Plans come together for new Town Center park
June 8, 2005
Jacqueline Mah
Staff Writer




A new park for the Germantown Town Center is in the works.

The 2.4-acre park, located north of BlackRock Center for the Arts and the new Germantown library near Pinnacle Drive, will have two ornamental ponds and more than 2,300 feet of recreational paths and boardwalks.

Officials will also move two existing storm water management facilities underground to make room for 2 acres of open space for passive recreation and outdoor events, according to a Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission project summary.

At planning staff members' recommendation, an existing farm pond on the land will be kept on site. Overall, the design will have a minimal impact on existing wetlands and forests, according to the staff report.

Planning staff members penned the final design keeping in mind a series of criteria gleaned from meetings with residents. Some of the residents' requirements included open lawn areas for casual recreation, attractive and safe lighting, and an outdoor assembly area.

The final design, which is a combination of two earlier design options, will cost the county nearly $7.8 million to build.

Much of the cost is due to the planned reconstruction of the storm water management facilities.

However, planners hope to make the cost more manageable by splitting the construction into two phases.

"Full funding for all proposed improvements to this park is unlikely to be forthcoming in any single funding cycle, so a phasing strategy is recommended," staffers wrote.

There is no word yet on when the construction might begin, but planner Sue Edwards said they hope to get the park into the "early part" of the next six-year capital improvements plan cycle.

Staffers recommended that the Planning Board approve their design and phasing plan as a way to proceed with the board's vision of fully utilizing the Town Center's open space.

Planners first proposed the Town Center park in the 1989 Germantown Master Plan. They reaffirmed the need for a park in the 1992 Germantown Town Center Design Study.

"This is the last major parcel of open space in the Town Center, and an opportunity to redo missed opportunities and maximize remaining ones," planners wrote.

The Montgomery County Planning Board is scheduled to vote on the park design in a public meeting on June 30. Residents are invited to participate in the meeting.

For more information about the public meeting or the park, call Patricia McManus at 301-495-3580 or e-mail her at patricia.mcmanus@mncppc-mc.org. To sign up to testify at the meeting, call Marion Joyce at 301-495-4600.