Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Council Will Decide on Music Hall

Today we passed a zoning text amendment that clearly designates the County Council as the driver for arts and entertainment land use decisions in central business districts. While the proposed music hall (Fillmore/Live Nation) in Silver Spring is the most immediate project to fall within the new ordinance, it will apply to future projects as well. I proposed this amendment because the County Council, and not any other branch or agency of government, is responsible for setting land use policy in the County and makes final decisions for uses based on those policies. This amendment brings arts and entertainment uses in line with all other land use decisions and allows the County Council to consider these uses within its regular, transparent structure. I recognize that this move primarily represents a technical adjustment that is not all that interesting to most County residents, but I do want to stress that this change cleans up the unclear process that led to much of the controversy associated with the Fillmore/Live Nation agreement negotiated by the County Executive.

As our first act under the new ordinance, we are considering a resolution to accept the County Executive’s negotiated plan to build a music hall in Silver Spring. Some have questioned what they consider to be a sweet deal for the developer, especially during tough economic times. I encourage residents to remember that this deal represents an investment in downtown Silver Spring. It will spur development and generate tax revenue that ultimately will lessen the burden on individual taxpayers. We are scheduled to take a final vote on the music hall next Tuesday. To learn more, visit the Council’s website.

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