Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan

July 22, 2014 - Update on the Chevy Chase Lake Design Guidelines

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will present the Chevy Chase Lake Design Guidelines to the Planning Board on Thursday, July 24. Here is what you need to know:
  • Staff will present the Draft Chevy Chase Lake Design Guidelines to the Planning Board on Thursday, July 24. View the full agenda.
  • View or download the Draft Design Guidelines from the Chevy Chase Lake webpage.
  • Staff will revise the Guidelines as directed by the Planning Board and issue a final document.
  • Staff is also currently finishing production on the final Approved and Adopted Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan.
Questions or comments? Contact Elza Hisel-McCoy 301-495-2115 or email.

November 18, 2013

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, staff will discuss the Planning Board's recommendation for the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan Sectional Map Amendment (SMA). The Board's recommendation will be submitted as testimony for the Council's December 10 public hearing. You can view the staff report on the Planning Board's agenda page or the Chevy Chase Lake Plan site.

October 17, 2013

The full Park and Planning Commission adopted the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, as approved by the County Council, on October 16. The Sector Plan is now final, Approved and Adopted. I am hoping the final document, reflecting the Council's reorganization of the plan, will be available in the next month or so.

Next Thursday, on October 24, staff will request the Planning Board's permission to file the Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) with the County Council. The SMA is the administrative action that changes the zoning maps to reflect the recommendations of the plan. Once they receive the SMA, the Council will set a public hearing. Council approval of the map change could come as early as December or in January. Once the zoning maps are updated, property owners may start the development review process.

Please see the website for additional information on the Plan, Design Guidelines, and the SMA.

August 23, 2013 - Montgomery County Council Approves Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan

The County Council approved the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan on July 30. While the plan will significantly alter the landscape and character of that part of Connecticut Avenue and undoubtedly contribute a huge amount of additional traffic, community leaders, including representatives of the Village, worked successfully to reduce the scale of the overall development and to assure timing of much of the construction is linked to actual construction of the Purple Line.

The Sector Plan calls for almost 3 million additional square feet of mixed-use development with heights ranging from 45 feet to 150 feet. 1.7 Million square feet can proceed with construction in advance of the Purple Line. This will include about 700 apartments and 70 town houses, a hotel and over 250,000 square feet of commercial development in Phase I (pre-Purple Line) and the balance of mixed-use development can proceed in Phase II.

In addition, the Plan sets out requirements for open space and other amenities.

As a result of tireless community input, the County Council reduced the maximum height of several of the new buildings including reduced heights on properties along Connecticut Avenue and on those closest to existing homes in the area. Community groups also worked hard to assure that the Phase II trigger must be the actual construction of the Purple Line versus funding agreements for the Purple Line. Therefore, redevelopment of properties on the west side of Connecticut Avenue and the Chevy Chase Land Company property at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive must wait until construction begins on the Purple Line before they can begin applying for development approvals. The rationale is that this will ensure that transit will be in place before additional development can be completed.

July 19, 2013

The Council staff's draft resolution and cover memo documenting the Council's changes to the Planning Board Draft Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan is available on the Council website.

At the bottom of the table is a link to the document. The site is asking for comments by July 23.

The Council is scheduled to make its final action on the Plan on July 30.

June 21, 2013

The next PHED Committee work session is this coming Monday, June 24, and is scheduled to start at 2 pm in the 7th Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building in Rockville. The Council staff packet (PDF) for the work session is available online.

June 17, 2013

The next County Council PHED Committee work session is this coming Monday at 2 in Rockville. The Council staff recommendation memos (PDF) are available online.

The date, time, and location can be found on the Council's committee agenda (PDF).

If needed, there is another work session scheduled for the following Monday, June 24.

June 7, 2013

The Planning Board's responses to questions raised at the County Council's PHED Committee March worksessions for the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan are available on the Planning Department's Chevy Chase Lake website.

The next PHED worksession is scheduled for June 17 in Rockville. Please see the Council's committee agenda page (PDF) for more information.

If you have any questions about the Board's responses, please contact by email, or by phone at 301-495-2115.

May 17, 2013

The PHED Committee has scheduled three more work sessions for the Planning Board Draft Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. Following up on the March Public Hearing and work session, these sessions are scheduled for three Mondays in June: June 10, June 17, and June 24. For more information, see the Council's Committee Agenda webpage (PDF).

A hearing date for the full County Council has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, July 9.

In response to questions and requests from PHED Committee members and staff, Planning staff will be providing additional information for use in these work sessions. We expect to send this information up to Council staff around Memorial Day. We will post the information on our website when it is available and send out another update.

Update Received May 22, 2013

The PHED work session scheduled for June 10 has been cancelled. The next PHED work session will be June 17. Please check the Council Committee Agenda website (PDF) for any future updates.

March 4, 2013

On March 5, the County Council will hold a public hearing on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. It is not too late to send your comments to Council members on this comprehensive amendment to the 1990 Bethesda-Chevy Chase Master Plan.

Chevy Chase Lake Public Hearing - March 5, 7:30 p.m, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland, Council Hearing Room.

Key provisions in the proposed Chevy Chase Sector Plan, which covers about 380 acres on both sides of Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway, include:
  • Development in two phases, before and after funding of the proposed Purple Line, when additional density is permitted.
  • In the first phase, 790,000 square feet of mixed commercial and residential development at the current grocery store and T. W Perry site. This increased density, beyond the 250,000 square feet of commercial space already approved, follows revised traffic calculations. The higher density is based on a projection that no more road trips will be generated from the 790,000 square feet of mixed-use development than would occur with the lower level of commercial space alone.
  • Building heights up to 150 feet (approximately 15 stories) adjacent to the proposed Purple Line station.
See the entire Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan draft (PDF).


Comments to County Council members should be sent by March 6, when deliberations are expected to get underway.

Send emails to:
Village residents may also be interested in information and an online petition at the blog Don't Flood the Lake.

January 28, 2013

The Planning Board and staff will be discussing the Design Guidelines for the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan at a work session this Thursday morning, January 31, beginning around 9. You can download the staff report and draft guidelines (PDF).

If you have any questions regarding the Design Guidelines, please contact Margaret Rifkin at 301-495-4506, or by email.

Public Hearing on Planning Board Draft of the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan (PDF).

January 25, 2013

The Planning Board has completed its review of the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. The Board supported rezoning the properties in two sectional map amendments; this legally binding action will assure that the Purple Line trigger will be the hard line used to allow increased development beyond the shopping center site and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) property.

The Board clearly did not share the "vision" of staff for a modest increase in height and density for redevelopment. While the revised document speaks for itself, here are some of the changes the Board will recommend to the Council:

Phase I

  • Shopping Center site (Grocery Store/Perry's area):
    • Density increase from 250,000, square feet to 790,000 square feet of mixed use (they accepted the Land Company's conversion number of all commercial to commercial/residential);
    • Height increase from 90 feet to 150 feet by the future purple line station, 80 feet at the corner of Manor and Connecticut, and 70 feet along Manor Road
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute:
    • Density increase from 260,000 square feet to 775,000 square feet,
    • 65-foot height limit
  • Newdale Mews:
    • Height increase from 35' to 45'

Phase II

  • 8401 Connecticut (site of the office building):
    • Density increase from 260,000 square feet to 520,000 square feet of mixed use development
    • Office building height increase from staff recommended 65 feet to 150 feet
    • Residential building height from staff recommended 65 feet to 125 feet
  • HOC properties:
    • Density increase from 230,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet of residential
    • Height change from staff recommended 65ft to 100ft in the westernmost building
  • Newdale Mews:
    • Height increase from 45 feet to 55 feet
  • Commercial properties along western side of Connecticut Avenue:
    • No height or density increase but allows for an increase in the amount of commercial development allowed
  • Residential-zoned parking lot behind Starbucks:
    • Retains staff recommended RT-15 townhouse zone
The Board made a number of other small changes and retained some of the recommendations some of us opposed, including a study of the East-West Highway Brookville Road intersection, with some support for considering a traffic sign at that intersection.

January 17, 2013

We want to update you on tonight's work session (Thursday, January 17) for the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan (agenda item 17). First, the start time has moved to around 6:30.

Second, after placing the draft Planning Board Draft text (PDF) online last Friday (after the Board Thursday finished addressing the issues raised at the public hearing), the Board received four emails recommending changes to the text. These came from the Chevy Chase Hills neighborhood, the Chevy Chase Land Company, Newdale Mews, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We received some of these as late as yesterday evening and I have attached them for your reference. We are working to get them online on the Planning Board agenda website.

The Board has requested that staff go over these requested changes during tonight's work session.

To provide some context, the Planning Board Draft Sector Plan is the document that represents the Planning Board's recommendations for Chevy Chase Lake. It is based on the Staff Draft recommendations and the Planning Board Draft, and the issues raised at the Public Hearing. We will ask tonight that the Planning Board approve the Planning Board Draft for transmittal to the County Executive and County Council for final review.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

January 15, 2013

Thursday, January 10 the Planning Board addressed all remaining issues with the Sector Plan that were raised during the Public Hearing. These changes have been incorporated into a draft text of the Planning Board Draft Sector Plan. The Board will review this text next Thursday, January 17, at Worksession 5. During this worksession, the Board will make any other changes, and we will be asking the Board to approve the Planning Board Draft for transmission to the County Executive and County Council.

The draft text, in both a red-lined version (from the public hearing draft text) and a clean version, will be available by the end of the day Friday, January 11, on the Planning Board's agenda page for January 17, item 17.

If the Board approves the text for transmittal, we expect to transmit the full document no later than Friday, January 25. I will send out an email with the link when it is up.

The last remaining scheduled work session is Work session 6, on January 31. This work session will feature a more comprehensive review of the design guidelines. If you have questions or comments about the design guidelines, please contact Margaret Rifkin, at 301-495-4583, or by email.

If you have questions about anything else, please let me know. Have a delightful weekend.

January 4, 2013

I want to update you again on the schedule for the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. The next work session will be next Thursday, January 10, beginning at around 6 in the evening. As usual, the work session will be held in the Planning Board Auditorium at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

During this next work session we are hoping to have the Planning Board decide all remaining Sector Plan issues. The Planning Board agenda website has the staff report (which is the same one we used back in November) under Item 12.

If the Planning Board resolves all outstanding issues with the Sector Plan, I will prepare a revised plan text to reflect the Board's decisions. I plan to have this text online Friday, January 11. (I will follow up with you then to include a link.) The Planning Board will then review this text at another work session on Thursday, January 17, to make any final edits and hopefully approve the plan as the Planning Board Draft. We are aiming to have the final Planning Board Draft document online and delivered to the County Executive and County Council on Friday, January 25.

The County Council will set a date for a public hearing for the sector plan, possibly to be held in March.

The next Planning Board work session, scheduled for Thursday, January 31, will address the Design Guidelines in greater detail than in December. If you have questions about the Design Guidelines, please contact Margaret Rifkin, our urban designer, directly at 301-495-4583, or by email.

October 18, 2012 - Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan

On October 18 the Planning Board held a Public Hearing on the Chevy Chase Lake Public Hearing Draft Sector Plan, and heard about three hours of testimony. You can watch video of the public hearing. (Under October 18, 2012)

The public record for the Sector Plan will remain open until end of business Thursday, October 25, 2012. Written testimony about the Public Hearing Draft Sector Plan received before then will be included in the public record. You can send your testimony by email.

The Planning Board will have a series of work sessions on the Sector Plan with staff. During these work sessions, the Board can modify the draft plan, taking into account the staff recommendations and public testimony. Two work sessions are currently scheduled, for November 1 and November 15, 2012. The sessions are open to the public, but testimony will not be taken. The work sessions will be held in the Planning Board auditorium at 8787 Georgia Avenue. For approximate start times, see the Planning Board agenda page.

After work sessions, the Planning Board will submit a Planning Board Draft Sector Plan to the County Council and County Executive for review, potentially in December. The County Council will hold further work sessions and its own Public Hearing in the new year. The County Council is the body that will ultimately approve the Sector Plan.

September 26, 2012

The County is in the process of revising the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan in anticipation of a future Purple Line Station. The Planning Board staff is recommending that building heights be limited to either 65 or 90 feet with an added density of 1.5 million square feet. The recommendations include several hundred thousand square feet of retail, about 1,000 to 1,500 residential units, and a small amount of additional office space. The Planning Board will take public testimony on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan on October 18.

Chevy Chase Village has joined together with other municipalities and civic and homeowners associations likely to be affected by the proposed changes and have formed the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee. Members of the committee have met many times with representatives from The Chevy Chase Land Company "the largest landowner in the affected area" and recently with other landowners within the sector. If the requested density increases proposed by these land owners were allowed, the density increase would top 2.7 million square feet.

Much of the additional development proposed must await the arrival of the Purple Line, which could be many years away. At present, The Chevy Chase Land Company has approval for a significant amount of additional development, which it will carry over in the new plan and which may allow it to build 750,000 square feet of mixed use development prior to the Purple Line going forward.

While recommended for higher zoning, development of the remaining Chevy Chase Land Company property, and the properties under others ownership, may have to wait until the Purple Line is built. The County Council will have the final say on height, use, density, and the timing of when the development can proceed.

Chevy Chase Village is closely following this matter because of the impact that increased development will have on Connecticut Avenue and on Brookville Road; because added residential units will affect school crowding; because many Village residents currently use the retail services provided at Chevy Chase Lake and we want this area to continue to offer convenient retail opportunities; and finally because the existing low-scale commercial area compliments the high quality residential character of Connecticut Avenue both north and south of Chevy Chase Circle.

The Village will testify at the Planning Board's Public Hearing in support of some of the rezoning recommendations, but will oppose excessive development that would adversely affect the Village and its residents. Individual residents may also testify and are encouraged to do so. If you want to know more about the proposals and the Village activities on these matters, please call the Village Office.

To view earlier reports, including the results of the traffic study performed in 2011 and other materials related to the sector plan, visit our website, and click on "Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan" under Quick Links. To see the Planning Board Public Hearing Draft Sector Plan and to learn more about the detailed recommendations, visit their website.

July 6, 2012

As part of the process of revising the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, Montgomery County Planning Department staff has provided the Village office with a hardcopy of their draft of the plan. The hardcopy is available for review in the Village office.

The draft will be presented to the Planning Board at 5 p.m. (time approximate) on Monday, July 16, in the Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring. Residents are invited to share any comments about the plan to the Planning Board at that time. Residents can sign up in advance to speak before the Planning Board.

At the July 16 Planning Board meeting, staff also will request a public hearing on the plan be scheduled for September 13, 2012. At the public hearing, the Planning Board will hear full testimony on Sector Plan recommendations. The Planning Board may choose to either set a public hearing or schedule a work session to further address any issues.

View or download an electronic copy of this plan.

February 3, 2012

Work on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan is continuing. The following is a report on recent activities:

Over the last three months, representatives of the Village, together with other affected municipalities and the communities surrounding the commercial properties at Chevy Chase Lake, have been meeting with the Chevy Chase Land Company to explore whether there are areas of agreement relating to the redevelopment of the area.

While it is too early to tell if a consensus can be reached, there are some areas of general agreement mainly centered on the public use space and the general arrangement of buildings on the site. Height and density continue to be unresolved issues.

The Village's main concern centers on the issue of additional traffic that the development is certain to generate. Both Connecticut Avenue and Brookville Road will see increased traffic with added development, especially at the levels currently being discussed. The Land Company is conducting a traffic analysis which it will present to the communities this month. At the same time the planning staff at Park and Planning is conducting its own traffic studies. The traffic analysis will look at traffic on Connecticut Avenue as far south as Bradley Lane.

As the schedule now stands, the Park and Planning staff proposal for the rezoning of Chevy Chase Lake Sector will be presented to the Planning Board in late February or early March. A public hearing will be held by the Planning Board sometime in April with a final plan sent to the County Council in the summer. Additional information may be posted on the Planning Board site.

Representatives of the Village will continue to meet with the Chevy Chase Land Company, to work with our neighboring communities, and to weigh in where Village interests are affected. If you are interested in working with the Village representatives, or would like more information as it becomes available please contact the Village office. Also, we hope to have an information meeting for interested Village residents within the next month.

September 29, 2011

The Village continues to monitor the planned development in the Chevy Chase Lake area located along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road, and the surrounding residential areas. The County Planning Staff's draft report is still awaited, which will determine the future of the Chevy Chase Lake area.

New developments reveal that the Chevy Chase Land Company has pulled its proposal to construct 4.25 million square feet of development including multiple 19 story buildings. In addition to ending their contract with their outside public relations company, the Land Company has also hired a new in-house Vice President of Public Relations and a new attorney who has worked successfully with the surrounding communities when he represented the developers of the former Hecht Company site in Friendship Heights.

The new team at the Chevy Chase Land Company is now seeking active engagement with the neighboring communities. The Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, of which the Village is an active member, continues to monitor the planning developments and weigh in where Village interests are affected.

Lake Sector Plan

Planners are laying the groundwork for a Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan that will focus on improving the form and function of some of the commercial areas, among other goals, to coincide with the coming of the Purple Line light rail line.

Visit the Montgomery County Planning Department Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan Project page.

Chevy Chase Lake

The future of the Chevy Chase Lake area is under review by the County Planning Board. The area being considered for a change includes both the commercial area along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road, and also the surrounding residential areas. It is likely that significant changes will be recommended including far greater densities, taller buildings, and a change in the type of retail services offered. Traffic congestion will increase, possibly leading to pressure to widen Connecticut Avenue and other roads.

The Village will be affected both because of increased traffic on Connecticut Avenue and diverted traffic on Brookville Road, and also because of the usefulness and convenience of the retail services currently available at Chevy Chase Lake. Because of these concerns, Board Chair Pat Baptiste, together with leaders in other affected communities, has organized twenty-three of the municipalities, condominium boards, and civic associations from Chevy Chase Circle to Kensington. This Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee (CACC) meets regularly to share information and common concerns, with a goal to engage fully in the planning process and to assure the best possible outcome for the communities surrounding the Chevy Chase Lake. Issues that this group will be focusing on include: pressure on already congested roadways; the desire to continue neighborhood-oriented retail; and the amount, nature and placement of any proposed increased density.

In recent months, the Chevy Chase Land Company, which owns the bulk of the area of potential rezoning, has unveiled its vision for the area. Last month the County's professional planning staff presented its vision to the community. On June 18th these professional planners held a community meeting at the Village Hall where interested residents had the opportunity to question planning staff regarding the future of the Lake area.


Here are the two proposals:
  • The Planning Staff's Draft Vision: A neighborhood center at Chevy Chase Lake that balances redevelopment with the character of the established residential community. Development would be limited to an overall new density of approximately 1.2 million square feet and building heights of 65 feet maximum (approximately 6 stories). Rezoning would occur in two stages, with the greatest influx of density limited until the Purple Line is actually under construction. (Planning Staff Draft Vision (PDF).)
  • The Chevy Chase Land Company's Vision: A transit-oriented development that maximizes use of the Purple Line Light Rail bringing 4.3 million square feet of new development with 12 buildings that are 10 to 19 stories tall with a total of 23 buildings. The plan would include a hotel, 900,000 square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of retail space and 3,000 apartment units. (Chevy Chase Land Company's Draft Vision (PDF).)
Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts on either vision with the County Planning Department by email. The staff will be finalizing the sector plan report for presentation to the County's Planning Board in early September.


Recommendations for Chevy Chase Lake, a community of mixed housing types and commercial strip centers along Connecticut Avenue just north of Washington, D.C., will become part of a community vision that revises that part of the 1990 Bethesda-Chevy Chase Master Plan.

Chevy Chase Lake is one in a series of land use plans that set design and development patterns in Purple Line station areas. Planners will focus on land use and zoning recommendations as redevelopment occurs around the proposed Purple Line station at Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Connecticut Avenue.

View the scope of work for the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. The Planning Board approved the scope on July 1, 2010. 
Chevy Chase Study Regional Map
In 1890, Senator Francis G. Newlands established the Chevy Chase Land Company, which led development as Connecticut Avenue was extended north of the Washington, D.C., line. Chevy Chase Lake was formed when a small dam was constructed across Coquelin Run stream to supply water for an electric power plant.

The community grew around the lake about two miles north of the District line at the junction of a trolley line and the Baltimore and Ohio Georgetown Branch. The area included several businesses, an amusement park, and from 1925 to 1972, a swimming pool. For Chevy Chase residents, on the lake enjoyed a particular community significance.


You may contact via email.