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New townhomes, apts. could come to Chevy Chase Lake

By Aaron Kraut

Monday - 7/14/2014, 9:45am  ET

Area of proposed redevelopment along Chevy Chase Lake Drive, Images via 
Montgomery County Planning Department Sketch plan proposal for 175-unit apartment and about 75 new townhomes along 
Chevy Chase Lake Drive, Images via Montgomery County Planning Department Sketch plan proposal for 175-unit apartment and about 75 new townhomes along 
Chevy Chase Lake Drive, Images via Montgomery County Planning Department Sketch of new, half-acre park in Chevy Chase Lake Drive proposal, Sketch plan 
proposal for 175-unit apartment and about 75 new townhomes along Chevy Chase Lake 
Drive, Images via Montgomery County Planning Department

The first redevelopment proposal inspired by a new master plan for Chevy Chase Lake will go before the Montgomery County Planning Board next week.

The project would put a 175-unit, up to 100-foot tall apartment building, new park and about 75 new townhomes on Chevy Chase Lake Drive, where a series of two- story garden apartments stand today.

The Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission, a public agency tasked with developing and managing affordable housing, manages those existing apartments. It has entered into an agreement with Bethesda-based townhouse developer EYA to raze and redevelop the area just east of Connecticut Avenue.

The Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan passed just last year requires the redevelopment make 20 percent of the units in its apartment building moderately priced (MPDUs) and 20 percent of the units official workforce housing units.

The proposal includes the 20 percent minimum — which would mean 35 MPDUs and 35 workforce housing units in the apartment building, with a final count to be determined later in the approval process. HOC says it will also meet with the existing residents on a quarterly basis through the end of the year and will provide a Relocation Plan to residents and staff later.

The MPDUs must be rented out at or below 60 percent of the area median income. Also, 15 percent of the townhomes must be MPDUs. In the proposal, those units would have one-car garages, as opposed to the market-rate townhomes which would have two-car garages.

The affordable housing numbers are just one requirement the HOC and its private development partner must meet in order to start redevelopment before the construction of the Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station.

Much of the density allowed by the Sector Plan was put in on the condition that it not come in before construction on the Purple Line station. If HOC and EYA provide the required affordable housing and a new half-acre park between the apartment building and townhomes, it can go ahead with redevelopment before the Purple Line.

Montgomery Parks wants to own and maintain that park, which it says can be used for movies, markets or sports and other daily uses such as benches, a pergola and a “playscape.” But the developer and Parks haven’t yet agreed on a deal to dedicate the park space to the county.

Planners and the developers must also work out a way around Montgomery County Code. Chevy Chase Lake Drive is considered a Secondary Residential roadway because of its size, which means its restricted by County Code to 200 residential dwelling units.

The proposal would put the street above the 200-unit threshold, which could mean additional right-of-way dedication along the property’s frontage to Chevy Chase Lake Drive.

A traffic study will be required of the proposal. In its recommendation to approve the sketch plan proposal to the Planning Board, planners said the development will generate 103 morning peak-hour trips and 138 evening peak-hour trips, an increase of 73 morning trips and 105 evening trips over the existing 68 garden apartments.

The proposal is set to go to the Planning Board on Thursday, July 24.

Images via Montgomery County Planning Department