Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zoning bill punishes longtime residents

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We urge the County Council to vote ‘‘no” on Zoning Text Amendment 08-11 and Bill 15-08 (‘‘Arguments shift in house size rift,” June 25 article).

As longtime homeowners in Bethesda, we are in agreement with consistent front setbacks from the street and space between the sides of houses. We also favor housing policies that provide for low- or moderate-income housing as new homes are built.

However, we adamantly oppose footprint restrictions (that in effect mandate the size of yards) and height restrictions. These steps do not provide housing for low -or middle-income residents. With or without these restrictions, higher-income residents will be purchasing these homes.

These proposals ultimately benefit no one. Instead these proposed restrictions punish longtime residents whose neighborhoods have already undergone changes by limiting the sale prices of our homes to the newcomers. So, as we face retirement, we are priced out of the neighborhoods without concomitant benefit.

No one has polled us or other older neighbors who feel the same way about these proposals. We are using this opportunity to make our position known.

Hedva and David Kobes, Bethesda