The Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan will outline goals, policies and strategies to address future challenges in our community. We will not only need to make room for growth, jobs and new residents, but also improve the quality of life for people already living here. As part of this process, we will examine the community’s population, economy, housing, transportation, public facilities, and more. Together, we will take the necessary steps to become more prosperous, equitable, and resilient as we create memorable places that are inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and economically competitive.
Current Phase of the Plan: Planning Board Working Draft Review
The Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan Working Draft is provided below for review. The Working Draft constitutes staff’s effort to capture the feedback and interests of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney community with policy recommendations for the public improvements, private investment and development, community collaboration, and individual action that will help make the plan’s vision a reality.
View the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Working Draft
The Working Draft’s key recommendations are listed below, representing the plan’s overall vision over the next 10-20 years as a better connected community, with high-quality transit, accessible and comfortable parks, trails and pathways, thriving households and businesses, attractive places to gather for all ages, and a sustainable environment.
Key Recommendation 1:
Establish an emphasis on community gateways and activity centers as compact, high-density mixed-use centers focused on frequent transit service; safe pedestrian movement; greater tree canopy and ‘cool’ surfaces at summer hot spots; and attractive community gathering spaces.
Key Recommendation 2:
Prioritize US-29 (Columbia Pike) as a ‘transit-first’ corridor that provides frequent, convenient regional connections from the plan area to Silver Spring, Washington D.C., Columbia, and Baltimore.
Key Recommendation 3:
Complete a network of greenways with a continuous inner and outer loop of trails and paths connecting parks, open spaces, community facilities, and bus stops, with neighborhoods both within and beyond the master plan area.
Key Recommendation 4:
Establish an East County Resilience Hub as a community center for daily community needs and a destination for reliable electricity, water, temporary shelter, food, indoor heating and cooling, social services, and fellowship during public emergencies.
Key Recommendation 5:
Support a healthy community food system that includes healthy grocery and dining destinations, farmers markets, and community gardens.
Scope of Work
On April 8, 2021, the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan presented the
Scope of Work
to the Planning Board. Approval of the
plan boundary map
May to August 2021
Hosted Montgomery Planning’s first virtual Spring Speakers Series. The planning team will also document existing conditions and collect data for use throughout the planning process. In July and August, our partners, Everyday Canvassing, will
across the community to better understand the people, places, and stories of Fairland and Briggs Chaney.
Fall 2021 to Spring 2022
Spring 2022 to Winter 2023
Plan visioning with community stakeholders, combined with the existing conditions analysis and community input, will result in staff’s preliminary recommendations. Preliminary recommendations will be reviewed with the Planning Board prior to the staff’s completion of a master plan working draft.
Learn more about the
and watch the
recap poem video
A Montgomery Planning-sponsored placemaking festival on October 21-22, 2022 will bring to life the visions of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan by temporarily reimagining a portion of the Briggs Chaney Park and Ride lot and testing some of the envisioned community amenities in real life. Community members are invited to participate in this hands-on, collaborative effort.
Learn more about the
Fairland and Briggs Chaney Placemaking festival
on October 21-22.
Preliminary recommendations draw from hundreds of comments, conversations, ideas, and illustrations generated by visioning workshop participants and community stakeholders this past June and July and are intended to realize the general vision expressed over the course of these workshops for a more engaging, safe, and supportive community. They form the basis for the recommendations that will be included in later plan drafts.
The planning team presented an initial set of preliminary plan recommendations to the community and Montgomery County Planning Board at two meetings in September.
• Community Open House - Tuesday, September 27 at the East County Community Recreation Center
• Planning Board Briefing - Thursday, September 29 at the Wheaton HQ Auditorium. View the
download the presentation slides
Preliminary recommendations draw from hundreds of comments, conversations, ideas, and illustrations generated by visioning workshop participants and community stakeholders this past June and July and are intended to realize the general vision expressed over the course of these workshops for a more engaging, safe, and supportive community.
A community meeting was held on January 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Paint Branch High School cafeteria (14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866) to preview a full set of preliminary recommendations before release of the Working Draft Plan in early Spring 2023. Download the
View the plan’s
full set of Preliminary Recommendations
Fall 2022 to Winter 2023
Refining (Working Draft)
During this phase, the planning team worked to prepare a draft plan that incorporates all previous community feedback and helps to realize the shared vision for the future of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney community.
The Montgomery County Planning Board will consider the Working Draft at their regular meeting on Thursday, March 23 and provide feedback to staff for preparation of a Public Hearing Draft for public comment. The Planning Board will also consider setting a Public Hearing date to receive additional community feedback on the draft plan. Following the public comment period, the Planning Board will conduct work sessions to review and revise the draft plan, then submit an approved plan to the County Council for its subsequent public review and approval.
Fairland and Briggs Chaney Working Draft
Sharing (Planning Board Draft)
Planning Board conducts a public hearing on the working draft. Work sessions are held to further refine the plan. This step results in the adoption of the planning board draft. A Planning Board public hearing is anticipated in May 2023.
Summer to Fall 2023
County Council and County Executive
County Council and County Executive review an approved Planning Board draft plan. County Council holds a public hearing and committee work sessions. This step results in the council-approved master plan.
Fall 2023 or Winter 2024
M-NCPPC Master Plan Adoption
The council-approved master plan is transmitted back to the Planning Board and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) for final approval and adoption.
Sectional Map Amendment
The Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) process is the final step in the master plan process. The SMA implements all zoning recommendations approved and adopted in the master plan. The Planning Board authorizes the SMA application submittal to the County Council. The County Council conducts a public hearing followed by work sessions, and consideration to approve zoning map changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the master planning process work?
master planning process creates a long-term vision to guide future growth and development of a community through public policy and regional planning. To build a master plan, we collect public input, host surveys, and consider existing policies, developments, physical characteristics, and social and economic conditions. Based on our analysis of these factors, the Planning Department then formulates recommendations for a community’s growth, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use.
The last master plan effort (
1997 Fairland Master Plan) resulted in a number of neighborhood improvements based on community feedback, including a recreation center, local parks, and athletic fields—so it’s important for your voice to be heard! By participating in the process, you can advocate for the improvements you want to see in your neighborhood, from public spaces and parks to housing options, safety, and more.
Why should I participate in this process?
Your opinion is a vital part of the
master planning process! Regardless of your experience or qualifications, everyone knows what they like or dislike about their community—and what needs the most improvement. Participating in this planning process means your seat at the table has been reserved. However, you will need to show up and participate in conversations about the neighborhood’s priorities and goals for the future. Community members will need to bring their knowledge and experiences to the planning process such that decision-makers hear from you directly. Your help and participation will ultimately ensure that the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan reflects the whole community’s values and shared vision.
Will my feedback matter? How will I know?
Yes, your feedback matters to this plan! Community feedback will be instrumental in building the future recommendations of the Fairland Briggs Chaney Master Plan. The strength of the plan will be guided on the comments of how residents, workers, students, worshippers, and other stakeholders live, work and play within their community. You will know that your feedback matters because as the planning team collects data, actual stories, recorded interviews, and community photos these elements may be viewed on the webpage and/or in the actual document. We encourage your participation and welcome any ideas, issues, and opportunities to help build this plan together. Stay informed and learn about how your feedback matters,
sign up for our e-letters. We will notify you of any updates, news, upcoming events, and draft documents as those are made available.
What does a people-first approach mean?
A people-first or community-led approach targets engagement efforts towards the audiences that our work affects—and ideally, focuses on historically underrepresented communities within those audiences—so we can amplify often-unheard voices and build out an agenda based on residents’ lived experiences. This approach is consistent with the work of local non-profit organizations, community advocates and organizers. This strategy is used to build meaningful working partnerships with stakeholders both within the Fairland and Briggs Chaney community and beyond. Collecting a combination of analytical data and feedback, we can better interpret the hard data and better understand the stories (e.g. soft data) we collect about the neighborhood’s existing conditions. Within the context of this Master Plan, our findings and planning policy recommendations will be strongly supported by the data points and stories from the people who want to live, work and develop in the Fairland and Briggs Chaney area.
The Montgomery County Planning Department’s people-first community engagement strategy ultimately informs the professional recommendations for future generations.
How will this plan focus on equitable engagement?
Equitable engagement is one of three major themes of the Thrive Montgomery Plan 2050. Expanding on the progress made by the equity working group for the Thrive Montgomery Plan, we will continue to use the 3-pronged approach as the guiding framework for organizing our target audiences into three separate categories. The first category is based on our traditional (hierarchical) method, which allows us the opportunity to meet one-on-one with neighborhood leaders. The second category is based on a shared-power method that allows us to build working partnerships with civic groups and connect them to community advocates. The third category is based on a grassroots method which allows us the opportunity to help resolve localized problems from the ground up with the community’s support.
As we move forward, the planning team will continue to identify ways to reach all community members and make it easier for stakeholders to participate, and we encourage you to contribute at every stage of the process. The best way to stay in touch is to
sign up for our e-letters so you can receive the latest news, events, and updates. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
How will this plan make equitable land use recommendations?
In accordance with Bill 27-19, incorporating a racial equity and social justice lens is requirement for all Master Plans. However, prior to the effective date of this Bill (March 2, 2020), the Thrive Montgomery Plan 2050 was well underway and emphasized “community equity” as one of three major themes. On the heels of the Thrive Montgomery Plan 2050, the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan is gaining momentum as the first corridor focused plan to fully infuse racial equity and social justice throughout the planning process. As we continue to listen to the community’s feedback, this information will be used to justify final land use recommendations.
A racial equity and social justice timeline will be prepared highlighting the impacts of previous land use practices such as redlining in an effort to learn from the past and identify ongoing legacies of historical discrimination in the community that need to be addressed. The Fairland Briggs Chaney Master Plan is also located in an Equity Focus Area. Equity Focus Areas are parts of the County that are characterized by high concentrations of certain household incomes, people of color and those who may also speak English less than very well. These communities may experience the highest inequities in access to transportation, job opportunities, environmental and recreational amenities and other resources supporting a high quality of life. The analysis of Equity Focus areas will seek to ensure that all future programs, policies, resource allocations and capital projects are done so equitably.
What does a re-imagining of the Route 29 corridor mean?
Currently, Route 29 is a limited access highway that moves a high volume of traffic and features a new Bus Rapid Transit route. Previous studies and Master Plans have stated Route 29 acts as a barrier between communities and had poor walkability and connections. Our re-imagining of Route 29 centers on creating a “
complete community”—a fundamental goal of Thrive Montgomery 2050, the county’s newly updated General Plan. Residents that live in a complete community have access to most essential services within a relatively close distance from their homes, allowing people to meet their daily needs within a 15-minute walking radius, bike ride, or transit trip. Residents that work, shop, learn, and play in close distance from their homes experience a higher quality of life. In order to achieve that vision and a higher quality of life for the existing residents, we should encourage commercial and residential improvements along existing transportation corridors like Route 29 to help establish centers of activity for a vibrant community, while reducing both environmental impacts and sprawl growth patterns.
How will this plan make the Route 29 corridor more transit oriented and less auto-centric?
Route 29 has great potential to become a more transit-oriented place with safe multimodal travel options. The plan will seek ways to make transit, walking, micro mobility, and bicycling the preferred travel mode for daily trips and reduce vehicle trips (e.g. single occupancy vehicular trips). The plan will also incorporate Vision Zero principles, an action plan to eliminate transportation-related deaths and severe injuries by the year 2030 to improve safety, mobility and connectivity in the Fairland and Briggs Chaney community.
Montgomery Planning is currently developing the county’s first Pedestrian Master Plan. The purpose of the Pedestrian Master Plan is to make walking and rolling safer, more comfortable, convenient, and accessible for pedestrians of all ages and abilities throughout the county. The Planning Department is also developing a new approach to designing county roads using a concept called “Complete Streets.” Complete Streets are roadways that are designed and operated to provide safe, accessible, and healthy travel for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists. The adopted Bicycle Master Plan sets forth a vision for the county as a world-class bicycling community, where everyone has access to a comfortable, safe, and fully connected bicycle network for both recreation and daily commuting. The Fair and Briggs Chaney Master Plan will examine ways to advance and implement these important transportation planning efforts.
What role will business owners play in the planning process?
Fairland-Briggs Chaney has a variety of businesses, from small local-serving retail outlets to a regional headquarters of a global telecommunications firm. Thus, it serves as a business center, a local marketplace, a commuting stopover, and a destination for some commercial activities—most notably the purchase of a new car. Planning staff hopes to engage with business owners to help contribute to the people-first approach to this master plan through redevelopment and possibly placemaking activities by temporarily and/or permanently converting parking lots to places. Creating the conditions for these businesses to thrive is a key goal of the plan. The plan also seeks to help cultivate new businesses that will provide needed services, jobs, and opportunities for wealth creation for residents. Finally, the plan will help guide new and existing businesses to grow in ways that support and enhance the quality of life in nearby communities and complement new infrastructure investments such as the Bus Rapid Transit line on Route 29.
Will this plan create more housing options?
Creating and preserving housing options is an integral part of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan. Through the master planning process, staff will analyze existing conditions and make recommendations based on the anticipated future housing needs in the area. These recommendations will likely include a balance between the production and preservation of housing that recognizes the variety of housing needs of residents of Fairland Briggs Chaney– including by type, size, tenure, and affordability level.
Another key factor to consider, is the proximity of housing to the existing transportation systems. Route 29 can accommodate growth through infill and redevelopment; thereby, creating vibrant mixed-use nodes around transit stations and bus stops. Building off equity as a framework, the plan will explore ways to create opportunities for housing, commerce, placemaking, and jobs around the new BRT stations and underutilized surface parking lots to create equitable people-centric streets and connections to parks, open space, and other community assets.
Will my neighborhood get new parks through this process?
Possibly! Once we have heard the input and feedback from the community about their assessment of community green spaces, we will factor this information into the conversations about necessary improvements to local parks and the development of new community green spaces.
The current Master Plan boundary contains three parks. The plan boundary area also contains several private open space areas and green spaces. The goal of the Master Plan would be to increase the amount of accessible green spaces and public amenities. The Route 29 corridor features several properties with large surface parking lots with little to no green space available for community gatherings. In this planning process, we will use the feedback gathered during engagement activities (e.g. questionnaire, listening sessions) to assess the community’s need for recreation and rank accessibility based the quality of the user’s experience. The feedback will also help guide the need for additional trail access to the larger park and open space system.
Will the plan address food security issues?
Yes, the plan will recommend necessary improvements and identify existing conditions that do not support safe access to healthy foods. The plan will also include better methods for evaluating successful outcomes to eliminate food insecurities based on “complete community” and quality of life indicators. Exacerbated by the global pandemic, food security has frequently come up as a major concern throughout the County. In response to these concerns, we will also explore existing and historical disparities in the County as a whole, supported by the Equity Emphasis Areas mapping tool. This mapping tool prioritizes areas within Montgomery County that are characterized by both high concentrations of lower-income people of color and residents that may also speak English less than very well. This mapping tool specifically identifies these areas in the county to assess potential racial and social inequities. Effectively responding to these quality of life issues is also consistent with (and critically important to) the Planning Department’s commitment to racial equity and social justice.