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Twinbrook Planning Process

Why, What, & Issues

The Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning is updating the 1992 North Bethesda/Garrett Park Master Plan. The Twinbrook planning area is currently under review for a sector plan update. Master and sector plans set forth the vision for a community and attempt to guide development and use of land in an area for 10-20 years. Key elements addressed by this Sector Plan include zoning, transportation, pedestrian and bicycle networks, environmental issues, open space and community facilities, and the preservation of historic sites.

Why

Nearly 40 years ago, Montgomery County's General Plan created the concept of "Wedges and Corridors," an enduring regional land use plan that envisioned growth corridors radiating out from Washington, D.C. like spokes of a wheel that were separated by green wedges of open space, farmland, and lower density residential uses. For more information about the General Plan, click here. The Corridors provide opportunities for compact, transit-serviceable growth while the Wedges provide respite, recreation, and protection of natural resources. This pattern has and will continue to shape the County's development by channeling growth in an Urban Ring around Washington D.C. and in the I-270 Corridor.

The I-270 Corridor plays a significant role in Montgomery County's future, and is recognized as a major center for biotechnology employment in the United States. The Twinbrook Metro Station area offers a unique location for employment and housing as it is served by a variety of transportation services, including Metrorail, commuter rail, bus, MD 355, and Twinbrook Parkway.

What

The Department of Park and Planning is undertaking a series of master plans and sector plans that will focus on the I-270 Corridor. The Twinbrook Sector Plan area, located just north of the Beltway, lies east of MD 355 and straddles both sides of Twinbrook Parkway. It is surrounded by Rockville on the west and north. On the east side of the CSX tracks, the Plan includes an eighteen-story Health and Human Services (HHS) building, U.S. Pharmacopeia, FDA offices, NIH satellite labs, and federal contractors. To the south, below the light industrial area, is the future Montrose Parkway right-of-way and to the west is the CSX rail line. The single family residential area to the north of Twinbrook is located in the City of Rockville and is not part of the County's plan update for Twinbrook. Rockville is an incorporated city with its own planning and zoning authority and its own master plans.

In addition to the Twinbrook Sector Plan update, the Gaithersburg Vicinity and Germantown Plan updates are currently underway. These I-270 plans will address the potential for biotech and high-tech industries, the creation of livable communities, the expansion of recreation and open space, and improvements to all modes of the transportation system. Undertaking these plans at the same time allow coordination of information, issues, and options.

The Twinbrook Sector Plan

Twinbrook will be a community of employment and residential uses in an urban-scale environment. Convenient to transit, employment, and services, Twinbrook will integrate its land use, urban design, and environmental improvements to create a distinct commercial community connected to the resources of the Washington region.

Goals

The entire planning area is within walking distance from a Metro station and a regional park. The planning area is also adjacent to a Metro station-focused, mixed-use redevelopment project.

  • Recreate Twinbrook as a walkable place with safe and direct access to adjacent Metro stations and to surrounding parkland, and with streetfront uses that create convenience and activity.

Twinbrook has an existing stock of high technology and biotechnology uses, including federal agency tenants and private sector businesses. It also has a concentration of industrially zoned land and a range of service, retail, and warehouse uses that serve both businesses and residents.

  • Build on Twinbrook's established employment base by zoning for technology uses, and by encouraging industrial uses to evolve in place.

Over time, Twinbrook's natural environment has been subsumed by development. But as a developed and urbanizing area, Twinbrook has the potential to recreate the function and appearance of the natural environment. Its location near Metro is an opportunity to create a community of complementary urban and environmental features.

  • Use the Twinbrook Sector Plan to explore an urban park, urban design, and environmental standards that can shape urban patterned and scaled development.

Recommendations

This Plan's recommendations are designed to make the best use of public investment in the Metro system by building a network of transit options bicycle routes and pedestrian links that serve a community of mixed uses, built in a compact form, and that integrates areas of green relief with redevelopment, with connected streetscapes, open space and regional green links.

  • Define Fishers Lane and Parklawn Drive as the area's main streets
  • Provide clear, safe connections to the Metro station
  • Encourage redevelopment scaled and sited for Metro and that incorporates mixed uses
  • Maintain the existing industrial uses, they provide jobs and services
  • Define and create housing opportunities near Metro