A proposed measure in Montgomery County would enable taller buildings in commercial districts. However, it doesn't look likely to pass in its current form.
Introduced in November, Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 20-05 would permit the county's Planning Board to approve projects with a maximum height of 200 feet in commercial and residential (CR) zones located in Central Business Districts within a quarter-mile of Metrorail stations. The ZTA would only be valid for two years after implementation.
But that's not where the stipulations end: the eligible sites would also need to be mapped with a designated maximum height of 145 feet, and abut CR-zoned properties mapped with maximum heights of 200 feet on at least two sides. The proposed development would also have to either include a public facility, or dedicate at least 15% of the residential floor area as moderately-priced dwelling units (MPDUs).
If it sounds like this leaves few sites on the table, planning staff agrees. According to their analysis of the quarter-mile radii surrounding the Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Silver Spring, and Wheaton Metro stations, there are only nine sites that would be eligible: eight in Silver Spring, and one in Bethesda.
Of those nine sites, three, including the lone site in Bethesda, are owned by entities unlikely to take advantage of that eligibility: WMATA, the county, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Moreover, because Silver Spring is in the midst of a sector planning process, planning staff fear that passage of the ZTA would undermine public trust in the Planning Board.
"The proposed amendment seems contrary to the public nature of the engagement process, and could be seen as an attempt to circumvent the planning process," the staff report explains. "Staff is concerned that the intent of this proposed amendment will weaken the public confidence in the planning process, given the significant stakeholder outreach underway in the Silver Spring Downtown & Adjacent Communities Plan."
There are also other means for property owners to seek additional height for their proposed developments, and Bethesda and Friendship Heights both already have a minimum 15% MPDU requirement.
The Planning Board will consider the ZTA next week.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/200-feet-a-proposed-measure-in-montgomery-county-would-permit-taller-buildi/17712
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
The grocer has announced plans for other stores in Skyland and Columbia Heights.... read »
DC's homebuyer assistance programs can be a bit complex. This edition of First-Timer ... read »
A look around DC to see where home sellers are dropping their prices.... read »
Just a month after setting a new high in March, the value of a house in DC skyrockete... read »
The new five-level residential project is planned for the buildings at 1365-1375 H St... read »
Our guide for amateur landlords who don't really know what they're doing.... read »
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
The eight-bedroom, 35,000 square-foot home known as The Cliffs hit the market Wednesd... read »
Brookfield Properties is moving forward with development plans for additional sites i... read »
The most detailed rendering yet has been unveiled for the 310-unit redevelopment of t... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
DC Real Estate Guides
Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market
We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro