Kensington Residents Appeal Approval of Senior Living Development

Kensington Residents Appeal Approval of Senior Living Development

Project on Knowles Avenue would bring 94 age-restricted units

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A proposed 94-unit senior housing facility on Knowles Avenue near the intersection with Connecticut Avenue.

Via Montgomery Planning Department

A group of Kensington residents has appealed the county Planning Board’s approval of a project to construct a senior living facility on Knowles Avenue.

The group, called Neighbors for an Improved Kensington, last week filed an appeal in Montgomery County Circuit Court challenging the approval of a six-story, 94-unit building.

The 12 people listed as appellants, including Del. Al Carr, who represents Kensington, say the Planning Board did not adequately address their concerns during the planning and approval process.

Primarily, the group is concerned about inadequate infrastructure to accommodate increased traffic around and deliveries to the complex.

“That stretch of Knowles Avenue is very congested on weekday afternoons after work and the project’s design is not sufficient to handle all visiting vehicles,” Carr said during an interview Tuesday morning. “There are concerns about traffic issues for the entire area, including the potential that some people will cut through residential neighborhoods to avoid traffic.”

The project plans call for a mixture of one- and two-bedroom units in the roughly 115,000-square-foot building that would be laid out in the shape of a “U” around a courtyard.

The site is near the intersection of Knowles and Connecticut avenues and spans 3906 and 3910 Knowles Ave., properties with two single-family homes that have served as professional offices.

Carr said that although the project will only provide housing to people older than 62, there is not enough parking for visitors, visiting medical professionals and the residents’ own vehicles.

He said members of Neighbors for an Improved Kensington aren’t trying to stop the project from proceeding at all. Instead, they hope it moves forward with a “better design,” he said.

“Not only are we concerned about traffic for the neighborhood, we’re concerned for the future tenants. I know they don’t want to have a substandard loading area or parking situation or a traffic nightmare for themselves or visitors,” Carr said.

In a letter to the Planning Board in July, representatives of the county government employees’ union said there is inadequate “loading area” for Ride On buses. There are three bus routes that serve project’s area.

A hearing date for the appeal has not yet been set, according to online court records.

About a half-mile away, another senior housing facility was expected to break ground in August and will feature 135 senior housing units.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

This story, photo caption and a headline were updated at 2:55 p.m. Sept. 3 to correct the number of units.

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