Friday, December 23, 2005

PWC Needs A New Planner for the Potomac Communities (Route 1 Corridor)

Between reading reports in the newspaper and working together with Pat Thomas on a major development project, I'm convinced more than ever PWC needs a new planner for the Potomac Communities. Today's Potomac News article on Potomac Town Center, the proposed outdoor upscale "lifestyle center" shopping complex, is the final straw. For one thing:

Thomas also emphasized what she called “over-retailing” of the development, which she said would bring lower wage jobs to the area instead of higher paying office jobs. Also, Thomas said the Macy’s and Wegmans stores depicted in the artist’s renderings were not guaranteed tenants of the two major anchors. However, planner Sherman Patrick with Compton & Duling L.C. which is working with the project confirmed that those two stores will be the major anchors.
Thomas is the same person who thinks there's too much Colonial brick architecture around. Hello? Where on Route 1 and in Eastern PWC is there too much of this? So instead we get modern northern European architectural styles in their place in areas like the Harbor Station development. There's something to be said for honoring an area's history and it is just too bad that Ms. Thomas doesn't get that PWC and Virginia have deep colonial roots. Plus, does anything say "trendy" (in other words, a passing fad) more than "modern European"? And how can you "over retail" a retail center? Plus, she should have known what stores will be in this development. What really gets me is the ever growing number of residences that the planners try to shove down our throats at the expense of retail to serve the residences that are already there or currently planned. Pat is a very nice person, but more and more I'm convinced she's just not right for this job.


At 12/23/2005 01:02:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

Wasn't Sherman Patrick a PWC planner a short time back? Is there a little battle between former colleague there?

Don't send Pat down to Stafford. The BOCS down here is bickering with our developer over retail space.

For some reason the BOCS thinks a livable community with all options of housing, located at a major north/south transportation node (VRE), with easy access to I-95, a paid for school, and retail to support the new people coming into the area, is a bad thing and want to slow it down while giving approval to build 75 new homes on with the only access being a 2 lane narrow winding road.

At 12/23/2005 01:12:00 PM, Anonymous marty nohw said...

Jim- Without commenting on whether I agree or disagree with the sentiment here (it would probably be innappropriate foe me to do so in this forum), might I suggest that you edit this post a little, or at least its title...

Pat Thomas is a "planner" for the county, which means she is on staff. She is not a "Planning Commssioner". They are political appointees who make recommendations to the Board of County Supervisors, based in part on staff input. "Planners" and "Planning Commissioners" play complimentary roles, but very different ones.

And Scott, you are partially correct. Sherman Patrick WAS on county staff, but not as a planner. he was Zoning Administator. They work in the same department, but planners review proposals, the zoning administrator sees to it that that which is built is consistent with that which was approved and is allowed by law. Essentially, planners review projects before they are approved, the zoning administrator reviews them after they are approved.

At 12/28/2005 09:35:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

So noted, Marty. Thanks for pointing this out. I was in a rush to get that up before leaving for the holidays and blurred the distinction there.


Post a Comment

<< Home