Greater Greater Washington

Development


With White Flint, Montgomery gets another Bethesda

The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved the White Flint Sector Plan yesterday, authorizing a new walkable, mixed-use district like Bethesda, Rockville and Silver Spring.

Today, the area of Rockville Pike from the White Flint Mall to Randolph Road is an unbroken chain of strip malls and huge parking lots centered on a Metro station. These strip malls serve many of the shopping needs of Montgomery residents, but could continue to do so in a more walkable form while adding substantial office space and 9,600 new residents who don't need to drive to reach stores, transit, or jobs.


Left: White Flint area today. Right: Proposed grid and building heights.

Councilmember Roger Berliner, whose district includes White Flint, wrote,

When you look at the area today, it is hard not be struck by the large amount of asphalt found in the strip malls and surface parking lots. Asphalt is not the highest and best use of this incredibly important real estate. We need less "impervious surfaces" and more trees.

The White Flint Sector Plan will provide both. It will transform the proliferation of surface parking lots into a greener, more vibrant network of mixed use development that will produce vast improvements in stormwater management and overall water quality to the benefit of our local watersheds like Rock Creek.

Streetscaping and street trees, along with other environmental incentives in the Commercial/Residential Zone (CR Zone) will also help to reduce CO2 emissions and absorb some of the heat produced in urban areas. In fact, it is the goal of the plan to double the tree canopy.

The plan calls for 2,600 affordable housing units, parks and plazas, daycares, hotels, retail, a conference center, walking and bicycling trails, and more. Under the new, innovative CR zone, developers must provide one of a menu of different amenities in exchange for maximizing their density to that allowed under the plan. Buildings can reach 30 stories in the central area right around the Metro station, tapering down to much lower maximums toward the edges.

Rockville Pike will become more of an urban boulevard, accommodating bus rapid transit and becoming more hospitable to pedestrians and cyclists. The adjoining parcels will get a street grid, taking some traffic off the Pike. Even so, the County Council had to grapple with existing traffic modeling rules that prioritize vehicle throughput and don't adequately consider the effects of side streets. County Executive Ike Leggett and his transportation officials also advised against any changes that inconvenience drivers.

Berliner said,

The White Flint Sector Plan is also predicated upon a deepening commitment to mass transit and calls for a new MARC station on Nicholson Court and the transformation of Rockville Pike into a lovely grand boulevard that will include state-of-the-art bus rapid transit.

The plan calls for significant parking restrictions and aggressive mode share goals that will help take cars off the roads; a new street grid which should help diffuse traffic and make it easier to get around the area; and protective measures that will be put in place to prevent cut-through traffic into the neighborhoods surrounding White Flint.

Yesterday's approval isn't the end of the road for White Flint. There are still issues yet to be resolved around the traffic modeling, and the County needs to set up the financing mechanism, including getting buy-in from property owners if they create a special district to pay for the needed infrastructure.

Today, newcomers to DC visit Bethesda and see a lively, thriving area with many stores and restaurants, numerous apartment buildings, attractive streetscapes and cute small alleys, and single-family housing not far away, all atop a Metro station. Only the occasional car dealership or empty lot gives a glimpse back to Bethesda's past when none of that existed. One day not too far in the future, newcomers will exit the Metro at White Flint and similarly see little resemblance to the strip malls of today.

White Flint stands in clear juxtaposition to the other two major development plans under debate, Tysons Corner and Gaithersburg West. In Tysons, Fairfax County is wrestling with the same issues as in White Flint: Conventional traffic modeling says that creating a real city on the scale of downtown DC can't possibly succeed without widening the Toll Road and the Beltway and creating massive traffic sewers around the area. Meanwhile, downtown DC itself stands as living proof against the models. Can Fairfax similarly see past the parking lots and formulas and take the plunge?

Meanwhile, twice as far from the region's core as White Flint and Tysons, Montgomery County is considering a very different plan. Instead of converting a large traffic sewer into a street grid, Gaithersburg West creates more of them with grade-separated interchanges even while assuming unrealistic mode shares. Instead of adding residents and jobs atop a Metro station near many other residents, it proposes disconnected job growth in an area that will force very long commutes, either by private car or by at least two modes of transit.

Montgomery County is turning some of its worst sprawl into real walkable urbanism. Will Fairfax have the courage to do the same? Will Montgomery have the courage not to simply create a larger amount of sprawl as it yesterday voted to replace?

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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30 stories... *swoon*

by Adam L on Mar 24, 2010 11:29 am • linkreport

Define affordable housing. Actually, redefine it so that federal attorneys can afford to buy and not rent somewhere along a Metro line.

And on that note, until Metro functions as intended on a regular and routine basis, few will want to live that far out.

by Redline SOS on Mar 24, 2010 11:37 am • linkreport

@ Redline SOS do you ever stop complaining? Can't you accept this as a victory? Nobody made you be a "federal attorney."

by JMG on Mar 24, 2010 11:44 am • linkreport

This is excellent news. We have been writing about this plan for years now and it's wonderful to see it have explicit County Council support.

Future Montgomery County residents and visitors will be thankful that we made this decision collectively through our elected representatives, just as we are thankful for Bethesda.

by Cavan on Mar 24, 2010 11:48 am • linkreport

Very informative post. I'm glad to see that they're going to turn White Flint into something less garish than it currently is.

Bethesda is an example of how I like suburbia. A nice sort of "small-town" downtown, with lots of nice houses nearby, and some condos and apartments in the downtown. Silver Spring is also pretty good. Still not a fan of Rockville though... the Town Center itself is nice, but Rockville seems like such a big area that the majority of it is still a bunch of ugly strip malls.

by Martin on Mar 24, 2010 11:55 am • linkreport

It's always funny to me that people tend to believe models more than reality.

I guess reality is harder to grasp than a model. Reality has more uncontrollable variables. Yet reality can not be denied. Models can be invalidated. Wow. My head is spinning. Any philosophers or shrinks around he help me figure this one out?

by Jasper on Mar 24, 2010 11:56 am • linkreport

*** 2,600 affordable housing units ***

Will they produce enough in property taxes to pay for the schools and other services that they consume?

I doubt it.

by Taxpayer on Mar 24, 2010 12:05 pm • linkreport

@JMG - Nope, it can always be better and should have been yesterday.

And yes, they did make me be a fed. Biglaw laid off 30K in the last few years and still isn't hiring. I love making 1/3rd of what my fellow grads make and paying most of it to terrible property management companies because DC doesn't have real affordable housing for public servants.

When Metro goes a week without a delay, I'll shut up for a week.

by Redline SOS on Mar 24, 2010 12:06 pm • linkreport

@Redline-

It's your fault and your fault only that you chose the wrong job field. There are laid-off people in this country (around 10%) who would love the job security and benefits of a civil service position with the federal government.

by MPC on Mar 24, 2010 12:27 pm • linkreport

@ Taxpayer: Will they produce enough in property taxes to pay for the schools and other services that they consume?

They will produce the same property taxes as the rest of the county I presume. Can't blame new housing for the deficiencies of laws passed before their existence.

@ Redline: When Metro goes a week without a delay, I'll shut up for a week.

Stop riding metro if it sucks so bad. Oh wait, driving has even more delays.

by Jasper on Mar 24, 2010 12:33 pm • linkreport

Stop riding metro if it sucks so bad. Oh wait, driving has even more delays.

Not really. There are many many commutes in this area where driving is faster. I remember that the Washington Post did a piece a few years ago comparing a transit rider starting at Vienna and a driver starting in the same area. Their task was to get to Capitol Hill. The driver, during rush hour, won pretty easily.

by MPC on Mar 24, 2010 12:44 pm • linkreport

Redline SOS is saying that civil servants, including him/herself, have a difficult time finding adequate housing in DC. Although RedSOS wouldn't want to live in Whiteflint, the project will add more housing in a walkable form and perhaps will relieve pressure on costs in other places. That's the point. Housing in places that are walkable is at a premium. That's why that other plan in MoCo, "science city", is a bad plan.

by Bianchi on Mar 24, 2010 12:54 pm • linkreport

No, he's saying that he can't find housing in neighborhoods where everyone else is the same as him (white). Too bad he's too racist to live with black people. There are plenty of affordable, transit-accessible neighborhoods...

by MPC on Mar 24, 2010 1:01 pm • linkreport

@MPC - I'm Native American and from Detroit. And attorneys are excepted service, we don't have any more job security then the private sector.

So would you care to apologize now or just admit to being a jerk?

by Redline SOS on Mar 24, 2010 1:06 pm • linkreport

No, not really. I myself make 100K a year.

by MPC on Mar 24, 2010 1:08 pm • linkreport

@ MPC: the Washington Post did a piece a few years ago comparing a transit rider starting at Vienna and a driver starting in the same area. Their task was to get to Capitol Hill. The driver, during rush hour, won pretty easily.

Interesting. Did they include the time to find a parking spot? Did they do it once, or actually a few times? One "measurement" is an anecdote, not data.

For me personally, I know I can get from home to work in 40 minutes. If there were no traffic and a parking spot at the end. In real life, when I have taken the car on weekdays, it has taken me up to 2.5-3h (one way). And then there's that absent parking spot. So a 1.5h bus-metro-walk trip suddenly does not feel so bad.

As for Redline's housing comment, I do agree that new developments often end up being high end and hard to afford on an average salary. There's a couple of ways you can look at that.

One is to conclude that urban places are expensive because they are popular and there is little supply and hence the prices go up. Cities should take note and build more, creating more supply and lowering the price that way. MoCo seems to be doing that. Arlington did years ago. Fairfax is trying to. PG and Loundoun opted out. DC is clueless as usual.

Or you can say: Capitalism is at work in your salary and you're simply not good enough to get paid enough to live in a decent area. If you can't get a job in a private firm, there's still the feds for ye, and you deserve a crappy pay. Can't expect other to pay for your lack of ability.

"It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got."

by Jasper on Mar 24, 2010 1:20 pm • linkreport

@Jasper - i think it's the former in this case. And given the building height restrictions in Bethesda, but more importantly, in DC, the prices become overinflated because of regulations. Remove the height restrictions across the river in Anacostia and let developers create another Rosslyn/Bethesda and prices might trend towards moderation.

by Redline SOS on Mar 24, 2010 1:27 pm • linkreport

I certainly hope that this will work. And it's a good thing that the political will seems to be there-- but this is only a start. Creating an 'urban village' in the middle of Rockville Pike will take time, money, patience, and luck. It's worth noting that the first couple of tries for development in Bethesda and Silver Spring weren't great successes. It's too bad that Strathmore Hall is already built-- it would have been a great focal point for development.

by MattF on Mar 24, 2010 1:46 pm • linkreport

@MPC: the Washington Post did a piece a few years ago comparing a transit rider starting at Vienna and a driver starting in the same area. Their task was to get to Capitol Hill. The driver, during rush hour, won pretty easily.

I bet the transit rider got a lot more reading done, though. :)

by oboe on Mar 24, 2010 1:51 pm • linkreport

This is good news but given that the White Flint side of the Red Line is already quite crowded, why don't they put more focus on developing the other side of the Red Line in MoCo? I think Cavan has done a pretty good job at documenting how resistent Wheaton has been to transitioning to a more urban and walkable area, does anyone know why there's movement on one side of the Red Line and not on the other?

by grumpy on Mar 24, 2010 1:54 pm • linkreport

Jasper-

It was a door-to-door measurement.

by MPC on Mar 24, 2010 1:55 pm • linkreport

@ Redline SOS - I finally agree with you. Like Paris has La Defense, DC could have Anacostia.

@ Matt F - I think you are really onto something there about Strathmore Hall. I wonder how much developable land is left around Grovesnor? In the last decade a lot of nice housing has come online in that area, but there is no retail, and nothing besides Strathmore to walk to. I am not saying we should build another Friendship Heights there, but a corner store would be nice.

by JMG on Mar 24, 2010 1:56 pm • linkreport

Re: drive v/s transit, in addition to reading, anybody who can work using a mobile device (Blackberry, iPhone etc) will find that Metro and Bus Rides can be extremely productive times. I'm very comfortable arriving at my tech job at the tail end of the morning rush hour knowing that I can do email etc along the way.

The sad thing is that a number of drivers seem to think they can use their phones along their commutes too.

by HM on Mar 24, 2010 2:07 pm • linkreport

Grumpy, I didn't call Wheaton "resistant." I called the process for writing the new Wheaton Sector Plan "slow." Very different. In the post about my favorite coffee shop closing, I pointed out that the slow process for drafting the Sector Plan indirectly contributed to a small business failure. A majority of Wheaton residents are very much on board for mixed-use zoning because they see the amenities that Silver Spring's revitalization brought in.

Wheaton is a different ballgame than White Flint because it is already an urban place whose super-local economy strikes a very fragile balance that supports both small businesses and a suburban-style shopping mall. Very different from a suburban-to-urban retrofit.

Don't worry though, we really anticipate getting more people and amenities in Wheaton, possibly even before White Flint because we already have the urban appropriate infrastructure.

The key with White Flint was taking advantage of the higher land values there due to its location within the Favored Quarter.

by Cavan on Mar 24, 2010 2:28 pm • linkreport

These stories may be of interest to you. Post to your group or blog and get the info on what's going on in the DC-Metro at NBCWashington.com. Also tune into your local News 4 on NBC tonight for the White Flint story

WHITE FLINT
When it's all said and done, the White Flint section of Montgomery County is going to look a whole lot different. How is this commercial strip of buildings and stores going to be transformed into a grand boulevard? More on this tonight on News4 at 5.

by Mary on Mar 24, 2010 2:39 pm • linkreport

other differences between those who took transit and those who drove: decreased levels of stress hormones circulating in bloodstream; increased levels of physical activity leading to > increased lean/fat mass ratio; increased insulin sensitivity; decreased risk for metabolic syndrome/overweight/obesity/osteoarthritis/osteoporosis/cancer/depression/diabetes/heart disease, etc. and decreased medical expenses for themselves and for their employers' health insurnace. There's also the population level benefit of decreased air pollution leading to decreased ER asthma incidences; decreased water pollution thus decreasing water treatment costs, and decreased importation of oil and decreased pressure to "drill! drill! drill!" off-shore and in nature preserves. All that and more erudite too.

by Bianchi on Mar 24, 2010 2:57 pm • linkreport

White Flint and Science City cannot be compared. Science City has national importance to protect the future of American scientific prominence and provide a stable economic base for Montgomery County for the forseeable future. Science City is paramount to the sucess of the region and the nation. White Flint is less important and revolves around building a new city around a Metro station. It is inevitable that White Flint is to be redeveloped but not comparable to how important Science City is to America. There are however forces pushing against Science City - the ACT/anti-growth movement and other entities that do not have the best interests of Montgomery County in heart. Build Science City!

by Cyrus on Mar 24, 2010 3:17 pm • linkreport

Science City is paramount to the sucess of the region and the nation. heeheehee hahahha

by Bianchi on Mar 24, 2010 3:26 pm • linkreport

Cyrus, you tell funny jokes sometimes.

by Cavan on Mar 24, 2010 3:45 pm • linkreport

@ MPC: It was a door-to-door measurement.

One measurement is no measurement. Means nothing.

by Jasper on Mar 24, 2010 4:43 pm • linkreport

@ Cyrus:Science City has national importance to protect the future of American scientific prominence and provide a stable economic base for Montgomery County for the forseeable future.

That's what all scientific campuses say. Especially before they're built. Very few actually are of national importance. Did you know that the MD Anderson campus in Houston/Galveston is larger than the NIH here in DC? Would closing either one be a blow to health research? Yes. Would health research survive? Of course.

Do not believe the overstated bullhoney that university directors bloat about. It's all very relative.

by Jasper on Mar 24, 2010 4:48 pm • linkreport

See the illustration on the report's page 19- is that a lid atop 355?

by Douglas A. Willinger on Mar 24, 2010 5:23 pm • linkreport

@Jasper - my reverse commute from 4th & Massachusetts NW to an office 4 blocks away from metro in Rosslyn is door-to-door consistently 10 minutes faster by car. I'd venture many commutes are faster by transit but you don't have the right to cop an attitude towards those who share that the car has been faster for them.

by Paul on Mar 24, 2010 5:26 pm • linkreport

I hate those 1 car versus 1 transit commuter comparisons. How about 1000 drivers versus 1000 commuters at rush hour?

by NikolasM on Mar 24, 2010 7:44 pm • linkreport

@Douglas Willinger:
No, it is not a cap. MNCPPC is not proposing anything like that. The dark line is the stop bar for northbound traffic, and lane markings are not shown north of the cross traffic.

by Matt Johnson on Mar 24, 2010 11:47 pm • linkreport

NikolasM: I think that they did that comparison implicitly, since there were already more than 1000 drivers at rush hour. I think that Metro is slower than car for most people, but saves a lot of money for the users and benefits the other drivers. At some point, however, if Metro raises fares too much without increasing service there is less benefit to taking Metro. For me, living just outside downtown Silver Spring, I can drive in 25 min or Metro in 45min (under extraordinary circumstances) or 1-1.5hrs normally. I am paying for an extra 1-2 hours of my life.

by SJE on Mar 24, 2010 11:59 pm • linkreport

Matt Johnson-

Thanks. It certainly looked like a cap though lacking any elevation indications.

On a related note, I would like to see that new 355 Bridge atop the Montrose 'parkway' built out into a circle; thankfully they got the elevations right with that grade seperation project and built something that can be added on to with virtually no demolition.

Also, the depressed 'parkway' configuration ought to be extended east with some air rights development.

by Douglas A. Willinger on Mar 25, 2010 12:05 am • linkreport

Bianch: That's why that other plan in MoCo, "science city", is a bad plan.

Me: Bad plan to your standards but it Will get built.

by tim on Mar 25, 2010 2:09 am • linkreport

Cyrus: White Flint and Science City cannot be compared. Science City has national importance to protect the future of American scientific prominence and provide a stable economic base for Montgomery County for the forseeable future. Science City is paramount to the sucess of the region and the nation. White Flint is less important and revolves around building a new city around a Metro station. It is inevitable that White Flint is to be redeveloped but not comparable to how important Science City is to America. There are however forces pushing against Science City - the ACT/anti-growth movement and other entities that do not have the best interests of Montgomery County in heart. Build Science City!

Me: You are right on target with your observations and to further add to your statement; that after reading these articles(links below) further proves that the main reason there are resistance against "Science City' is the fear that it will make Montgomery County/Suburban Maryland more competitive against Business freindly/Economic wealthy Northern Virginia:

http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/cms/story.php?id=1241

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/30/AR2010013002020.html

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/council/olo/reports/pdf/2010-5.pdf

by tim on Mar 25, 2010 2:24 am • linkreport

A key part of Bethesda's success in transforming itself from an area of surface parking areas and car dealerships was the building of plenty of municipal and private parking garages. Without being able to retain the existing surrounding suburban residents as key participants in this transformation, it's doubtful that the new urban residents alone would have sustained the transformation. And where would the existing folks have gone if they could no longer find parking in Bethesda? ... Well, maybe north to Rockville.

About a year or so ago I remember mentioning that it really wasn't a bad thing that the suburbs had been built as they had because they were key in allowing the rapid expansion that this country experienced in the second half of the 20th century. I'd further mentioned that their current shape wouldn't last forever, that over time they'd meld into new urban centers. It was actually Rockville's Whiteflint / Congressional area that I had in mind ... having already seen much change in those plazas toward an urban model. GGW disagreed with me at the time giving Tysons as an example of how the suburban model made it impossible to go the slow adaptation route that I was pointing out. I'm glad to see that GGW has come to understand that just because Tysons is having difficulties in transforming itself toward urban-ness, doesn't mean that the suburban model isn't a building block to an urban center ... just that Tyson's isn't be successful at it for whatever reasons ...

by Lance on Mar 25, 2010 7:29 am • linkreport

@ paul: you don't have the right to cop an attitude towards those who share that the car has been faster for them.

1) In fact, I do have that right. It's called freedom of expression. It would be blunt and impolite though.

2) I am not using that right, actually. I am just trying to find out whether the comparison was valid. One "measurement" does not count. It means nothing. Two measurements also do not mean anything.

NikolasM understands that for it to mean anything reasonable, you must take a whole bunch of drivers and riders and apply statistics.

I generally believe that driving is faster. Transit is cheaper. And perhaps more relaxing. But I'd like to see hard data on this. That's why I was so happy with Matt J's article a couple days ago.

by Jasper on Mar 25, 2010 9:51 am • linkreport

Haha, the arguments in favor of Science "City" are getting more and more tendentious. Are we really supposed to believe that this crappy office park proposal straight out of the 1980s is somehow key to the survival of our nation?

If we're going down that route I could argue that Science "City" is actually damaging to national security, since it will lock in for decades a transportation mode dependent on the purchase of foreign oil.

by Phil on Mar 25, 2010 10:22 am • linkreport

My gut feeling is that anyplace along Rockville Pike is going to be a lot easier to make a "walkable urban community" than Tyson's corner is going to be.

Tyson's is just suck a disaster. At least Rockville Pike and surrounding roads have sidewalks.

Almost every building on Rockville Pike has a ginormous parking lot on Rockville Pike, and many behind the building too, but most all have a reasonable way to walk to them from a Metro station. Not true at Tysons. And if anything, the current Tysons metro construction makes pedestrian activity doubly dangerous.

by nobody on Mar 25, 2010 10:32 am • linkreport

Why don't they build Science City on the White Flint plan? It's more centrally located and the plan could use an impetus like this.

by Thayer-D on Mar 25, 2010 10:35 am • linkreport

This is a good idea in theory, but the consequences, IMO will far outweigh the benefits...

by Steves on Mar 25, 2010 5:24 pm • linkreport

Security Threat???????

Now I have heard it all now, LOL......

The people that speak against the "Science City" are making up their usual the World is coming to an end scare tactics All just because the thought of Suburban Maryland gaining more upscale high tech employment growth scares them because it would make Suburban Maryland more Competitive and less inferior against business friendly Northern Virginia.

Funny how no one speaks of the "Sky is Falling" doom and gloom scare tactics whenever the plans of building new office parks in Fairfax County, and Loudon County surfaces....

by tim on Mar 25, 2010 8:00 pm • linkreport

Thayer-D: Why don't they build Science City on the White Flint plan? It's more centrally located and the plan could use an impetus like this.

Me: No because it will reduce the number of New Office Buildings going up in Montgomery County.

A good alternative is to build it somewhere along the US Highway 29 Corridor between White Oak and Burtonsville because there is enough population there that would support a Huge Dense Office Park Development.....

Other than that the Sceince City Office Park is fine where it is now and Will benefit the Population in Northern Montgomery County and Southern Frederick County.....

by tim on Mar 25, 2010 8:06 pm • linkreport

Steves: This is a good idea in theory, but the consequences, IMO will far outweigh the benefits...

Me: What do you mean of "consequences"????

This is no different than the development Sprouting up along VA Highway 7(from Alexandria to Leesburg)or the US Highway 50 Corridor(between Arlington and Centerville/Chantilly))....

by tim on Mar 25, 2010 8:10 pm • linkreport

Tim,
It'll benefit the people where ever it get's built if done right, in other words, around a transit oriented development. Way out county will contribute to sprawl. Not sure how it will reduce the amount of office buildings going up in MC. Silver Spring alone has a dozen on the docket being held up by...you guessed it, the economy.

by Thayer-D on Mar 26, 2010 2:43 pm • linkreport

Thayer-D:

Tim,
It'll benefit the people where ever it get's built if done right, in other words, around a transit oriented development.

Me: Your argument does not hold water. All of the Office Parks in Western Fairfax County and Loudon County was built without Transit Connection and now there are plans for future Transit. Another issue with your statement is that you act as if there is no Transit System in Gaithersburg(Ride On Bus) and you act as if there won't ever be any future Transit extension to serve "Science City".

Thayer-D: Way out county will contribute to sprawl.

Me: And you have no issues with Montgomery County and PG County Tax Payers wasting their commutes out of State to Western Fairfax County and Loudon County.

Thayer-D: Not sure how it will reduce the amount of office buildings going up in MC. Silver Spring alone has a dozen on the docket being held up by...you guessed it, the economy.

Me: Oh the "Economy" excuse....

The "Economy" has not stopped Several Office buildings to successfully get built in Arlington/Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Loudon County.

The "Economy" must have been bad for 20+ years because Silver Spring have been unsuccessful during the 1990's with building dense Office Towers at the rate of Arlington, Tysons Corner, and Reston...

Soo much for Transit Oriented Development Theory:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/03242010/silvnew183821_32549.php

http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2010/03/giant-mess-of-greenbelt-station.html

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Developers-sue-Metro-over-stalled-Greenbelt-development-plan-82643607.html

Now I get it. It is wrong to build Office Density Growth in Suburban Maryland that is not near Transit Centers(which is already developed or saturated with NIMBY Communities, Sky High Property Tax, Neglect/Broken Promises, and series of development regulations) but it is no issue with Placing Office Towers, Upscale Multi-Level Indoor Mega Malls, and widening Highways to 12 lanes via HOT lanes in any part of Northern Virginia...

by tim on Mar 26, 2010 5:55 pm • linkreport

Tim, you can see that there is massive anti-growth sentiment among the pro-transit blogging community in Montgomery County. Montgomery County is superior to Northern Virginia but we cannot rest our laurels on White Flint. Science City will be more than just a research office park like its predessessors but will be an fully integrated reserach city where academic, government, and private collaboration will change the face of medical research and make Montgomery County the epicenter for medical research. The infrastrucuture is already in place but special interests are pushing to destroy this vision. We must follow our visionary county leaders Ike Leggett and Royce Hanson so that we can create the economic base to keep Montgomery County second to none. Otherwise Montgomery County will relegated to the suburban wasteland that defines Northern Virginia. Support Science City!

by Cyrus on Mar 27, 2010 10:32 am • linkreport

Cyrus......you make a good point but the local opposition is to nearsighted to see the big picture they r just focused about traffic. They would rather all the future job growth happen in northern virginia like it has the past 20 years

by DanR on Mar 27, 2010 11:32 am • linkreport

Tim,
Of course you can build things way out in the country side, near buses if you like, but that's not the best idea. If you like sitting in traffic, be my guest. But if asking that a development multiply it's economic benefits is anti-growth, you don't understand nuance. Long term growth that's actually sustainable is what makes the most sense since we aren't going to be the only ones living in this area. Look at all the ex-urban growth that's fallow today. It ain't comming back.
Me:
Looking forward to yur deconstructing this post.

by Thayer-D on Mar 29, 2010 7:30 am • linkreport

Thayer-D:

Tim,
Of course you can build things way out in the country side, near buses if you like, but that's not the best idea. If you like sitting in traffic, be my guest. But if asking that a development multiply it's economic benefits is anti-growth, you don't understand nuance. Long term growth that's actually sustainable is what makes the most sense since we aren't going to be the only ones living in this area. Look at all the ex-urban growth that's fallow today. It ain't comming back.
Me:
Looking forward to yur deconstructing this post.

Me: Your theory would make sense if areas along the Subways System in Montgomery and PG County attracted the Same or Higher Numbers of Dense Office and Upscale Retail Growth like Arlington, Tysons Corner, and Reston, but the areas that the Subway serves in the Maryland Suburbs is too saturated with NIMBY Communities, Anti-Growth Special Interest Groups making a issue over the size of new development, Building Height Restrictions, Extremely High Property Tax Rates, and Layers of Political Red Tape Approval Processing for new Development...

Soo much for your Development near transit theory;

http://www.gazette.net/stories/03242010/silvnew183821_32549.php

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Developers-sue-Metro-over-stalled-Greenbelt-development-plan-82643607.html

by tim on Mar 29, 2010 10:34 pm • linkreport

Martin and all,
WF will not be another 'Bethesda' WF according to county officials who will not say this publicly, will be 'larger than anything you have seen in this area.' 9,800 new residential units (excluding the affordable housing component) and ~.8 parking spaces per unit; 300-ft buildings along the Pike (which BTW won't be that lovely 'pedestrian boulevard' for decades according to the plan), 20,000 new jobs. and, wait for it, no new public transit. This is not a 'plan.' Oh wait, it is a plan -- it is a plan for the councilmembers who are up for re-election to get their coffers filled by the developers.

by Paula B. on Mar 30, 2010 9:56 am • linkreport

Paula B.-

Martin and all,
WF will not be another 'Bethesda' WF according to county officials who will not say this publicly, will be 'larger than anything you have seen in this area.' 9,800 new residential units (excluding the affordable housing component) and ~.8 parking spaces per unit; 300-ft buildings along the Pike (which BTW won't be that lovely 'pedestrian boulevard' for decades according to the plan), 20,000 new jobs. and, wait for it, no new public transit. This is not a 'plan.' Oh wait, it is a plan -- it is a plan for the councilmembers who are up for re-election to get their coffers filled by the developers.

Me: You mean to tell us that White Flint won't be a transit/pedestrian friendly oriented development. but yet some of the supporters of this project is using t as an excuse to trick people into not supporting the "Science City" project in the name of smart growth....

So basically the Grand Scheme is to secretly block Mass office/upscale retail growth in Montgomery County/Suburban Maryland while pushing for more office tower density/upscale retail growth in business friendly Northern Virginia.....

True Maryland tax payers frown on anti-Growth strategies.....

by tim on Mar 31, 2010 1:36 am • linkreport

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