The June 8th White Flint 2 work session was a short meeting (relatively speaking) but a productive one. Nkosi Yearwood was unable to complete his presentation, so look for a part-two for this work session in the near future.
First, Chair Casey Anderson invited various developers, lawyers, and community members to speak.
Wendy Calhoun of the Walter Johnson cluster requested clear responsibilities, hard caps, hard stops, and dedicated and/or reserved land for a middle school.
Steve Silverman, representing several Executive Boulevard property owners, said that they were not unalterably opposed to a taxing district but needed more information and conversation about what will be funded via this tax and when it will get funded. He also requested more details about the staging requirements; since they are hard stops, they need quite detailed definition.
Francois Carrier said that land for a school should not be put in reservation if it’s not clear that it will ever be used for a school and reiterated Steve’s concerns about staging, specifically questioning what defines a shuttle. She also advocated for above ground parking if it’s disguised, although she agreed that below grade parking should be encouraged.
Barbara Sears requested a 2.75 FAR for the Wilco property, suggesting anything over a 2.5 FAR would need to have a public benefit attached to it. The board agreed with this.
Other people, board members, and planning staff discussed the overlay zone for the Light Industrial area. They like the concept of the overlay zone but determined it needs refining by the planning staff.
Allen Kronstadt said the community wants a town center at Randolph Hills. He also said the industrial property market has moved to the upper county and Beltsville.
Steve Robbins and Matt Leiken said the Pickford property wants greater residential FAR. Casey said he wants one to one replacement of industrial space. Staff said they didn’t want to cannibalize White Flint 1.
Jay Corbalis said FRIT was doing an engineering study for a low cost second entrance to Metro. He said Federal Realty was opposed to a school site on Montrose Crossing and suggested the SHA parking lot for a school site since it is already owned by the government.
During Nkosi Yearwood’s presentation, he said the overlay covers all IL zones. Casey suggested the overlay could be the interim step to further clarification of the industrial/residential zone to ensure industrial space doesn’t get wiped out.
Planning staff reminded everyone that any major project in White Flint 2 will require an exploration of the opportunity for a school site. Casey said that every property in the sector should be involved in the school site and said that choosing a site in the master plan ties everyone’s hands.