What you missed at yesterday’s PHED WF2 Worksession

What you missed at yesterday’s PHED WF2 Worksession

While you were at work, we were at yesterday afternoon’s County Council PHED Committee (Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee) worksession on White Flint 2.  Here’s what transpired:


The planning board recommended that CR and CRT zoned residential space should have a 15% rate of MPDUs (Moderately Priced Dwelling Units) as opposed to the standard 12.5% rate. There was quite a lot of discussion on this recommendation, though there was agreement that a school site would be the first public amenity priority and 15% MPDU would be the second public amenity priority. After much discussion, it was decided to circle back to this issue at a future worksession.

Nancy Floreen asked why the planning board thinks rents in White Flint 2 will be high enough to support a 15% rate and noted there is no data to support or refute that statement. She also suggested there might be a different MPDU standard for the eastern and western sides of White Flint 2.

Hans Reimer wants 15% MPDUs to be the standard if no school site is provided.

George Leventhal was concerned about equity with White Flint 1 which has a 12.5% rate and requested council staff to investigate how a 15% rate might be imposed on future White Flint 1 projects.

Casey Anderson testified that the master plan and case law allows the planning board to press property owners for a 15% MPDU rate in exchange for increased density and height.

Gwen Wright noted that the planning board does not want White Flint 2 development to leapfrog White Flint 1 development and doesn’t think the 2.5% difference would have an impact on financing for redevelopment projects.

Specific Property Zoning

The committee agreed that the zoning suggested by the planning board for the following properties was appropriate:

Wilco property on Executive Blvd.

Peel properties on Executive Blvd.

Rockville Pike North District

Federal Plaza

Charles E. Smith/JCC/Hebrew Home properties

Verizon property

Georgetown Park area

Montrose Crossing

Loehman’s Plaza

Rocking Horse Center

The committee discussed changes to the zoning for the following properties:

Morgan Apartments is devising a plan to increase affordable housing and density, This plan will be presented to the committee at a later date.

Cherrington is in talks with the property owner of the Wilgus site to reach a compromise, so the Wilgus property was tabled until a later date

Guardian received its requested 2.5 FAR.

Parklawn South/Randolph Hills section of the plan started a lengthy discussion about Light Industrial (IL) zoning. Hans Reimer advocated for keeping light industrial as a needed space for the county.  Council staff also made retaining IL spaces a priority.  Nancy Navarro advocated for the ability to transform the IL spaces into mixed-use spaces rather than forcing residents on the east side of the plan to be stuck only with industrial space. Nancy Floreen suggested using the Twinbrook overlay as a starting point for coming up with a solution.  Gwen Wright suggested an experimental overlay zone that opened the Randolph Hills shopping center to mixed-use redevelopment.  This discussion was tabled until potential solutions could be sussed out.

The next PHED committee worksession will be held Monday, October 30.


Amy Ginsburg


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