The first meeting of the White Flint Sector Plan Steering Committee is set for 7PM tomorrow night (January 6) at the Silver Spring MNCPPC auditorium.
No one knows quite what to expect. There are various proposals for structure, role and operations circulating among members. A major question is the expectations of the Planning Board. What is their view of the role of the Committee? Is the Steering Committee to meet regularly with the staff and Board? How independent will the Steering Committee be to comment and criticize drafts and changes?
Another question is how much of the meeting will be devoted to setting up the Committee itself, as opposed to substantive discussions of transportation and design guidelines. There appear to be divergent opinions on how and whether to seek a consensus of opinion on the Committee or just serve as a conduit of views from various communities. How can the Committee balance the roles of members who represent different constituencies in the community (developer, residents, individual communities)? How can the Committee balance the views of landowner representatives, who generally have more time and resources to devote to the process, with those of residents who are volunteers? How should the Committee communicate to the community and to various interested entities (including other government agencies)?
There is even discussion of the agenda, and whether it should be proposed and run by the Planning Board staff or by the Committee itself.
Should be an interesting meeting, but a long one. The Steering Committee (distilled from the larger Advisory Group) is composed of active participants in the process, who are not shy in expressing their views.