Last night (Tuesday, January 13, 2009), the White Flint Steering Committee met to discuss issues in the White Flint Public Hearing Draft Plan. Fifteen of the seventeen Committee members attended. The meeting was a spirited two-hour discussion, focussing mainly on transportation issues.
The Steering Committee meeting was called to determine if it was possible to identify issues on which a consensus could be forged, and others which should be brought to the Planning Board’s attention as “conflicts.” The Committee did find a strong consensus on a number of points, and conflicts on several others.
For example, there was a strong consensus that the Steering Committee supports the concept of a dedicated funding source for infrastructure to support development in White Flint, as a self-funding instrument on the scale of the investments we are discussing. This was in response to the County Executive’s presentation at the Monday public hearing before the Planning Board.
On the other hand, there was a big discussion about walkability and how to define it. The concept of walkability is crucial both to the creation of a green White Flint, and to the determination of density for development at any given place in White Flint. The Plan is premised on the idea that developments closer to the Metro Station should have higher density, as residents and users would be more likely to use public transit within a closer walkable area. The basic conflict is over how to define the area which is walkable.
The Notes from the meeting are being circulated for review of accuracy and completeness, and I hope to have them available for posting on the FLOG in a couple of days.
The Steering Committee did not finish all of the items to be covered during last night’s meeting, one of which was sustainability. The Committee agreed to meet again on Wednesday, January 28, at 4:30PM, again at Federal Realty’s Rockville offices.