What happened at last week’s marathon White Flint 2 work session

What happened at last week’s marathon White Flint 2 work session

During a 3 1/2 hour work session (yes, you read that correctly– it was a long but productive session), the planning staff and board as well as property owners and community members discussed the following Executive Boulevard, Parklawn South, and Montrose North District issues:

Pickford Properties

Everyone was in agreement that the idea of building residences on top of light industrial was a novel one that should be pursued and executed.  The question is how to zone the Pickford Property on Parklawn Drive so that no new zone-types are created yet still allow for this innovative development.  Planning staff was charged with figuring out the appropriate zoning.

Wilco Property

The Planning Staff recommends that the 21-acre Wilco property on Executive Boulevard next to Pike and Rose be zoned at 2.5 FAR with a height of 200′. The developer is requesting a higher FAR.  The office buildings currently on the property would remain, and the property owner would infill new development. The board split 2 to 2 over the question of increasing the FAR to 3.0 and will take a final vote when there is a new Planning Board member.

Guardian Property

The staff recommends a height limit of 150′ for this property on Executive Boulevard. The developer is fine with that except they would like a 200′ height for the building at the corner of Executive Boulevard and Old Georgetown Road. Guardian asserts it is the architectural gateway to Executive Boulevard and topographically sits 30′ lower than the Pallas apartment building.

Guardian also wants to build a 150-unit senior living center at the part of the property that faces the stream. There was a long discussion about whether the staff-recommended 75′ buffer of woods is essential between that building and the homes in Luxmanor. The developer said that a 50′ buffer would still permit the construction of the senior living center, and there seemed to be consensus around the 50′ buffer.

Executive Boulevard South

There was quite a long conversation about whether or not to increase density and change the zoning from EOF to CR/CRT for the properties at the bend in Executive Boulevard.  Chair Casey Anderson told developers that if they want commercial-residential zoning, they need to show the board what they’ll do with such a zoning. Casey also suggested that it might make sense to have an overall limit of residential units on Executive Boulevard, and whoever builds first would get that residential capacity.  This would help prevent overburdening schools and the infrastructure with too many residential units.

Wilgus Property

Trees, woods and green space dominated the discussion about the Wilgus Property on Montrose Parkway. The developer talked about how he wanted to build affordable housing, which he believes the county needs more than a narrow three-acre forest. Arborists testified that the forest strip has much decay and disturbance and is full of tulip poplars, apparently not a prized tree. (The things one learns at a White Flint 2 work session.) Cherrington advocated for keeping the strip of forest behind their townhomes.  The board decided it preferred having a large, activated park on the main Wilgus Property and decided to allow townhomes to be built behind the Cherrington townhouses, replacing the strip of woods. The board asked the property owner to come back with a new design that included a large, activated park.

Schools

It was noted that large properties in White Flint 2 may very well need to have a school site on their property. Casey said that FAR could be tied to the school site.

The next White Flint 2 work session will be held on June 8.

Amy Ginsburg

Website:

5 comments

Alexandra Katz

I would really like to know why the montrose north property is a poor choice for park. We have NO REAL GREEN SPACE anywhere near these residential areas. The bike trail is so loud from the parkway traffic. What happened to the focus of this rezoning project? Was this just to green light what the developers want? Booooo. Sounds like the county cares more about development tax dollars than reinvesting in their residents and families. We need green space to raise our kids in healthy environments for play and for activity. We don’t need a concrete jungle where I have to drive to get to a park. Especially when the commissioners want to triple density and shrink road sizes Bc they want more bike usage. Seriously, I don’t know how this math works Bc it does not add up to me. I am SO disappointed.

Ken Kopczyk

Are higher resolution images of this available? Specifically the image of the “Pickford Concept” on page 10 of the deck?

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