Revised Bethesda Apartment Plan Set For Review

The controversial plan for a seven-story, roughly 120-unit apartment building at 4831 West Lane will go back to the Planning Board next week with a few revisions to a design that initially met with much resistance from neighbors.

Revisions from D.C.-based developer SJG Properties and Planning Staff recommendations now have the building pushed 15 feet back from the property line on the west side (facing Arlington Road and the Bethesda Library) and north side. There are also design changes that include a curved facade at the corner of West and Montgomery Lanes, where SJG is planning to put the building’s lobby.

The Planning Board approved SJG’s plans in December. That disappointed nearby residents who said the square apartment building did not fit in the neighborhood of townhomes and that service workers, delivery men and other traffic created by the apartment would be too much for the small surrounding roads to handle.

But members of the Board and Planning Staff saw a property within easy walking distance of the Bethesda Metro station, already with mid-rise condominiums nearby that fit Bethesda’s Master Plan.

It went before a county Hearing Examiner in January and will go before the Board again on Thursday, March 7, this time with the proposed changes.

The changes include sixth and seventh floors that will be setback 12 feet from the building edge, rather than the nine feet proposed before the Board in December.

Neighbors who attended the Hearing Examiner hearing in January were given copies of SJG’s revised plan and the developer met with residents of the City Homes Townhomes and the Edgemoor Condominiums. Planning Staff met with City Homes residents later, on Jan. 25.

Images via Montgomery County Planning Department


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