Planning Board meeting March 5, 2009

Planning Board meeting March 5, 2009

Live blogging from Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. Topic of the White Flint portion of the meeting: Presentations by property owners on proposed developments which could be made in the “new” White Flint.

Piera Weiss, staffer for the White Flint Sector Plan, first described the Public Hearing held on Jan. 12. 2009. Points out that of the 8 “advocates” groups testifying, 3 were “bicycle” groups, which shows the intensity of their concerns. Two big issues: density of development and building heights (development can be dense and low, or tall and sparse, so the two concepts are related but different):

Density: Concentric ring concept for density of development in the Sector Plan, centered on the Metro station, and expanding in 1/8th mile rings outward. A “transfer band” along Rockville Pike would have provided slightly higher densities along the Pike. Comparison of existing and various plans’ development density proposals and the amount of development permitted:

Existing and approved development = 12.6 million square feet

1992 plan zoning build out = 20 million sf

Proposed in the Public Hearing draft = 32.45 million sf,, plus affordable housing bonus (4.2 mill sf) = 36.65 million sf

Concentric Ring capacity = 42.7 million sf

“Development staging capacity” = new 17.45 million sf plus 12.6 mill sf existing = 30 million sf.

Some of this land will never actually develop (historically, 2/3ds of permitted density is built), but this shows the difference between the Staff proposal and the “elliptical” proposal by the developer “Collaborative.”

Staging: public projects must be completed in each phase before the next phase will begin. E.g.: in phase 1, the new Main Street must be built, Wall Park parking must be provided, a bus circulator must be implemented, and several other steps must be satisfied before Phase Two can start.

Second of big issues: building heights. Maximum of 300 ft high. Developer collaborative wants higher.

Collaborative presents its concept.

Barnaby Zall

Barnaby Zall


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