Montgomery council approves White Flint Sector Plan
Plan calls for 9,800 new residences over the next 30 years
The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday approved the White Flint Sector Plan, which will govern growth in the area around the White Flint Metro and calls for 9,800 new residences and nearly 6 million square feet of commercial space over the next 30 years.
Montgomery County Planning Board Chairman Royce Hanson said the plan's approval represented the county's decision to focus on creating more urban development in already existing residential and commercial centers, instead of creating more suburbs.
"You are moving the planning paradigm in the county," Hanson told the council.
Though the council unanimously approved the plan, which has broad support from civic groups, several outstanding issues remain, including the location for a new elementary school and how to fund an estimated $1 billion for several key elements, such as the school, transit and road improvements. One option is a special taxing district.
Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist.1) of Potomac introduced an amendment to the White Flint resolution that would require the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission to review traffic conditions and present an analysis and potential transportation projects to improve any inadequate roads to the council every two years. The amendment passed 9-0.
Residents who have worked alongside planners and developers during the process also expressed support after Tuesday's meeting.
"I think the fact that we are changing an auto dominated culture, an area that's covered with asphalt, into a pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented area it's an innovation," said Barnaby Zall, co-chairman of the Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit that represents residents, businesses and property owners. "It's something that a lot of people have been talking about across the country and we're actually going to try it here, and that's exciting."
Staff Writer Erin Donaghue contributed to this report.