Here are some updates from the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee Meeting on January 13th:
The discussion started with a focus on Woodglen Drive and Executive Boulevard. Committee members are concerned with the issues surrounding the shared-use path on Woodglen Drive. There has been some confusion after the county permitting department made what appears to be a mistake when dealing with Paladar Kitchen and Rum Bar. Although the sidewalk on Woodglen Drive should have been kept at 8-feet wide to allow for pedestrians and bicyclists, the permitting department told Paladar that 6-feet wide was sufficient. So, Paladar’s outdoor seating furniture was purchased to these specifications. Many argue that 6-feet wide is not enough, especially considering obstacles like street signs that create pinch points already. All parties are negotiating how best to proceed. Also, we updated you yesterday on the improvements to Woodglen Drive, which will include a bike lane right where Paladar sets its Valet stand. That will need to be addressed, as well.
The discussion then lead to an update from the County Executive’s White Flint Implementation Coordinator, Dee Metz. The Capital Improvement Budget (CIP) for 2014- 2015 year was discussed. This implementation meeting took place before the budget was released. Dee Metz told the committee that White Flint should expect to receive a significant amount of money from the county. Since this meeting, the budget was announced. Take a look at this blog post to learn more about what aspects are part of the Capital Improvement Budget and how you can get involved in ensuring that all WF projects receives a fair share of funding from the county.
The focus then went towards discussing the MCPS Board of Education Letter to Chair of the Planning Board. Back in October, the MCPS Board of Education sent a letter to the Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. This letter was sent to the Chair to reaffirm the Board of Ed’s position on the locating the school site on the White Flint Park North site. The Board of Education is in favor of co-locating the elementary school with the White Flint Neighborhood Park at the White Flint Park North location. After this letter was sent to the Board of Ed, the Garrett Park Estates/White Flint Park Citizen’s Association met and discussed the letter. Check out this past blog post to learn more about what was discussed at that meeting. The issue is ongoing and we’ll keep you posted.
Francine Waters from Lerner Enterprises (and a member of the Friends of White Flint Board of Directors) discussed the organization, Communities for Transit. This is a private, non-profit organization in Montgomery County that focuses on educating and advocating for Bus Rapid Transit in Montgomery County. Communities for Transit has worked with FoWF and Coalition for Smarter Growth in the past. The organization recently created a video explaining what Rapid Transit will look like for Montgomery County. You can check out the video here.
The meeting ended with a note about the urban design and health. Nkosi Yearwood sent out two documents, Intersections of Health and Built Environment and 10 Principles for Building Healthy Places, that speak to the connections between the built environment of cities and the health of it’s residents. As the redevelopment in White Flint proceeds, it is important to understand how the urban design can impact the health of those in the area. We hope to provide a walkable, recreational, accessible community that will greatly improve the quality of life for our residents. It is important to remember why this redevelopment is happening and who this redevelopment is for.
The next Implementation Meeting is scheduled for 7pm on Monday, February 10th in the Multi-Purpose Room at Shriver Aquatic Center.