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Council To Consider 5 For Planning Board Chair

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 5/8/2014, 8:25am  ET

Casey Anderson, via Montgomery County Planning BoardA former council member, former Planning Board commissioner and two sitting commissioners are among the five who will be considered to take over for outgoing Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier when the Council interviews candidates in July.

Council President Craig Rice announced former Councilmember Mike Knapp, Planning Department Deputy Director Rose Krasnow, Chevy Chase activist Meredith Wellington and Planning Board Commissioners Casey Anderson and Norman Dreyfuss will be interviewed for the job.

Wellington is a former commissioner and Chevy Chase Village resident. She started the Neighborhood Montgomery group to urge “sensible growth” in the county and in the recently completed Zoning Rewrite.

Norman Dreyfuss, via Montgomery County Planning BoardIn 2012, former Planning Director Rollin Stanley described Wellington and a number of other civic activists as “rich white women…spreading fear,” for their opposition to Stanley’s transit-oriented development strategies.

The Planning Board chair leads the five-member group’s decision making on key zoning and development issues. The chair also testifies in Council hearings once master plans are approved and sent to Rockville.

Carrier’s first term as chair ends on June 14 and she announced in January that she won’t be seeking a second.

The next Planning Board chair will have influence in the Bethesda Downtown Plan, the sector plan rewrite for downtown Bethesda that is set to go before the Board late this year and early next year. The chair will likely also have a significant part in the future of Westbard, as that sector plan rewrite is expected to start later this year.

According to a Council press release, 18 people applied to fill the vacancy in various forms. Eight applied for the chair position only, two applied to fill what could be a vacant commissioner position and eight applied for either the chair or a vacant commissioner position.

If the Council picks Anderson or Dreyfuss for the chair position, the Council will then do a second round of interviews using the remaining applicants on the list.

The interviews for the chair position will start at 1:30 p.m. on July 8 at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The interviews will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery.