White Flint 2 moves forward -- Gazette.Net


The White Flint community will begin offering input about changes to an area south of Rockville as county planners draft a plan for mapping the area’s future.

The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday approved a scope of work for White Flint 2, a plan area on both east and west of the CSX train tracks.

A scope of work states the issues addressed in a sector plan, describes tasks and resources that will be used in the plan and addresses how the community will contribute to the process.

The plan area addresses gaps in land use, zoning and transportation recommendations for properties between the White Flint and Twinbrook sector plans.

The areas are going through large-scale transformations. In 2011, county planners approved three developments nearby along Rockville Pike that will bring thousands of new residences, office space, stores and a hotel.

A proposal to develop White Flint Mall into a village-like setup, including office, retail and residential space is under review.

The White Flint 2 plan area falls into three areas: north of Montrose Parkway, along Rockville Pike to the Rockville city limits; east of the CSX rail tracks to Rocking Horse Road; and west of Hoya Street along Executive Boulevard and East Jefferson Street to the Rockville city limits, according the sector plan.

Now, the planning area includes retail and office buildings, industrial and institutional uses and some multi-family and single family residential areas.

White Flint 2 will address the need for transportation infrastructure since traffic congestion has become a problem. Annual average daily traffic on Rockville Pike, a road stretching through the White Flint 2 plan area, is 53,352 cars.

Additional residences will require a new elementary school in the Walter Johnson cluster, according to the plan.

Mixed-use development in areas where zoning now limits or prohibits it will be considered, too.

The planning area, too, proves interesting due to a split down the middle, said Perry Berman, a senior associate with commercial real estate provider Scheer Partners.

“The people on one side of the CSX tracks might have a different perspective on their land use ... than the other side,” he said.

Berman also noted the scope of work proved vague because planners don’t quite know yet what they’re getting into.

The planning board supported a general approach.

Paula Bienenfeld, a neighborhood resident, spoke out Thursday against the indeterminate wording of the scope of work.

“Please be aware that citizens are more concerned about the substance than they are about the design,” Bienenfeld said to planning board members.

Montgomery County Planning Board staff will review a draft plan in January. The Montgomery County Council will review the document in October 2013. The process implement the plan by summer 2014.