Ashton Village Center Sector Plan

The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan will evaluate land use, zoning, transportation, environment, design and other relevant issues in Ashton, a historic crossroads community east of Olney. This sector plan closely follows the 2015 Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan, which evaluated similar issues in the village of Sandy Spring, just west of Ashton. The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan will cover approximately 70 acres around the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Olney-Sandy Spring Road (MD 108).

The plan’s primary focus will be a review of the Sandy Spring-Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone in light of Montgomery County’s recent comprehensive revision of its zoning ordinance. Zones applied through the revision have enabled finer-grained management of land uses, densities and building heights than was possible under the previous ordinance.

The Sandy Spring-Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone was created to ensure a “village scale” of development in the business districts of both Sandy Spring and Ashton. It limits uses, densities and building heights. The sector plan will reevaluate the overlay zone, as well as the current underlying zones in Ashton and recommend adjustments if needed to comply with the 2014 county zoning ordinance.

The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan will:

  • Assess existing land use conditions.
  • Evaluate the Rural Village Overlay Zone in the context of the new 2014 zoning code.
  • Make recommendations for revising the overlay zone in response to community and landowner concerns.
  • Maintain Ashton’s rural character.
  • Involve residents and other stakeholders in the plan development and review processes.
  • Develop recommendations to improve compliance with Vision Zero goals providing safe connections for all modes of transportation.
  • Enhance opportunities to provide walkable, neighborhood-serving development.

 

News and Events

October 24, 2019: Planning Staff will provide a brief synopsis of the previous week’s design workshop and discuss the outline for the plan at the Sandy Spring Museum from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

October 15-16, 2019: Area 3 staff conducted a two-day workshop at the Sandy Spring Museum with stakeholders in the Ashton community to hear their visions for the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan. (Workshop schedule)

October 15, 2019:

At the beginning of the workshop, staff gave a brief presentation on existing conditions and precedents that may be applicable to the plan area.

In the morning, stakeholders participated in a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis of the Ashton Village Center plan area. Here is a link to stakeholders’ SWOT Analysis.

During the afternoon, the State Highway Administration (SHA) and Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) along with stakeholders and planning staff led a Walk Audit of MD 108 from the Sandy Spring Museum to the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and MD 108 during afternoon dismissal for Sherwood High School. Stakeholders and transportation planners assessed the quality of the walk for pedestrians and noted where there were safety issues and where the pedestrian experience could be improved.

October 16, 2019:

Stakeholders and staff broke out into four groups and developed preliminary ideas for recommendations for the planning area.

In the evening staff presented the initial findings from the two-day workshop and took questions from the community.


May 16, 2019
: About 50 Ashton residents attended the Sector Plan’s Community Kick-off Meeting at the Sandy Spring Museum. Attendees heard a brief presentation from Area 3 Planners on the Plan’s goals, objectives, issues and outreach strategy, and then had an informal opportunity to highlight for the planning team their specific concerns about planning in their community. Take a look at the planning team’s PowerPoint presentation.May 23, 2019: The Planning Board approved the Scope of Work for the Sector Plan. The scope outlines the planning framework, development activity, master plan purpose, community outreach and plan schedule for the Sector Plan. Here is the planning team’s PowerPoint presentation. Please note that the schedule for the Plan’s development has been revised. See below for the revised project timeline.

Last Updated: October 21, 2019