Testimony by Liz Brennan on behalf of PRA, regarding the Kensington Sector Plan

On behalf of the Parkwood Resident's Association, I am pleased to provide the following feedback on the draft of the Kensington and Vicinity Sector Plan.

I would like to commend Fred Boyd for his countless hours of outreach to the Kensington community on this process. He has done a spectacular job in getting to know the various communities within Kensington and generally making himself available during the entire process.

While comparatively small we understand that the Kensington Sector plan poses great challenges. The biggest probably is how we can attract re-development that will not negatively impact the quality of life. On the whole we found the proposed sector plan to be reflective of the input we provided. In particular we applaud the environmental, design and historical preservation piece. We have concerns about the ability to unify the proposed Town Center area and would urge more detail on connectivity for pedestrians.

We are also concerned that the need for a traditional type of community center is not clearly delineated. We request that this very basic public amenity be outlined in the overall recommendations section. Because the only mention of a community center in this plan is tied directly to the HOC property in the "Other Areas" section there is concern this could result in a missed opportunity should another location become available. While all stakeholders generally agree that is the HOC is the optimal location, we also recognize that there is no short or long range plan to relocate HOC and the likelihood of Kensington having a community center is still a very remote possibility. By clearly stating it is a recommendation of the sector plan that Kensington have a community center we will have, at the very least, placed the need and desire front and center.

We strongly urge that the SHA property on West Howard Avenue be zoned for public use. The need for additional open space on this side of Kensington is too great to have it wasted as storage for state highway. An alternative for SHA would be the area next to the Connecticut Ave/Kensington exit off of 495.

We are disappointed that the traffic issues at Knowles and Summit, Knowles and Connecticut and Connecticut and Plyers Mill are not addressed in this plan. We believe it would be irresponsible of Council to approve any new development without specifically mitigating traffic in these areas.

We do not endorse solutions such as storage lockers and additional signage as we don't believe they would achieve any gains toward connectivity or encourage pedestrian traffic and would likely be unsightly.

Elizabeth Brennan
Parkwood Resident's Association
4324 Dresden Street
Kensington Maryland 20895
301 530 3615

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