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Community Brainstormed Ideas for Neighborhoods at Public Meeting on March 29 for the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan

April 5, 2017

Veirs-Mill-Mar-29_Graphic-Recording (3000)

Graphic artist illustrated attendees’ suggestions for inviting streetscapes, amenities at bus stops, housing and other improvements to inform planners

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held its second public meeting for the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at the Newport Mill Middle School  (11311 Newport Mill Rd, Kensington, MD).

About 30 community residents and business owners attended the visioning workshop to share their ideas and concerns with Montgomery County Planning Department staff. Among the attendees was Montgomery County Councilmember Sidney Katz (District 3), whose comments can be accessed online.

The discussion focused on the assets and drawbacks of neighborhoods along Veirs Mill Road. Breakout groups met during the event to focus on specific topics, including transportation, community facilities, retail, neighborhood character, housing and the future of the area.

A graphic artist illustrated the ideas from the community, capturing the need for inviting streetscapes, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, lighting, roadway maintenance, youth and recreational facilities, amenities at bus stops and other improvements.

Several attendees expressed their approval of this innovative new process, with one noting that she “felt heard” during the meeting as her ideas were recorded. The illustration noting the community’s comments will be available online in the coming weeks.

Residents who could not attend the meeting but want to give feedback can visit the Veirs Mill Corridor Plan Feedback Map. This online interactive map allows visitors the chance to give comments with respect to specific areas along the four-mile stretch of Veirs Mill Road that will help planners develop recommendations for the plan.

Check out the Veirs Mill Corridor Plan Online Feedback Map.

This second community meeting follows the first one for the master plan, which was held on February 22. At that event, about 40 residents and stakeholders listened to a presentation about the purpose and goals of the plan, and major areas to be analyzed.

Planners discussed the need to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, and provide better connections from the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) stations on Veirs Mill Road to neighborhoods, shopping centers and major public facilities along the corridor. Audience questions focused on whether the future BRT system along Veirs Mill Road was needed and how it might affect parking and the demand for development in the area.

Learn more about the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan and sign up for the plan e-newsletter to hear about future meetings.  Invite planners to meet with your own group by contacting Jessica McVary at Jessica.McVary@montgomeryplanning.org.

Background on the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan

The Montgomery County Planning Department, under the guidance of the Montgomery County Planning Board and Montgomery County Council, initiated the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan in January 2017. To develop the plan, staff is seeking feedback from the community and reviewing current land uses and existing conditions in order to make recommendations for improvements in the area.

The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan extends approximately four miles, from the City of Rockville to the Wheaton Central Business District and Vicinity Sector Plan boundary. The new corridor plan boundaries roughly correspond to a ¼-mile area around each of the bus rapid transit (BRT) stations identified in the 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan.

The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan will:

  • Evaluate and provide recommendations to guide future land uses along the Veirs Mill Road corridor from Wheaton to Rockville.
  • Develop recommendations to improve the compatibility between the land uses adjacent to Veirs Mill Road and the future BRT corridor.
  • Offer recommendations to improve pedestrian and bicycle accessibility, connectivity and safety within the plan area.
  • Explore opportunities for redevelopment at strategic locations to provide more walkable, neighborhood-serving development.
  • Consider a comprehensive streetscape design and opportunities for placemaking within the corridor.

 

The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan will develop long-term land use recommendations to complement the Veirs Mill Road Bus Rapid Transit Study recently completed by the Maryland State Highway Administration in coordination with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. This transit study evaluated alternatives for rapid bus service along Veirs Mill Road between Wheaton and Rockville, originally recommended as part of the 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan.