2014 | News

Home Demolitions In Bethesda Approaching Pre-Recession Levels

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The number of home tear down projects in Bethesda is nearing pre-recession levels, with at least another 100 home demolitions looking likely for 2014.

According to Montgomery County At this time last year, 68 homes had been demolished in Bethesda, eight more than the 60 that have been demolished this year.

Mansionization is a national trend for older, close-in suburban neighborhoods. In Arlington County, a historic preservation group says 115 out of 122 demolition permit applications this year are for tear-down home projects. That would put the jurisdiction on pace for another record-setting year.

Since January 2001, a total of 1,354 single family dwellings in Bethesda have been demolished. That’s close to 8 percent of the single family housing stock in Census-designated Bethesda, at least according to 2010 Census numbers.

Last year, the Montgomery County Council approved a law aimed at preserving and replacing trees on lots used for mansionization projects.

The initiative came from the county’s Department of Environmental Protection, which presented overhead satellite images of Bethesda neighborhoods as evidence of the amount of tree canopy loss brought on by the increase in tear down projects.

In June, a group of homeowners off Bradley Boulevard posted homemade signs in protest of one homebuilder’s tear down project that meant the removal of some trees. The homebuilder countered that the trees were unhealthy and posed a safety risk.