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2017 Recreation Guidelines


The Planning Board is required to adopt guidelines that detail the standards and requirements for recreational facilities under § of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance.  The guidelines are necessary, per §, to determine the adequacy of amenities as part of the development approval process, as applied through regulatory review of private residential development.   An update to the 1992 guidelines was needed to address demographic shifts, changing development patterns in urban areas, and to integrate private systems of recreation with those provided through the public sector.

The project goal is to create contemporary Recreation Guidelines as web-based, interactive tools that will provide definitive guidance in the provision of recreation facilities.  The new Guidelines will fulfill the vision of integrated, complementary systems of recreation within the County that utilize public and private resources to serve higher density residential areas featuring mixed-use development.

They will provide wider access and opportunity by joining individual on-site development to an area-wide connected system identified through the new web tool.  The new Guidelines will offer an option for developers to fulfill recreation requirements required under site plan application by providing off-site local area amenities recommended in the Master Plan or Sector Plan, the Bicycle Master Plan, and the Department of Parks Facilities Planning documents.

The Guidelines serve as a framework that will encourage the provision of recreational amenities for residents and workers, embrace context in terms of architectural form and materials, and enhance and expand design solutions for effective, connective private and public spaces.

The intent is to develop flexible, yet predictable Recreation Guidelines that establish spatial and design intentions, as well as the quantitative technical standards for private sector recreational requirements.  These Guidelines will be organized by building typology, geography and demographic needs.

PROJECT MANAGER:      Mary Beth O’Quinn

LEVEL OF EFFORT:    Continual through final published hard copy; management of staff training and orientation for the Maryland Building Industry Association; continued responder to user questions; maintenance of data, such as pubic open space, regulatory applications, master plan open space and recreation recommendations.


  1. Scope of Work: Planning Board Review
  2. Web Tool Development
  3. Background Analysis
  4. New Features Development
  5. Planning Board Briefing
  6. Working Draft: Planning Board Review
  7. Public Hearing Draft: Planning Board Review
  8. County Council Presentation
  9. Planning Board Adoption and Issuance of Publication
  10. Training
  11. Maintenance and Administration
  12. Processing of Amendments


1 10/1/2015 Scope of Work:  Planning Board Review PUBLIC HEARING
  Goals, Objectives, Timeline, Communications Plan
  Server Set Up:   Web Tool Plan, Initial Programming
2 5/1/2016 Background Research
  1992 Methodology, Programming Approach
  Demographics (Demand), Rec Facilities (Supply)
  Recreation Analysis by Master Plan Area:  Needs and Incentives
  Analysis of Public Recreation Facilities:  Parks, MCPS, Department of Recreation
  Mapping:   Master Plan Area, Parcels, Parks, Parks Facilities, MCPS, Trails
3 9/9/2016 Development of New Facilities List
4 10/5/2016 Scenario Building
  Policy Implications, Facilities Valuations, Housing Types,

Densities, Geo-boundaries, On-Site/Off-Site Access, Age Category Exemptions

5 8/20/2017 Web-Tool Programming
  Data formatting, mapping, graphics, GUI, testing (algorithm, file sizes, speed, printing)
6 12/1/2016 Custom Facility Tool Development
  Custom Facility Tool Determination Sequence
7 9/16/2016 Outreach
  Work Sessions:  Maryland Building Industry Association
  12/15/2016, 1/9/2016, 9/16/2017
8 3/23/2017 Publication Layout and Design
  Adobe Indesign template development, outline production
  Graphics work:  tables, charts, screen captures, facility illustrations
9 10/15/2016 Facilities Details and Specification
  Design and production of cut sheets & revisions
10 3/16/2017 Report Writing
  Staff Reports for Planning Board reviews, summaries of work sessions
11 6/23/16 Planning Board Briefing:  Issues Discussion PUBLIC HEARING
12 10/29/2017 Working Draft:  Planning Board Review PUBLIC HEARING
  Web Tool Demonstration, Policy and Content Discussion
  Approval as Public Hearing Draft
13 11/17/2017 Public Hearing Draft: Planning Board Review PUBLIC HEARING
  System Implementation Discussion, Review of Innovations and New Features

Approve with comments

14 1/12/2017 Planning Board Briefing:  MBIA Issues PUBLIC HEARING
15 ? Development of Walk Shed GIS Tool  
16 ? Presentation to the County Council PUBLIC HEARING
  Web Tool Demonstration
17 3/23/2017 Planning Board Adoption of Recreation Guidelines PUBLIC HEARING
  Planning Board comments to be implemented and added to the Final Draft
18 5/3/2017 Finalize Recreation Guidelines Publication To Complete 5/3/2017
  Revise graphics and layout; addressing of amendments
19   Finalize Web Tool  
20 6/1/2017 Staff Orientation and Training To Complete June 2017
Staff: master planning, regulatory review, Parks, DARC
Maryland Builders Industry Association
21 On-Going Administration and Maintenance, Processing of Amendments On-going