Sunday, June 20, 2010

2009-2011 Growth Policy

December 22, 2009

The Honorable Nancy Floreen
President, Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Dear President Floreen and Councilmembers:

The Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board has reviewed the proposed 2009-2011 Growth Policy and would like to share our concerns with you.

Due to the long and very fluid nature of the planning process, we support the Growth Policy amendment in Bill 38-09 proposing the adoption of a four year review cycle for the growth policy rather than the current two year process. We believe this would enable the County to address planning issues in a more deliberate manner. Many key issues we face regarding development, schools, zoning changes and reclassifications have become so cumbersome that in many instances more time is needed. Furthermore, builders with approved plans are finding the “rules of the game” being changed in the middle of their approved projects. We would not want to send the wrong message of being anti-development and anti-builder. We are also very concerned about the potential for overcrowding in many of our schools and strongly believe that a four-year review could be more comprehensive and beneficial in the school planning process. We also believe that the proposed plan is based on many assumptions which could significantly impact the quality of life in our County and again feel more time is needed to study issues such as increasing density near Metro stations.

In addition, we very strongly believe that the Policy Area Mobility Review (PAMR) process is quite difficult to understand and has done a poor job of helping to manage and mitigate the effects of our heavy traffic. We are concerned that instead of a possible solution to gridlock, PAMR has the exact opposite effect. We, therefore, support the Council’s recommendation to request the Montgomery County Department of Transportation carefully study this issue and propose a more common sense and easy to understand policy for analyzing traffic patterns throughout the County. The members of the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board are willing and available to assist in the process of developing the new transportation test to be used in the Growth Policy

Overall, we are pleased that so many issues pertinent to the quality of life in Montgomery County have been studied in your plan and we believe that our Mid-County region as well as the entire County could benefit from our suggested changes.


Sheldon Fishman

cc: Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Royce Hanson, M-NCPPC Planning Board

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