Archives November 2020

Latest on Lord & Taylor

From Store Reporter

The endless going-out-of-business sale

Lord & Taylor has been going out of business since August, but the White Flint store is still fully stocked with discounted clothes, shoes, jewelry, bedding and gifts. In fact, we’ve see quite a few items that you wouldn’t expect to find at Lord & Taylor: shirts from J.Crew and Talbot’s, a case full of used designer handbags, even a newly opened rug gallery. That’s because a third-party company is running Lord & Taylor’s liquidation sales and filling all the empty floor space with outside merchandise. There are definitely bargains to be had, but all sales are final — so make sure to do your homework before you buy. For a look at what’s in stock, check out Store Reporter on Facebook and Instagram.

Forbes also did a nice article about the demise of Lord & Taylor.

Council Vote on the Update to the Subdivision Staging Policy Expected by November 16

Below is some information on the progress of the update to the Subdivision Staging Policy at the Montgomery County Council. We still have a few more Council work sessions to go before the update is approved and adopted by November 16, 2020.
In the meantime, the County Council has taken many straw votes reflecting major policy changes, including:

  • Eliminating the Housing Moratorium countywide.
  • Utilization Premium Payments (UPP). Establishing three tiers of UPPs at 105 percent, 120 percent and 135 percent utilization, including seat deficit thresholds along with the utilization thresholds. The Council has not yet decided the payment amounts associated with the different tiers.
  • Use of UPP Funds. Requiring that UPP revenue be spent on any project that alleviates overutilization at the school for which the funds are collected. The projects would have to be at the same school level that adds capacity.
  • Four-Year Projections. The Annual School Test will evaluate projected school utilization four years into the future using certain school utilization adequacy standards.
  • Utilization Report. The Annual School Test will include a utilization report that will provide a countywide analysis of utilization at each school level as well as utilization trends for each individual school.
  • Calculating Student Generation Rates. Analyzing all single-family units and multifamily units built since 1990 to calculate countywide and School Impact Area student generation rates. Low-rise and high-rise multifamily units will remain distinct structure types for the purposes of evaluation and impact taxes.
  • MCPS Participation on DRC. Extending MCPS’s role on the Development Review Committee (DRC) to include providing comment on the application’s impact on schools (currently MCPS’s role is limited to discussions around dedicating land for schools).
  • Retesting at APF Validity Extension. Requiring that a development application be retested for school infrastructure adequacy when an applicant requests an extension of their Adequate Public Facilities validity period, with a limitation that only requires the retest if the application’s unbuilt units are estimated to generate more than 10 students.
  • School Impact Tax Discount for 3-Bedroom Units. Providing a 40 percent discount on school impact taxes to multifamily units with 3 bedrooms in Infill Impact Areas.
  • Large Home Surcharge. Eliminating the current school impact tax surcharge on residential units larger than 3,500 square feet.
  • Enterprise Zones. Eliminating the impact tax exemption for former Enterprise Zones.
  • Opportunity Zones. Exempting development in Opportunity Zones from all impact taxes. The Council also supported the City of Rockville’s request to not include their Opportunity Zone in the exemption.
  • 25 percent Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs). The impact tax exemption on market rate units for projects providing 25 percent MPDUs is limited to amount of the applicable school  impact tax in the Infill Impact Areas and the applicable transportation impact tax in the Red Policy Areas.
  • Net Impact Basis. Impact taxes will continue to be applied on a net impact basis, providing a credit for any residential units demolished.

Work sessions are expected to continue through next week. The policy must be adopted by November 16.

Local Voting Results (although these are not final results)

Board of Education

District 2
Michael Fryar – 39.4%
Rebecca Smondrowski (Incumbent) – 59.8%
District 4
Shebra Evans (Incumbent) – 66.2%
Steve Solomon – 33.2%
At-Large
Suni Dasgupta – 45.8%
Lynne Harris – 53%

Judge

Circuit Court – Judicial Court 6
Vote for up to 4
Bibi M. Berry (Incumbent) – 23%
David A. Boynton (Incumbent) – 21.1%
Christopher C. Fogleman (Incumbent) – 20.1%
Michael Joseph McAuliffe (Incumbent) – 20.8%
Marylin Pierre – 14.4%
Thomas P. Johnson III
Court of Appeals – Circuit 7
For continuance in office
Mary Ellen Barbera – Yes – 90.7% / No – 9.3%

Ballot Questions

Question A – Charter Amendment by Act of County Council Property Tax Limit – Limit Tax Rate Increases

  • For – 62.4%
  • Against – 37.6%

Question B – Charter Amendment by Petition – Property Tax Limit – Prohibit Override

  • For  – 41.6%
  • Against – 58.4%

Question C – Charter Amendment by Act of County Council – County Council – Increase to 11 Councilmembers

  • For – 61.5%
  • Against – 38.5%

Question D – Charter Amendment by Petition – County Council – Alter Council Composition to 9 Districts

  • For – 41.6%
  • Against – 58.4%

Please join us Thursday November 19, 7 to 8 pm

Friends of White Flint is hosting an online community meeting on Thursday, November 19 from 7 to 8 pm that promises to be both interesting and informative.

Walker Freer and Atul Sharma of the Planning Department will update us on their Advancing the Pike District initiative, which includes an extension of the Trolley Trail, pedestrian improvements, and placemaking. They will also give a brief presentation on some fascinating data from the passage of the White Flint sector plan in 2010 through today.

So grab a beverage and a snack and join our online community meeting November 19 at 7pm. Register at https://cutt.ly/FOWFNov19

Trail Improvement Project at Wall Park

Montgomery Parks will start an improvement project at Wall Local Park. The project will start in late October and will take several weeks to complete. This work will interrupt trail access. As part of the project, we will be installing interpretive signs to direct traffic to the Josiah Henson Museum and Special Park.

This project will renovate the trail in Wall Local Park, located at the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Nicholson Lane in North Bethesda. The intent of the project is to make the trail ADA accessible from the parking lot to the Nicholson Lane entrance and to enhance the trail with interpretive and wayfinding signage, and with decorative pavers from donors to the Josiah Henson Museum & Park. There are two retaining walls at the Nicholson Lane entrance that need repair. The project will renovate this access point with new retaining walls, special paving, and a concrete walkway to create a more visible pedestrian entrance to the park and the parking lot.