The letter {Maryland Weekly, Sept. 24} from Paula Eiblum and Penelope Bustin on the "unpublicized" Rockville Pike planning process is filled with outrageous fabrications intended to confuse the public. Please permit me to set the record straight.

The pike planning process, which began in 1982 and moved into high gear in 1985, has been the most publicized area planning process in the history of Rockville. The process began with the appointment of a Pike Amenities Committee in 1982. Consultants' reports on economics, traffic problems and solutions and urban design followed. Public forums on pike development were held at the Civic Center in 1985. At the same time, the City Planning Commission appointed the Rockville Pike Advisory Committee (RPAC), a citizen and business group that made a series of interim reports, and then issued a final report in 1986. A series of public workshops on the RPAC report followed. A staff proposal for the pike was issued early in 1987, and was followed a few months later by the Planning Commission's "Recommended Rockville Pike Corridor Neighborhood Plan." Pursuant to the requirements of the state planning law, the Planning Commission held extremely well-publicized public hearings on the recommended plan in June. The commission's hearings were held open until everyone who wished to be heard had spoken. Written comments were also received from scores of citizens. Since June, the commission has held a series of public, open work sessions to develop the final approved plan. Hundreds of copies of the recommended pike plan have been distributed, and reports and memoranda have been mailed to everyone who has asked for them. The planning process and its progress have been dissected in minute detail by the media and in Rockville Reports, the city newsletter delivered to every home in town.

It is important for the future of Rockville that the pike plan, which significantly lowers density for new buildings on the pike, makes major traffic and streetscape improvements and encourages construction of new public amenities, go forward. Delays in adopting the plan will not stop development.

It is unfortunate that a majority on the council decided on an 11th-hour delay that has thrown the pike planning process into the political vortex. Rockville citizens deserve action on planning issues, rather than paralysis-by-analysis for short-term political gains. RICHARD L. ARKIN Chairman, Rockville City Planning Commission Rockville