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County Planners to Want Community Feedback on Possible Improvements to MARC Stations in Germantown a

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is launching the MARC Rail Communities Plan, with a focus on the Germantown and Boyds stations, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Upcounty Regional Services Center a 12900 Middlebrook Road in Germantown

The MARC Rail Communities Plan is centered on the historic communities of Boyds and Germantown. The stations are located approximately three miles apart along the Brunswick line of the Maryland Transit Administration’s MARC system. Each of the two communities has a distinct development pattern and requires a different approach to land uses, design and multimodal access around the stations.

The new MARC Rail Communities Plan will build on the recommendations of the previous 1985 Boyds Master Plan, the 1989 Germantown Master Plan and the 2009 Germantown Employment Area Sector Plan, and will examine in greater detail the land uses, zoning, design and multimodal access to the two MARC stations. Specifically, this limited Master Plan will evaluate land uses and zoning at sites near each station.

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.

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.

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 new plan will also provide recommendations to improve multimodal access to each station, 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. As well as, address additional concerns raised during the planning process, specifically improving parking around the rail stations.

The General Schedule for the MARC Rail Communities Plan is as follows:

  • November 4, Kickoff Community Meeting (UpCounty Regional Services Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Room A, Germantown, MD). Briefing Book to be posted on the same day.

  • Winter 2016 Design Workshop (Charrette) and Development of Preliminary Recommendations.

  • Spring 2016 Refinement of Preliminary Recommendations.