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Bethesda Downtown Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment (2024)

The 2017 Bethesda Downtown Plan has a 20-year vision to help downtown Bethesda continue to be a thriving urban center and one of the county’s most desirable communities. The plan included a cap on total development in downtown Bethesda, including existing and approved new development. The County Council has authorized Montgomery Planning to develop a Minor Master Plan Amendment (MMPA) to the 2017 plan to focus on implementation. The MMPA will not re-open the entire 2017 plan. The existing zoning, parks, transportation, and other recommendations will remain unchanged while we explore how better to implement those recommendations. The Planning team is working closely with the Bethesda Downtown Plan Implementation Advisory Committee, a volunteer panel with representatives from the resident and real estate development communities on this update. With many opportunities to engage and provide comments, the current schedule anticipates a Planning Board Public Hearing later in the fall and County Council review in early 2025.  

Update: On June 27, 2024, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved the scope of work for the 2024 Bethesda Downtown Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment. Watch the presentation of the scope of work to the Planning Board.

Community workshops

Community members are invited to attend upcoming informational workshops where our planners will present information on the tools available to implement master plan recommendations and make our subject matter experts available to speak with you to answer questions and gather your input.  The format and content for each meeting will be the same.

Schedule:

Tuesday, July 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the large meeting room at the Connie Morella Library (7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD).

Wednesday, August 14, at 7 p.m. (Virtual). RVSPs are required to receive a meeting link.

Saturday, August 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chevy Chase Town Hall (4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD).

Bethesda Overlay Zone

The Bethesda Overlay Zone (BOZ) is intended to implement the recommendations of the Bethesda Downtown Plan as it relates to density, building heights, affordable housing, parks and open space and design. The BOZ sets a cap on development to ensure that total density in the Plan Area, including existing, approved and new development (including affordable housing), does not exceed 32.4 million square feet of gross floor area. Once development comes within 2 million square feet of the cap, the plan recommended that Montgomery Planning Department check in with the County Council to see if additional recommendations are needed to help implementation of public amenity and infrastructure recommendations like new parks and transportation-related improvements.