The recent article on the Arlington Village condominium apartments {"At Arlington Village, Experiment Lives On," Real Estate, Feb. 13} set forth the advantages of garden apartment living. Residents, as well as architectural historian Dennis Domer of the University of Kansas, catalogued the virtues of the 50-year-old complex.

Also close to home, in downtown Silver Spring, is a similar treasure -- the Falkland Chase Apartments. Like Arlington Village, Falkland was constructed in a park-like setting, and the colonial-style buildings follow the natural contours of the land. The creek winding through Arlington Village is matched by Falkland's tree-lined natural stream bed. Both complexes tapped Federal Housing Administration funding under the New Deal to provide attractive housing at reasonable prices. Falkland, which contains charming two-story town houses as well as flats, still offers considerably lower rents than the new high-rise apartments built or planned in downtown Silver Spring.

But Falkland offers another amenity that may be its undoing. One part of the complex is located about a stone's throw from the Silver Spring Metro station, and the owners apparently feel this makes the land too valuable for garden apartments. Tomorrow the Montgomery County Council will make a decision that will determine the fate of a large parcel of Falkland when it votes on the land-use plan (Sector Plan) for downtown Silver Spring. Sentiment on the council is running high to provide zoning that would allow the owners to build high-rise apartments on the parcel closest to the Metro tracks.

Demolition of any part of Falkland would be an irreparable loss to the community. In addition to providing much-needed green space in a rapidly urbanizing area, Falkland and other garden complexes combine the convenience of apartment living with many of the advantages of single-family homes. And Falkland offers a welcome relief from the monotonous clusters of high rises that Metro riders face as they exit many suburban stations.

Civic groups, as well as the county's Historic Preservation Commission, favor zoning that would protect all of the Falkland buildings, which have become part of the fabric of Silver Spring. When county council members cast their votes tomorrow, they have an opportunity to ensure that this valuable resource is preserved. The concept of garden apartments was a good one half a century ago. It remains so today. MARY REARDON Silver Spring