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
Charles E. Smith/JCC/Hebrew Home properties
Georgetown Park area
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.