Wednesday, March 14, 2012

M-NCPPC staffer: "Misinformation may have prejudiced the votes of committee members."

Two staff members of the Maryland – National Capital Park & Planning Commission have filed Minority Reports dissenting from the recommendation of the Site Selection Advisory Committee.

Ms. Brooke Farquhar, Supervisor, Park and Trail Planning with the Parks Department, writes: "Costs were not thoroughly evaluated in the process and misinformation may have prejudiced the votes of committee members.... The process lacked a robust analysis. The potential sites should have been analyzed more thoroughly, based on detailed information that would allow consistent comparison across the sites."

Mr. Frederick V. Boyd, Community Planner with the Planning Board, writes: "[T]he rating process used for selecting sites did not provide a real opportunity to consider the community character and quality of life consequences of choosing a candidate site. Six of the eight criteria considered specific physical qualities of a site — its location, size, topography, access, availability of utilities and physical condition — in isolation from its neighborhood and from broader issues of recreation and environmental stewardship. The remaining two — availability and cost — are equally aimed at specific properties. Indeed, their descriptions appear to have been written to enable easier consideration of some public sites; cost is defined as 'The  cost to acquire a site is considered, compared to sites that may be in public ownership.' This implies that there are fewer acquisition or other costs associated with public ownership than with private sites."

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