Our friend Henry over at the Silver Spring Scene provides full coverage of the hearing, while "guest blogger" Adam Pagnucco explains how the AGP works. And eventually, the County Council website should have a transcript and video of the hearings.
The following is my testimony, taken from the notes I'd prepared beforehand and the adlibbing that actually took place:
Good evening. My name is Dan Reed and I am a junior at the University of Maryland. For the past year, I've been writing about the pace of development in Montgomery County - with a focus on East County - on my blog, Just Up The Pike.
I'll admit: as fortunate as I've been to grow up in Montgomery County, I'm not happy with the traffic in my neighborhood. I wasn't happy that my high school added portables barely after it was built. But I don't think stopping development - or, in this case, slowing it down - would make any of that better.
There's a vocal minority in this County that whether out of fear or simply nostalgia wants us to go back to being a 1950's, white-bread, sitcom suburb. You know as well as I do that that's not going to happen. So why keep fighting the people and jobs that want to come here? This is a great place to live. But do we think this is as good as it gets?
I embrace change. I want to see the revitalization of our existing communities so people who live here have more places to live, work and play. I look forward to seeing the development of new communities for more people to have places to live, work and play. It's your job as elected officials to make sure that this development is accomodated - not to dump our share of growth on outlying counties becuse a few people have decided they've had enough.
Is the Montgomery County we have now as good as it gets? I don't want to be that arrogant. That's why I urge you to heed the Planning Board's recommendations for the Annual Growth Policy - in terms of creating a more urban County and recognizing that we are one part of a region with many forces acting on us. And they all want to come here.
People are coming here - and we need to find new ways to accomodate them. This growth policy, more than any before it, is a call for innovation in a County with a history of innovative planning. The question remains: is this as good as it gets?