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Preliminary recommendations for the Fairland and Briggs Chaney plan presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board

October 4, 2022

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Planning Board approves direction and provides suggestions on draft plan recommendations; Working Draft expected to be presented in December 2022

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) presented the big ideas from a list of draft preliminary recommendations of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board at their meeting on September 29. The Planning Board accepted these recommendations and provided suggestions and feedback for consideration on additions for the Working Draft of the plan.  The draft preliminary recommendations are the result of over a year and more than two dozen events engaging the community.

The plan’s preliminary recommendations draw from hundreds of comments, conversations, ideas, and illustrations generated by visioning workshop participants and community stakeholders this past June and July. The draft recommendations focus on the five major goals of creating a more complete community, fostering corridor growth, promoting economic development, increasing housing opportunities, and improving connectedness.

View the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan preliminary recommendations staff report
Watch the September 29 Planning Board presentation
View the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan September 29 Planning Board presentation

“We were pleased with the presentation to the Planning Board. We will incorporate their helpful feedback into the Working Draft,” said project co-lead Molline Jackson. “We invite the community to stay involved as we move towards refining these recommendations – please call or email us if you want to provide more feedback or schedule a meeting with us.”

Key highlights of the preliminary recommendations include:

  • An emphasis on future development and investments at community gateways and activity centers consisting of compact, mixed-use projects focused around high-­frequency transit service and community gathering spaces.
  • A long-term vision for the US-29 (Columbia Pike) corridor as a ‘transit-first’ corridor that provides convenient regional connections from the Plan Area to Silver Spring, Washington DC, Columbia, MD, and Baltimore, as well as enhanced bridges and intersections to improve the safety, comfort, and design for people walking, cycling, and rolling across the highway.
  • Establishing a complete network of bicycle and pedestrian trails and pathways that consists of inner and outer loops with radial and internal connections between neighborhoods and activity centers in the Master Plan area and beyond.
  • A bi-county approach to the planning, operations, and maintenance of Fairland Recreational Park (operated by Montgomery Parks) and Fairland Regional Park (operated by Prince George’s Parks & Recreation).
A map of the Draft Concept Framework Plan

Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan Draft Concept Framework Plan

A conceptual illustration of the proposed activity center on Briggs Chaney Road

Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan sketch of a possible future development pattern

 

“The ‘big ideas’ of our preliminary recommendations, presented at a Community Open House on September 27 and the Planning Board briefing on September 29, are a glimpse into the vision we are building in collaboration with this unique and diverse East County community,” explained project co-lead Clark Larson. “We will continue to seek the community’s input as the planning team works to prepare this community-focused plan.”

Next steps for the plan

As the development of the Master Plan continues, Montgomery Planning will further engage with the community by participating in community-led events, interviewing property owners, and hosting community meetings to discuss the recommendations, vision, and Master Plan working draft document. The Working Draft of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan will be drafted in Fall 2022 with a public hearing for the plan anticipated in early 2023. Montgomery Planning anticipates transmitting the Planning Board draft plan to the County Council for review and approval by the Summer of 2023.

Also, the community is invited to attend the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Placemaking Festival as Montgomery Planning and the Better Block Foundation work to bring to life the goals of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan by temporarily reimagining the Briggs Chaney Park and Ride. This free, community event will be held October 21 and 22 (rain or shine) at the Briggs Chaney Park and Ride near the Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center (3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904).

About the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan

The Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan is an update to a portion of the 1997 Fairland Master Plan and will establish a clear vision for an equitable, just, and prosperous future for the Fairland community, mirroring the county’s long-term priorities, which include a vibrant economy, equity for all residents, and a healthy environment. The master plan boundary consists primarily of property and communities of Fairland and Briggs Chaney along the US 29 Corridor from near Paint Branch on the south to Greencastle Road on the north. The update will examine and provide policies and recommendations on existing and future land uses and zoning, housing inventory and needs, transportation systems, historic preservation opportunities, area park facilities, and the environment. This master plan will take cues from the equity framework in the update to the county’s General Plan, Thrive Montgomery 2050, which describes how places with equitable access to opportunity produce strong, successful communities. Goals of the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan include:

  • Complete Community: Identify and correct past inequitable development policies to make the Fairland and Briggs Chaney communities more whole and connected by integrating centers of housing, retail, and office development with parks and open space to make 15-minute living a reality for as many people as possible.
  • Resilient Economy: Promote economic development and job growth within the plan area and surrounding communities.
  • Housing: Promote racial and economic diversity and equity in housing to help rectify past discriminatory housing policies in every neighborhood.
  • Arts, Culture and Environment: Support arts and cultural institutions, through parks, open space and environment, recreational programming, and development, to celebrate our diversity, strengthen pride of place, and make the county more attractive and interesting.
  • Corridor Growth and Connectivity: Promote and prioritize public and private investment along the Route 29 corridor and neighboring communities to leverage and attract future private investment in community facilities and redevelopment, including a safer, more comfortable network for walking, biking, and rolling that connects the corridor communities.

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