February 2019 – From the Mayor

The Council and I have been receiving many questions of late with regards to a number of development projects that have been presented to the Town. The process for evaluating these projects actually began in 2008 when County Planning took steps to update our 30-year-old Sector Plan. This was a lengthy process that involved the Town Council, Town Residents, and the surrounding Kensington Community.

Adopted by the County Council in 2012, the Kensington and Vicinity Sector Plan placed parameters on height and density by developing two mixed-use zones: CR Town (CRT) and CR Neighborhood (CRN). The intent behind this was to cap density within the CRT zone, while tapering density and heights through the CRN zone as the mixed-use area drew closer to our residential zones. Essentially, this was done so we would not become a second Bethesda and to help maintain our strong sense of community. Although development was slow to happen following adoption of the Sector Plan in 2012, this began to change in late 2016 with the sale of the old Hawkins Produce property, which has been redeveloped into Knowles Station and will be anchored by Wine & Co. Additional projects have also been presented, which has led to much uncertainty within the community about traffic, density, and design. With each proposed development project, there is a standard process of working with both the Town’s Development Review Board (DRB) and County Planning in order to evaluate each project in accordance with our Sector Plan. While the Council and I know that a few of the proposed projects have caused concern to some, we encourage you to please reach out to us, along with the Town staff and County Planners to ask any questions you may have about certain projects. I also encourage you to check our Calendar for upcoming DRB meetings, but mostly pay attention to our Council Agenda’s, which will provide information on any development projects, by signing up for our Town emails on the homepage of our website.