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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Daily journal, 09-20-11

Today, two highlights: first, I shared a memo with my committee chair at the Government Operations committee, Nancy Navarro, and my other council colleagues, about some ideas I have for moving ahead on open government issues. I am excited that there is general interest to move ahead on this front and I think we are going to make some real waves. More on that soon.

Second, a briefing that I requested from council staff about the CR zone. I have been following developments at the Planning, Housing and Economic Development committee very closely. The committee members have been working hard on a commercial zone that can make for quality community life and strong economic development particularly in Takoma/Langley, Kensington and Wheaton, where we have master plans up for approval this year. Because these are complex issues and there are a lot of very smart people working on them, the debate has been very contentious. The council received recommendations from the Planning Board for the zone and the question before us now is how much to modify them. The primary issue at hand is that if we are going to spur quality development in these areas of the county that have not shared in the economic progress of, say, the 355 corridor, we have to make that development affordable or else nothing is going to happen.

We are trying to maximize the community benefits while minimizing the barriers to investment. Its tricky.

As always, please share your thoughts or questions and I'll try to respond.