Keep the Westbard Sector Plan on a Neighborhood Scale!
This petition had 1,454 supporters
Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights (CCCFH)
PETITION TO MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
This petition is sponsored by the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, consisting of 19 civic organizations, comprising over 7,000 households, in and surrounding the Westbard Sector Plan area.
We, residents living within or nearby to the Westbard Sector Plan area, petition the Council to revise substantially the draft Planning Board Westbard Sector Plan.
1. We endorse the goals of the draft plan, to create "a vibrant village center", with "preservation of local retail", to provide "neighborhood goods and services serving the surrounding residential community". Development is to be on a "neighborhood scale", "preserving compatibility with adjacent residential uses". [pp.6,18]
2. The draft plan is inconsistent with these goals because of the amount, type and height of development.
A. The large amount of retail is well beyond what is needed or appropriate for a neighborhood serving center and is more like a regional mall. It will promote large stores not serving neighborhood needs; attract visitors from a wide geographic area; local businesses on which residents have depended are unlikely to survive.
B. The large number of dwelling units will generate students overcrowding our already overcrowded schools for which no realistic plan to accommodate them has been offered, especially on middle and high school levels.
C. The plan does not address the need for housing, including affordable, for seniors who comprise a substantial population (24%) in this area of the county, a type of housing that will not overburden the schools.
D. The proposed height of some buildings is not on a neighborhood scale and is not compatible with nearby single family homes, e.g., 110 ft on Westbard Ave. near Westbard Mews townhouses; 90 ft on Westwood 2 site, near Springfield homes; 75 ft uniformly along both sides of River Rd., creating an urban "canyonization" effect.
3. We endorse naturalization of the Willett Branch to create open/park space but since there is no funding provision, such as requiring all development to contribute toward its cost, this amenity is unlikely to be implemented. The 1/3 of an acre Central Civic Green and 1/3 acre Springfield Park are inadequate in size. [p.64]
4. Analysis of the volume and impact of cut -through traffic in nearby neighborhoods is needed as part of determining the appropriate level of development and Sector Plan recommendations for mitigation.
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