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Committee Lowers Chevy Chase Lake Building Height

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 6/20/2013, 3:15pm  ET

Rendering of Chevy Chase Land Company's proposal for a 150-foot building at Chevy Chase Lake, via Chevy Chase Land CompanyThe County Council’s Planning Committee on Monday agreed to limit a future apartment building at Chevy Chase Lake to a 120-foot height, down from the 150-feet recommended by the County Planning Board.

The building, east of Connecticut Avenue and just north of the Capital Crescent Trail has been one of many contentious issues between property owners and residents in the area. The Council Committee is reviewing the Planning Board’s recommended Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, which will set zoning and guidelines for the expected redevelopment of the area around a future Purple Line station.

Two of the three Committee members voted on the 120-foot figure desired by a group of residents and civic associations called the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Coalition (CACC). Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich didn’t take to developer Chevy Chase Land Company’s recent offer at a 130-foot compromise. Elrich said he’d prefer if the building was lower, perhaps 90 feet as planners proposed early in the process.

Councilmember George Leventhal voted for the 130-foot building. The Land Company, which has its headquarters adjacent to the property, argued going lower than 130 wouldn’t make development economic feasible because it would also like to build a public, town-square like space below.

The Committee must also decide on a request from the Land Company to change the requirements for greenspace within that public space. The Planning Board recommended a 1/2 acre requirement for greenspace. Chevy Chase Land Company said, based on consensus with the CACC, it wants to build a 1/3 acre greenspace that would exist within a public space that is a total of a 1/2 acre.

The Council Committee will next meet on Chevy Chase Lake at 2 p.m. on Monday, a meeting that will be televised on Cable County Montgomery.

A few hot button issues remain, including ownership of that public space and the fate of Newdale Mews. Residents are fighting Planning Board recommendations they say would mean new apartment buildings there that would hover over their backyards and homes.

Rendering via Chevy Chase Land Company