Land Use: Shifting Housing and Jobs

Land Use: Shifting Housing and Jobs

August 7, 2002


As part of a varied approach to solving traffic problems, the Council voted to support the Planning Board’s alternative land use policy, incorporating land use decisions to locate more jobs in the eastern part of the county and more housing in the I-270 corridor. This would allow greater opportunities for more people to live closer to where they work. The policy would plan for a series of transit-oriented communities near Metro stations and bolster activity in Langley Park in conjunction with planning for the Purple Line Metro.

Goals of the Planning Board and Council include:

* Making the I-270 corridor a balanced, mixed-use community by increasing housing and decreasing jobs.

* Planning for a series of interconnected transit-oriented communities at Metro stations (e.g. Twinbrook, Shady Grove, Montgomery County Public Schools, and others)

* Supporting employment-center growth at White Oak/FDA-WestFarm.

* Reducing development pressure in the Rural Area through the TDR Program, Legacy Open Space Program, and the use of agricultural easements

* Increasing jobs within one-half mile of rail stations from 40 percent in 1998 to 60 percent in 2050.

* Increase housing within one-half mile of transit from 12 percent in 1998 to 33 percent in 2050.

Councilmember Blair Ewing urged the Council to take action the day of their vote on the transportation package, Aug. 1, to prioritize and put into action such goals as well as developing policy for future land use decisions.

"From my point of view, there is no proposal here that balances projects with consideration of serious growth management. We need a more serious look at how we manage growth, place growth and ensure that growth doesn't overwhelm us," said Ewing.

The Council voted to address his suggestion concerning the planning of growth and future land-use decisions to the PHED committee this fall, following its one month recess in August.