I want to give strong support to the staff of the Montgomery County Planning Board and a thousand kudos for their courage in standing up to developer Alan J. Kay, who reneged on those hanging gardens at the Bethesda Metro {"Developer Wants Out," Metro, July 4}. How blatantly arrogant and unscrupulous can these developers be?

I have often enjoyed the plaza very much, but have always felt intimidated somewhat by its sheer size and lack of any feeling of human presence in those two massive facades. I have recalled pictures of large buildings in Europe whose balconies are adorned with greenery and wondered why we inventive Americans have cared so little about replacing nature's fauna that we so easily destroy. ALICE FRANCIS Potomac

We are outraged by Alan Kay's attempt to renege on his promise to provide hanging gardens as a public amenity at his Bethesda Metro Center buildings, and we support the Montgomery County Planning Board's efforts to enforce compliance with this zoning agreement.

Mr. Kay offered the gardens as part of a package to win approval of his buildings, and this was part of the reason his plans were selected. Letting Mr. Kay out now, after the buildings are up, would violate the "beauty pageant" selection process, which is the cornerstone of Bethesda's downtown development, and is unfair to developers whose plans were not selected.

This would also set an intolerable precedent. The outcome of development in Montgomery County hinges on the board's enforcement of established agreements. JEFFREY SHOWELL DAPHNE PLAUT Bethesda