The case of Halpine View and the taking up of the Veirs Mill Corridor sector plan by the Montgomery County Planning Board looks very much like a case of the tail wagging the dog. But for being one of the few actual growth sites in the plan area, the venerable garden apartment complex's ownership had few details to put on the table at a public meeting last night at Newport Mill Middle School.
Attorney Bob Dalrymple, representing the original family that still owns the complex, started off by noting that he grew up in Aspen Hill, and therefore feels personally invested in the area. He acknowledged Halpine View has been sector plan-shopping for several years, and are glad to have found a home in the Veirs Mill plan.
Nothing is imminent for the property, however. Dalrymple said the owners need the rezoning via the new sector plan in order to move forward. That means it's unlikely anything would happen for 2 years.
When it does happen, a representative of Grady Management said, Halpine View residents will get a year's notice of demolition. Surprisingly, in a county supposedly in an affordable housing crisis, he said Halpine View is experiencing a lack of interest from the market, and has vacant units.
Given that Halpine View is among the rapidly shrinking number of naturally occurring affordable apartment opportunities in MoCo, it's hard to believe they have habitable units sitting vacant. The Grady rep said renovation is not an option on the table.
The loss of 550 affordable apartments would be quite a blow. Unless the ultimate plan has that many MPDUs, it would mean a major net loss of affordable units. Dalrymple said affordable units will be "part of the discussion,' but the applicant isn't committing to anything beyond the minimum 12.5% of units required by the County at this juncture.