A new — and taller — vision for downtown Bethesda

WASHINGTON — Plans are in the works for a downtown Bethesda that is taller and more densely packed.

The Montgomery County Council is considering a new land-use plan that could make the skyline of downtown Bethesda taller than that of Silver Spring or even Tysons, The Washington Post reports.

The new plan could be taken up by a council committee next month.

The plan would allow for taller development. Residents fear runaway growth, The Post reports — specifically that buildings could tower over their homes and even block the sun.

County officials say the plan calls for “smart growth development,” meaning that all the dense development would be concentrated in one area – specifically near Metro.

The hoped end result of that would be a reduction in traffic.  But some residents argue that it would only bring more traffic to an area that already suffers from congestion especially during rush hours.

Also under the plan, developers would have to pay a “park impact fee” of $10 per square foot, which would go to paying for parks and green space.

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