BETHESDA – The Montgomery County Planning Board approved an initial sketch of the two residential units Friday that may be built on Pooks Hill Road in Bethesda.
However, board members did not approve expansion of the Bethesda Marriott and Conference Center due to a lack of information.
Residents warned about potential traffic problems if the units are built, such as congested roads causing trouble for emergency vehicles.
Safety concerns also stem from the construction of these buildings.
Maplewood Park is next to the Linden Terrace developments, used by parents and their children.
According to Chris Tharrington, a representative from the Linden Terrace Homeowners Association, the limited sidewalks used to get to the park will become more dangerous and will complicate school bus stops.
“So one must go through the neighborhood, use it as a trolley trail, dodging numerous bikers who are trying to set a speed record to get to and from work,” said Tharrington.
The planning board also heard complaints about accessing the nearby Metro stations, such as Grosvenor-Strathmore. Tharrington pointed out the Grosvenor Metro station is a 2.2-mile walk and Medical Center Metro is a 1.5-mile walk.
He also charged that the increased noise and traffic would make the neighborhood less habitable for everyone.
Opposition against the plans was not universal.
Promenade representative Norman Knopf expressed enthusiasm about the approval of the plan.
He said preserving the view for Promenade residents was a major goal. Representatives from Quadrangle, the developer in charge of the Pooks Hill sketch, met with representatives from the Promenade to work out a plan to preserve the view to the satisfaction of the Promenade.
Knopf acknowledged the traffic concerns but said that they can be discussed at a later date.