The Montgomery County Council will broaden the scope of a Burtonsville plan focused on commercial growth.
The council voted in July to include additional properties in the Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan study area.
The plan, which was outlined in December, is looking at ways to revitalize the commercial corridor in Burtonsville along Md. 198 and U.S. 29.
The plan concentrates on ways to improve outdated shopping centers such as Burtonsville Crossing, and create better access between shopping centers.
The council voted to add almost 50 acres to the plan in an area between Old Columbia Pike and U.S. 29.
The council wanted planners to reassess whether the stretch of land should be developed, said County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1).
“ We said, ‘What do we want for this little segment of our community?’” Berliner said. “What do we want to encourage there? What to we want to discover there? Give me a context.”
Planners will look at whether sewer and water lines can be added to several vacant lots. That will determine whether they can be residentially or commercially developed, said Kristin O'Connor, senior planner with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
“It’s all new to us,” O’Connor said. “We will get to it. I hope it makes our plan even better.”
The council had been deciding whether to approve adding water and sewer lines to the properties, but were unsure whether they would be environmentally safe. The properties slope downward and water runoff flows into the T. Howard Duckett Reservoir, O’Connor said.
The council decided to fold decisions on the future of the land into the Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan so planners could determine whether anything should be built there, O’Connor said.
The additional acreage has pushed the plan’s timeline back. O’Connor and her staff were scheduled to complete a draft of their recommendations in September, but likely will finish it in late October or November, O’Connor said.
“I think it’s going to be a better plan,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a stronger plan.”
O’Connor said she and her staff plan to have a public meeting on the additions in September.
“I’m looking forward tos going back out to community and getting their ideas,” O’Connor said.