The Montgomery County Planning Board has been working on the White Flint Sector Plan for three years, but it looks like we are reaching the end of this phase. Tomorrow, at its next meeting, the Planning Board is scheduled to take up the White Flint Plan for what may be the final time. The Board may approve the Plan for transmittal to the County Executive and County Council; the Executive will comment on the Plan and the Council will hold hearings on the Plan before deciding whether and how to proceed.
The schedule for tomorrow is jam-packed, with the West Gaithersburg “Life Sciences Center” Plan up first; Montgomery County is home to a burgeoning biotechnology industry and the new plan is designed to respond to those developments. The West Gaithersburg Plan is not without controversy, and the morning may feature fireworks unrelated to White Flint.
The White Flint Plan is third on the substantive schedule, just before lunch, with the new CR Zones after lunch. It is unlikely that the Board will have much time to deal with details, although some contentious issues remain, such as the language on location of a proposed new elementary school. Indeed, one prediction is that the Board will take less than an hour on the White Flint Plan. But others suggest that the Board, given its intense attention to detail in the past, may work into the lunch hour if there are further questions about the White Flint Plan.
Why the need for speed? Commissioner John Robinson, who has been an integral and active part of the White Flint development process, is leaving the Board after tomorrow’s hearing; this will be his final chance to work on the White Flint Plan.
Stay tuned. I’ll try to live blog from the hearing, though with all the hubbub, that may not work.