“I want to thank the County Council for its action today to implement major pieces of my Smart Growth Initiative by approving the full purchase of the Webb Tract.
“The joint work of the Council committees – and the valuable work of the Council as a whole – has made the original proposal an even better deal for County taxpayers. Working collaboratively with councilmembers, I was able to negotiate a revision to the purchase contract which saves Montgomery taxpayers $225,000.
“Today’s council action shows that the County Council is committed to not just adopting plans for the future, and imposing environmental requirements on others but to taking the steps necessary to create affordable housing next to transit, reducing the footprint of aging industrial sites, and creating opportunities for bioscience jobs and higher education for future generations.
“This initiative implements sound public policy decisions of the past and present while positioning the county for the future. Nearly three years ago the County Council recognized the importance of affordable housing located next to mass transit when it adopted the Shady Grove Sector Plan calling for the relocation of the County Service Park. The purchase that the Council authorized this morning along with prior decisions provides the County with the sites to relocate approximately 75 percent of the County Service Park uses and significantly implement the urban village envisioned by the Sector Plan with increased levels of affordable and workforce housing next to Metro.
“This decision also provides a site for the relocation of the Public Safety Training Academy. Relocation of the Public Safety Training Academy is a significant step to creating new and enhanced bioscience opportunities oriented to housing and to mass transit. The relocation of the PSTA is critical to preserving and expanding our life sciences sector. It does not prescribe or determine the density of the area. The decision to provide for the relocation of the PSTA creates the opportunity to intensify biosciences jobs, create opportunities for the county to be competitive into the future at a site that is oriented to transit as a live/work community.
“The developments provided for will allow for more environmentally friendly design and construction of county facilities, create housing development opportunities at transit, and job and housing opportunities in connection with our significant investment in life sciences and the long planned and awaited Corridor Cities Transitway.
“As Smart Growth Initiative projects move forward I am committed to continuing the dialogue with the surrounding communities. The County will approach the design and construction of these facilities in a manner that is inclusive of community input and positions the County as a positively contributing member of the surrounding community.
“This action taken today is a significant step towards implementing the Smart Growth Initiative I introduced for the purposes of implementing sound policies behind recent legislation and master planning decisions. The policies are good for our environment, create transit oriented housing opportunities and economic development opportunities for the future. By weaving together planned projects, land values, lease savings, and net revenues, the Council can leverage the costs for the new projects without displacing ANY planned projects or schools.
“This is a sound decision and sound action for our current economic climate that enables us to meet our current needs without harming the ability of future leaders to do the same for the County of the future.”
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For more information on the County’s Smart Growth Initiative, visit to smart growth website
Media contact: Patrick Lacefield, 240-777-6528