Happy 2018!

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New Architectural Standards Director starts work
Katherine Webb began work with MVF on January 3. She is getting oriented to her new job, meeting with the Architectural Standards Department staff and others at MVF to learn about the goals of the department as well as the organization in general. 

Webb is a Village resident, with strong management and leadership experience, and a background in urban planning and community volunteerism. At her most recent job, she managed the business’s largest unit, with 60 plus staff and a portfolio of over $250 million. She led the development and implementation of strategies, policies and processes for the business unit, all directed at improving business operations, ensuring productivity and client satisfaction. Her additional experience in human resources, finance, contract management and the regulatory process will all be beneficial to her new role.

Webb’s strong communications and technical skills will help the department further community outreach efforts and identify technical solutions to enhance efficiencies and provide better customer satisfaction. Her educational background in urban planning and skills served her well as an active volunteer member of both MVF’s Vision 2030 Committee and the Montgomery Village Golf Course Joint Property Committee, both of which worked to set a vision for future land use plans for the community generally and, more specifically, for the shuttered Montgomery Village golf course. 

Having lived in several communities, Webb understands the importance of architectural standards in our planned community and the need for community engagement when updating architectural criteria and guidelines for both residential and commercial properties. 

Please welcome Katherine to her new role here at MVF. 

Montgomery Village Development Updates
•  Village Center – The Planning Board will hold a public hearing and review the sketch plan, preliminary plan and site plan for this mixed use project, which will transform this aging retail site into a “mini” town center over time. 

•  Bloom MV Plan (golf course redevelopment) – the Planning Board approved a resolution on December 20 formalizing their vote earlier in the month approving a site plan that includes 494 housing units (26 single family homes, 2 duplexes and 466 town houses) in six areas of the former golf course. The plan includes a new park for MVF and a large park which eventually will be conveyed to M-NCPPC. 

Monument expects to have certified site plans approved by the Planning Board by the end of March and is working on record plats, which, over time, will be recorded. Now that Monument has received site plan approval, they will be seeking a home builder/developer to purchase the property. Monument has indicated they hope to sell the property by the end of the year and that some development on the site could begin by 2019. 

•  Professional Center – MVF checks regularly with representatives from Transwestern, who are brokering a deal with a new owner who reportedly would like to develop townhouses on the site. The new zoning on the site would allow this use.

Housing Opportunities Commission/Cider Mill Apartments
MVF has learned that HOC has exercised its right of first refusal to purchase the Cider Mill apartments, which includes 864 units. The current owner, The Donaldson Group, had a contract to sell the apartments to a private entity, but that sale did not proceed when HOC made its interest known. In order for HOC to purchase the units, the contract of sale must be matched from the original offer. HOC has indicated that their major goal for these apartments is to keep them affordable so that the existing tenants can stay. HOC’s mission is to preserve and create more affordable housing units in Montgomery County. The EVP, MVF Board president and several other Board members will be meeting with HOC to discuss the sale more fully. 

 

Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School Selection Committee Update 
A Site Selection Advisory Committee (SSAC) was formed in November 2017 to select a site for a potential Gaithersburg Cluster elementary school as an option to address enrollment growth and challenges associated with a currently planned school addition project at Gaithersburg Elementary School. MVF was asked to participate because possible school sites or park sites might be identified for a new school that would serve resident students from the East Village area. 

The SSAC reviewed the following publicly owned sites: Charlene Elementary School surplus site, Hunter’s Woods Park, Emory Grove Center, Centerway Park (Stewartown Middle School surplus site), Woodwards Road future school site, Crown Farm future school site, Jeremiah Park future school site, City of Gaithersburg Kelley Park and the county-owned Public Safety Training Academy (former). Because of the timing, availability and location of several sites, the SSAC voted to remove five properties from further consideration. 

The SSAC recommends the City of Gaithersburg Kelley Park site for locating a new Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School. This site is located at 400 Victory Farm Drive, Gaithersburg. It would be the first new elementary school site in the cluster since 1988. Montgomery County Public Schools Construction Division believes a new elementary school can be accommodated on the site, while maintaining the city’s ball fields. An alternative site with the next highest point rating is the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission site, located at 111 West Diamond Avenue. 

This report will be posted for public comment and sent to the City of Gaithersburg Mayor and city council for consideration and discussion. In March 2018, the superintendent of schools will make his recommendation to the Board of Education as part of the FY 2019 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2019–2024 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) process. In spring/summer 2018, the Board of Education will conduct a work session on the recommendation, hold public hearings and take action on a site. There is no proposed opening date for a new Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School at this time. A boundary study for a new school will be established approximately one year prior to the school’s opening.