While The Chevy Chase Land Company's development plans for its property at Chevy Chase Lake are still so in-progress that buildings can only be represented by adjustable-height, foam-core blocks, the neighborhood-serving characteristics of the development are more defined.
The future development at Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive will serve the needs of the neighborhood, and it will be transit-oriented, said Lisa Fadden, the company’s vice president of public affairs, at a meeting of the Town of Chevy Chase’s Long Range Planning Committee on Monday evening, Jan. 16.
Fadden has been meeting with Chevy Chase residents and officials since last fall, when the land company scrapped its previous plans for 16-story high-rises in favor of low-to-mid-rise buildings on its property where a Purple Line station is planned.
Although the plans are still evolving, Fadden said that the tallest building in the approximately 1.5-million-square-foot development is a building that already exists—the 150-foot-tall office building at 8401 Connecticut Ave. (Tavira is in the building's ground floor.) It will be the only office building in the development, and it may be renovated—in part, to serve as an architectural focal point for the development—although its height will not be increased.
Currently, 250,000 square feet have been approved for development in Chevy Chase Lake.
The Purple Line is planned to have a stop in Chevy Chase Lake just to the north of the office building. Around the Purple Line stop, there will be some mixed-use, commercial-residential properties, but the heights (and commercial usage) of the buildings will slack off drastically the further away they are located from the Purple Line station, Fadden said.
The land company is considering building between 700 and 780 residences in Chevy Chase Lake. Whether they will be rental or purchased housing units will depend on market conditions at the time of construction, which is likely to be many years from now, Fadden added.
Also, the buildings will be not city blocks but individual buildings—to create more public space in the development and a better spatial flow around the buildings, and to avoid the canyon effect that often accompanies city blocks.
And, trees are an integral part of the evolving plans, and stormwater management is an environmental concern for the land company, Fadden added.
Community input is helping to drive the planning process, although the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, made up of representatives from 21 surrounding communities, is still pushing for a lower density on the site.
“The [committee] … has been working with the Chevy Chase Land Company to see if there are areas of agreement in the planning of the Lake development,” wrote Patricia Burda, a member of the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, a councilmember for the Town of Chevy Chase and a community liaison for the town’s Long Range Planning Committee, in an email to Patch.
“While we think good work has been done to date, there is still a major gulf between the overall density the Land Company is proposing for their site and that which the [Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee] and the County's planning staff think is viable,” Burda continued.
Most of the construction will take place post-Purple Line, which, “for the purposes of planning we need to assume” will be there, Burda said.
The land company is working on presenting a plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board in the spring, and then to the county council in the fall. A master plan is not likely to be ready before spring 2013, and development would likely take place in phases over a 15-to-20-year time frame, Fadden said.
Editor's note: This article has been corrected.