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Some Residents Say No Thanks to Bethesda Fire Station Redevelopment

Residents are concerned about noise and traffic if apartments or a hotel is built on the former fire station property.

Some residents are concerned about the possible redevelopment/rezoning of Bethesda Fire Station 6. File|Patch
Some residents are concerned about the possible redevelopment/rezoning of Bethesda Fire Station 6. File|Patch
Although no formal redevelopment or rezoning plan has formally been proposed for Bethesda Fire Station 6, some Chevy Chase residents are already sounding the alarm.

The privately owned station on the corner of Bradley Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue is 50 to 60 years old, according to WJLA-TV, but residents living nearby worry about the noise and congestion that would come along with redevelopment and rezoning.

“It’s just going to be a traffic quagmire,” Ceci Royals, a Chevy Chase resident, told WJLA. “The loss of a buffer zone is huge.”

Even with no formal proposal, talk of possible redevelopment plans include a 169-unit apartment-hotel with retail space and 279 parking spots, according to Bethesda Now.

WJLA-TV reports the fire station would be relocated to the lot next door.

The development is still in planning stages, but residents are encouraged to voice concerns about the possible proposal.

Do you have concerns about the redevelopment/rezoning? Tell us in the comments section.

“The CCW Neighborhood Association Board decided at its last meeting to oppose any change in zoning for the property that would allow commercial uses (it’s currently zoned for relatively low density multi-family residential),” Naomi Spinrad, zoning coordinator for Chevy Chase West Neighborhood Association wrote to Bethesda Now. “Because any change would occur within the planning process, there are many opportunities for us to weigh in, and now, as the planning board will be briefed on staff’s concept and framework, is a good time to speak up.”

Messages from residents can be sent to the planning board.

“For the people on this block, it’s noise, it’s congestion,” Spinrad told WJLA-TV.

Bethesda Now reports the fire station property is part of an area that may face redevelopment because it is a gateway area, according to Elza Hisel-McCoy, the county planner managing the downtown Bethesda master plan rewrite.

“This sort of development would be a disaster for our residents on Nottingham, and would set a terrible precedent for properties along Wisconsin,” Spinrad wrote to Bethesda Now.
Brigitta Mullican July 08, 2014 at 08:53 AM
How do the neighbors feel about the noise the Fire Station makes now? Bet the people who will move into the apartments are not going to be concerned. For one who lives next to the CSX railroad I know we might not like the noise but we tolerate it. After all, we do need the rail and Metro. Life is full of compromises.
jag July 08, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Fire station: tons of noise Apartment building: zero noise Chevy Chase already has poor traffic because of housing sprawl up-county, yet they're suggesting pushing even more of the growth up-county instead of having it inside the beltway. It's like groundhogs day with these fools; NIMBYs trying to repeat the mistakes of previous NIMBYs.

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