Planning Board Schedules February 1 Public Hearing for MARC Rail Communities Plan

January 3, 2018

MARC Rail Public Hearing Draft

Public invited to testify on the Public Hearing Draft at Black Rock Center for the Arts

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, reviewed the Working Draft of the MARC Rail Communities Plan at its meeting on December 21, 2017. The discussion resulted in changes to maps and tables in the plan that reflect the Board’s approach to land uses, transportation and zoning that may differ from the Working Draft of the plan. Both the plan and the revised maps and tables constitute the Public Hearing Draft of the MARC Rail Communities Plan.

View the MARC Rail Communities Plan Public Hearing Draft.

The Planning Board’s public hearing for the plan, when community members are invited to testify, is scheduled for Thursday, February 1, 2018 at the Black Rock Center for the Arts (12901 Town Commons Drive) in Germantown, starting at 7 p.m. Sign up to testify online:  http://montgomeryplanningboard.org/meetings/signup-to-testify/sign-testify-form/

For details about testifying, consult the Planning Board agenda, which is posted online 10 days before the session.

The public is also invited to submit comments about the MARC Rail Communities Plan via email to mcp-chair@mncppc.org. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the plan.

The MARC Rail Communities Plan, launched in 2015, evaluates land use, zoning, design and access conditions at the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) stations in Boyds and Germantown.

Recommendations to improve the transit station areas in Boyds and Germantown follow four principles:

Preserve the historic character of the Boyds and Germantown communities.

Connect the Boyds and Germantown station areas to their respective communities, while ensuring a viable range of transportation choices, including expanded MARC ridership, improved pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and efficient vehicular travel.

Sustain the area’s natural resources while acknowledging and respecting environmental and infrastructure constraints.

Renew the Boyds and Germantown station areas with uses that support MARC commuter rail service, preserve and enhance community character, and serve community residents.

In Boyds, the plan maintains the integrity of the Boyds Historic District, provides for sensitive development of new commuter rail facilities using historic buildings and recommends a new and relocated highway underpass to resolve traffic congestion.

In Germantown, the plan recommends mixed use development at an appropriate scale as well as additional commuter facilities at the existing station location. A “road diet”—targeted steps to improve the atmosphere for pedestrians and cyclists—is recommended for Middlebrook Road that can be accommodated without creating traffic congestion.

Development of the MARC Rail Communities Plan included extensive public outreach, including an intensive four-day design workshop in Germantown and a number of community meetings designed to solicit the views, concerns and suggestions of affected residents, businesspeople and other stakeholders.

Learn more about the MARC Rail Communities Plan.

For more information, contact lead planner Roberto Duke at tel. 301-495-2168 or Roberto.Duke@montgomeryplanning.org.