Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, July edition

Fourth of July Events

Dog wearing red, white and blue bandana.

Montgomery County will again host two fireworks displays on July 4--Germantown Glory at the SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds and Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Road, Kensington. Both fireworks displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

In addition to these two displays, several municipalities are hosting celebrations and fireworks. Check out the Conference and Visitors Bureau for a full list.

To find out what's open and what’s closed as well as parking and trash pick-up information for the County, see the holiday schedule for the Fourth of July on my blog.

Update: White Oak Master Plan

White Oak Master Plan book cover

The White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan provides the County Council with the opportunity to shape the long-term goals and objectives for the area that spans Hillandale, WhiteOak/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Cherry Hill. When the federal government consolidated the FDA at the White Oak Federal Research Center, it created the catalyst for business opportunities related to the federal agency. The County will re-examine the master plan as a first step toward realizing those opportunities.

There is tremendous economic development potential in the White Oak area, and I am hopeful that we can start bringing good jobs to that part of the County sooner rather than later.

The Planning Board’s Draft Master Plan envisions the reorientation of the area’s shopping centers from the existing auto-dependent suburban model to a mixed-use area served by transit. Residents there have expressed a desire for expanded dining and shopping opportunities and more jobs closer to home.

On June 17, the Council heard the Planning Board's overview of the Plan. You can see it on demand on County Cable Montgomery (choose the June 17 Council session video).

The PHED Committee schedule regarding the White Oak Master Plan:
July 1 – Discussion of transportation issues
July 3 – Transportation issues, continued
July 7 – Discussion of land use issues
July 14 – Land use issues, continued
July 16 – Land use issues, continued

The full Council’s schedule regarding the White Oak Master Plan:
July 22 – Full Council worksession
July 29 – Final vote

Interchange at Georgia and Randolph

Nancy Floreen and poster of interchange

Last month we celebrated the groundbreaking for the long-anticipated interchange project to replace the existing MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) at Randolph Road signalized intersection in Glenmont. Transportation remains the top priority for Montgomery County residents who are tired of being stuck in traffic. That’s why I am so pleased the County is working with our federal and state partners on this project. Residents stand to benefit not only from congestion relief but also improved traffic safety and enhanced economic development.

This project involves constructing a new interchange to replace the existing MD 97 (Georgia Avenue)/Randolph Road signalized intersection by lowering Randolph Road nearly 25 feet to allow through traffic to go under Georgia Avenue. New turn lanes and ramps will provide turning movements. The project also includes adding one additional through lane along Georgia Avenue for a total of three through lanes in each direction. Additional improvements include extending the Glenmont Greenway Trail on the west side of Georgia Avenue an additional 900 feet past Randolph Road to Mason Street and adding new sidewalks.

The project will reduce congestion and improve traffic safety by separating through traffic by lowering Randolph Road nearly 25 feet under Georgia Avenue, which will remove traffic conflict points and provide free-flow traffic on Randolph Road through the interchange. The additional through lane on Georgia Avenue also will reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic operations for commuters, pedestrians and cyclists. Extending the Glenmont Greenway Trail will enhance access to the Glenmont Metro Station, helping to increase transit ridership. Learn more.

Apply Now for Board of Appeals

Apply by July 16 for a vacancy on the Montgomery County Board of Appeals. Catherine Titus’s second term will expire in September 2014. She also serves as chair of the board. The Council will select a new chair from among the current or new members of the board in conjunction with this appointment process.

Duties of the Board of Appeals include making decisions on most applications for special exceptions as provided in the Zoning Ordinance; hearing and deciding requests for variances from development standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance; and hearing appeals from certain administrative decisions rendered by county government agencies. Learn more.

Farm Tour and Harvest Sale

farm tractor

Celebrate our agricultural heritage, visit local farms and indulge in seasonally fresh food at Montgomery County's Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale the weekend of July 26-27. Spend a day or two in the country petting farm animals or having lunch by a scenic pond. Purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and more. It's an educational experience and a great family outing.

Green Tip of the Month

To help meet its climate and energy goals that call for identifying and deploying clean energy systems, Montgomery County has launched an effort to install solar panels at County facilities. As part of that overall effort, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation issued a Request for Energy Proposals to solicit responses from qualified solar electric power project developers interested in installing solar electric power generation systems on 12 County parking garages. Montgomery County will be among the first major east coast urban jurisdictions to have solar generation on top of its parking facilities. The project will not reduce the number of parking spaces.

Fast Fact

The North Potomac Community Recreation Center located at 13860 Travilah Road, Rockville, is now under construction. This project has been a long time coming, so the shovels in the ground are great news for residents of the area. This project provides for the design of a 48,084 square-foot community recreation center and associated site of approximately 17 acres. The building will include a full-size and auxiliary gymnasium, weight/exercise room, social hall, kitchen, senior/community lounge, arts/kiln room, game room and conference room. The outdoor features will include a playground, synthetic multiple play area, a rectangular multi-purpose field, and two multi-purpose courts. The facility will be designed to comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines for LEED Silver certification. The project is expected to be completed in winter 2016.

Note to Newsletter Editors

Did you find something useful in this e-letter? Some people have asked me if they can use the material from my newsletter in their own civic association or HOA newsletters. The answer is yes. I provide this information to help residents find what they need and participate in the legislative process, so feel free to use it.

July 2014

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