Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Montgomery County creates White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee

It's no great secret that the White Flint North Flintville area of Montgomery County is booming. With several massive mixed use developments currently under development and several more in the near-term pipeline, the area is going to change immensely over the next five to ten years. A drastic uptick in density and commercial activity means that north Flintville is changing, and in this blogger's meager opinion, that change is undoubtedly for the better.

However, how that change occurs, and ensuring that the changes are truly beneficial to nearby residents, is an ongoing concern for the County. After all, you don't want such drastically evolutionary change occuring without also ensuring that area residents, businesses and stakeholders have provided appropriate input that has been received and responded to.

it is with this in mind that the County recently announced the formation of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee. According to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center:
The Committee will advise County departments on public services in the White Flint Sector Plan Area; and coordinate community activities that promote and advance business interests, and a sense of place, community, maintenance and walkability within the Area. The Committee will also advise and make recommendations to the County Executive and County Council on the feasibility and timing for the establishment of the Urban District in White Flint no later than September 2017. The Committee will provide an annual report to the County Executive and County Council.

County Commissioner Ike Leggett (D) is seeking to fill eight vacancies on the Commission: three representatives of commercial property owners in the Sector Plan Area; two representatives of businesses that employ fewer than 25 employees; two representatives of residential communities in the Sector Plan Area, and one representative in or outside of the Sector Plan Area. In addition, according to the Regional Services Center, the Committee "will also include two members nominated by the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce; one representative who is a member of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board; and three ex-officio, non-voting members representing the County Executive, County Council, and North Bethesda Transportation Management District."

The White Flint Sector Plan was created in March 2010 following years of diligent, difficult work on teh part of amny in the community. According to the Montgomery County Planning Commission's website, the Sector Plan was designed and implemented with the following aims in mind:
  • Create thriving, diverse mixed use center with highest intensity closest to Metro and along Rockville Pike
  • Create new parks and open spaces
  • Transform Rockville Pike into a boulevard with street trees and improved crosswalks
  • Develop a transportation network that includes a grid of new public streets
  • Improve the pedestrian and bicycling environment
  • Promote sustainable development
The full plan can be downloaded and accessed here.

Members of the Advisory Committee will serve staggered three year terms. Those interested in being considered for positions on the Board can find more information on the County's website.

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