Smarter Growth Bethesda (CBAR)

$15,761 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 100 people in 22 months
The Issue:
The Planning Board has submitted the Bethesda Sector Plan to the Montgomery County Council for review and approval with a vote expected in early 2017.  This plan will affect our future dramatically and drastically needs improvements. We can grow reasonably by insisting on lower heights and improved road and school insfrastructure first.

The Data:
• The Bethesda Sector Plan proposes a 37% increase in residential and office space from what we have today. The increase is equivalent to building 1 1/3 Pentagons in downtown Bethesda.
• The Plan proposes new building heights – allowing 29-story buildings along Wisconsin Avenue, some within mere blocks of single family homes. 
• The plan only increases open space to 4% from its current 2% in downtown Bethesda – compared to New York City and DC, with 15-20% open space, Bethesda is suffering.
• The Plan adds an estimated 846 children to our elementary, middle and high schools.

The Impacts:
This increase will affect Bethesda and Chevy Chase directly by
• Increasing traffic on already at-capacity roads
• Increasing students at already over-capacity schools
• Offering no new ameneties, and no guarantees that our precious green space will be preserved or improved
• Allowing construction of 145-290 foot buildings next to single-family homes along the Wisconsin Avenue border

Our Vision:
We want a livable community, where you can take your kid to soccer practice without being stuck in gridlocked traffic, where it is safe to walk to school, where there are green spaces to enjoy, and where towering buildings are not casting long shadows on parks and homes. 

How to Accomplish It:
• Development should be staged, checking for school and traffic impacts after each increment.  If the impacts are large, development must halt until the infrastructure is ready.
• Buildings along edges should be limited to 90 feet to ensure that it fits with the character of Bethesda
• Public parks need to be increased and tiny, inaccessible “open spaces” dropped from the plan

What We're Doing:
CBAR is drafting a letter in collaboration with eleven area civic associaitons. This letter advocates for protection of existing communities and assurances that infrastructure needs will be met.

How You Can Help:
Please donate now to hire a Community Organizer and cover the costs:
• Quickly raise awareness of the Plan and its implications for residents
• Engage and activate residents effectively
• Revise the Plan with citizen input

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CBAR is incorporated as a 501(c)4. Donations and gifts to CBAR are not tax-deductible.
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Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have donated to the campaign for Smarter Growth in Bethesda. In a few short days we have raised more than $9,000 in online donations and checks. Thank you!!

Most of those donations are attributable to personal letters from people like you, and those personal connections are what will propel us forward. Please email your friends and neighbors, and in your own words, explain why you are supporting these efforts.

Is it because proposed development will outpace the capacity of our already overcrowded schools, roads, and public transit system?

Is it because our growing population will need more parks and open space?

Is it because the Plan lacks clarity on how and where density will be built out?

Is it because poorly planned development on our edges threatens the character of our residential neighborhoods?

Please, in your own words, encourage your friends to help make this Plan better than it is. Donations of all sizes make a difference.

And again -- and most importantly -- thank you for your support.
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$15,761 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 100 people in 22 months
Created December 15, 2016
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