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White Flint 2 Sector Plan Approved by Montgomery County Council

December 7, 2017

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Council approves recommendations for land use, zoning, transportation, housing, parks and open spaces in bow-tie-shaped area of North Bethesda

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce that the Montgomery County Council approved the White Flint 2 Sector Plan at its full session meeting on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

Learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

“We are pleased with the approval of the White Flint 2 Sector Plan,” says project manager N’kosi Yearwood. “This action concludes a long planning process, but it is just the start of an exciting chapter for the North Bethesda area of Montgomery County. The plan prioritizes walkability and connections for pedestrians, while providing opportunities to transform single-use shopping centers into mixed-used places.”

About the White Flint 2 Sector Plan

The White Flint 2 Sector Plan aims to fill-in the gaps between the areas covered by the Twinbrook Sector Plan, the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan and the City of Rockville’s plan. The land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of these already established plans. White Flint 2 will connect common elements between the areas, including Rockville Pike and a proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

In the White Flint 2 area, planners studied properties along Executive Boulevard, west of Old Georgetown Road; east of the CSX rail tracks, between Randolph Road and Nicholson Lane; and north of Montrose Parkway along Rockville Pike to the city limits of Rockville. Nicholson Court, which was a part of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, is also included in the White Flint 2 plan area.

Summary of White Flint 2 Sector Plan Recommendations

Land Use and Zoning

-Promote the transformation of single use commercial shopping centers into mixed-use places along Rockville Pike (MD 355).
-Integrate new residential and non-residential uses in the Executive Boulevard office park and promote mixed-use neighborhood centers at the Loehmann’s Plaza and Randolph Hills Shopping Centers.

-Retain some of the existing multi-family residential development as an important resource of market-rate affordable housing.

-Provide opportunities for the redevelopment of other multi-family residential developments to promote a diverse mix of housing options for residents at different stages of life. -Retain most of the light industrial zoned properties to provide important services and offer opportunities for small businesses, entrepreneurs and vocational and entry-level employment. A new industrial overlay zone is recommended for the Randolph Hills Shopping Center area that encourages residential development, while retaining light-industrial uses.

Mobility

-Promote walkability with new streets and enhanced streetscapes to define the public realm.
-Encourage variety in new building heights and massing to maximize access to natural light and air.

-Extend the Rockville Pike (MD 355) Boulevard concept to the city limits of Rockville with bus rapid transit (BRT).

-Establish new streets that permit alternative ways to navigate and connect to adjacent communities.

-Accommodate new bikeways that link to the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan area and the City of Rockville.

Parks, Open Spaces, Community Facilities

-Create new parks and open spaces for public use and expand the network of interconnected open spaces envisioned by the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan.

-Create at least 10 acres of public use space in the White Flint 2 Sector Plan area.

-Address school capacity issues in the Walter Johnson cluster.

-Promote the co-location of public facilities to reduce public expenditures and minimize land area.

-Retain existing wooded areas where designated and provide increased tree canopy.

Urban Design and Sustainability

-Promote energy efficiency and encourage net-zero energy building design.

-Provide adequate transitions between new development and existing neighborhoods through appropriate

building heights and development intensities.

-Establish new pedestrian paths and bikeways between existing residential communities and new mixed-use development.

Implementation Strategies for Development

The Plan’s implementation strategies include staging for three properties, including the Guardian and Willco properties and a portion of the Wilgus property. Subsequently, the amended phase one and two staging limits in the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan are the following:

  • Increase the Phase 1 limit from 3,000 residential dwelling units and 2 million square feet of non-residential development to 4,800 residential dwelling units and 2.75 million square feet of non-residential development.
  • Increase the Phase 2 limit from 3,000 residential dwelling units and 2 million square feet of non-residential development to 3,700 residential dwelling units and 2.18 million square feet of non-residential development.

Within three months of the adoption of the Sectional Map Amendment (SMA), the Plan requires that the White Flint Metro Station Policy area must be expanded to include the Guardian, Willco and Wilgus properties, and within six months of adopting the SMA, the existing White Flint Special Taxing District must be modified to include these three properties.

For more information about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan, contact:

Lead Planner Nkosi Yearwood, tel. 301-495-1332, email Nkosi.Yearwood@montgomeryplanning.org

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