Huge Topics Up for Planning Board on Thursday

Huge Topics Up for Planning Board on Thursday

Some of the biggest properties in the White Flint Sector will be discussed at this Thursday’s Planning Board worksession. White Flint Mall and Mid-Pike Plaza, at the southern and northern ends of the Sector respectively, will present plans for new developments and renovations.

The White Flint Mall plans have been particularly controversial, with substantial push-back from the Garrett Park Estates – White Flint Park representatives to the White Flint Steering Committee. At the January 2009 public hearings on the White Flint Sector Plan Public Hearing Draft, residents just south of the Mall presented graphic photos of storm water runoff affecting their houses; the Mall representatives protested, pointing out that those drainage issues had been addressed years ago. Fireworks are also expected over mobility plans through the renovated Mall property; although both sides told the Planning Board in earlier testimony that they were meeting to resolve differences over placement and character of a “ring road” in the area, residents have also complained about proposed building heights which they say will adversely affect their community.

In contrast, the Mid-Pike Plaza development (the area historically known as Korvette’s Plaza) is relatively controversy free. The area is now bordered by the new Montrose Parkway, and a new east-west underpass is currently under construction in this area. Preliminary plans show that the current vast parking lot on Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road will be replaced with an integrated mixed-use development built on the walkability proposals of consultants Glatting-Jackson, including “build to the street” and breaking up “superblocks” of large spaces.

Other development proposals being discussed on Thursday include the Montgomery County Conference Center block, the Fitzgerald properties along Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane, and  Nebel Street properties. The Housing Opportunities Commission will also discuss diversity in housing opportunities with the Board, including its substantial development east of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, by the WMATA bus garage.

Barnaby Zall

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