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.
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 [email protected].
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 protected].
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
As of September 10, 2019, Lidl submitted a Preliminary Plan and Site Plan to develop two lots on 6.52 acres of land at the old Professional Center site. The first lot will be a grocery store of not more than 30,000 square feet, owned by Lidl. The second lot, although having a conceptual building layout on the Site Plan, has no use identified, but will probably be retail.
The plan went to the Montgomery County Planning Board on January 30, during which public comment was received. At the meeting, the Planning Board approved both the Preliminary Plan and Site Plan.
The plan will return to MVF’s Commercial Architectural Review Committee (CARC) for final review at its Friday, Feb. 7 meeting. Lidl has indicated that it will try to fast track a demolition permit with the Department of Permitting Services since the Planning Board has given its approval.
MVGC Development/Bloom Montgomery Village
As of January 2020, the project team is close to having final approval from the county for the amended Certified Site Plan. As previously reported, the amendment was necessary to adjust the MPDU percentage, adjust forest conservation areas in the stream valley park and make other minor changes in the plan as a result of final engineering of the site.
As a result of numerous minor tweaks and revisions requested by the county, processing times for various related submissions like the sediment and erosion control plans and utility plans have been delayed; ground breaking on the site development work is now likely to begin in March, with the first model home lots expected to be delivered in Fall 2020.
Engineering work has also begun on the next phase of development that will deliver the new Central Park and associated open space, along with the single family homes in Area 3. That phase of development is currently projected to break ground by the end of the year, with the park and model home lot likely to deliver by Summer 2021.
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.
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.
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. The project is reported to be approximately 73% complete as of September 2019. Progress permitting, the entire project should be complete by late Summer 2020.
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.