Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment

A ten-year checkup in the life sciences area of the county 

Background

In 2010, the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan was adopted with a vision of transforming the Life Sciences Center into a walkable, vibrant science center with a mixture of uses served by transit as well as an array of services and amenities for residents, workers and visitors. The 2010 Plan acknowledged that achieving the vision required periodic review of the Plan’s progress and implementation of recommendations. Montgomery Planning is initiating a Minor Master Plan Amendment (Amendment) starting in fall 2020 to evaluate the growth, development and infrastructure investment that has occurred in the Life Sciences Center during the last decade as well as identify strategies to advance progress toward the dynamic live-work community envisioned in the 2010 Plan.

The Life Sciences Center (LSC) is a developing hub for biotechnology, healthcare and higher education, as envisioned in the 2010 Plan. Home to a major hospital, academic institutions, and private biotechnology companies, the Life Sciences Center serves as the county’s premier location for science and technology. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Johns Hopkins University-Montgomery County Campus (JHU-MCC), the Universities at Shady Grove, biotechnology companies, and the National Cancer Institute’s consolidated headquarters are all located in the Life Sciences Center.

The 2010 Plan envisioned the transformation of the LSC into a vibrant area to live and work served by transit, open space, and recreation opportunities with master plan staging established to ensure that infrastructure and essential facilities accompanied growth and development. Thousands of homes have been built in condominiums and apartment buildings since the adoption of the Plan. The LSC Loop Trail—a 3.5-mile bicycling and walking path that knits together five districts within the LSC—has also been funded for construction.

The LSC continues to attract biomedical and technology companies as well as residential development. However, over the last decade, the area achieved its first stage of development and reached the staging limits for new commercial development—the staging limitations do not allow any new commercial (non-residential) development, including expansion of existing properties, until the conditions of Stage 2 of the 2010 GSSC Plan are met, including fully funding the construction of the Corridor Cities Transitway from the Shady Grove Metrorail Station to Metropolitan Grove.

The 2010 Plan provides guidance to revisit the vision and recommendations at regular intervals to assess development, infrastructure delivery and progress toward fulfillment of the vision. The current growth and interest in the LSC, as well as the introduction and evolution of county priorities and the way in which people live, work and travel, offers an opportunity to revisit the 2010 Plan. Montgomery Planning is launching a minor amendment to the 2010 Plan to examine the staging recommendations.

Plan Map

This map shows the boundaries of the 2010 Greater Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan, which are also the proposed boundaries for the Minor Master Plan Amendment to the 2010 Plan. The Plan area covers 4,360 acres in the heart of the I-270 Corridor. It includes the Life Sciences Center, the western Quince Orchard neighborhoods and enclave areas such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Rosemont, which are completely or nearly completely surrounded by a municipality. The City of Gaithersburg occupies 10 square miles in the center of the Plan area. The City of Rockville borders the Plan area on the east and the Town of Washington Grove is located to the northeast.

Last Updated: October 21, 2020