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MARC Rail Communities Plan

The MARC Rail Communities Sector Plan was approved on April 30, 2019 by the Montgomery County Council. The Plan looks to the future by offering recommendations that support and better utilize existing transit assets, improve transportation connections and traffic safety in both station areas. In addition, the Plan proposes ways to revitalize the built environment around the Boyds and Germantown stations in a manner that appropriately complements surrounding residential neighborhoods and historic resources.

At the same time, the MARC Rail Communities Plan is a preservation strategy that aims to protect and enhance valued historic rural character and resources in both Boyds and Germantown.

The MARC Rail Communities Plan builds on the recommendations of the previous 1985 Boyds Master Plan, the 1989 Germantown Master Plan and the 2009 Germantown Employment Area Sector Plan, and examines in greater detail the land uses, zoning, design and multimodal access to the two MARC stations. Specifically, this limited Master Plan:

  • Determines the appropriate land uses and densities at sites near each station.
  • Provides recommendations to improve multimodal access and safety in each station area (using information gathered during the Master Plan of Highways and Transitways and the Bicycle Master Plan to help inform the access portion of this plan).
  • Considers other concerns raised during the planning process (i.e. parking).
Boyds and Germantown MARC Station Areas
Boyds and Germantown MARC Station Areas with 5- and 10-minute walk radii.

News and events

April 30, 2019: The MARC Rail Communities Sector Plan was approved by the Montgomery County Council. View the approved and adopted plan.

December 20, 2018: The Planning Board approved the Planning Board Draft plan and transmitted it to County Council. View the Planning Board Draft and the Draft Appendices.

June 21, 2018: Planning Board work session #4: Germantown Connect Section Recommendations. View the staff report.

May 31, 2018: MCDOT Middlebrook Road PRSA briefing.

May 31, 2018: Planning Board work session #3: MTA/MCDOT Briefing. View the MTA presentation and the staff report.

May 24, 2018: Planning Board work session #2: Boyds. View the presentation and staff report.

April 5, 2018: Planning Board work session #1: Planning Context. View the presentation and staff report.

February 1, 2018Watch video of meeting; listen to audio recording of the meeting held at Black Rock Center for the Arts on Thursday, February 1 at 7 p.m.

December 21, 2017: The team presented the working draft of the MARC Rail Communities Sector Plan to the Planning Board. View the presentation, the staff report and Working Draft.

Public Hearing Draft:

 MARC Rail Communities Sector Plan Public Hearing Draft

Public Hearing Appendices:

  1. Boyds MARC Station Concept Study, Montgomery County Department of Transportation
  2. Boyds MD 117 Crossing Study Evaluation
  3.  Transportation Analysis including the Germantown Road Diet
  4. Urban Land Institute Washington Leadership Institute Mini-Technical Assistance Panel
  5. Historic Preservation
  6. “Strategies for Maintaining Historic Character,” excerpt from Vision of Boyds: A Long-Range Preservation Plan
  7. Policy for Parks
  8. Middlebrook Road Pedestrian Road Safety Audit

Plan status

  • December 21, 2017
    Working Draft Approved
  • February 1, 2018
    Public Hearing
  • Spring 2018
    Planning Board Work Sessions
  • December 20, 2018
    Planning Board Draft
  • February 12, 2019
    Council Public Hearing
  • April 2019
    Council Adoption

For past news and events, see the MARC Rail Communities Planning Library.

MARc Rail Meeting


December 21, 2017: Present Working Draft to the Planning Board

February 2018: Planning Board Public Hearing

February/March 2018: Planning Board Worksessions

Plan background

The MARC Brunswick line is a well-traveled commuter rail line connecting West Virginia to Washington, DC. The first four stations in Montgomery County are Dickerson, Barnesville, Boyds and Germantown. The Boyds and Germantown MARC Rail Stations are the focus of this Master Plan. Due in part to increases in population in the surrounding area, specifically in Clarksburg, Boyds has experienced greater transportation pressures in and around the intersection of Barnesville, Clarksburg and Clopper Roads. Additionally, the Montgomery County Parks Department is considering development of a local park immediately to the southeast of this intersection along Hoyles Mill Road.

The Boyds MARC station contains 15 parking spaces that are quickly filled. It is assumed that many commuters will typically drive to the next nearest MARC station to find a parking space. Finally, the comprehensive revision of the County’s Zoning Ordinance, enacted on October 30, 2014, allows the reevaluation of non-residential zones around the MARC stations and densities more compatible with rural and historic character.

In Germantown, a significant amount of new residential development has been proposed or approved, and constructed within one-half mile of the MARC station since the approval of the 2009 Sector Plan. Additionally, there are significant numbers of developments proposed in the Germantown area along the route of the future Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) that will have an impact on the MARC station area. The Germantown MARC station has approximately 694 parking spaces, but typically these spaces fill up very early in the morning. It is anticipated that more commuters may use the MARC station if access conditions are improved.


Master plans

Additional resources and maps are posted on the MARC Rail Communities Planning Library.

How you can participate and stay connected

Staff contact

Roberto Duke