Council Votes Yes on White Flint 2 and Grosvenor-Strathmore Plans

After more than two years of public meetings, planning board hearings, PHED committee work sessions, and council hearings, at yesterday’s County Council meeting, the council voted yes for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan with an 8 to 1 vote.  (Mark Elrich Elrich said he voted against the White Flint plan because he thought the affected area was located too far from the Metro station to be reasonably considered a “transit-oriented development.”)  As you no doubt know, since we’ve been working on, advocating for, and writing about the White Flint 2 plan for many years, White Flint 2 is a bow-tie shaped, 460-acre area west, east, and north of the White Flint 1 plan.

The County Council also passed unanimously the Grosvenor-Strathmore Minor Area Master Amendment Plan.

 

 

 

White Flint 2 Plan Summary Courtesy of the WFDAC

Courtesy of Nkosi Yearwood’s discussion at yesterday morning’s White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee, here is a short (relatively short) summary of the White Flint 2 Plan.  If you want to read the full plan, please click here. This PowerPoint presentation to the Planning Board is a more easily-digested version of the plan.

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Land Use and Zoning:

White Flint 2 development is not as intense as White Flint 1 development.  The maximum allowed height in parts of White Flint 1 is 300′ while in White Flint 2 the proposed maximum height is 200′.

For example, the plan proposes that the Willco property on Executive Boulevard has a maximum height of 200′ with a 2.5 FAR. On the southern part of Executive Boulevard, the plan proposes a lower height and a 2.0 FAR. (The floor area ratio (FAR) is the relationship between the total amount of usable floor area that a building has, or has been permitted for the building, and the total area of the lot on which the building stands. This ratio is determined by dividing the total, or gross, floor area of the building by the gross area of the lot.)

Mobility:

In White Flint 2, in-fill development and the CSX tracks thwart a great deal of new roads. There will be some new streets that break up mega-blocks on East Jefferson, Route 355, and Montrose Road.

The plan recommends a  feasibility analysis for determining the best place for a MARC station.

The plan suggests protected bike lanes on East Jefferson and Executive Boulevard.

Affordable Housing:

In addition to encouraging 15% MPDUs for new buildings, the plan recommends retaining older multi-family developments that provide market rate affordable housing.

Parks and Open Spaces:

The plan recommends that redeveloping properties include park and open space from one-half to one acre.

On the Wilgus property, the plan suggest that the undeveloped area between Montrose Parkway, Montrose Road and Towne Road retain some of the wooded area.

Community Facilities:

Because there are so many community facilities in the White Flint 1 plan, there are fewer in the White Flint 2 plan.

The plan recommends a new elementary school, and suggests either utilizing Rocking Horse Center for the school or building a new school on four acres at either the Wilgus or Willco properties

Staging:

There are three distinct phases in the plan.

The recommended mode share goals are lower than in the White Flint 1 plan because of the distance from transit.

The plan includes implementing a circulator/shuttle bus and building the second White Flint  metro entrance as part of the staging requirements.

Financing:

The Planning Staff left the door open for dialogue with the Council and County Executive about financing.  The plan suggest there could be some expansion of the tax district or there could be other funding mechanisms.

 

 

 

Public Hearing on White Flint 2 Plan in Thursday

The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a hearing on the draft White Flint 2 Sector Plan next Thursday, January 12, beginning at 6:05 pm. The board is seeking residents’ input on the draft plan. If you want to testify, click here to sign up; you can sign up until 4 pm the day before the hearing. Be sure to check the online agenda the day of the meeting for any changes.

Incorporating the terrific input provided by community members at our meeting last week as well as the insightful comments of our board members, Friends of White Flint is preparing its testimony on the White Flint 2 draft plan which our executive director, Amy Ginsburg, will present at the public hearing.  We will also post the testimony on this blog.

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Not testifying or attending? You can follow it live via live Web-cast or audio-stream. In addition, a recording of the meeting will be available online after the meeting.

A drum roll, please. Here’s the White Flint 2 Sector Plan Working/Staff Draft

The Planning Department has released the White Flint 2 Sector Plan Working/Staff Draft. Frankly, I (FoWF Executive Director Amy Ginsburg) am still making my way through the 96-page plan. It’s long, it’s complex, and it’s mostly interesting. You can read or skim the plan by clicking here. Our goal is to publish a summary of the plan at some point soon, but I must admit, a detailed 96-page plan will not have a short, quick, or easy summary.

The Planning Board Public Hearing on this plan is Thursday, December 15. More information will be posted on the White Flint 2 web page regarding the public hearing. However, this Thursday afternoon, staff will present the plan to the Planning Board.  You can watch it live through the Planning Board website, if you’re curious to hear what the staff has to say.

Happy reading!