“White Flint Community Coalition” Opposes White Flint Growth

“White Flint Community Coalition” Opposes White Flint Growth

A new organization, the White Flint Community Coalition, says it is “Representing the wishes of the people of the White Flint area.” The Community Coalition testified before the Montgomery County Planning Board at a hearing on the proposed new Montgomery County Growth Policy. 

The Community Coalition said in a press release that the proposed Growth Policy would “generate unacceptable levels of traffic congestion to the detriment of the people now living in the county.” The group’s release quoted John King, a Garrett Park resident, as saying “we are not against smart growth or in favor of sprawl. It is just that the growth has to be managed in a way that does not seriously degrade the lives of thousands of people who are already residents of the area, many for several decades.”

In addition to the criticism of the Growth Policy being discussed last night, the Community Coalition criticized the White Flint Plan (probably meaning the White Flint Sector Plan): “The coalition also took issue with the Planning Board’s contention that the White Flint plan would benefit older neighborhoods and bring little change. Such neighborhoods, the Coalition notes, ‘will have to cotend with the unmitigated traffic. That’s neither a “benefit” nor “little change.”‘”

The Community Coalition release and “fact sheet” is available here (apologies for the annotations; that’s how I received it): WF Community Coalition Growth Policy Statement

The Community Coalition describes itself as “launched in April, 2009, is comprised of seven community bodies representing more than 2,300 homeowners living in or adjacent to the White Flint Sector. They are: Crest of Wickford Condominum Association, Garrett Park Estates – White Flint Park Citizens’ Association, Luxmanor Civic Association, Sterling HOA, Timberlawn Homeowners Association, and Wickford Community Association.”  

During the hearing, Chairman Hanson and Commissioner Alfandre noted that the principal cause of the school overcrowding moratorium is not the growth policy, but turnover in communities and the desires of people to move into certain areas. Hanson: should we have some impact tax on turnover? Cmsnr Presley: it doesn’t matter where the students come from, the larger question is where the money comes from. A cutoff was determined because at a certain point, they can’t support the level of service and programming we hope to deliver in Montgomery County.

UPDATE: Kevin Kline, a member of Friends of White Flint, released a public letter opposing the position of the Community Coalition. Kline’s letter, reprinted with his permission, reads:

As a Randolph Hills resident with no developer ties, I attended White Flint Sector Plan hearings, and appreciate the time (two years) and effort it took by the Planning Board, civic associations, and developers to develop a good Plan.   

However, at a recent Park & Planning meeting (June 22, 2009) on County Growth Policy, testimony veered off onto White Flint development.  This change in venue is unfair to citizens like me who participated in the White Flint process.

  The White Flint Community Coalition spoke at this County Growth Policy meeting.  As its name implies, this Coalition is newly created by those dissatisfied with the White Flint Sector Plan, and want to continue their opposition at unrelated hearings.  The Coalition started a mass email campaign to you and the Planning Board.   

Their testimony and their emails are unrelated to County Growth Policy, and I urge you not to let them pressure you on White Flint decisions.

Barnaby Zall

Website:

One comment

Natalie

I am surprised that anyone who has followed the White Flint Sector Plan would think the Growth Policy unrelated. The Growth Policy is the document that expands the Policy Area boundaries for the White Flint Sector, increasing congestion levels on Rockville Pike. The Growth Policy recommends eliminating PAMR and LATR in the White Flint Sector and replacing it with monitoring by an implementation plan. The Growth Policy is even proposing eliminating TAZs to force a coarser traffic analysis in the area. As anyone who has followed the Sector Plan knows the Staging Plan Pre-requisites include MSPA expansion provided for in the growth policy.

It is perfectly legitimate for a coalition of citizens to voice their opinions, even if not everyone agrees with them. FYI the first principle stated by the White Flint Community Coaltion is “One central core of dense, mixed use development, focused around the Metro. “

[Ed. Note: Natalie Goldberg was a member of the White Flint Advisory Group and is a member of the White Flint Steering Committee. She testified at the hearing described in this post.]

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