Where’s the Fire (Station)?

Where’s the Fire (Station)?

Live blogging from the January 19, 2010 meeting of the PHED Committee. Committee staffer Marlene Michaelson is working through her memo to the Committee: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/council/pdf/agenda/cm/2010/100119/20100119_PHED2.pdf.

The Fire Station and library site, were both recommended without discussion. The issue of co-location, on P. 2 of the memo, was discussed briefly, with Committee Chair Mike Knapp asking about the actual details of how co-location would work. The county Executive, represented by Diane Schwartz-Jones, said that it was already trying to work out the details. Nancy Floreen asked about the No. Bethesda Recreation Center, which “has been stuck, dead in the water, for 15 years.” Is there money for a building and construction? So we’re going to wait another six years or more? Davis Library renovation is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2011. Michaelson said a full-size library might be recommended later. Planning Board Chair Royce Hanson said Wall Park would be a good location for a rec center, in conjunction with the aquatic center there. But co-locating elsewhere might also work to maximize good facilities without duplicating. Putting it on the west side is a good idea, but other things could work.

For properties south of Edson Lane, the staff recommended lowering heights and densities below that recommended in the draft Plan in order to provide a “better transition” to nearby neighborhoods and the same arguments were made for changes in heights and zoning at the White Flint Mall. Robbie Breuer, speaking for the Mall, pointed out that the proposal to change the  heights and character of the area was just raised for the first time last week, and not in the three years, the Mall has been working with the community on transitions. Don’t count on an artificial line to create compatibility, Breuer argued, let the architects and planners work, since one of their criteria is compatibility. Natalie Goldberg, from the communities just south of the Mall, said “we agree.” But she wants “our kids to get to know the kids from the” new residential areas  being planned at the Mall, so she wanted changes anyway. Michaelson said it would be easy to add language to the Plan that, as you go south from the Mall, there should be preponderance of residential development over retail. Councilmember Roger Berliner, sitting in with the Committee, asked about heights.

Barnaby Zall

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