Ourisman Ford Redevelopment
Ourisman Ford is closing its dealership on Westlake Terrace behind Montgomery Mall. Foulger-Pratt, the developer of Parc Potomac on Seven Locks Road, is seeking to redevelop the site. For this to happen, the County Council must pass a Zoning Text Amendment (a form of legislation) allowing mixed-use development in a C2 Commercial Zone if it's near a transit center. Currently this exception to C2 zoning is only permitted near a Metro station. MMCAP is considering both FP's plans and the ZTA. Councilmember Roger Berliner may sponsor the ZTA if the community is not opposed. We're told that the mixed-use designation requires the first level of each building to be retail.
Foulger-Pratt seeks to put in 340 luxury units above some 60,000 square feet of retail. They want community support and have met with MMCAP members on two occasions. Nothing has been submitted for county approval as of February 2008.
See the following sketches, which are purely conceptual. Some include the entire area between Westlake Drive and I-270. Foulger-Pratt does not own that land and the plans for anything beyond just the Ourisman property are just their vision should they be able to acquire that land from Jim Coleman, Home Depot Expo, etc.
Updated Westlake Drive Plan
Westfield provided updated street plans for Westlake Drive in January 2008. The red lines indicate the new configuration. This nearly final plan is the culmination of two meetings involving MMCAP, Westfield, DPWT and M-NCPPC in September and December to resolve Westlake Drive issues. We appreciate County Executive Ike Leggett's help in motivating DPWT to arrange these meetings and make changes. Several County Council members helped as well... Nancy Floreen on transportation, Duchy Trachtenberg, George Leventhal and Roger Berliner to name a few.
The plan includes the following features:
- The street will have four 10' wide lanes, plus a 10' center turn lane/median, plus 3' shoulders/bike lanes (excluding the 1' concrete gutter pan).
- A 7' or 8' wide shared use path/sidewalk will be built on the east side of Westlake Drive, separated from the road by a 5' wide grassy strip with small street trees.
- A 5' sidewalk on the west side of Westlake Drive, in most places moved 5' back from the curb at Westfield's expense. The existing trees large will not be impacted and new small trees will be planted between the sidewalk and street where possible.
- The existing (and preferred) double left turn from Westlake Drive onto Democracy Blvd. will remain.
- A raised median island and new crosswalk will be provided in front of West Spring's east building. The island provides a refuge for pedestrians crossing there. There will be steps down to the mall parking lot at this location.
- Another raised median island will be provided on the north side of the Lakeview Drive intersection, with no crosswalk.
- We are asking for the raised islands to also include the tapered or cross-hatched sections on the diagram. This should not be a problem. The islands will also contain low plantings (we need to stay on top of this), which will be maintained by Westfield.
- At no point will the center lane carry two way traffic, which improves pedestrian and driver safety. It will be either a northbound left turn lane or southbound left turn lane or raised island at all locations.
- A 300' southbound left turn lane will lead up to the existing mall signal. We wanted a much shorter lane and longer island but DPWT was very adamant on this point.
- Northbound left turns will be allowed into all of our communities. No dedicated left turn lane will be provided for West Spring's north entrance, however, to avoid conflicts with the southbound left turn lane into the mall.
- The northbound left turn lane into Bethesda Court, Lakeview House and West Spring's south entrance will remain but only carry northbound traffic.
- The center lane will not extend to the gas station entrance, so turns into the station must be made from the lefthand through lane (which is often what happened anyway).
Please contact Jack Cochrane with any comments. Thank you!
Westfield agrees to modify its Montgomery Mall expansion plan!
During late August and September, MMCAP negotiated with Westfield based on rights granted to surrounding communities under the 1958 covenants. On September 20th, 2007 we were able to finally reach an agreement with Westfield allowing the company to build its expansion without fear of legal action by MMCAP, provided it make certain concessions to the community. This is in addition to the major concessions already offered by Westfield in June.
Please see the final agreement between MMCAP and Westfield. (Note that this is an unofficial copy because it doesn't contain any Westfield signatures. A fully signed copy will be posted soon).
MMCAP owes its success to all the fantasitc residents of nearby communities who wrote letters, gave testimony and appeared at the public hearing and other meetings. It was all of you who made it possible to negotiate this settlement with Westfield. Thank you!
The Montgomery County Planning Board held its public hearing on September 20th. The Planning Board approved the mall expansion application, with changes in accordance with MMCAP's agreement with Westfield. These two memoranda describe Westfield's updated plan as approved by the Planning Board:
If anyone still wants to contact elected officials or the Planning Board about this matter, please see our contact page which contains contact information for various officials.
Info on this Site:
- Signed agreement between MMCAP and Westfield allowing the mall expansion under certain conditions (this isn't the official signed copy, which will be posted soon)
- Approved preliminary plan memorandum
- Approved site plan memorandum
- Elected official contact page
- Revised Plans (June 2007) - This does not include changes agreed to by MMCAP and Westfield in September
- Initial Plans (January 2007)
- Local Area Maps
- Covenants (1.4 MB)
- Media Coverage
- Photos of traffic calming measures (pedestrian islands, speed tables, etc.) that could be used on Westlake Drive by the mall.
- Westlake Drive cross-sections proposed by us and the county (or see the PowerPoint version here). (Note: This diagram needs to be updated slightly. The county's latest proposal is now much closer to our recommendation. A new update will follow soon.)
- Montgomery County Planning Department (including Planning Board)