Well, temporarily at least. The Landy and Cafritz developments have been approached very differently. But both are adjacent to communities of single family homes and will have large impacts on their neighbors. The Cafritzes invited us to dream a bit, perhaps because they wish to change their zoning. At Thursday’s summation meeting, community input was recapped with a PowerPoint, brownies were served, schmoozing took place.
First, former students and colleagues of Cafritz architects Matt Bell, a specialist in high density developments, and custom and affordable housing specialist Ralph Bennett’s are taking bets that 3 plans already exist, with 3 iterations of each. Now Matt and Ralph take our comments, see what elements work with the client’s goals and produce a plan–that attempts to build the political coalition that will allow the zoning change and eventual approval.
Second, before a zoning change or approval, as residents of the Route 1 community, we need to ask ourselves some questions.
- Do we want a commercial area with Whole Foods (or any destination store) and the additional traffic it would bring to this area? Would East Campus be a better site for Whole Foods? It is accessible from Kenilworth and Route 1.
- How will the Cafritz residents move (from apartments, condos, town homes) to the Metro? Will they be providing a shuttle? Is this a Transit Oriented Development with limited parking?
- Would this development be more acceptable to its neighbors if the Cafritz family acquired an adjacent property to provide access from 410 or River Road (see slideshow)?
- Will this be a sustainable, green development (preferably LEED Platinum) that preserves a decent percentage of green space?
- Could this property, its developer and a new process incorporate the community’s will and desires, perhaps setting a standard for the county?
- What can we learn from other communities with infill development or redevelopment underway?
- What cumulative impact will this and other developments have (see our development page)?
- What do we want the Route 1 corridor to look like in 5 years? 15?
Planning is a highly political process, thus the Cafritz interest in a) community input, b) smart p.r., c) appeasement or d) all of the above. It’s still early, so you can make your choice later. But let’s do our homework and think about the bargaining chips we have as residents–what do we want?
The Landy property has preliminary approval but has undergone multiple revisions and will be discussed next week–tell your neighbors and bring a friend. The staff report is due 6/27. Maybe there will be brownies?
We’ll have to discuss schools later. Add your questions to the list in the comments.