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Montgomery Councilmember Marc Elrich's statement on why he voted against the Lyttonsville Sector Plan

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Montgomery County Councilmember

Marc Elrich’s statement following approval

of Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan

He was lone dissenting vote today as Council voted 8-1

to approve plan for historic section of Silver Spring


ROCKVILLE, Md., February 7, 2017—The Montgomery County Council today formally voted 8-1 to approve the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan, which will guide redevelopment of the historic section of Silver Spring. Councilmember Marc Elrich (at-large) was the lone dissenting vote against adoption of the plan.


He issued the following statement summarizing his reasons for his vote:


“While I generally support the recommendations in the plan that preserve industrial zones and allow for redevelopment of properties immediately adjacent to the proposed Purple Line stations, I cannot support its deleterious effects on naturally occurring affordable housing.


“The Lyttonsville area offers a supply of two- and three-bedroom rental units—even some hard-to-find four-bedroom units—that meet the needs of low-income people who cannot afford rental rates in other parts of Montgomery County. As properties redevelop to the new densities allowed in the plan, we will lose a significant number of these units, with many of the larger units replaced with efficiency and one-bedroom units renting at much higher monthly rates.


“Because every projection of housing needs we have seen shows the long-term continuing need for affordable housing, we should not adopt a plan that diminishes the stock of affordable housing now available in Lyttonsville.


“I cannot accept my Council colleagues’ assessment that there is nothing we can do to preserve these units. We protected naturally occurring affordable housing in Long Branch. We protected naturally occurring affordable housing in White Oak. We protected naturally occurring affordable housing in Glenmont. There is no reason why we could not have done the same in Lyttonsville.”


Councilmember Elrich also noted that the greatest densities will not occur along 16th Street, which is near both a future Purple Line station and the existing Metro station. He pointed out that they will occur in an area of existing residences not served by a major road and whose only access to transit will be a single Purple Line station.


“Regrettably,” said Councilmember Elrich, “in the end, I could not support the plan.”


# # # # Release ID: 17-036
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939, Delphine Harriston 240-777-7931