ROCKVILLE, Md., January 23, 2014—The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and its Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will meet jointly at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, for a third worksession on a limited amendment to the 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan and the Hyattstown Special Study Area. The worksession will look at how development in Clarksburg has evolved compared to the visions expressed in the 1994 plan and will include a presentation of the retail study conducted by a consultant to the Planning Department.
In October 2012, the Council directed the County Planning Board to undertake a limited amendment to the master plan to determine whether development should be allowed to proceed under the zoning in the plan or whether changes in land use and/or zoning were needed to adequately protect Ten Mile Creek.
The PHED Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, and the T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Floreen and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council.
The 1994 Master Plan estimated the population of Clarksburg at build out at 43,000. Planning Department staff indicate that there are approximately 20,000 residents in Clarksburg today, and there will be another 20,000 once the first the first three stages are completed. Stage 4, with the zoning recommended by the Planning Board, could result in approximately 4,000 additional residents.
The Planning Board has indicated that as it prepared the master plan amendment, it considered the visions and key policies in the 1994 Master Plan, assumed that the 1994 plan should still guide its decisions and chose land use and zoning options that would reflect those visions and policies.
Council staff believes it is worthwhile for the joint committee to consider whether these visions should still guide Council decisions. Unless the Council chooses to add a new staging provision to the proposed amendment, the policy recommending the use of staging would no longer be valid. It appears that the policy promoting Clarksburg as a center for office employment may also no longer be valid. Council staff has asked the Planning Department's consultant to describe changes in the market for office development and how it impacts the policy recommending Clarksburg as a major employment center.
A retail study of the Clarksburg area has been prepared by Bolan Smart Associates, Inc., which is serving as the consultant to the Planning Department. The focus of the study was on the prospects for neighborhood-serving retail in Clarksburg and the potential impact of an outlet mall on neighborhood-serving retail. The consultant will present its findings at Friday’s committee meeting.
Some of the key findings in the consultant’s study:
· Clarksburg is a very strong candidate for an outlet mall.
· While the outlet mall may displace some of the demand for traditional neighborhood local serving retail, there is also the potential for regional destination shoppers to patronize non-outlet mall retailing, with each source more or less offsetting the other.
· There is unlikely to be significant competition between the types of stores most likely to locate in an outlet mall and the types of retail most likely to locate in neighborhood retail centers.
· The neighborhood retail environment in Clarksburg has changed significantly since approval of the 1994 Master Plan.
· There may be too great a supply of neighborhood-oriented retail by a factor of 20 to 30 percent.
More information on the limited amendment can be found at:
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