This may turn out to be one of the longer posts I’ve written, but heck, I am summarizing a two-hour presentation and a 54-page PowerPoint presentation. For those of you who want just the Spark Notes version, you can stop after the first four images. But I hope that you take the time to at least scan this post, and maybe even read it thoroughly, since this could be the guiding document for the next few decades in the White Flint 2 area.
After you’ve read this blog, will you help Friends of White Flint? Please email your thoughts, ideas, critiques, compliments, etc. on this plan to email@example.com. We will be advocating on behalf of the residents, businesses, and property owners who support Friends of White Flint, and it’s critical that we know what you think about this preliminary White Flint 2 plan.
The main points.
The Planning Department was careful to repeatedly note that the White Flint 2 plan is a part of a larger area and needs to connect sensibly and attractively with Twinbrook, the City of Rockville’s Route 355 Plan, and White Flint 1.
The plan promotes the transformation of single use commercial shopping centers into mixed-use places along Rockville Pike, integrates new residential and non-residential uses in the Executive Boulevard office park, promotes mixed-use neighborhood centers at Loehmann’s Plaza and Randolph Hills Shopping Center, and retains existing multi-family residential development and light industrial properties. Providing affordable housing and preserving light industrial space are important components of the WF2 plan.
The plan hopes to provide adequate transitions between new development and existing neighborhoods through appropriate building heights and development intensities and promote new pedestrian and bikeways between existing residential communities and new mixed-use development.
Zoning will change as illustrated in the slide below.
Executive Blvd will have both employee office (EOF) and mixed used (CR/CRT) zones. The CR/CRT zones are close to Pike and Rose and Old Georgetown Road. Federal Plaza and Montrose Crossing will stay zoned CR and CRT. By the light industrial area, there are zones for some office buildings. Loehman’s Plaza remains zoned CR, and Randolph Hills Shopping Center is zoned CRT. Building height will be lower when property nears residential areas and zoom up to 200′ in the CR zones.
There are two possible sites for an elementary school: the combined Wilgus and Wilco properties near Executive Blvd and Rocking Horse Elementary. The Planning Dept continues to work with MCPS on the school sites issue and awaits the MCPS Superintendent’s decision regarding the WJ Cluster Roundtable options.
The plan includes green and open space, including urban plazas, tree-lined paths, and an expanded community garden. Some suggested spaces in the plan are: a linear park along Montrose Parkway, urban parks at both Loehmann’s Plaza and Randolph Hill Shopping Center, pocket parks along Executive Blvd., a green urban park at Montrose Crossing, and a park-like space at Federal Plaza.
There are many environmental sustainability recommendations in the plan for storm water management, preservation of the tree canopy, and promoting environmentally friendly design.
In terms of connectivity, the plan extends the White Flint 1 Rockville Pike Boulevard concept through White Flint 2 to the City of Rockville border and includes BRT. The plan continues and expands the street grid from White Flint 1 to encourage drivers to use roads other than Rockville Pike to get around. The plan also increases the CLV standard in White Flint 2 to 1600, up from 1550. (Critical Lane Volume (CLV): The sum of traffic volumes that cross at a single point.) There is also a plan to re-align Randolph and Parklawn to form a typical squared-off intersection.
A network of bikeways are part of the plan as outlined in the Bicycle Master Plan and shown below.
Phew. That’s my summary. You can view the whole presentation here, and you might want to do that since I didn’t include everything proposed by the Planning Department in this blog post. Also, please note that we’ve given just the facts as presented by the Planning Dept without comment. Our ability to evaluate the plan begins with you. Please let us know what the Planning Department got right and got wrong. What do you like? What do you want to change? Give us your thoughts via firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-980-3768