Wednesday, March 23, 2005

County: Preserving 'grassy view' is more important than saving a school

The Montgomery County Council believes that preserving a "grassy view" along a six-lane highway of strip malls is more important than preserving a thriving neighborhood school.

According to the Washington Post, the council "unanimously passed a resolution" on March 22 that "asks planners to protect the grassy view from the new Strathmore concert hall in North Bethesda by putting some of the land into a preservation program."

The resolution would prevent a developer from building more than 100 houses on the site on Rockville Pike/Wisconsin Avenue, just south of White Flint Mall.

The developer has offered to build a seven-to-eight-acre buffer zone to preserve the view from the county's new $100 million Strathmore Hall, but county leaders aren't satisfied.

The developer, the Post notes, is not a local company but is based in Dallas, Texas.

Meanwhile, the County Council pushes ahead with its unstated plan to raze Seven Locks Elementary School in West Bethesda and build a high-density housing project in its place, at a congested neighborhood intersection nearly two miles from the nearest shops and services.

(Blogger's note: If the county is serious about building high-density, low-income housing in a prime location, the "grassy view" is just the place: close to commuter routes, shopping centers, services of every kind, well-traveled public bus routes, and the Grosvenor and White Flint Metro stations - to say nothing of a beautiful new cultural center. No neighborhood would be disrupted and no school would be torn down.)