Thursday, March 25, 2010

Councilmember Trachtenberg Meets with Mayors and Councilmembers of Rockville and Gaithersburg on Gaithersburg West Master Plan

Councilmember Trachtenberg met today with the Mayors of Rockville and Gaithersburg to discuss aspects of the Gaithersburg West Master Plan.

Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio was joined at the meeting by Councilmember Bridget Donnell Newton and members of the City’s planning staff. Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz was joined by Council Vice President Cathy C. Drzyzgula, and Angel Jones, City Manager as well as other representatives of the Gaithersburg municipal government.

In the meeting, the Mayors discussed a range of key issues of concern to residents, including proposed density in the plan area, transportation and traffic concerns, economic forecasts, connectivity between neighborhoods and the proposed mixed-use development; the impact of the Gaithersburg West development on the Rockville and Gaithersburg municipalities, staging, development oversight, and general quality of life issues.

Councilmember Trachtenberg reiterated her view that the proposed plan must appropriately balance the development that the County needs with the quality of life that County residents need. She discussed her legislative proposal, currently before the Council, that the County should designate an individual or individuals who would have oversight responsibility for coordinating development and staging in master planned areas, like White Flint and Gaithersburg West.

She added that it was important for the municipalities to continue to consult closely with members of the County Council and Planning Board staff to refine the proposal so that it met the broad community’s expectation about development, traffic, transit, housing, and environmental sustainability.

The Gaithersburg West Master Plan is currently being discussed by the County Council’s Committee on Planning, Housing & Economic Development (PHED), and will be considered by the full Council later this Spring.

The Plan is a 21st-century blueprint for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center (LSC), home to a major hospital, academic institutions, and private biotechnology companies.

The objective of the Plan is to turn the now sprawling, single-use, auto-oriented area into a vibrant, dynamic, and walkable district with a physical form that is as inspiring as the discoveries that are going on inside the labs and classrooms throughout the area.

The Gaithersburg West Master Plan: Summary | Draft

Trachtenberg staff members Alan Bowser, Emily Hoopes, and Naomi Bloch also attended the meeting.

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