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.
Apple Ridge Pool Renovation
The Apple Ridge Pool was renamed the Peggy Mark Pool and opened for the 2017 season for all residents to enjoy! The new “leisure” pool features a “lazy river” or current channel; an open body slide; a double family slide; water features including dump buckets and pipe falls; spray ground; beach entry; in-water sun-shelf lounging area; an underwater bench sitting area with cool water jets; a bridge to an island pool deck; and an ADA compliant access ramp. Additionally, the wading pool will feature a beach entry and water features suitable for younger pool-goers.
Check out the full build in this short time lapse video:
Village Center Revitalization
Atlantic Realty Companies (ARC) purchased the Village Center in December 2015 and has been very busy planning for the future of the site.
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.
Atlantic Realty Companies (ARC) recently received their Certified Site Plan to proceed to building permit to build new pad sites along Montgomery Village Avenue, perform façade improvements, extend Centerway access road to the rear of the shopping center, build apartments above the retail across from the rear of the McDonalds and build the public green space at the rear of the shopping center. The county has informed MVF that ARC has applied for a minor amendment to the preliminary plan and site plan to allow for minor changes to the foot prints of the pad site buildings to accommodate tenants needs. Bank of America will be relocating to the old Village Café location while a new pad site is constructed for them, and it has been reported that Aldi will be the grocery store anchor for the site and be located next to Big Lots.
MV Professional Center
When the Professional Center was built by the Kettler Brothers, the Declaration of Covenants attached to the property stated that once Kettler ceased to own the property, Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) had certain rights and responsibilities, including amending the Declaration which permitted uses for the property. The original uses for the property were defined by Kettler to be “professional pharmacies, doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, engineers, chiropractors, osteopaths, opticians and related, supportive or similar type uses.”
Currently, the new CRT zoning established with the Montgomery Village Master Plan allows for a broad range of uses to the site. However, in order to market the site to potential developers, the owner, NorthStar, wants to add to the list of potential uses for the property beyond Kettler’s original designation; MVF would have to change the Declaration for this to happen. In keeping with the Vision 2030 Plan and the new Montgomery Village Master Plan—which both encourage reinvestment in several commercial sites—the MVF Board of Directors set out to establish appropriate uses for the site, with cooperation from Whetstone Homes Corporation, whose property abuts the Professional Center.
The Zoning Ordinance list of uses was the basis for determining what could potentially work on the site. NorthStar’s attorney, Tim Dugan, along with MVF Executive Vice President Dave Humpton and MVF General Counsel Christopher Hitchens narrowed the list into a use table for further examination.
Humpton and Dugan attended the September 29, 2017 Whetstone Homes Corporation (WHC) meeting to discuss the need to update the Declaration and received direction from WHC as to what other uses would be tolerable that close to their borders. Prior to the WHC board meeting, Whetstone held a community meeting to discuss the use table.
Of the 58 items on the original use table, MVF staff eliminated several more based on the WHC board’s recommendation, including: community gardens; categories of household living; personal living quarters; major impact home health practitioners; hotels and charitable, philanthropic institutions. In total, 26 uses were eliminated from the use table.
In addition to specific parameters in the CRT zone (design standards, including public amenities), the county’s site plan regulatory requirements would protect the neighboring Whetstone residences. County planners have taken into account buffers, storm water management, landscaping, lighting, height and massing of buildings, rooftop structures (HVAC equipment), dumpster enclosures, etc. Within the Declaration, MVF retains architectural review, which again provides a level of control to help plan and build a project that is in harmony with the adjoining residential community. WHC’s concerns about compatibility and impacts such as increased traffic, schools, too much density, etc. can be addressed during the multi-step regulatory process which encourages public participation.
Along with the use table, other modifications to the zoning have been negotiated with the owner and will be incorporated into the final Declaration. These include: no drive thru (including gas service pumps or gas stations); no single retail store exceeding 30,000 sq. ft.; no pawn shops; commercial and residential “floor area ratio” (FAR) restrictions; and a maximum height of 75 feet.
The Declaration also allows MVF to retain the right to oversee maintenance of the property and requires the owner to reimburse MVF for any maintenance costs. Additionally, a new section was added that establishes a basis for future residential units to be annexed into MVF or for units to be brought in via a contract, if the property were to be developed with residential units.
The real estate broker for the property indicates that the property recently went under contract with Lidl, a German grocer that is making strides to expand in the U.S. Lidl has been considering the site for over two years. As of mid-September 2018, Lidl continues to do an environmental review of the property before finalizing a contract with Northstar to purchase the property. The Lidl representative indicated that a Phase 2 Environmental Review might need to be completed, based on their lender’s requirements.
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.
MVGC Development/Bloom Montgomery Village
By way of background, 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) in 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 PFA was executed by M-NCPPC in July 2018, and the county has now processed the certified plans, which completes the entitlement process for the project.
Development Manager for Monument Realty Yovi Sever gave a detailed report on the status of development planning and construction to about 50 members of the MVF community at the North Creek Community Center on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Sever reported that following the site plan approval by the Planning Board, they have continued to work on a refined engineered plan so that they can submit a record plat and apply for various site and building permits no later than early 2019.
He reviewed the approved site plan, noting the six areas where housing—mostly town houses of varying widths—will be built. He noted that Areas 4 and 5 will be phase one, with other phases being finalized as construction progresses. It estimates that it will take 18 to 24 months to build out phase one and projected an overall buildout of five years for the project.
Sever discussed the housing sizes and price points for the homes, which range from 16’ x 42’ (approx. 1,350 sq. ft.) rear-loaded townhomes, 20’ x 42” (approx. 1,500 to 1,600 sq. ft.) rear-loaded townhomes and 22’ x 42’ (approx. 1,700 to 1,800 sq. ft.) front-loaded townhomes. Price points for market rate units are expected to bring a price of the mid to upper $300,000 to mid $500,000 for largest units.
He noted that the home builder(s) they are working to contract with to build the homes believes that the market is ripe for what is referred to as the “missing middle home” that offers home buyers an alternative to much higher priced homes in the county.
In addition, he noted that a decision had been made, in consultation with the prospective home builder, to increase the number of MPDUs from 13.8% to 25%, bringing the total number of MPDUs in the project to approximately 125 out of the approximately 500 total units. County law allows the increase in MPDUs, the goal of which is to create more affordable housing for moderate income residents, such as teachers, police officers, entry level private sector and government workers, etc. The additional MPDUs would be created by reducing the number of 20’ townhouses and increasing the number of 16’ homes. For instance, if a stick of eight 20’ townhouses were to be converted to 16’ townhouses, this could yield two more MPDUs.
The MPDUs would be indistinguishable from any market rate unit and would be dispersed throughout the community. Owners must qualify for a mortgage, cannot rent the homes and at resale, the price of the homes would be controlled by county guidelines. The goal is to keep the units in the affordable range.
Sever also discussed the dedication of land and buildout of Central Park to Montgomery Village Foundation, which must be constructed prior to occupancy of the 150th residential unit. The park will include a dog park, community gardens, a playground and trail system.
There was much information shared about the restoration of the stream valley park, which connects Lois Green Conservation Park and Great Seneca Park. Sever mentioned that they are very close to executing an agreement with a conservation organization to improve the condition of the stream valley, plant trees, etc. Once the conservation organization completes their work, pursuant to a Parks Facility Agreement (PFA), Monument will dedicate 47 acres of stream valley to the Montgomery County Parks Department.
Sever noted several key steps to starting construction, including finalizing a contract with the builder: the record plat submission, which would be reviewed by a number of county agencies over a 3 to 4 month period; permit applications, which would entail a couple month review by county agencies; and ground breaking in fall/winter 2019.
Following the presentation, there were a number of resident questions, including: preservation of existing trees buffering existing homes from the new development; timing of the Parks Facility Agreement and whether it was a condition of the site plan; removal of the old golf course fence, and if new fences would be installed between existing homes and the new development; how new home values would affect existing home values; whether the extension of Stewartown Road is part of the development plan; whether there would be additional traffic control on Montgomery Village Avenue, based on the number of units to be developed; would there be adequate parking, given Montgomery Village’s ongoing parking problem; whether there would be a benefit to Monument if they increased the number of MPDUs for the project; and finally, if the Parks Facility Agreement would require and inventory and protection of wildlife.
For more information on Bloom, visit www.bloominmv.com/home.
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.
Lake Whetstone Toe Drain Inspection
Montgomery Village Avenue is the dam for Lake Whetstone. It has an internal drainage system to collect and filter seepage, which occurs in all dams. Modern earth embankment dams, like Lake Whetstone Dam, are designed with internal drainage features to collect seepage passing through the dam. Uncontrolled or unfiltered seepage creates dam instability and concern for dam health and function. Therefore, assurance of the proper performance of the dam internal seepage collection system, including its toe drain, is critical for the stability of the dam.
Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducts routine inspections to Lake Whetstone and its dam. Recent inspection has found Lake Whetstone’s toe drain pipe has corrosion. DEP has retained Gannett Fleming, Inc. to evaluate Lake Whetstone Dam internal seepage collection system. This evaluation is the first phase of the toe drain repair project.
The evaluation work includes:
- drilling of soil borings
- installation of monitoring instrumentation in the dam and
- pressure washing and video inspection of the internal metal drain pipes
Drilling on the crest and slopes of the Lake Whetstone Dam will start soon, pending on approval of the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Field work will began on Monday, Feb.1 (weather permitting) and will occur from 7 a.m. to around 5 p.m. on weekdays. Work will be completed in about four weeks. One lane of the Montgomery Village Avenue will be closed during drilling equipment unloading and setup time on the crest of the dam, to provide sufficient space and a safe working environment. Lane closure will last three to five days during the working period and won’t be full work hours of each day (not during hours of high traffic volume). The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT) approved the Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plan designed by Gannett Fleming, Inc. to control traffic in the road during the lane closure.s
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.
Webb Tract Development
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
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.