Chevy Chase residents oppose Bethesda fire station redevelopment

BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) - Some Montgomery County residents are upset about the rezoning of a Bethesda fire station that they say will cause more traffic problems in their community.

Residents who live off of Nottingham Drive, located off of Wisconsin Avenue, are against the planned redevelopment of the non-profit, privately-owned Bethesda Fire Station 6 which is located across the street.

A spokesman for the county planning office says one idea being discussed is a 6-8 story apartment tower at the fire station’s current site, with retail units on the first floor. The tower would transition to four stories facing Nottingham Drive. The fire hall itself would be moved to this lot next door.

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

“For the people on this block, it's noise, it's congestion, they already have trouble getting out,” said Naomi Spinrad, another Chevy Chase resident.

An attorney with the non-profit, Nat Finklestein, isn’t commenting on specifics. However, Finklestein said the station is 50-60 years old and needs to be rebuilt or renovated. Finklestein said the development is still in the planning stages.

Still, some residents are fearful of the future.

“To put a high rise opposite two story residents would be out of character,” said Chevy Chase resident John Michael.