Chevy Chase Lake could feature 90-foot tall buildings around a future Purple Line station, according to a proposed sector plan recommended by Montgomery County planning staff.
The plan, which would guide development in the area for 20 years, assumes that the station will be elevated. The plan area is bounded by Jones Bridge Road, East-West Highway, Rock Creek Park, and Columbia Country Club.
"It would be great to say we've figured out how to get all the traffic off Connecticut Avenue," said Senior Planner Elza Hisel-McCoy. "Is it going to make your commute better on weekdays? Probably not. But on weekends you will have more opportunity to do things, and get places, in your community."
The first phase would rezone commercial land on Connecticut Avenue for mixed-use, but maintain current densities. In this phase, 70-foot tall buildings would be permitted in the Chevy Chase Lake shopping center, with development limited to 250,000 square feet.
The town center is an area that includes the commercial properties on Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road, as well as the Chevy Chase Lake Apartments on Chevy Chase Lake Drive and the Newdale Mews Apartments on Newdale Road. This area would be rezoned to allow mixed-use at increased densities.
The second phase would be triggered by funding of the Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station. The Purple Line is a $1.9 billion, unfunded rail project that would connect Bethesda to New Carrolton via Silver Spring.
In the Chevy Chase Lake shopping center, buildings up to 90 feet tall would be allowed along the Purple Line, which is slated to run through the interior of the shopping center. Buildings up to 70 feet tall will be permitted farther from the station, along Connecticut Avenue and Manor Road.
The plan also would create a central public park and expand pedestrian and bicycle access. No additional school sites are recommended.
The Chevy Chase Land Company owns 49.4 acres along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road.
Last year the company presented its vision for the land, which included 1.1 million square feet of retail and office space, 3,000 residences and a 150-room hotel in buildings that range from five to 19 stories tall.
Scaled down recommendations from county planning staff would include approximately 676,000 square feet of commercial space in phase II.
"We have ... shared with the community a plan that has 150-foot buildings right next to the station," said Land Company spokeswoman Lisa Fadden. "At this point, we have shared with the community our vision. The [planning] staff is about to share with the community their vision. We are working together to get to what’s best."
The planning board will issue a draft plan July 16 that will be reviewed by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the County Council.
The council will hold a public hearing before adopting a final plan.
For more information, go to http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/chevychaselake/.