Live blogging from March 19, 2009, meeting of the Montgomery County Planning Board. Topic is presentations of property owners and developers on the projects they project building in the new White Flint. Meeting is running substantially behind agenda schedule, and there’s no telling how long this portion of the meeting will be extended. They are only half-way through the planned property presentations, and are already almost an hour overlong.
Alfandre: what about a housing development around Strathmore. How do your culture, commerce and conference work together “spatially?” Why will anybody walk from that mall? Why would people walk from Executive Blvd anywhere? David Kitchens: we need to decide if we’re going to ride the Mall horse, or the Main Street horse? Alfandre: other than transportation, nothing has jumped out from any of these plans that make the Pike the Champs d’Elyse. Kitchens: that’s not a retail block. We suffer in our culture from thinking busy streets are nasty streets. Walking in Paris along busy streets. Alfandre: but so many gaps, so many gaps along Rockville Pike. Doesn’t have the fine grain for what we need. Done a better job of presenting a real place than the Collaborative; extraordinary undertaking to do a lot of good things to make this master plan do all these good things. But they are not working collaboratively to make it a real place. For a lot of good reasons. if you want to to get changes in how we incentivize and make exactions, we need to rethink in WF in order to get a great place. So far the Collaborative has to work together other than just financially. To make this master plan work as a place. Could end up being much better. the sum ought to be better than the parts. Help us figure out where the neighborhoods are and should be.
Breuer: it has to be a joint effort. devoting an amazing amount of time and money to doing that.
Alfandre: what is the sacrifice we need to make to make that kind of change. Private sector is willing to make sacrifices, but we’re not getting there yet. These worksessions are getting us there. This is really good stuff, you can’t get it at ULI or other conferences. Tie some of the separate projects together.
Hanson: probably better to schedule another session than to rush through the rest. We’ll take as many worksessions as we need. it’s terribly important to get it right. Get as many interests as possible on board when we send it to Council. So we have a substantial group harmony, and would like to see if we can achieve that. We will get to everybody.