• Village Center: On April 26, the Planning Board approved Atlantic Realty Companies’ (ARC) plans to renovate and add some retail density and new housing to the 18-plus acre property. This plan includes 49 townhouses, 34 two-over-two condos and 32 condos/apartments, but only the 32 condos/apartments are included in the Site Plan, for which ARC received approval from the Planning Board. The remaining housing units will be included in a future Site Plan for the property.
The retail redevelopment will be phased in and will include the creation of three new pad sites on the front of the property and the extension of Centerway Road through to Watkins Mill Road, which creates a connection between the residential development and new retail.
The Commercial Architectural Review Committee (CARC) has had several reviews of the plans and continues to believe that ARC is moving in the right direction with architectural design and layout. CARC will be reviewing additional plans with more detail at their next meeting on Friday, Sept. 7. ARC foresees gaining Certified Site Plan status any day, is working on necessary permits and has started construction drawings for the façade and pads. Their goal is to obtain building permits and start construction of the pads, street, park and façade this fall/winter.
• Bloom MV Plan (golf course redevelopment): The Planning Board approved a resolution on December 20, 2017 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) on six areas of the former golf course. The plan includes a new park for MVF and a large stream valley park, which may eventually be conveyed to M-NCPPC.
The Planning Board’s comments to the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision and Site Plan have all been addressed and were approved by M-NCPPC Staff in May 2018. The final certification was conditioned on the execution of a Park Facilities Agreement (PFA) between Monument and Montgomery County Parks Department, governing the stream valley park. The PFA was executed by M-NCPPC in July 2018 and the county is now processing the certified plans, which completes the entitlement process for the project.
Monument has begun the design phase associated with the actual land development (e.g., installation of roads and infrastructure) and is in discussions with prospective home builders. Subject to the completing the county’s lengthy Record Plat process and subsequent permitting, Monument currently estimates a ground breaking in mid to late 2019.
• Professional Center: Lidl, a German grocer who has been making strides to expand in the U.S., is the contract purchaser for the Professional Center. They are currently in the due diligence period, conducting geotechnical investigations on the property.
Draft 2019 MVF Budget Process well underway
The budget cycle began in earnest after the MVF Board of Directors Annual Strategic Planning Retreat in June and will close with the Board’s adoption of the 2019 MVF Budget in October, including the establishment of assessment rates. Budget time is a time for setting goals, reevaluating programs and identifying priorities, including how to effectively allocate resources within the budget plan.
All MVF staff are part of the budget process in some way, but the department heads and senior staff do the heavy revenue and expenditure analysis and put together their draft budgets for review. The Audit Committee does a careful review of the budget and offers suggestions to the Board during the process. Residents are encouraged to bring budget ideas/comments forward for consideration during Residents Time at the next MVF Board meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road.
Enterprise Zone for Montgomery Village?
MVF staff continues to communicate with various state and county agency staff on the benefits of applying for state enterprise designation to assist businesses, commercial property owners and developers to encourage economic development within Montgomery Village. Enterprise Zones have been a great economic tool and used in Montgomery County for the past two decades. Currently, we are working with representatives from the state Department of Commerce to identify which census tracts are potentially eligible to be included in an application to the state for Enterprise Zone designation.
A Business and Economic Development Roundtable has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road, and all interested residents and commercial property owners or tenants are encouraged to attend. Commercial property owners have been notified by e-mail invitation. The group will learn more about the Enterprise Zone program and other incentives to encourage community and economic development initiatives, with the goal of enhancing business opportunities within the Village.
Watkins Mill Interchange
MVF staff continues to monitor transportation projects that are important to Village residents. The Watkins Mill Interchange project started in Summer 2017, and regular construction updates are provided on the MD State Highway Administration (MSHA) website. According to the project manager, current work on the project includes: the completion of work on Pier #1 on southbound I-270; WSSC waterline testing; the completion of the footer for Pier #3 on southbound I-270; pile driving for Pier #4 on southbound I-270; and box culvert and backfilling work on the project also continues this summer. The project is now 34 percent complete. Progress permitting, the entire project should be complete by late Summer 2020.
Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board (UCAB) Meeting
Staff continues to attend important UCAB meetings to keep abreast of important issues affecting our region of the county. Their July 16 meeting had several important agenda items, including updates from police department command staff from Districts 1, 5 and 6.
Recently appointed 6th District Lt. Dan Friz is responsible for the Robert Sector, which includes Montgomery Village; he introduced himself to the group and discussed the implementation of the Montgomery Village team, which will focus on specific crime areas in Montgomery Village.
In the coming months, UCAB members plan on discussing: developing a list of improvements to roads and adjacent trees to be recommended for the upcounty; how to develop support for the “Custom Crush” wine-making facility proposed for the Ag-Reserve; how to take advantage of the recent RISE zone designation for property on the Germantown campus of Montgomery College; monitoring the county’s enforcement of Short-term Rental and Assisted-Living Licenses for properties in the upcounty; reviewing Emergency Plans for the upcounty developed by the county, Homeland Security and the Red Cross; and input to the county budget regarding the budget for the 6th District Police Station.
The next meeting of UCAB will be in September, and interested residents are encouraged to attend.