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Briggs: I don’t see a shovel turning ground within two years.

Posted on by Barnaby Zall

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Live-blogging from June 18, 2009, worksession #13 of the Montgomery County Planning Board; topic is implementation requirements and staging. Streaming video is available at www.montgomerycountyplanning.org.

Pre-requisites: Chairman Hanson: the Board must establish an Advisory Committee and monitoring program. The question here is whether we want this to happen or not? Don, will you come up here please and discuss this?

Don Briggs, Federal Realty, our issue is that we’ve waited 3 years for a Master Plan. I don’t see this funding mechanism and all the details being done by May next year such that the private sector will spend significant money on site approvals. We wouldn’t spend that money without knowing where it was going. You want to incentivize all parties to come to a conclusion, but there’s no way that will happen by May next year. Robinson: if funding mechanism gets in place, it applies to everyone. Briggs: I don’t see a shovel turning ground within two years.

Hanson: working on this three years. From the first day, we all agreed there must be a funding mechanism. Problem has been that we’ve been talking to Executive since November, and thus far our agreement is that there must be a funding mechanism. It’d sure be nice. I don’t see a funding mechanism on the horizon without a hammer on it. If we’re not going to fund the transportation infrastructure and the transformation of Rockville Pike that’s essential to the Plan, then we’ve got no plan. We’re just spinning our wheels.

Cmsnr Alfandre: hammer must be in the hands of the negotiators, public-private partnership. Cmsnr Presley: do you agree with TIF? Briggs: Special assessment and TIF are probably right. Qualify that if the Executive makes a CIP commitment that these will be available in the first stage, we’d be satisfied with that. Cmsnr Cryor: We’d all like that, but it won’t happen. Briggs: our requirements for commitments are not extraordinary.

Cryor: only two reasons to improve community and improve the economic base, but if you destroy the quality of life here because it’s too dense, then there’s no point in doing it. We need to know that the Executive is as committed to this as we area. I keep hearing that he’s sliding away from that. I don’t to hear that. Briggs: I’m not sliding away from it. We have a capital problem the way we’ve identified the capital problem. We’ve got a plan that implements the vision we’ve come up with 3 years ago. But it’s unrealistic to expect this all to come through within twelve months. We, both public and private side, have to work on making this happen. This timeline is too strict. 18 or 24 months from the time this is adopted, that keeps the hammer on but gives us the time needed. What you are removing by making this a pre-requisite is the ability of people to move forward before then. Presley: but we’re guessing six months out. I like making it pre-requisites because a lot of people with interests become lobbyists.

Hanson: what about 12 months from adoption of sectional map concepts for the public entities? Robinson: limits methods of exaction. But I’d agree. Hanson: we have a decision.

Gary Stith, from County Executive’s Office: Executive is not saying he’s opposed; he is working on this.

Cryor: Advisory Committee “ensuring”? Hanson: they should recommend actions by the Planning Board and the Council. That’s what advisory groups do.

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