Wednesday, December 6, 2006

moratorium!

Whoa. I might have to go home, walk over to Council President Marilyn Praisner's house and ask what's going on, because she just threw a moratorium on large development into the new County Council session that started yesterday. Yet earlier that day, while swearing in as County Executive, Ike Leggett said "the shouters have dominated the conversation [about growth] . . . It's time for us to banish from our lexicon shorthand words and phrases such as 'greedy developers' and 'NIMBYs.' "

What gives? We've decided not to cave in to either the pro- and anti-development crowds by calling a moratorium on development in the County? While still far from taking effect, the way Praisner's proposal works out is that projects as small as the expansion of this Giant at Plaza del Mercado would be put on hold through 2008. But what's stopping a grocery store do for Beltway traffic? For school crowding? For affordable housing in a County where the average new home costs nearly $500,000?

One day and we've already learned two things about the new Montgomery County Council: 1) that they are scared to death of Neighbors for a Better Montgomery and the NIMBY crowd (sorry, Ike) who dominated this year's elections, and 2) as a result, we're willing to throw a forty-year legacy of innovative planning aside to blindly follow the lead of Prince William and Loudoun counties, who also made efforts to stop growth yesterday.

But I think Nancy Floreen, one of three remaining council members from the "End Gridlock" slate, put it best:
"It's a political statement here, and I respect that," she said. "But the implications for affordable housing, for churches, is very significant, and without giving anyone any direction as to where we're going on this."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee Dan, I guess the NIMBYs win. Time for you to close up shop, eh?

Anonymous said...

The NIMBY's haven't won anything other than a larger say in what goes on...as they should. As a condition, though, they need to stop the "sky-is-falling" tactics and really get to know the details of a project before complaining. They have every right to insist that projects are done with them in consideration and to the appropriate standards, but have no right to outright object and vilify development just for the sake of stopping it.

The facts are the facts and the county's population is growing quickly and business is expanding, just as the rest of the metro region. No county council or NIMBY's will EVER be able to stop it, only market forces will do that. Find me ONE economic forecaster that does not predict dramatic expansion of our local population and job growth here in the next 20 years.

Dan doesn't need to close up shop, he should open new branches!

urbannomad said...

I concur. Bottom line is money wins everytime (ie. the market) regardless of what any "NIMBY" or "Greedy Developer" types want. County officals will try to appease those looking for slow growth with a lot of talk and toothless legislation but development will continue until the local economy cools. It's the job of politicans... make eveyone happy but make money at the same time.

FuturePurpleRider said...

Wait a minute. The key feature of this moratorium is that it exempts projects in Metro station policy areas.

If you believe, as I think we both do, that the county's traffic and other development-related problems are caused not by the amount of development, but by its location and design, this is a move to put development where it belongs.

thecourtyard said...

We'll see, but I can't help but wonder if a moratorium elsewhere will just encourage the NIMBY opposition when developments are proposed near Metro stations . . .

Anonymous said...

2) as a result, we're willing to throw a forty-year legacy of innovative planning aside to blindly follow the lead of Prince William and Loudoun counties, who also made efforts to stop growth yesterday.

RE: The only problem is that the moremtorium in Prince William and Loudon Counties do not include Commercial(Retail and Office) Development.

The so-called lawmakers in Montgomery County wants to stop ALL(Residential, Office, and Retail) Development.

Anonymous said...

In two years, we'll worry where all the jobs went.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
In two years, we'll worry where all the jobs went.

12/07/2006 12:10 AM

RE: I alway's wondered if there were some Northern Virginians that indorsed/bought ALL of the Montgomery County politicians.

Anonymous said...

FuturePurpleRider said...
Wait a minute. The key feature of this moratorium is that it exempts projects in Metro station policy areas.

If you believe, as I think we both do, that the county's traffic and other development-related problems are caused not by the amount of development, but by its location and design, this is a move to put development where it belongs.

12/06/2006 3:10 PM

RE: If that was true then why are they trying to stop development in Rockville and its metro stations.