Live video streaming is available at www.montgomerycountyplanning.org. Topic for this evening is community associations’ reactions to developers’ proposals for projects under the new White Flint Sector Plan.
Chairman Hanson: in about two worksessions from now, we begin making decisions.
Garrett Park Estates/White Flint Park (continued from prior session): Natalie Goldberg, Suzanne Hudson (co-chair for Residents and Community Associations for Friends of White Flint), and Glenn Adler, president of the association). Letter announcing the establishment of the White Flint Community Coalition, consisting of Luxmanor, Garrett Park Estates, and Crest of Wickford Homeowners Associations. Will present a “clear community view” of the issues.
Hanson: we are going to move into a decision mode. Begin asking not only what the problem is but what you want us to do about it.
Adler: continuing with “compatibility with existing communities.” Review of area southeast of White Flint Mall. This is the point of contention. Hanson: why? Adler: settlement provided transition site. Hanson: what would you prefer? Adler: see transition arrangements not be diluted. Hanson: what characteristics of transition you want to keep? Height, use, operational characteristics? Goldberg: parking lot. Hanson: matter of right in zoning. Easement? Goldberg: agreement. Hanson: think carefully about whether you get what you’re wishing for. Cmsnr Robinson: distinguishing between east and west sides? Goldberg: yes. This view is from a traffic proposal from White Flint Mall. Adler: we don’t think the buildings at the edge of the zone don’t conform to CT zone.
Cmsnr Alfandre: what was the evolution of this plan? Goldberg: we weren’t that involved in the evolution. There was some negotiation about letting the Mall build in this CT zone. Couple of years ago, they were talking about townhouses here and some of the plans showed a green buffer up Rockville Pike. Planner Nkosi Yearwood: just some proposals. Concepts. Alfandre: has the design evolution to today been significant. Prevailing reasons. Fixed in stone? Staffer Piera Weiss: we tried to address each point in the record.
Adler: We want parking lots to become parts of green buffer. Proposed school site: Special exception parking lot with water run-off problems, poor maintenance, with houses below. Hanson: initial thought about CT zone was to buffer existing neighborhoods by keeping existing buildings which were converted to another use in their existing forms. So what you have is a zone which allows 35 feet of height and 30 percent lot coverage.
Alfandre: where was the flooding? Adler: White Flint Drive. Right at the base of White Flint Drive; no drains. Point of contention is that the drain is not cleaned. Alfandre: could have been standards at the time that were inadequate, so probably a combination of factors, but no excuse for not cleaning out or not responding to neighbors. Another flood area, which haven’t shown in photos before. Two additional sites by Combined Properties, including one with abandoned shopping carts, trash and other things. Alfandre: there are solutions, but no excuses for flooding because it isn’t maintained, but there is new technology since those days. Cmsnr Presley: fixed? Adler: Combined site, no. I was standing up to my neck yesterday. Trash heap. But at the storm drain, it is better, but there is still more nearby.
Adler: Under Sector Plan, allowed to build 100 ft building just above Crest of Wickford. We think there should be some change in those. Goldberg: we want a “smart core.” We want to see it implemented. Want a landmark destination. Be must be walkable so it will help with traffic. We think density and height must step down rapidly from the core. We don’t see that the infrastructure will support the density proposed.
Alfandre: are you open to alternatives of buffer? Including parks and other ideas that nobody has yet thought about. Goldberg: our main concern is the intrusiveness, people looking down on our back yards. We’re open to suggestions. Compact envelope revised to reflect walkable distances. “Trust but verify” We are very concerned about CR Zone. We want to see amenities in the Sector Plan itself. We are concerned with all the unknowns. We want the plan to include mandatory language, rather than saying “should do” something. We want to know what will happen. Alfandre: we need to remember this. Requiring rigorous proof that leaves room for collaboration.