Despite public backlash about proposed development around a Potomac shopping center, the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday propelled the project forward.
A handful of people testified to the board about the proposed development of 59 townhomes and 60,000 square feet of retail and office space at the Cabin John Shopping Center, with most voicing strong opposition to the project due to traffic and parking concerns.
The Cabin John Village project aims to demolish a portion of the existing shopping center to extend the entry roadway, as well as build townhomes and add retail and limited parking space. The townhomes are to sit on the parking lot behind the strip mall’s Giant and the Lahinch Tavern and Grill.
The goal, developers say, is to transform the center on the northeast corner of Tuckerman Lane and Seven Locks Road to a “more walkable mixed-use shopping center with a residential component.”
The board approved the preliminary plan for the project proposed by EDENS.
The project call for three phases of development. The first phase includes construction of 48 townhouses along the northeast section of the 25-acre property. Phase two includes 32,000 square feet of commercial uses, and phase three adds 11 townhomes along Coddle Harbor Lane.
Additionally, development will extend sidewalks and bike lanes along Tuckerman Lane, according to plans.
However, area residents believe the development, anticipated to span 10 years of construction, will congest traffic and limit parking for the often-busy shopping center and surrounding neighborhoods.
“Given parking problems already being experienced during high volume periods, this in itself is a recipe for disaster, not only for the community residents who frequent the CJSC, but the new and existing tenants of the CJSC as well,” JoAnn Marceron said in a letter to the board, on behalf of the Potomac Crest Homeowners Association. The association is made up of more than 170 homes located across Tuckerman Lane from the shopping center.