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Westbard Sector Plan Receives Green Light From County Council


New zoning for the Westbard neighborhood of Bethesda has been unanimously approved by the County Council.

The ruling will in turn allow Equity One to move forward with a planned redevelopment project at the site of the aging Westwood Shopping Center, despite the objections of area residents. Formal approval of the sector plan was widely expected, and had already been approved via a straw vote back in March, Bethesda Magazine reports.

The Westbard Sector Plan has been in the midst of a review process over the past several years. Residents have been concerned that extensive redevelopment that could bring as many as 1,200 residents to the area will overwhelm the small neighborhood. Council members and county planning officials have contended that the only way to finance upgrades for the shopping center was through added density, and believe that will also trickle down into a more efficient street alignment, as well as new parks and open spaces.

Equity One's Westwood redevelopment calls for the aging shopping center and adjacent properties to be transformed into a retail center with 60-foot tall buildings and underground parking. Also on tap are new apartment buildings and townhomes along Westbard Avenue. [BM]