Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Council Approves Kensington Sector Plan

Today, five years after work began, we approved the Kensington Sector Plan which will guide the long-term redevelopment of the Town of Kensington and surrounding area. Because of collaboration among neighbors, planners, and municipal and county elected officials, we have been able to create and approve a plan that will achieve the two goals we all have agreed on—revitalizing the area’s commercial core and preserving residential communities.

The plan addresses factors such as land uses, building heights, changes to street patterns, and preservation the area’s historic character. It incorporates infrastructure improvements to reduce traffic congestion, creates new buffers between commercial districts and residential neighborhoods, and protects the unique character of Kensington. While this plan serves as a long-term vision, residents still have opportunities to weigh in on individual projects as they are submitted to the Planning Board.

The plan encourages redevelopment of an area near the downtown train station into a visible center of town life. At the same time, it includes language about the importance of transitions to residential neighborhoods. To facilitate the transitioning, we directed the Planning Board to develop new zones (CRN and CRT) that will create a buffer between commercial and residential areas.

I want to thank all who participated for their advice on the Sector Plan. Together, we have been able to craft a plan that will create opportunities for more vibrant shopping, living and dining for the residents of Kensington. We all agreed on the importance of revitalizing the area while also preserving the community character and addressing traffic issues. I believe this plan does just that in a way that takes into account many different viewpoints. Advocacy and collaboration have been important parts of this process, and the plan has benefitted tremendously from them.

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