neighborhoods, such as the Hamlet and the townhouse development on Manor Road.

The Land Company stated that there was no land set aside for schools or plans to expand existing schools in response to a question from the audience expressing concern because of overcrowding issues at B-CC High School. Mr. Dalrymple, the attorney for the Land Company who ran the meeting, said it would be up to the County to address these issues.

The Planning Board Staff are expected to deliver their vision for the area at a public meeting sometime in May. Elza Hisel-McCoy ( is the Project Manager for MNCPPC. (By the way, kudos to Dale Tibbets, Chief of Staff to Councilmember Marc Elrich, for giving someone a neighborly jump start after their car battery died when the meeting ended at 9pm.)