Special Projects

OPD is often tasked with handling special projects as they arise, given its multi-disciplinary skill set and nuanced expertise. OPD staff coordinate and interact with a range of land use and real estate professionals such as planners, appraisers, architects, engineers, developers, brokers, and contractors. In addition, OPD staff engage with the public through community events with County residents who would be impacted by proposed development projects.

OPD is responsible for handling entitlements, rights of entry and easements that support development projects as well as to assist other departments or agencies with projects. For example, OPD has worked in partnership with the Board of Elections and the Revenue Authority. OPD’s involvement extends to economic development projects such as the Wheaton façade improvement program, Marriott headquarters site selection, and the grape crushing facility at the Poolesville Winery. OPD is also asked to conduct research and complete special studies that are used internally by the Department of General Services and other County departments. The team is often assigned time sensitive, unique projects, such as new signage at the Silver Spring Black Box Theater and the Bigbelly trash compactors in Wheaton.

OPD is currently working on:

Wheaton Sign

Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center

OPD is managing the planning, site feasibility, design and construction for a new arts and cultural facility to be located in the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District. Click here to learn more.

 


Sites Available for Affordable Housing

Montgomery County continues to build on its recent successes in adding to the affordable housing stock by offering numerous County-owned properties for the development of affordable housing. To assist in selecting a development partner, we are issuing a series of Requests for Developer Proposals (RFDPs) for each property. The first round of RFDPs was issued Thursday, September 1, 2022. Please visit our Affordable Housing project page to learn more.


Olney Police Substation

Olney Police Satellite Station

The Office of Planning and Development is developing a Program of Requirements (POR) for a new police satellite station in Olney. The current Noah A. Leotta Olney Satellite Facility is located in a trailer in the parking lot of a retail center. The new satellite station is planned to be permanent standalone satellite station in roughly the same location, which the County leases. OPD is collaborating with Montgomery County Police to determine what the space needs are for this purpose-built facility, while also ensuring that the uses fit within the leased area. The POR will outline what spaces will be included in the building, general room size, as well as building systems and finishes. After the POR is completed, the architect will use that document to design the building. The Olney Chamber of Commerce has been successful in obtaining $1,175,000 in FY 2021 and 2022 in State of Maryland Grant Funds to partially fund the design and construction of this Police Facility.

 


Mandatory Referrals

OPD is responsible for managing the Mandatory Referral process for various projects with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In addition to the Mandatory Referrals required under State law for both the acquisition and disposition of land, OPD has spearheaded the Mandatory Referral review of several projects by the Montgomery Planning Board including The Oaks Landfill Solar project and the Brookville Maintenance Facility Microgrid project.


Future of the Chevy Chase Library

Information on the Chevy Chase Library Building Project and opportunities to provide comments may be found here.

Completed Special Projects

Picture of Willow Manor

Willow Manor

OPD led the solicitation and selection process for a developer to build affordable senior apartments on a portion of the East County Regional Services Center site working with the East County Regional Services Center (RSC) Director and the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. OPD assisted the developer team with its entitlement process and then provided overall coordination during construction between the developer team and other County interests at the site including DOT, Recreation, and the RSC.

 


Picture of Silver Spring Library

Silver Spring Library Cultural Programming

The new Silver Spring Library was designed with arts programming in mind and, before its opening, OPD requested proposals to provide cultural and educational opportunities in the basement, ground floor, and second floor of the new building. Two local nonprofits were selected to provide programming: the Gandhi Brigade, a youth media organization, and Levine Music, a community music school.

 


Picture of Norbeck Park

Norbeck Local Park Access Easement

OPD was responsible for negotiation and execution of a deed of easement with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and a temporary construction easement with a housing developer for a paved pedestrian and bicycle trail on County-owned property. The County property sits between Norbeck Local Park and a housing subdivision. The developer was required to construct the path as part of its planning approvals as the trail allows residents safe access to the park.


Picture of Substation

Potomac Edison Cabin Branch Substation

Potomac Edison approached the County to discuss locating an electric substation on County property in Clarksburg to support new development occurring in the area. OPD negotiated the easement agreement with the utility, assisted with the forest conservation plan and provided oversight through construction, which ultimately allowed the substation to be built without creating new impervious area in the environmentally sensitive Ten Mile Creek watershed.


Picture of  Glenmont Shopping Center

Glenmont Shopping Center Redevelopment

The County was approached by several of the Glenmont Shopping Center owners seeking assistance with the possible redevelopment of the site. The site is challenged due to the fragmented ownership (15 different properties with 12 different owners). In 2014, DGS and the former Department of Economic Development partnered with the Urban Land Institute and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to study potential options for revitalization and mixed-use redevelopment of the site, supporting a major goal of the 2013 Glenmont Sector Plan. In 2014, a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) of land use experts provided a host of recommendations that include short, interim, and long-term strategies.  Please see the TAP presentation here and report here.  In 2018, OPD engaged a civil engineering firm to prepare a stormwater management concept study to evaluate stormwater impacts in the event of redevelopment as well as a Natural Resources Inventory and Forest Stand Delineation, which is a required document in the development process. A stormwater management pond that serves the site was built to meet previous regulations and will be removed as part of any redevelopment.  OPD also coordinated with the county’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs on possible façade improvements.


Picture of Salt Storage

Salt Storage

OPD was tasked with providing the Montgomery County Department of Transportation a new facility to store additional bulk salt for road treatment. Previously, DOT had stored surplus salt at County-owned property in East County, which was sold to a developer as part of the Viva White Oak project. OPD entitled, designed, and constructed the new facility co-located at the Gaithersburg Depot, near existing salt barns. The structure can store approximately 20,000 tons of salt.


Picture of  Silver Spring Black Box Theatre

Silver Spring Black Box Theatre

OPD assisted the Theatre Consortium of Silver Spring, the County’s tenant of the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, with new exterior signs for the theater. Due to a lack of recognition of the building as the theater, the Consortium sought to install signs large enough to be recognized both from passing cars and pedestrians, requiring a variance. OPD successfully applied for a sign variance with the Department of Permitting Services and the Sign Review Board, and then managed the installation of the signs.