Last night, FoWF Board Member Chad Salganik presented testimony before the County Council on the Capital Improvement Programs Budget. If you haven’t chimed in yet, it’s not too late — email your support of White Flint projects to County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov.
Testimony of Friends of White Flint
February 5, 2014
Public Hearing on Montgomery County Capital Improvements Program Budget
Good evening, Councilmembers. My name is Chad Salganik and I am presenting this testimony on behalf of Friends of White Flint, a community non-profit organization that has been working on the White Flint Sector Plan since 2007. I live in one of the neighborhoods of the Randolph Civic Association, which abuts the White Flint Sector, and I am a resident representative on the Friends’ Board of Directors.
Friends of White Flint promotes a sustainable, walkable and engaging White Flint. Our membership includes hundreds of community members consisting of individual residents, civic and condominium associations, businesses and property owners. As we enter our seventh year, we continue our trend of bringing the entire range of stakeholders together in an effort to find common ground and community support for the ongoing implementation of the White Flint Sector Plan.
The White Flint area is undergoing a historic transformation. Private landowners are moving forward in implementing the County’s vision of an urban center of residences and businesses where people walk to work, shops and transit. It is crucial that public infrastructure stays on pace as this redevelopment occurs. We are grateful that the County Executive has included White Flint-related projects in his recommended CIP and respectfully request that you pass this portion of the budget as proposed.
We have had the opportunity to speak with scores of residents in a variety of settings including community meetings and our table at the local farmers market. A few projects have generated a great deal of excitement: the redesigned Wall Park with a new Recreation Center and an upgraded Shriver Aquatic Center. The potential impact these projects could have on our community is profound and we are grateful to see them funded in this budget. These amenities are necessary in a district with projected increases in population.
These projects hinge on funding in the CIP for White Flint-related road projects. Improvements to our street grid, in the form of the Eastern and Western Workarounds, is necessary to improve the quality of life for existing and future residents and visitors of our area.
In addition, Wall Park, Shriver Aquatic Center and our new recreation center can only be built after the Western Workaround is in progress. This is because the improvement to our street grid squares off blocks in a more logical manner. One of these blocks will include a parking garage to accommodate visitors to the Wall Park complex, so that the existing surface parking can be replaced with flexible, active green space, as well as an enlarged aquatic and recreation center.
Each of these projects is intertwined and, while we know there are many competing priorities in the budget, we hope that the success of White Flint remains one of them. Thank you for your consideration.