Rustic roads are roads in the Agricultural Reserve or rural parts of Montgomery County that exemplify the rural and agricultural character of the area. Exceptional rustic roads are roads that have such unusual and pleasing character that preservation of the road is highly desirable.
Rustic and Exceptional rustic roads are preserved under the Rustic Roads Program, which provides a system for evaluating, protecting, and enhancing these scenic roadways. The program includes nearly 100 roads. These roads are listed and described in the Rustic Roads Functional Master Plan and in other area Master Plans as shown below.
The Rustic Roads Program is overseen by the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee (RRAC) and three agencies. The RRAC is comprised of seven citizen members who are appointed by the County Executive; they review and advise the County Executive, County Council, Planning Board, Department of Transportation, Department of Permitting Services and other county agencies on matters concerning rustic roads. Members review and comment upon roadway classifications, policies, regulations, and promote public awareness of the Rustic Roads Program.
Visit a Rustic Road
For visitors and area residents who live outside of the Agricultural Reserve, the Rustic Roads Program may be unfamiliar. Below are just a few ideas for trips into the Agricultural Reserve, often along our Rustic Roads:
- Heritage Montgomery has created a video and podcast Rural Heritage Byway Tour, has an app of Life in a War Zone: Civil War History in Montgomery County and has a brochure, Community Cornerstones: A Selection of Historic African American Churches in Montgomery County Maryland. The majority of these tours and sites are in the Agricultural Reserve and are on Rustic Roads.
- Two Maryland Scenic Byways are located in Montgomery County, and they include several Rusic Roads. Travel the C&O Canal and the Antietam Campaign trails.
- Montgomery Countryside Alliance produces an Agricultural Reserve Resource Guide and interactive map that covers local farms, orchards, parks, equestrian facilities, historic sites, museums, and even two historic general stores.
- Countryside Artisans of Maryland host Studio Tour Days several times per year featuring paintings, prints, fiber, furniture, sculpture, and more. A number of the studios are located on Rustic Roads.
- The RRAC is pleased to announce that it has released their Rustic Roads Draft Guidelines for comment.
All parties, including interested individuals, organizations, and agencies, are invited to submit comments. The closing date for receiving comments is close of business on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. To submit comments, you may:
- use "track changes" on the document below, re-saving the document with your name, then emailing it to the RRAC staff coordinator, Jay Beatty, Jay.Beatty@montgomerycountymd.gov; or
- print a copy, add your comments, and mail to: Jay Beatty, Department of Permitting Services, 255 Rockville Pike, 2nd Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850-4166
- September 2013: Many thanks to RRAC members Greg Glenn and Angela Butler for creating and manning a display table for the Rustic Roads Pragram at the Farm toTable Dinner at the Ag History Farm Park, hosted by the Montgomery County Farm Bureau.
- October 2012: Jay Beatty has been appointed as the Staff Coordinator to the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee. Welcome, Jay!
- September 2012: An overview of the policies that support the Montgomery County Rustic Roads Program was well received at the biennial Preserving the Historic Road Conference in Indianapolis.
- The historic Darby Store, at the corner of Beallsville Road and Darnestown Road, has been moved back from the intersection, and the front porch has been rebuilt. The moving of the store was documented by the National Park Service, and restoration is being done by the Parks Department.
- The replacement bridge on White Ground Road has been completed. The RRAC thanks MCDOT for designing and installing a bridge that maintains the character of this Exceptional Rustic Road.
- The 1910 pony truss bridge on Montevideo Road (an exceptional rustic road), which was damaged by flooding in September 2011, was repaired by MCDOT and the bridge was reopened to traffic. The RRAC is especially appreciative of the outstanding restoration work done to retain the Seneca sandstone abutments.
- Rustic Roads Functional Master Plan (1996)
This document provides information about the program, its intent, history and regulations, as well as descriptions of the initial 66 roads designated under the program.
- Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan (2010)
- Damascus Master Plan (2006)
- Olney Master Plan (2005)
- Rustic Roads Functional Master Plan, Clarksburg Master Plan & Hyattstown Special Study Area, Boyds Master Plan & Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan Amendment (2004)
- Potomac Subregion Master Plan (2002)
- Sandy Spring/Ashton Master Plan (1998)
- Cloverly Master Plan (1997)
- Fairland Master Plan (1997)
- Clarksburg Master Plan & Hyattstown Special Study Area (1994)
The RRAC meets six or more times a year. Meetings are normally held at 6:30 p.m. in the 1st Floor Conference Room of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD (after hours, use the cafeteria entry on the south side of the building--the meeting is one floor up, near the center stairway). Meetings are open to the public. The anticipated meeting schedule is below; confirmation is recommended (call Jay Beatty, 240-777-6340).
- December 4, 2013, 6:30 pm
- October 22, 2013
- September 24, 2013 | agenda
- August 6, 2013 | agenda
- July 2, 2013 | agenda
- June 25, 2013 - (Cancelled—see July 2 meeting)
- May 21, 2013 | agenda | minutes
- April 23, 2013 | agenda | minutes
- March 26, 2013 | agenda | minutes
- March 5, 2013 | agenda (originally scheduled for February 26, 2013) | minutes
- January 29, 2013 | agenda | minutes
- December 2012 - TBD
- November 27, 2012
- November 13, 2012 | agenda (originally scheduled for October 30, 2012)
- September 27, 2012 | agenda
- June 26, 2012 | agenda
- May 29, 2012 | agenda | minutes
- April 24, 2012 | agenda
- March 27, 2012 | agenda | minutes
- February 28, 2012 | agenda | minutes
- January 24, 2012 | agenda | minutes
- November 29, 2011 | agenda | minutes
- September 27, 2011 | agenda
- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | agenda | minutes
- Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | agenda |
- Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | agenda | minutes
- Thursday, March 31, 2011
- Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | agenda | minutes
2008 | December | November minutes| October minutes| September minutes (Joint meeting with the Ag Advisory Committee and Ag Preservation Advisory Board) | June minutes | May minutes | April 22 minutes | April 1 minutes| February | January
Angela Butler, Farmer
Greg Deaver, Engineer
Greg Glenn, Farmer
Robert Goldberg, Civic
Christopher Marston, Rural preservation
Marc T. Miller, Civic
Eric Spates, Farmer, AAC representative
Staff coordinator:Jay Beatty (DPS)
Non-voting member:Leslie Saville (M-NCPPC)
The three agencies overseeing the program and their responsibilities are:
- The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
- Classifications - Master Plans and Amendments
- Subdivision review and approval
- Contact: Leslie Saville, 301-495-2194,or Leslie.Saville@mncppc-mc.org
- Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Executive regulations and policies
- Roadway Maintenance, Division of Highway Services (240-777-ROAD)
- Review and permitting of work in rustic roads right-of-way
- Staff Coordination with Rustic Roads Advisory Committee
- Contact: Jay Beatty, 240-777-6340, or Jay.Beatty@montgomerycountymd.gov
- Executive Regulation 21-96
- Chapter 49, Article 8
- Biennial Reports from the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee
- 2010 Rustic Roads Calendar
Date of last update: October 1, 2013