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What Should Your Bethesda Neighborhood Look Like?

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 5/8/2014, 2:30pm  ET

An apartment building on Battery Lane, file photo Downtown Bethesda (file photo)

Three-floor townhomes, a main street retail feel or super Manhattan-like city blocks?

Montgomery County planners who will make zoning and land use recommendations as part of the Bethesda Downtown Plan want to know what you think is most appropriate, and the answer can depend whether you’re on Battery Lane or Bethesda Avenue.

The Planning Department on Thursday launched a neighborhood-by-neighborhood online survey of what streets, gathering spaces and landscaping should look like throughout downtown Bethesda, while recognizing Bethesda has developed into areas that serve different uses.

For example: People’s preferences for density, building heights and setbacks in the mostly low-rise residential area of South Bethesda might differ from the office building-dominated core around the Bethesda Metro station.

Planners said they will take the survey responses into account when formulating their recommendations.

A “framework concept” of those recommendations will be revealed at their next workshop, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 17 at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School:

Planners will present a framework concept for the plan based on feedback from numerous community meetings held since last fall, followed by a break-out session where participants will work in groups to examine the characteristics and features that should define each of the various neighborhoods that make up the Downtown Bethesda. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required.