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Bethesda Downtown Plan passed by Montgomery County

New plan would add density, new parks, bike lanes and mixed-use spaces to downtown
  • The Bethesda Downtown Plan was unanimously approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board, but it must still be approved at a public hearing in October.
  • The plan would give current property owners a first-come-first-serve chance to purchase extra density, with the funds helping pay for new downtown parks.
  • Community members are concerned about the plan's impact on single-family residential neighborhoods and schools.

A new 168-page master plan for the downtown area of Bethesda, Maryland, was unanimously approved in July by the Montgomery County Planning Board. The plan, if it passes through the final public hearing review expected to take place in October, would add pedestrian-friendly streets, green spaces, affordable housing, energy-efficient buildings and more to the downtown area. The Montgomery County Planning Board has spent more than a year conducting 16 sessions reviewing potential zoning for properties in Downtown Bethesda, determining height and density allowed in the community. The Bethesda Downtown Plan sent for approval includes a specific zoning for the downtown area, which was a change made after the release of the public hearing draft on May 15, 2015. Rendering of Norfolk Avenue in Woodmont Triangle The Bethesda Overlay Zone (BOZ), expected to be presented to the new zone board in September for separate approval, would lay out how developers are allowed to use land and d...