The White Flint Partnership is a group of large property owners in White Flint. In a letter to the Montgomery County Planning Board today, the Partnership recommended a set of changes in the Draft White Flint Plan. The text of the changes and cover notes are:
Dear Chairman Hanson,
On behalf of the White Flint Partnership I would like to submit the following email with some minor final comments in regards to the White Flint Sector Plan Staff Draft. Thank you very much for the amount of time and effort you and the other Planning Board members have put into the White Flint Sector Plan. The revised draft is the culmination of over 3 years of work and the first step towards creating a new model for development in Montgomery County. Below is an email which we sent to Piera Weiss outlining some final modifications we hope the Planning Board will consider before final adoption of the plan. We appreciate all of your work to date and look forward to working with you in the coming months as the Sector Plan is introduced to the County Executive and County Council.
The White Flint Partnership
Thank you very much for all of your work on the White Flint Sector Plan revised Staff Draft. The plan does an excellent job of resolving most of the issues that have been raised by the various stakeholders over the past 6 months and creates a plan that is very close to the vision expressed by the White Flint Advisory Board. We appreciate the key role you played in making this happen. The White Flint Partnership is in support of the Sector Plan and look forward to its approval in the coming weeks by the Planning Board. There are a few outstanding issues which we wanted to bring to your attention prior to finalizing the draft. It is our assumption that discussion of the Staff Draft won’t occur until the July 9th work-session, but just in case it is brought up tomorrow, below is the list which the White Flint Partnership compiled late this afternoon.
The White Flint Partnership
- Page 21:
- Strengthen language about below grade utilities so that it reads, “All primary service utilities to be located within the Right-of-way.”
- Add the Glatting Jackson section to this page as an alternate.
- Page 25:
- Remove requirement for “private outdoor spaces for each unit.” The White Flint Sector Plan is about creating a community. We agree with the CR zone requirements for shared outdoor and indoor community spaces for residential buildings. The phrase, “Private outdoor space for each unit,” unnecessarily adds construction costs, limits architectural design, reduces flexibility in planning, and does not encourage community interaction.
- Page 28:
- Remove following language, “this plan recommends that proposed development should include vertical integration of uses, so that there are few single use vertical buildings.” The WFP does not agree that there is a need to mix residential and office in the same specific building but we do agree that it is beneficial when these uses are adjacent or in close proximity to one another as a mixed use project. Please modify language to read, “this plan recommends that proposed development plans integrate a mix of uses so that neighborhoods have a balance of uses. This plan also encourages integration of retail at the base of both residential and commercial buildings where feasible and practical.”
- Page 29:
- The plan proposes, “9,800 new units of which at least 12.5% will be MPDU’s and 10% WFHU’s.” We continue to disagree with this policy for the following reasons:
i. Providing affordable units is a public amenity. It is counterproductive to include these units under the cap for development because this creates a disincentive to provide any additional affordable units above the minimum requirement because they simply reduce the total number of market rate residential units that can ever be built in the sector plan area. ii. Since the CR zone allows for additional density bonuses for affordable units, these units should not be included under the staging cap. iii. Finally, given that the CR zone reduces parking for MPDU’s to zero and WFHU’s to .5 spaces per unit, there will be less of a transportation impact from affordable units than from market rate units and they should be excluded from the staging cap.
- Modify language requiring that, “all new residential development should include different unit types and sizes” to “because of the number of varied residential buildings that will be constructed within the White Flint Sector Plan the plan will produce residential development with different unit types and sizes.”
- Page 49:
- In regards to the sustainability recommendations under the second bullet, delete the specifics and keep the main point, but allow flexibility in the future as technologies change to address these issues in the most appropriate manner.
- Page 54:
- Chart has 150’ instead of 162’ for ROW. A footnote should be added to the chart that states, “Based upon the outcome of the design study for Rockville Pike and the potential Bus Rapid Transit system, the ROW can be increased to 162’ to accommodate a BRT system in the center lanes.”
- Page 68 – 73:
- The WFP has concerns about the phasing and staging plan as drafted. We will comment separately after the worksession on this topic.