Squashing the Vision

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s the definition of insanity. ~ Albert Einstein

fbc_concept
The community’s vision for Route 1 is to have a compact, dynamic, mostly 4-6 story mixed-use corridor. That vision has been formally codified in the Route 1 Sector Plan – the primary zoning document for College Park – for the better part of a decade. As one planner put it recently, the community’s long term vision for Route 1 is to create “a network of sustainable, transit-supporting, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented, medium- to high-density neighborhoods.” This basically translates to housing (and some office) on top retail which fronts streets and wide sidewalks (depicted below) all along the corridor. Increased traffic would be handled by a more frequent, more reliable Route 1 bus service with “superstops” shared by the various transit agencies and sited in areas with the highest concentration of planned development… a vision set out in a recent transportation study completed for the City.

Continue reading Squashing the Vision

2/6 City Council Development Coverage

Wednesday night’s City Council Meeting was choc full of development issues. Briefly, here’s what you missed if you didn’t want to brave the cold (or turn on your TV).

–> The council indicated their initial satisfaction of the proposed 220 unit College Park West Development on the Lasik’s site. JPI, the developer, had the blessings of a community group who appreciated JPI’s improved community cooperation since their last project (Jefferson Square) across the street.

Hollywood Station–> The council approved, with some minor conditions, a 4-5 story office building at 9909 Baltimore Ave. The site tucked in an odd place, but we still think it’s a shame it turned out to be such a standard office park and won’t be prominent from Route 1. (kind of like the M-Square project which the city is so quick to criticize). Granted M-Square is adjacent to the metro and the 9909 site is on the beltway.
–> District 1 councilman Krouse (see his letter to the community) tussled with the developers of the massive (we covered it yesterday) Greenbelt Town Centre project at Greenbelt metro station. Many were outraged to hear the potential of a 18 story building and the developer now plans “balloon tests” in the coming weeks to demonstrate the scale of the project to nearby North CP neighborhoods. This new revelation comes after over 7 years of planning. The developers were challenged to find another example in the DC area where a single family home community was subjected to such high density by a WMATA redevelopment.
University View Original Proposal
–>Otis Warren of the University View came in for a chat over a number of things. He repeated his intention to complete the project as originally proposed (see image to the right) although he’s holding out the possibility that the building proposed for the grassy area in front of the University View may end up being more student housing or a hotel instead of the originally proposed office building. He guessed about 350 student beds could fit in the project should it go forward. Retail would still front Route 1 on the ground floor.
Warren expressed surprise that the council had reservations about his proposed 12-story condo at 8400 Baltimore Ave given their friendly reception to it in December. He also disclosed a failed deal with the university to build a garage and grad school housing on campus on lot 11 directly behind the View. While not binding, the campus master plan envisions that lot for a mega parking garage.
We’ll defer to the Diamonback’s article about a number of interesting quotes on this and other topics, which some at the meeting probably didn’t want reprinted.