About 11 years ago, Howard Sribnick moved from the District to Woodside Park, thinking the Silver Spring neighborhood would be a good place to raise a family but anticipating that the completion of the Metro station would keep him linked to city amenities.

He was not one of those people who moved out to get away from the city. That fact, under Sribnick's own theory about why there is such a vigorous debate over proposed development in Silver Spring, makes him "post-Metro."

"The basic controversy boils down to some people accepting the idea of Silver Spring as semiurban and others resisting that notion," the 41-year-old lawyer said.

Residents, he said, roughly divide into pre-Metro and post-Metro. Those who moved to Silver Spring before there was a Metro or one planned were fleeing an urban area for a low-density suburb, and they resent the fact that development has followed them, according to his theory.

Those who moved after Metro's 1978 opening or when it was under construction wanted to be close to the benefits of a vibrant city, Sribnick said, and they "kind of look forward to Silver Spring becoming more vibrant."

Sribnick classifies himself as an enthusiastic supporter of the revitalization of Silver Spring.

In particular, he would like to see a significant retail presence and increased housing.

"I am concerned that Silver Spring not be all office buildings . . . that doesn't make for a viable environment . . . . Commercial shopping and housing make a 24-hour city."

Sribnick, who walks to the Silver Spring Metro station for a ride to his job in downtown Washington and who confesses to thinking all traffic is terrible, is concerned about possible adverse effects on nearby neighborhoods. He and his wife have three children -- 11, 7 and 4 -- and don't want their safety threatened.

But Sribnick, who heads a traffic committee for his local civic association, thinks that measures can be developed to deal with increased traffic and that county officials are willing to work with the neighborhoods. Concern about traffic should not kill hope of redevelopment, he stressed.

Sribnick is still undecided about how large any new shopping center should be. He hopes it is not so massive as to be unattractive but understands that economic concerns have to be considered.

One thing, though, he is sure of: He doesn't believe the Art Deco-style shopping center at Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road is worth saving.

"It is not particularly attractive or historically noteworthy, and I would hate to see that stand in the way of so much development," he said.

Sribnick sees an irony in the debate. "In a sense, everyone wants the same thing: a vibrant, lively downtown. People are just concerned how to get there."