THE GOOD LIFE.
The Kettler Brothers created Montgomery Village as a planned community - their long advertised motto was “Living the Good Life.”
The Bloom Vision
Montgomery Village was founded in 1966 by the Kettler Brothers as a planned community. Their long advertised motto for the village was “Living the Good Life”. Today, people move to and make the decision to stay in Montgomery Village to live their own version of the good life – natural open spaces, convenience, diversity, recreation options and greener living, among others. While Montgomery Village is a solidly established community, it is also a community that aims to continue to thrive and grow – to Bloom.
The Bloom vision is to transform a vacant, private parcel of land in the heart of the community into a mix of diverse new housing options and expansive, well-programed recreation and open spaces. Since acquiring the Montgomery Village Golf Club in March of 2013, Monument Realty worked closely with the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF), Montgomery County public officials and agencies and most importantly, the residents of Montgomery Village, to create a new vision for the property. What developed through this visioning and community design process was the Bloom Concept Plan. This Concept Plan balanced the concerns of the surrounding neighborhoods most impacted by the proposed changes with the community’s broader goals and concerns. Highlights of this Concept Plan are:
• Up to 594 new homes dispersed throughout the site;
• A diversity of home styles including single family homes and townhomes;
• Improved pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular connectivity through the creation of new multi-user paths, walking trails, and roadway improvements (particularly along Stewartown Road); and
• Abundant open space and stream valley restoration as well as significant active recreation space featuring walking trails, dog parks, a community garden and more.
Benefits for Everyone
Improving Visual Appeal
Green views – There are a significant number of trees already surrounding the golf course and there are very few clear view corridors onto the course. The Bloom plan aims to maintain the pattern of tree and shrub buffer that currently exists, provide for additional trees in other areas, and maintain and enhance views from Montgomery Village Avenue onto the park.
Preserves character – While the views for a number of homes will change, the general nature of the view (i.e. maintaining a view that mostly consists of trees or canopy) will remain intact through the preservation of existing tree lines that serve as a buffer between existing homes and the proposed new homes, with particular attention paid to preserving mature specimen trees that add character to the community.
Reforestation – The Bloom plan, taken as a whole, greatly enhances the tree canopy in Montgomery Village. While some of the trees on the golf course will be removed in order to accommodate the proposed plan, most of the proposed housing is planned in the upland open fairways. The areas with the most specimen trees and wildlife are located in the stream valley, which will not be disturbed to accommodate new housing. Additionally, it is anticipated that the required reforestation of the stream valley will result in 1,200 to 9,000 new trees (depending on the caliper of trees planted), not to mention the replacement of any removed trees at a 3-to-1 ratio in the areas where new housing is proposed.
Improving Quality of Life
Smart Growth – Montgomery Village has relatively few opportunities to add new housing (or development of any kind) to its community. Meanwhile, surrounding neighborhoods, such as the City of Gaithersburg, are actively encouraging new development, particularly infill development. Montgomery Village shares the same primary road networks as these other communities and risks losing out on the benefits of new development while being subjected to the effects of additional traffic and population growth that surrounding development brings. Additionally, the State of Maryland is making a significant investment in the new Watkins Mill Road interchange at I-270, which will alleviate some of the traffic in the area.
Infrastructure – The County requires that significant impact fees and taxes be paid by developers and home builders to offset impacts related to traffic, schools, utilities, etc. In fact, additional residents make municipal services and infrastructure more efficient per capita because they increase revenue through real estate taxes to Montgomery County and dues to the Foundation, with only an incremental increase in cost.
Local Options – New development helps to support retail at the Village Center, thereby reducing long daily trips outside the community, and perhaps provide the spark needed for the owners of the Village Center to invest in improving retail at that location.
More Walkable – Higher density improves transportation efficiency. Traffic congestion already exists and will only get worse, regardless of whether new housing is built on the former golf course or not. However, transportation efficiency minimizes the congestion impacts of density. Transportation efficiency is improved by including some important elements in any new housing plans – for example, making sure that street scale and connectivity create an inviting pedestrian environment that encourages walking to neighborhood destinations such as shops, services and amenities, and improving accessibility and options for close, accessible, frequent and convenient public transportation.
Improving the Environment
Preservation – The proposed new housing dispersed through the remaining 60 acres will have minimal impact on the areas of greatest natural beauty and wildlife – the stream valley – which will remain undisturbed.
Restoration – The proposed plan will restore the natural beauty of the area set aside as parkland and provide amenities to the community, such as nature trails, hiker/biker paths, community gardens, dog parks and picnic pavilions. Areas characterized by wetlands, flood plains or the stream valley will not be disturbed to accommodate new housing.
Greener Spaces – A golf course is not a natural habitat, nor is it a use that is particularly friendly to the environment. The redesigned open space will restore vegetation to its natural state and requires minimal pesticide use compared to a golf course. The local and regional watershed will also benefit from the implementation of new and better storm water management systems where none exist today.
Accessible Nature – The new park and all of its active and passive recreational amenities encourage increased use of, and appreciation for, the outdoors and provides a healthy and beautiful environment for residents of all ages to enjoy.