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Annual Monitoring Report for Bethesda Downtown Plan Presented to the Planning Board on May 23

May 23, 2019

apartment building in bethesda

Report meets requirements for monitoring schools, parks and transportation, and provides an update to Board and County Council on development activity and plan implementation

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), briefed the Montgomery County Planning Board on May 23, 2019 about the results of the Annual Monitoring Report for the Bethesda Downtown Plan.

This 45-page document explains the progress of the plan over the past year, from May 2018 to May 2019, in terms of school capacity, new parks and open spaces, and transportation adequacy. In addition, the report presents information on recent development activity in downtown Bethesda and the status of remaining density in the Bethesda Overlay Zone.

Summary of Activity in Downtown Bethesda from May 2018 to May 2019

The Annual Monitoring Report is required as part of the Bethesda Downtown Plan in recognition of the many complex elements of the plan, from the Bethesda Overlay Zone to the Park Impact Payment funds. View the approved and adopted Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.

Since May 2018, a year after the County Council approved the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan, the following projects and programs have been accomplished:

Construction: In addition to the Purple Line station, four construction projects are underway. They include the new headquarters of Marriott International, apartment developments called The Wilson and The Elm, and a new residential building at 7900 Wisconsin Avenue.

Design: The Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel has reviewed 12 development projects since May 2018.

Schools: The school cluster is at 95.2 percent capacity at the elementary school level, 80.8 percent at the middle school level and 88.3 percent at the high school level.

Parks and open spaces: The M-NCPPC received $5.06 million from the Park Impact Payment (PIP) fund, which is for the acquisition and development of new parks in the Bethesda downtown area.

Transportation: Design of the Capital Crescent Surface Trail, a separated two-way bike lane along the northern side of Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont and Wisconsin Avenues, is nearly completed. The trail is expected to open in fall 2019.

Development: The Planning Board approved the Bethesda Downtown Plan Implementation Guidelines on May 2, 2019 to provide direction and procedures for carrying out the plan.

The Annual Monitoring Report is presented to the Planning Board during the spring of each year and transmitted to the County Council for review. Planning Department staff is responsible for identifying issues and potential solutions during the Planning Board’s review.