As our community ages, maintaining, enhancing and adding to our infrastructure, facilities and amenities is a must. The Montgomery Village Foundation Board of Directors is dedicated to keeping the Village a desirable, flourishing community in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Use the below links for information regarding current development and projects in and around Montgomery Village.
CTS Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Project
On March 4, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church (CTS) was awarded $119,200 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The purpose of this money is to replace 4,000 square feet of impervious blacktop with permeable pavers and to tie in three roof downspouts into the same drainage system. This will prevent thousands of gallons of runoff into our watersheds.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) awards more than $10 million in grant funding each year to hundreds of nonprofits and community organizations throughout the region for hands-on projects that are ensuring cleaner, greener, healthier Chesapeake, Coastal Bays and Youghiogheny watersheds for years to come. For more information about this organization, visit www.chesapeakebaytrust.org.
CTS has always been environmentally conscious. We recycle plastic, glass and paper products and use washable plates, cups and utensils instead of paper ones in our activities. So when it became time to replace our blacktop parking lot we explored the most environmentally healthy way possible. We learned that even replacing a small section of our parking lot with permeable pavers would greatly help our watershed.
With the help of CBT, another organization called Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC), Montgomery Village Foundation and the Gaithersburg Library we hope to accomplish 2 goals:
1. To help make our precious water safer and cleaner for future generations; and
2. To educate our neighbors in how they can also improve our watershed with simple projects and behavioral changes.
Construction should begin this May/June and should take 2 weeks.
Colonial Pipeline Inspection Project
Colonial Pipeline Company owns and operates an Interstate Common Carrier Pipeline System that transports refined petroleum products, gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, aviation kerosene and military grade fuels to markets in the southeast and along the eastern seaboard. Periodically, Colonial runs internal inspection tools through its pipelines as part of its system integrity program. Colonial performed a tool run through a pipeline segment that crosses through the Montgomery Village community and has identified a location that requires further inspection. In order to safely perform the required pipeline inspection, it will be necessary to temporarily close and relocate Duffer Way. Work is scheduled to begin approximately on June 1.
Colonial’s pipelines cross through the community via Right-of-Way Easements that were obtained in 1963 when there were working farms in the area, and additional easements in 1980 from the Kettler Brothers and Patton Ridge Homes Corporation. These easements granted to Colonial the rights “for the purpose of laying, constructing, maintaining, operating, repairing, altering, replacing, inspecting, protecting, changing the size of, and removing one pipeline…” Additionally, “together with the right of unimpaired access to said pipe line and the right of ingress and egress on, over, and through Grantor’s above-described lands for any and all purposes necessary and incident to the exercise by said Grantee of the rights granted hereunder, …”
Under the above referenced rights, Colonial plans to construct a temporary roadway during upcoming maintenance activities. They anticipate the work to take approximately 60 days, weather permitting. The first phase will be to construct a new roadway to connect the Fairway Island of Patton Ridge community with Meadowcroft Lane. The second phase will be executed once the new roadway is in place. Colonial will close the current entrance of Fairway Island and detour traffic to the new road. Then the pipeline inspection and maintenance will take place.
Once the pipeline inspection and maintenance activities have been completed, the existing roadway, curbing and other disturbed areas will be restored and reopened. The third phase will involve removing the temporary detour roadway and restoring the distributed areas back to their original grade and conditions.
Colonial appreciates residents’ support and cooperation during these necessary maintenance activities. For more information or questions, e-mail Colonial’s Right-of-Way Consultant Terry mock at email@example.com.
Watkins Mill Pool Site Repurposing
A major discussion point for the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors in 2019 has been the repurposing of the Watkins Mill Pool site. By repurposing the site, it will allow for the creation of a new amenity for better utilization of the recreation area.
Each year, the aquatics staff provides detailed statistics on utilization of all MVF pools. including the Watkins Mill Pool, which is MVF’s smallest and least used pool. This location has always been a challenge due to the proximity of the busy Watkins Mill Road, which fronts the pool site. MVF has six additional pools with capacity.
The reality is that as MVF renovates facilities, operating and reserve expenses increase. For these reasons, the Board of Directors has decided to move in a different direction with the Watkins Mill Pool location and develop a plan to repurpose this site. As such, the MVF Board of Directors approved the 2020 Budget in October without funds to operate the Watkins Mill Pool in 2020 and beyond. In addition, the Board approved funds for the demolition of the pool and the installation of a new, year-round amenity (to be determined).
Recreation and Parks staff researched various options for the repurpose of the Watkins Mill site. Some of the criteria staff considered were: low operation cost, low reserve cost, year-round usage, unique to Montgomery Village, support of Long Range Facility Plan, support of community needs and fit within the given budget parameters.
Staff presented different amenity options to the Recreation Committee in October. The committee narrowed down the selection to four amenities that they believe could be a good fit for the location. Those amenities include: outdoor fitness space with playground; outdoor fitness space; skate park; or multiple sports courts (futsal, basketball and pickleball).
The committee recommended hosting both a community forum and survey to gain community feedback on these proposed concepts. The community forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road.
The survey is available online at https://bit.ly/2JNBpwc and will be open until Friday, Dec. 13. Residents may also request a paper copy of the survey at the Montgomery Village Office, 10120 Apple Ridge Road. Community feedback and recommendations will be presented to the Recreation Committee and MVF Board of Directors in January.
For more information, questions or comments about this project, contact Director of Recreation and Parks Duncan Mullis at 240-243-2337 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated Pickleball Courts
Last year the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors approved converting one of the four lighted tennis courts at North Creek Community Center into a dedicated futsal/soccer court. This decision was reached after community input, location considerations and Recreation Committee study and recommendation.
In June 2019, the Recreation Committee proposed converting one of the tennis courts at the Apple Ridge Recreation Area into multiple purpose-built pickleball courts, to give the emerging sport a dedicated outdoor space. Following opportunities for community input, the Recreation Committee elected to broaden the considered locations for community input to also include Watkins Mill Recreation Area, Edward A. DeSimon Recreation Area and North Creek Community Center. After reviewing the community feedback received from a community forum and an online survey, the Recreation Committee recommended that multiple pickleball courts be installed next to the soon-to-be futsal/soccer court at North Creek Community Center.
The North Creek location was the overwhelming favorite for several reasons. The proposed location is already being modified for the futsal/soccer court, so performing additional work at the same time allows for a preferred design. This location has lighted courts, making play available later in the evening hours; there is ample parking; and it is further from homes than other potential sites. While it reduced the number of lighted tennis courts at this location, there are also lighted tennis courts at Watkins Mill Recreation Area which are currently underutilized.
At the January 23 MVF Board of Directors meeting, the Board authorized staff to begin the bidding process to convert one of the North Creek Tennis Courts to install three purpose-built pickleball courts. Bids will be solicited through an RFP process, with the aim that the pickleball and futsal/soccer court conversions be performed by the same contractor, at the same time.
The proposed concept would adjust the layout of the lower two courts at the North Creek Community Center. The plan shows the construction of three pickleball courts in the same orientation as the current tennis courts on one half of the pad, and a futsal/soccer court spanning the length of the pad on the other half. The two sport uses would be separated in the middle with a 10-foot fence. The two upper tennis courts would remain in their current configuration with no changes.
Once the North Creek Pool is renovated (closing after the 2020 pool season and reopening for the 2021 season), North Creek Community Center will have some of the most diverse offerings available to Village residents: a brand new pool with a 140’ water slide, tot lot (replaced in 2015), two lighted tennis courts, three lighted pickleball courts and a lighted futsal/soccer court.
For more information, questions or comments about this project, contact Director of Recreation and Parks Duncan Mullis at 240-243-2337 or e-mail email@example.com.
Village Center Revitalization
Great progress is being made with the facelift and infrastructure improvements for Phase I of the Village Center project. The developer, Atlantic Realty Companies, has not yet filed a Preliminary Plan for the Watkins Mill side of the project, which will include condominium units and townhouses.
MV Professional Center/Lidl
Lidl still on plan to open in Spring 2021
According to representatives from German grocer Lidl, the owners of the old Professional Center site, they are still on track to begin demolition this month and start construction in the August or September timeframe. Lidl is hopeful for a Grand Opening in March 2021.
Lidl has indicated that they would do better with more regular grass cutting and trash pickup on the site, which has been a continuous issue.
MVGC Development/Bloom Montgomery Village
Monument Realty, along with Maryland-based Mosaic Realty Partners, Connecticut-based Grandview Partners, and the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF), announced the start of construction on the first phase of its 494-lot residential development, named Bloom Village, in Montgomery County on June 9. Monument Realty has teamed with Reston-based NVR, Inc. to supply the leading national homebuilder with finish residential lots. Ryan Homes, a division of NVR, will build and market the new homes for sale. Model homes construction is scheduled to start later this year with sales commencing in early 2021.
“Today we celebrate the hard work and commitment of many dedicated people, including residents of Montgomery Village and the leadership at MVF, who invested their time and effort over several years to make our collective vision for Bloom Village come to life,” said Russell Hines, president of Monument Realty. “We are proud to have reimagined the former golf course, which was historically accessible by few, as both a new home for many families and individuals, and a new preserve of open space and recreation to serve the broader community.”
Bloom Village will feature townhomes and single-family homes dispersed throughout the 150-acre site. The project is the result of extensive community engagement led by Monument Realty, working closely with the Montgomery Village Foundation and the local community, over the last seven years. The first phase of this multi-phase project will deliver 177 townhome lots to the east of Montgomery Village Avenue between Stewartown and Arrowhead roads. The overall site includes approximately 4,000 linear feet of the Cabin Branch stream meandering through the property. The stream connects two major Montgomery County park systems and will serve as a central feature for the new residential homes and all of Montgomery Village. When all phases are complete, there will be approximately 90 acres reserved for passive and active recreational use, including community gardens, picnic pavilions, walking paths, a dog park and playground.
“Bloom has been a long time in the planning stages, and we are pleased to see progress,” said MVF Executive Vice President David Humpton. “Bloom Village will bring new residents and yes, new revenues, to MVF, but most importantly will open up the former golf course property to more recreational opportunities for all Village residents to enjoy, and preserves most of the property in conservation areas which will benefit our local wildlife and the environment.”
While this is Monument Realty’s first foray into residential land development, Grandview Partners is a thought-leader in property investing and has extensive experience providing residential infrastructure financing. The Bloom Montgomery Village project has provided Monument Realty the opportunity to continue leveraging its extensive entitlement and development experience into new and creative areas of investment. Monument Realty continues to be an active buyer and developer in the Washington, DC market and is nearing completion of its first ground-up retail development, Riverside Square, a 90,000 SF suburban retail shopping center located on Route 7 in Ashburn, Virginia.
For construction updates during the project, visit www.bloominmv.com/construction.
For more information on Bloom, visit www.bloominmv.com/home.
In preparation for the Gaithersburg East Master Plan, later separated into the Montgomery Village Master Plan, which Montgomery County originally set to work on in 2014, the MVF Board of Directors appointed the Vision 2030 Steering Committee to work with a professional land use consultant to: 1) develop a general vision statement that would articulate the community’s vision and would influence the county’s master plan update; and 2) hold a number of charrettes to get residents’ and others’ input on how to change, improve or enhance various areas of Montgomery Village. A series of three, two-day community charrettes were held, and various land use options were developed for each site. Feedback during the charrette process demonstrated that the community recognizes the need for change and that there needs to be an infusion of new high quality development, both residential and commercial, as well as updated public facilities in order for Montgomery Village to maintain a sense of community and serenity in an ever urbanizing county.
Questions such as “How do we make things more attractive, fresh and vibrant?” came up over and over, as residents and professional planners shared ideas and in some cases, drawings for various areas of the Village. “How do we strengthen our sense of community? How do we increase property values? What kinds of housing or commercial facilities do we need?” The committee identified four sites in the Village that will be ripe for redevelopment in the next 20 years. Concept plans were developed for each location and then presented to the MVF Board of Directors, the Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County Planning Board.
This report laid important groundwork for and helped shape the MV Master Plan.
MV Master Plan
On February 9, 2017 the Montgomery County Council unanimously adopted the Montgomery Village Master Plan. Over the last two years, the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors, MVF staff, Village residents, county planners and business stakeholders in the Village, including Monument Realty, worked to provide feedback and comments on the proposed plan.
County Council President Nancy Floreen thanked all who participated, noting that MVF and the Vision 2030 Plan helped lay the groundwork for this totally new Master Plan.
The comprehensive re-zoning of all properties in Montgomery Village continues to be processed by the county council. The Planning Board has recommended all the zoning recommendations in the recently adopted Montgomery Village Master Plan and the overlay zone. MVF Board President Pete Young presented testimony on behalf of the Board at a public hearing during a county council meeting, endorsing the zoning proposed in the master plan, including the overlay zone.
For more information or to view the Montgomery Village Master Plan, visit www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/montgomery_village.
Solar Panel Installation
Among the MVF Board of Directors recent strategic goals is reducing energy costs and carbon footprint through green initiatives. This is not only environmentally friendly, but helps free up resources for other important initiatives. The Architectural Review Board regularly approves the use of solar panels on homes, and reviews new, efficient exterior home products for use in the community. The Committee on the Environment (COE) looks at ways to reduce our impact on the environment, while maintaining a balance with wildlife.
As such, a sub-committee of the COE was formed to study the effectiveness of adding solar panels to MVF facilities. This group spent 10 months researching information on the feasibility of installing solar panels on various building owned by MVF. As a result of their hard work, the Committee on the Environment and the MVF Board decided to install solar panels on Lake Marion Community Center (LMCC), with the possibility of adding other facilities in the near future.
About 300 solar panels were installed on the roof of LMCC, sending collected solar energy through nine inverters, helping to power LMCC. This project was approved by the MVF Board in 2014 and after permitting and installation, was ready for Pepco to turn on in mid-July. Through a Purchase Power Agreement with Paradise, MVF is projected to save $250,000 in energy costs over the next 25 years.
A display kiosk inside LMCC monitors real-time power usage, savings and other comparisons. The monitor shows items such as how much energy was produced on a daily basis, how much energy has been used and other useful information including the weather. The system produces a portion of the electricity used at LMCC. In addition, to further reduce energy costs, the community center will be receiving all new LED lighting. After monitoring the success of this facility, MVF plans to duplicate it at other facilities, building commitment to the future of Montgomery Village.
Midcounty Highway Extended (M-83)
The following information is provided by the TAME Coalition regarding removing M-83 from the Montgomery County Highway Master Plan.
- The Case for Cancelling the Midcounty Highway Extended (M-83)
- The Environmental & Economic Case for Removing Midcounty Highway Extended (M-83)
- Best Transportation Improvements for Midcounty Corridor Area
I-270 Project/Watkins Mill Interchange
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) announced the completion of the $124 million interchange at Interstate 270 and Watkins Mill Road, a project that will foster economic growth and assist Maryland in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The project, which includes a new bridge over I-270 and ramps connecting Watkins Mill Road with the interstate, is part of Governor Larry Hogan’s investment of $1.97 billion in state highways and bridges. Montgomery County contributed $4.9 million for design and engineering.
“This interchange has tremendous economic benefits for the region and improves access to the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station,” said Governor Hogan. “The men and women of MDOT SHA have delivered a critical link in this employment corridor that will advance our economic recovery as we continue to reopen Maryland.”
The 1.25-mile project began construction in Summer 2017, and extends from MD 124 (Montgomery Village Avenue) to Great Seneca Creek at Watkins Mill Road. It includes a new four-lane bridge over I-270 with entry and exit ramps from Watkins Mill Road onto I-270.
The interchange and the new section of Watkins Mill Road connect both sides of Gaithersburg, providing improved access to the Gaithersburg Medical Center, Metropolitan Grove MARC Station, the Montgomery County Police Department and local neighborhoods and businesses. Previously, residents and visitors did not have direct access to I-270 from Watkins Mill Road, and were required to use MD 117 (Clopper Road), MD 355 or MD 124 to reach the opposite side of the interstate. This new link will reduce congestion in one of the most heavily traveled areas in Montgomery County and enhance bicycle and pedestrian access throughout the area. “This project will literally ‘bridge’ two sides of the City of Gaithersburg, connecting residents to job centers, medical centers and the MARC station,” said Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater. “Thanks to the crews of Wagman Heavy Civil Inc. and the hardworking SHA team for working through the health crisis. This project is delivering more travel options with improved access for everyone: motorists, truck drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, transit users – everyone.”
The I-270 Corridor is known as the Montgomery County’s Technology Corridor, and is home to dozens of existing businesses and planned development in the Gaithersburg area. The completion of this project is an example of the work MDOT has accomplished during Maryland’s COVID-19 State of Emergency while maintaining safe conditions for commuters and work crews. “The I-270 Technology Corridor is an important component of our economic development plans to support dozens of thriving businesses that are industry leaders in biotechnology,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “This long-awaited and much-needed interchange will help support our plans to enhance economic development and provide traffic relief in the northern part of the county…It is a step toward addressing our evolving transportation needs, but more importantly it symbolizes a bridge from our past to our future.
“I want to thank the Maryland Department of Transportation and the City of Gaithersburg for being great partners on this project to create transportation solutions that improve the quality of life for our citizens,” Elrich added.
The interchange project included resurfacing I-270 collector/distributor lanes and a section of Watkins Mill Road and constructing retaining walls. Extensive stream restoration and construction of culverts and drainage structures were also part of the project.
“The new interchange is more than just another exit. It’s a vital link to residential and commercial developments that will provide new energy to the northern reaches of our city,” said Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman. “We appreciate the efforts of Governor Hogan, Secretary Slater, County Executive Elrich and all who worked so diligently to not only get it built, but do it ahead of schedule. On behalf of those who live and work in Gaithersburg, and those who just drive through – now much more easily – thank you.”
MDOT SHA works hard every day to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for our crews and our customers. Drivers need to stay alert, focus on the road and look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. For a list of all major MDOT SHA projects, visit wwww.roads.maryland.gov. For a look at real-time commute conditions, visit www.md511.maryland.gov.
I-495 & I-270 P3 Program
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced the Traffic Relief Plan to reduce traffic congestion, increase economic development, but most importantly, enhance safety and return quality of life to Maryland commuters. This announcement goes hand-in-hand with the State’s determination and commitment to deliver state-of-the-art transportation solutions to Maryland residents.
To help address some of Maryland’s transportation challenges, the Traffic Relief Plan will incorporate many projects around the state by providing a “system of systems” for users including improvements to highways and transit. The largest initiative in the Traffic Relief Plan will evaluate improvements in the I-495 and I-270 corridors, which will consider transformative solutions to address congestion along these highways in Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Frederick Counties.
The I-495 & I-270 P3 Program is a historic effort to reduce congestion for millions of Maryland drivers by seeking input from the private sector to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain improvements on both I-495 and I-270. Improvements will be focused to transform these overloaded interstates to allow people to reach their destinations faster and to remove overflow traffic from the local roads.