Consultants for the Town of Chevy Chase have come up with renderings and cost estimates for what they envision as a sprawling park space on two Montgomery County parking lots. Bethesda Commons Park would be a 2.6-acre park that would serve two primary purposes: Providing much-needed open space in downtown Bethesda and buffering the single-family homes in the Town from the redevelopment likely to be part of the area’s new sector plan. Land-use attorney Rebecca Walker and Towson-based planner Chris Jakubiak put together a 26-page concept and implementation plan for the Town. The park would go where the county’s Lot 10 and Lot 24 are today.  County planners envision that space as home to increased development and an Eastern Greenway that would provide some buffer zone for the Town. But Town residents, including Vice Mayor Pat Burda, don’t think the Eastern Greenway would do enough. The concept and implementation plan estimates the park would cost $3.6 million to construct and roughly $35,000 a year to operate, depending on how much programming goes into the site. It also provides an initial appraisal of the land at $13.7 million, though it recognizes the value of the two lots will likely go up if approved for more density in the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. The major road block, at least in the immediate future, is that Montgomery County has repeatedly indicated it’s against selling the lots and would need to replace the 316 metered parking spaces. “While it may be tempting to acquire this land now, we know, through our discussions with Montgomery County, that they are not a ‘willing seller’ at this juncture,” Walker wrote in the report. “Rather, the County is waiting to see what development plans may come forward for the land that would meet their stated goals: including replacement parking at a 1 for 1 ratio, a possible affordable housing component, a revenue source for construction of the items listed above, as well as the Park itself, and maintenance thereof.” The report outlines a series of options for financing and operation of the park. The Town could issue its own bonds or seek special parks funding through the state or county. It could work with an adjacent private developer to provide the replacement parking or come up with a way to provide parking below the park. It could also partner with the Bethesda Urban Partnership to help program and operate the space, or create an entirely separate nonprofit to take control. Walker said she met Tuesday with Bethesda Urban Partnership officials. Town officials behind the Bethesda Commons concept have also met with Councilmember Roger Berliner and multiple times with county planners. “We are talking public-private partnerships,” said Burda during the Town’s Wednesday Council meeting. “We see this as a real opportunity for the whole region.” Walker said planners have recently seemed more willing to incorporate the idea into their draft recommendations. Another goal of the plan would be to promote the Bethesda Farm Women’s Market. The building and property has historic designation, meaning there are severe limitations on future redevelopment. The Town’s concept would provide a new street around the Market and some potential new retail space to bring more people to it. Town residents will have the chance to comment on the concept at the Town’s May 5 annual meeting. The Town isn’t the only entity seeking to take over the parking lots. Bernstein Management made a proposal that would put a mixed-use, predominantly high-rise residential building on much of the site, with smaller multi-family and townhouse units facing the Town. Montgomery County’s willingness to sell off its parking lots or enter into partnerships with developers to redevelop the lots helped spur the Town’s efforts. Via Town of Chevy Chase