The Montgomery County Council Tuesday rebuffed an appeal to cap the height of a residential high-rise in the proposed Chevy Chase Lake redevelopment at 90 feet, or about nine stories.
The council voted 7-2 to reject Council member Roger Berliner’s motion to reduce the height of the building from the 120 feet (12 stories) recommended by the Council’s Planning Housing and Economic Development committee.
Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) proposed the height reduction as council took up the Chevy Chase Sector Plan, a blueprint for the area along Connecticut Avenue NW between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway. The first phase of the project calls for a mix of commercial and residential construction on what is now the Chevy Chase Lake East shopping center.
Montgomery Planning Board staff originally recommended a maximum height of 90 feet — about nine stories — for a high-rise on the shopping center site, adjacent to a station on the planned Purple Line. In January, the County Planning Board approved the project with a 150-foot cap, drawing vehement criticism from residents represented by Berliner, who are concerned about worsening traffic. The developer, the Chevy Chase Land Company, offered a compromise at 130 feet, later cut to 120 by the council’s planning committee.
Chevy Chase Land Company asserted that the project would not be financially feasible at 90 feet. A council staff report questioned that claim, but council members opted to retain the planning committee’s 120-foot recommendation. Council member Marc Elrich (D-At-Large) supported Berliner.
A final vote on the plan is scheduled for later this month.