Saturday, November 15, 2008

Making Downtown A Special Place

Here's some of the HoCo's planning staff's recommendations for making downtown a special place:

1. The Plan should address a strategy to preserve the former Rouse Company hadquarters.
2. The Plan should coordinate the proposed development program including heights, densities and number of hotel rooms in the General Plan amendment, Zoning Regulation amendment and Supplemental Documents.
3. The Illustrative Plans provided as exhibits should include all of the area covered by the Final Development Plans listed in the Zoning Regulation Amendment.
4. The Plan should provide for design guidelines for the Columbia Mall as part of one or more neighborhoods.
5. The Plan should delineate boundaries for the Lakefront core.
6. The Plan should provide for design guidelines to address how the Warfield neighborhood would provide pedestrian and multi-modal connections and design relationships with the existing residential communities.
7. The Plan should identify strategies to attract and support local merchants within the Downtown and to complement neighborhood retail uses in the nearby, neighboring village centers.
8. The Plan should include a 15-percent MIHU requirement consistent with other comparable zoning districts as well as the proposed 10-percent middle income housing requirement. These requirements should also be included within the Zoning Regulation Amendment and address concerns about external appearance.
9. The Plan should identify a suitable location for a new fire station so that construction may begin as soon as possible.
10. The Plan should include a revised phasing plan that ensures Merriweather Post Pavilion is renovated in the
first phase of development in accordance with the General Plan Amendment.
11. The Plan should include a “percent for art” program for private development based on construction costs or an alternative commitment to support public art.
12. The Plan should include a strategy for County Council’s adoption of Downtown-wide design guidelines and review by the County’s Design Advisory Panel (DAP). DAP review and a strategy for the inclusion of more detailed neighborhood design guidelines at the Final Development Plan stage should be described in the Zoning Regulation Amendment.

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