This story was updated on July 19. An explanation follows.
A plan for the future development of Chevy Chase Lake failed to win many supporters when county planning staff presented it to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Monday.
Neither business owners nor residents and public officials expressed satisfaction with the plan, which would guide development around a future Purple Line station in Chevy Chase Lake.
“Essentially, we see this as status quo,” said Lisa Fadden, a spokeswoman for the Chevy Chase Land Company, a private developer that owns 49.4 acres along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road.
The staff plan contrasts with a vision for development of the area proposed by the land company, which generated opposition from the community when it was presented last year.
That vision originally 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 around a future station on the Purple Line, a $1.9 billion, unfunded rail project that would connect Bethesda to New Carrollton via Silver Spring and run through Chevy Chase Lake.
The company has since revised the plan to call for 1.4 million square feet of mixed use, including 780 residential units. Planning staff recommended 1,000 new residential units.
Planning staff are recommending limiting building heights to 90 feet around the proposed station. The recommendations also include an eventual 676,000 square feet of commercial space.
The plan, which would guide development in the area for 20 years, assumes that the Purple Line station will be elevated. The plan area is bounded by Jones Bridge Road, East-West Highway, Rock Creek Park and Columbia Country Club.
But the plan did not receive much backing Monday.
Residents, along with representatives of municipalities and community groups, used the full 90 minutes alloted for public testimony at the meeting to express concerns about potential traffic, density, and new students in already overcrowded schools. In favor of additional density was the land company and Ginanne Italiano, president of The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce.
The first phase of the county plan 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 second phase would be triggered by funding of the Purple Line station.
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 would be permitted farther from the station, along Connecticut Avenue and Manor Road.
The staff plan also would create a town center, central public park, and expand pedestrian and bicycle access. No additional school sites are recommended.
It would generate approximately 50 elementary school students, 40 middle school students, and 35 high school students, said Bruce Crispell, director of the Division of Long-range Planning for Montgomery County Public Schools.
Projections are based on current housing patterns in similar developments — high density, high-end apartments near transit. Crispell said such developments attract fewer students than single family houses or townhouses, though those patterns could change in the future.
“We’ll be keeping a close eye on it,” he said.
The planning board Monday requested additional development scenarios to see what higher density around the station would look like, said Senior Planner Elza Hisel-McCoy.
It also requested additional analysis to determine how much mixed-use development could be allowed that would generate the same amount of traffic as 250,000 square feet of commercial development. Commercial development generates more trips than residential, he said.
The board will meet Sept. 13 to review the information it requested.
A public hearing will be scheduled after the board accepts a draft sector plan. The plan also eventually will be reviewed by County Executive Isiah Leggett and the County Council.
For more information, go to http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/chevychaselake/.
The story did not note that the Chevy Chase Land Company had revised its original development plan for the area.