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Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan

sandy spring logonew The Staff Draft for the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan was presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board at the Thursday, July 17 Planning Board meeting (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The Staff Draft is a direct result of the work of the Montgomery County Planning Department using extensive engagement and feedback from the community. The recommendations seek to bring about the vision and address any concerns that were voiced by the community at the four-day community design workshop held in February and the community meetings  held in March and May. After gathering the input from the community, planners have come up with recommendations for zoning, land use, and connectivity that will help maintain the rural feel of the area while developing a more pedestrian-friendly, sustainable community. Planning Board approved the Staff Draft as a Planning Board Public Hearing Draft and scheduled the Public Hearing for September 4th, 2014.

Plan Highlights

In a previous plan, the 1998 Sandy Spring/Ashton Master Plan, the "rural village" character in Sandy Spring was recognized. The village center is of great value to the community. The 1998 Plan proposed the creation of a village center concept for Sandy Spring "that will help ensure that the village center serves its role as a focal point of community life." The concept developed in 1998 for the Sandy Spring village center included the following elements: development of a new fire station as a community focal point, realignment of Brooke Road to improve access, a village green concept, and resolution of parking issues.

The current design study, launched in the fall of 2013, will provide an opportunity to further preserve the rich cultural history of the area, identify connections and mobility gaps, and design civic spaces and a village center for the community to gather. Scope of Work

This Plan will follow the guidance in the 1998 Master Plan and determine how to best connect the new fire station into a village center concept, design a village green, and determine the feasibility of realigning Brooke Road using the following three goals:

  • Preserve- the rich cultural history of the area
  • Design- a civic space and village center
  • Connect- the community to the village center and examine right-of-way issues

The Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan will also examine land use and potential zoning changes. The Plan will not undergo a large scale transportation modeling process, but it will examine traffic studies along MD 108 and intersection data.


Sandy Spring map

The Sandy Spring/Ashton Master Plan (1998) proposes creation of a village center concept for Sandy Spring "that will help ensure that the village center serves its role as a focal point of community life." The Plan recommended that the concept focus on three elements:

  • design and construction of a new fire station that would serve as a community focal point;
  • realignment of Brooke Road to improve both pedestrian and vehicular circulation in the village center; and
  • the creation of a village green.

The fire station has been built, but it is away from the intersection of Brooke Road and MD 108. The other elements of the concept remain incomplete.

In May 2010, two groups (one of residents and one representing the business community) met with planning staff, the County Executive, and Main Street, to define their visions for how Sandy Spring can retain its rural character over the next twenty years. The groups defined downtown Sandy Spring as Route 108 from Bentley Road (including the museum) to Norwood Road. The consensus was made about how this historic community can retain its small-town charm while accommodating growth. Below are the items discussed in the draft document "A Vision for Sandy Spring, DRAFT, June 2010" and they include:

  • rural character
  • buildings
  • relationship between buildings and streets
  • public spaces
  • transportation
  • retail, services, and restaurants
  • housing

Project schedule

Staff will continue to meet with citizens, civic leaders, property owners, and public agencies in the coming months. Such meetings are essential to ensure that all stakeholders are adequately heard and their ideas tested during the development of recommendations. In future community meetings, various planning options will be developed with the community. Staff anticipates completing the draft in July of 2014.


  • new September 4, 2014: Proposed Public Hearing for the Plan

Past Meetings

  • July 17, 2014: Sandy Spring Rural Village Staff Draft Presentation, Montgomery County Planning Department Headquarters, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD
  • May 14, 2014: Community meeting discussed the final recommendations on Wednesday, May 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sandy Spring Friends School, Yarnall Hall Library, 16923 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring. See Press Release See Presentation
  • March 19, 2014: Staff discussed the preliminary recommendations held at the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House at 17715 Meeting House Road, Sandy Spring, MD from 7 PM to 9 PM. See: slide presentation
  • February 3, 4, 5, and 6, 2014: Four-Day Design Workshop, the Library of the Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring. The Montgomery County Planning Department hosted a design workshop to capture ideas for transforming the heart of Sandy Spring. Over 130 residents and business owners attended.
  • Monday, February 3, 2014
    7 – 9 pm: Presentation, Charrette Overview, and Visioning Session (Dr. Bird Room)
    See: slide presentation - photo album

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014
    10:00 am – Noon: Visioning Exercise (Library)
    1-5 pm: Visioning Session Continued; Land Use and Zoning Workshop (Dr. Bird Room)
    See: photo album (days 2 and 3)

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014
    10 am to Noon: Land Use and Zoning (Library)
    1-5 pm: Roadway Design, Connections and Open Space (Library)
    See: photo album (days 2 and 3)

    Thursday, February 6, 2014
    10 am - Noon: Roadway Design, Connections, and Open Space (Library)
    1-5 pm: Refine Plan Recommendations (Library)
    7-9 pm: Charrette Final Presentation and Workshop Conclusion
    See: slide presentation

  • December 12, 2013: The Scope of Work was approved by the Planning Board on Thursday, December 12, 2013. The Sandy Spring Rural Village boundary area is part of a larger Rural Village Overlay Zone area that also covers the Ashton Village Center and it is generally defined as follows: by the northern boundary of the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department site, on the south by MD 108, Brook Road on the west, and Sandy Spring Museum on the east.
  • May 2010: Visioning exercise with Planning Staff, County Executive staff, Main Street, residents and business owners
  • October 23, 2013: The Montgomery County Planning Department held its first community meeting for the Sandy Spring Village Center Minor Master Plan Amendment. Thirty-one residents, business owners, and civic association members came to the Oak Ballroom at the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department site to share their thoughts and comments with the Planning Department team.

Sandy Spring Museum Exhibt

Check out the online versionof the exhibit featured at the Sandy Spring Museum in March and April 2014..


M-NCPPC staff contacts

Kristin O'Connor, Area 3: Up-County & Rural Planning, Lead Planner

Roberto Duke, Area 3: Up-County & Rural Planning, Urban Designer

Fred Boyd, Area 3: Up-County & Rural Planning, Land Use, 301-495-4654

Katherine Holt, Area 3: Up-County & Rural Planning, Transportation Planning, 301-495-4549
Rachel Newhouse, Montgomery County Department of Parks, Park Planning, 301 650 - 4368
Sandra Youla, Historic Preservation, Preservation Planning, 301-563-3419
Katherine Nelson, Area 3: Up-County & Rural Planning, Environmental Planning, 301-495-4622
Jonathan Casey, Area 3: Up-County & Rural Planning, Zoning and Land Use, 301-495-2162

Date of last update: July 17, 2014