Thursday, November 15, 2007

east county in review: competing with the montgomery extra edition

The Anchor Inn in Wheaton may be gone, but its sign at Georgia and University lives on.

November is a depressing month, save for the beauty of the changing leaves, which I have not yet captured on film [or memory card]. Instead, we have a kind of change most people find harder to swallow: sweet, sweet progress.

ANCHORS AWAY? The Anchor Inn was razed last year to make way for a shitty strip mall, but signs for the seafood restaurant - a Wheaton institution for several decades - remain at the corner of Georgia and University. The shrimp may be gone, but can the sign be kept? Surely something can be done in the name of Historic Preservation.

DON'T ROLL IT UP: While MoCo deliberates over construction bids, "the Turf" will remain in Downtown Silver Spring until at least next spring. To some a symbol of how "fake" the revitalizated business district is, "the Turf" has become a beloved hangout for people throughout the region. I won't let anyone forget that the Post's Marc Fisher called it the "venue for some of the best people-watching in the region."

FINALLY: After eleven months of heated discussion, the County Council finally approved its Annual Growth Policy Tuesday.

When I testified before the Council during their Annual Growth Policy hearings last June, I remember George Leventhal (D-At Large) asking me, "So, Dan, what do you think about the impact fees? Are you hip to that?" (As I was the youngest person in the room, I imagine Leventhal was trying to find a way to level with me, and I can't fault him for it.)

Am I hip to impact fees? Sure, but they aren't the only thing that matters.

so much more AFTER THE JUMP . . .

Traffic at New Hampshire Avenue and Adelphi Road near Hillandale. The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in the District, can be seen in the background.

As guest blogger Adam Pagnucco explained last spring, this year's AGP aimed to curb development and fund new infrastructure by increasing the fees developers have to pay to build in the County. These so-called "impact fees" have been criticized as making housing more expensive in a place where the average new home costs over a million dollars.

But a look at this synopsis of the policy from the Post explains what else the County's gunning for. Seeking ways to limit parking in new developments, thus getting people out of their cars. Where do they go instead? Developers will be required to incorporate shuttle buses or other alternate means of transportation for residents. Considering the effects of a development on traffic over a larger area - a step towards recognizing how different communities interact with each other within the County and outside of it.

Everything comes at a cost, and the new AGP recognizes that. While the policy takes a progressive approach towards traffic management, it doesn't do as much to solve the affordable housing issue. It looks like we'll still have something to discuss next year.


Anonymous said...

Once, while I was riding the red line between Silver Spring and Forest Glen, a fellow passenger with suitcases asked how many more stops to Wheaton. Another person asked him where he was headed - presumably to be helpful. The young guy responded "I'm not sure, but I'm going to try to get a room at the Anchor Inn."

We were speechless.

He'd really be out of luck now.

Anonymous said...

You should talk to Jerry McCoy about saving the Anchor Inn sign as an historic monument.