Friday, July 18, 2008

what's up the pike: i hit somebody's car today

A reader asked me, "what's new with the Fillmore (pictured above)?" I didn't know. I'd kind of forgotten it was there. But now I know.

- The Fillmore hits a major snag as the Planning Board rejects zoning amendments County Executive Ike Leggett proposed for the proposed music hall on Colesville Road. Lee Development Group, which wants to build a mixed-use development behind the new venue, would be allowed to count it as a public space required under the current zoning code. In addition, they'd be allowed up to fifteen years to build the project, whereas most approved development plans have a five-year deadline for construction.

Most of the controversy over the Fillmore has come from its operator, Live Nation - an international concert promoter who has rebranded several existing music halls around the country as "Fillmores." In February, local writer Carol Bengle Gilbert attempted to draw attention to the County's deal with Lee Development, suggesting that the use of a privately-run (but publicly owned) venue as a public amenity was unethical. In two weeks, the County Council will consider the same legal changes.

- Richard Layman of Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space discusses last week's pair of posts, "sick of emo kids on ellsworth" and "how to grow an old town in no time," about Downtown Silver Spring. Definitely check it out.

so much more AFTER THE JUMP . . .

Rendering of how the Purple Line could look if built along Wayne Avenue east of Downtown Silver Spring.

- Local builder Winchester Homes is demanding the right to buy back 118 acres in Burtonsville seized by the state for construction of an InterCounty Connector route that was eventually eliminated. The property, at Route 198 and Peach Orchard Road, was being cleared and graded for the construction of 130 homes before being bought for the proposed highway's Northern Alignment, which would have paralleled Route 198. When the southern Master Plan Alignment was selected instead, the land was retained to fulfill EPA requirements that the ICC's environmental damage is mitigated.

The Montgomery County Circuit Court ruled that Winchester has the right to re-purchase the property, though the state is appealing that decision. Another Winchester project, Fairland View at Fairland Road and Route 29, was halved in size in order to accomodate a future interchange with the ICC's current routing.

- A week after one Purple Line opposition group was outed as a front for a country club, another organization has appeared, this time in East Silver Spring. This week's Gazette features the people behind the "No Train On Wayne" signs that have appeared along Wayne Avenue. Along with a route between Silver Spring and Thayer avenues, Wayne is one of a few alignments still on the table for the proposed transitway - which will eventually connect Bethesda and New Carrollton - east of Downtown Silver Spring Regardless of which side of the issue you're on, it's hard to deny: that's a catchy slogan.

1 comment:

Thomas Hardman said...

Winchester Homes was compensated for their tract, right?

The State Highway Administration has tentatively scheduled hearings for summer's end, on the matter of a re-alignment and upgrade of the MD-198/MD-28 route from Georgia Avenue at least eastward to Burtonsville.

Allow me to draw the attention to the incredible foul-up in Redland, for example.

Between Muncaster/Redland Road and Shady Grove Road, along Muncaster Mill Road, is a new high-density townhomes/condos cluster. It's a nice touch and it fits in well with the established clusters of small businesses in the two longstanding shopping centers.

However, that whole stretch has the exact problems as Burtonsville, which is to say, too much traffic on roads that are too small and with no place to relocate the roads to make the place more pedestrian-friendly. The only place that the roads could have gone, the logical place to reposition the intersection, is now chock-full of townhomes.
I invite the reader to see the googlemap satellite view and consider how Redland is one of the worst cases imaginable of traffic-flow design.

Imagine, if you will, that the townhomes have to be seized under eminent domain proceedings, in order to untangle the hideous mess that is rush-hour Redland. Imagine how much more money it would be worth than empty land! Imagine the appreciation in value. Imagine the lawyer's fees.

Now, imagine that Winchester Homes tries the same thing at MD-198 and Peach Orchard Road...