About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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February 2, 2010

Councilmember Navarro Advocates for Community Regarding Milestone Project

October 9, 2009

The Honorable Isiah Leggett
Montgomery County Executive
Executive Office Building
101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Mr. Leggett,

Since taking office this June, I have been in discussions with numerous members of the community regarding the proposed relocation of the 3rd District Police station to Milestone Drive. While I support this move, I have several concerns and suggestions regarding this project and the corrresponding housing that is currently under discussion.

As you know, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) has presented two visions for housing at the Milestone site: garden style apartments or townhomes. After having reviewed the contours of both proposals, I strongly urge you to move forward with the townhome concept rather than the apartments, with the following amendments:

1. Density & Tree Buffering: First and foremost, the current townhome proposal anticipates 77 units, with minimal tree buffering. However, by reducing the number of homes at the northern end of the site, the County can plan for additional buffering to minimize the visual and construction impacts on the surrounding community. The residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to the site were originally promised large buffers before supporting the Milestone site for a police station, but since the subsequent addition of housing to the police station project, that buffering has been both dramatically reduced and moved offsite. It would be only fair to those residents who participated in good faith in the site selection process to honor the County's original vision for the project. This means creating additional buffering between the new housing construction and the adjacent neighborhood, but it also means seeking opportunities to increase buffers and sound control devices between the police station and adjacent homes. To the maximum extent possible, I urge you to engage in onsite forest conservation.

2. Housing Type: Alongside the selection of townhomes, I firmly believe that workforce housing is the most appropriate type of housing at the Milestone site. With the expansion of government, biotech, medical and other life sciences jobs at the neighboring Food and Drug Administration campus, it will be critical for Montgomery County to accommodate the anticipated growth of the East County workforce. Doing so is critical not just to the vitality of our neighborhoods, but also to reduce the carbon emissions and vehicle miles traveled for employees
who currently sit in traffic while traveling on lengthy East-West or North-South commuter corridors. Thanks to your leadership, Montgomery County was able to launch its first workforce housing project at the Village at King Farm in Rockville, but we would like to see a similar commitment to workforce housing emerge in the White Oak area.

I know that by working together in a collaborative process, we can show residents of White Oak that Montgomery County can be a good neighbor and honor its commitment to vibrant workforce housing, economic growth, exceptional public safety facilities and environmentally sensitive County development.

We would appreciate a response by the close of business on Friday,
October 16th.


Nancy Navarro
County Councilmember District 4


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