Monday, June 30, 2014

residents, community leaders talk about white oak plan in a new video

Four years ago, county planners began working on the White Oak Science Gateway, a plan to create a research and technology hub in East County. This summer, the County Council will finally take a vote on the plan, and community members (including me) talk about why they support it in a new video.

The White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan… Now… It’s East County’s Time! from 'nFocus Videos on Vimeo.

Many residents support the plan, noting that East County lacks the same jobs and amenities that more affluent parts of the county take for granted. But there are some lingering concerns about traffic, the amount of development proposed, and whether the county will make good on a thirty-year-old promise to bring rapid transit to the area.

One of the plan's largest components is LifeSci Village a 300-acre complex of offices, research facilities, retail space, and housing on what's currently a concrete recycling plant. Montgomery County and developer Percontee are partnering to build the project, which is on Cherry Hill Road east of Route 29. This week, Percontee released a video to build support for the Science Gateway plan, featuring interviews with local residents, business and community leaders, and yours truly.

Many of the region's traffic problems come from an imbalance between jobs, which are mostly on the western side of the region, and affordable housing on the east side. This plan could go a long way to correcting that issue, and I'm eager to see it move forward.


Sean Emerson said...

Nice vid, cool how they interviewed numerous community members who express support for the project. Sounds like Percontee is going about this the right way by listening to the community and asking them what they want in a new development.

Dan, do you know when the Council will vote on the White Oak plan? I know there are worksessions for the WOSG scheduled all month, but I haven't seen a voting date.

Dan Reed said...

Thanks, Sean! I appreciate how many different kinds of people have shown their support for the plan. According to my calendar I put down July 29 as the day the council will vote on it, though like all things, it's probably subject to change.

Robert said...

Today's Washington Post reports that Percontee has paid almost a half a million dollars for lobbying in support of this plan, including $40,000 to a lawyer who is the head of the re-election campaign of Nancy Floreen, head of the County Council's planning committee. Obviously Percontee to spend this kind of money must think it will make a fortune if the plan is adopted. I don't know whether the plan would benefit the public or not, but it certainly is suspicious if a developer is spending this much to support it. If it is obviously beneficial to the public, why do they think they need to spend a huge amount to lobby for it?