Two Montgomery County Council committees — Planning, Housing and Economic Development, and Management and Fiscal Policy — met in a joint session to consider financing options for the White Flint Sector Plan today.
In a jam-packed room, a total of seven (out of nine) Councilmembers heard from Jennifer Barrett and Diane Schwartz-Jones from the County Executive’s office, Planning Board Chair Royce Hanson, and others.
The Executive representatives handed out summaries of their proposals and estimates. Copies are available here: executives-financing-options0001.pdf. (I know they’re really tiny print, but that was because the originals were huge, and the public handouts were shrunk to save paper. Try increasing the zoom on your Adobe reader.)
Schwartz-Jones described three “buckets of financing” options (listed on P. 1 of the handouts):
Funds from the County and State;
Funds from public financing through a development district or some other option; and
Funds from taxes, such as impact fees paid through the normal development permitting process.
This is the second joint committee meeting to discuss financing options, and this meeting was only to hear the presentation from the County Executive. The Committees have to decide whether to accept the Planning Board’s proposal for a development district, funded largely by special taxes on commercial development in the new White Flint, or whether to use some other form of financing, as proposed by the Executive. The Executive has hired a consultant to prepare some options, though it was unclear from the brief materials presented in today’s short meeting, how those options will stack up to the financing plan developed by the Planning Board (in cooperation with property owners and other stakeholders) during the development of the Plan.
The Committees will continue to feel their way forward in the dark in this area in later hearings. The Council’s consideration of the White Flint Sector Plan will not be held up by the financing hearings.