Board requests money to plan park in Germantown center
Sep. 26, 2001
Kristen Milton
Staff Writer

With so much of Germantown Town Center completed or under way, the Montgomery County Planning Board is requesting $160,000 from the county to begin planning a public park in the shopping center.

The park will be on the same parcel as the new Germantown library, which is slated to open in 2006. But the park has not been funded.

However, developments in the area have been constant in recent months with BlackRock Center for the Arts under construction next door, Euro Motorcars purchasing the land across the street, and preliminary designs for the library being drafted.

"When Park and Planning saw that other agencies were moving ahead with the library and other facilities, they thought it would be far smarter for them to do the planning for their portion of Town Center at the same time," said Marlene Michaelson, a County Council legislative analyst. "So they could look at where they needed to coordinate or overlap or work together."

The County Council will hold a public hearing Oct. 16 on the $160,000 appropriation for the fiscal year 2002 budget. The money would be used between now and June 2002.

At the Tuesday council meeting, Councilwoman Nancy H. Dacek (R-Dist. 2) of Darnestown, who represents Germantown, said she was glad to have the topic on the agenda.

"It is important that we put this whole strip in Town Center together," she said.

At a May 23 community meeting on Town Center, some area residents expressed concern about a recommendation by the Planning Board to consolidate storm water management in the area by deepening an existing farm pond and creating marshland in the area behind the library site. There are already wetlands there from a spring.

At the time, Sue Edwards, head planner for Germantown, said the plan left the maximum amount of space for the park, but the Maryland Department of the Environment opposed the idea.

Edwards said if the park were constructed parallel with the library there would be about two years to adjust the plans to satisfy environmental concerns.

The park would eventually have a gazebo and amphitheater, she said, but would mainly be left open as a gathering area for community events.