Guidelines for development of areas around the 12 Metro subway stations in Montgomery County have been adopted by the county planning board and County Council after 10 years of study.
Montgomery County is the first area jurisdiction to adopt such plans for all of its subway stops.
There is a separate plan for each of the 12 stations. Some call for new, high-intensity development creating high-rise urban centers. Others seek to restrict development and preserve residential neighborhoods. And some provide for both development and preservation.
At present, the Silver Spring station, on the line that will eventually lead to Glenmont, is the only Metro station open in Montgomery County. Station plans along that line include Takoma Park (which is adjacent to the Takoma station in the District of Columbia), Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont. The line to Glenmont is not expected to be completed for another 10 years.
The planning board approved plans for six station areas along the Rockville line, which is scheduled to extend to Shady Grove in the early 1980s. The stations on the Rockville line are Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Medical Center (National Institutes of Health), Grosvenor, Nicholson Lane, Twinbrook, Rockville and Shady Grove. (There is no formal plan for the NIH station because it will be blended into the federal complex grounds along Wisconsin Avenue. The City of Rockville has jurisdiction over areas around the Rockville station.)
Synopses of the proposals, known as sector plans, for each area along the line to Shady Grove appear on Page 5. Summations for the station area sector plans for the line to Glenmont will appear in next week's edition of The Weekly. Friendship Heights
When it was first proposed in late 1972, the Friendship Heights sector plan stirred a controversy that has undergirded the county "growth - no growth" battles for years. The planning board suggested reducing by nearly 80 percent earlier zoning densities in the Friendship Heights triangle, which is bounded by Wisconsin Avenue on the east, Willard Avenue on the south and the town of Somerset on the north.
That decision slowed residential development in Friendship Heights and prevented proposed expansion of the Chevy Chase Shopping Center to the east and of property owned by Woodward and Lothrop to the south.
Friendship Heights is now a community of high-rise buildings around a square block central plaza with a cloverleaf-shaped fountain and shrubbery. Bordering the district, along the eastern edge at Wisconsin Avenue, are rows of specialty shops and the Chevy Chase Shopping Center.
The subway station is to the south across Western Avenue near the new Nieman-Marcus store. A few blocks in all directions are the neighborhoods of Bethesda and Chevy Chase. Some area streets now are blocked at Wisconsin to protect residential areas from heavy traffic. Ultimately, a ring road beginning at Wisconsin and running west through Friendship Heights is planned. Bethesda
"For much of its 300-year history," the Bethesda plan says, "the area now occupied by the Bethesda central business district was a simple crossroads community surrounded by tobacco plantations." A trolley line was built in the 1890s, the B&O Railroad came about 1910, and gradually the intersection once known as "Five Points" became the county's second largest commercial center with 17,000 employes in the area.
"Five Points" refers to the heart of Bethesda where Wisconsin Avenue, Old Georgetown Road, Edgemoor Lane and East-West Highway meet.
The plan calls for commercial development, most intensive in high rises at the Metro station at Old Georgetown and Wisconsin, to spread in all directions. To the west, as far as Arlington Road, high-rise residential redevelopment also could occur, according to the plan.
Borders and buffers are proposed between the business area and nearby tablished neighborhoods. The new Metro station will be 125-feet below Wisconsin Avenue.
North of the Central Business District will be the next Metro stop in the midst of the federal National Institutes of Health complex one half mile south of the Beltway. Grosvenor
The Grosvenor station will be north of the Beltway and east of Rockville Pike in an area surrounded by the Grosvenor Park Apartments, the Parkside Apartments, Georgetown Preparatory School and Holy Cross Academy. Montgomery County recently agreed to convert the Corby Mansion high on a lush hillside above the station to a performing arts center.
Most new development in the transit sector area would be residential, according to the plan. Air rights development, recommended over the station, would be residential. A small amount of institutional office space is recommended north of the station. On the west side of Rockville Pike, 400 high-rise and 660 garden apartments within and west of Grosvenor Park are proposed as are another 225 units south of the existing apartments. Altogether, up to 3,095 new apartments could be constructed in the area.
In addition, Tuckerman Lane would be extended to connect Old Georgetown Road with Rockville Pike. A pedestrian underpass would link the apartments on the west side of Rockville Pike with the transit station. Nicholson Lane
The Nicholson Lane station will be split east and west of Rockville Pike north of Nicholson Lane. An underpass will connect the two portions.
The transit stop will be in the middle of a 200-acre area which is nearly two-thirds undeveloped. Yet, it already is becoming a "dynamic part of the Rockville Pike regional shopping corridor," according to the plan. White Flint Mall is to the south and two large office buildings straddle Security Lane. A residential community is proposed on 76 acres west of the station and the mixed commercial, office and multifamily uses would continue north along the pike. The established Tilden Woods-Luxmanor neighborhoods and the Washington Science Center, a 90-acre industrial park, are to the west.
The station will have an open-cut depressed design with a mezzanine at the Rockville Pike grade level. Half of the platform will be canopied. The plan calls for the widening of Randolph Road to four lanes between the Pike and Parklawn Drive. Also proposed for the sector are a Metrobus storage and light maintenance facility on 20 acres near Nicholson Lane and Nebel Street. Air rights development over and adjacent to the station are planned on the east side of Rockville Pike with up to 1,600 apartments, 960,000 square feet of office space, 600 hotel and motel units and 110,000 square feet of retail space being proposed. If air rights development does not take place, less dense development is being considerered. Twinbrook
The Twinbrook station, two blocks east of Rockville Pike and stradding the B&O railroad tracks, will be in an area that is dominated by the 14-story Parklawn Building of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Currently, 6,000 persons work there. Only 13 occupied residences are within the sector.
The plan recommends medium-density office construction on the west side of Twinbrook Parkway and light industrial development on the east side. South of the Parklawn Building is Springlake Park subdivision, which was recorded back in 1892. To the east is the expansive Parklawn Cemetery and to the north the Twinbrook single-family neighborhood.
According to the plan, Twinbrook Parkway would be widened to six lanes from the B&O railroad overpass north to Ardennes Avenue. All the new development, however, is not expected for several years until the transit station is in operation. Rockville
The City of Rockville Planning Department is in the first stages of developing four plans for Rockville and the area adjacent to the Twinbrook station. In both cases, the plans project expanding commercial centers to the west of the station and preservation of residential neighborhoods to the east.
The Rockville station will be at Park and Hungerford roads in downtown Rockville. As part of a new central business district plan, a pedistrian overpass across Hungerford Road will connect the station to the Rockville Mall, now known as Commons on Courthouse Square. To the east is the Croyden Park neighborhood.
At Twinbrook, new commercial development along the Rockville Pike corridor will be embraced by another plan for the area west of the station. A design to preserve to Twinbrook neighborhood will emcompass the area to the east of the station. Shady Grove
North of the Rockville station, the line will continue to Shady Grove, where it will end. The 2,900-acre Shady Grove area, now open farmland or low-density industrial residential or commercial development, is about 20 percent developed. By the time the train arrive, three-quarters of the former farmlands could be developed.
In general, the plan recommends commercial centers rather than strip development along Rte. 335 connecting Rockville and Gaithersburg. The six-lane widening of Rte. 355, called both Rockville Pike and Frederick Road, already is under way.
The station itself will be built along the railroad north of Redland-Fields Road and Somerville Industrial Park. A total of 3,000 parking spaces is being considered as well as transit storage yards and county transportation and construction maintenance facilities and warehouses.
Six new local parks are proposed in the plan. The Outer Beltway, which county and state officials have been debating for years, if approved, would traverse the transit sector. The county's central processing waste facility also is proposed for 53 acres to the south in the vicinity of the Sears warehouse on Rockville Pike.
The new features of the developing region include more than 1,100 acres of light industrial and industrial park uses, more than 1,600 acres of varying types of residential communities and some commercial facilities.