Planning Board considers CR Zone

Planning Board considers CR Zone

Live blogging from the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting of July 16, 2009. Live streaming video is available at www.montgomeryplanningboard.org.

The Board, having passed the White Flint Sector Plan, is now considering the new Commercial/Residential (“CR”) Zoning pattern. The CR Zone begins with a low basic level of development permitted to a limit set for each property, and then provides 37 categories of “incentive” bonus density increases for various preferred improvements or additions, such as providing a day care center, locating near transit, providing environmentally-sensitive building elements such as LEED ratings and energy efficiency, providing affordable housing, preserving local retail, and public art. 

Rollin Stanley, staff director for the Planning Board, presented the Zone, and noted that one of the biggest advantages is that the Board can know, at the beginning of a project’s consideration, what amenities are expected.

Chairman Hanson: the document establishes a “matrix” of possible zones. The zones have four components: a maximum density (expressed as Floor Area Ratio or “FAR”); maximum density if you build nothing but commercial (a “C”; ranging from .5 to 7 FAR); a residential density (from .5 to 7 FAR), and a height matrix (from 40′ to 300′). Any combination of those elements that fits each zone “exists” for legal purposes.

Barnaby Zall

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