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Montgomery County Council Approves Clarksburg Plan Amendment That Could Lead to Grocery Store Sooner

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 29, 2011—The Montgomery County Council on June 28 unanimously approved a limited amendment to the Clarksburg Master Plan that could lead to quicker establishment of a grocery store in the emerging community in the northern part of the County.

Before voting, the Council held a public hearing on the limited amendment to the 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan and Hyattsville Special Study Area that modifies the staging provision related to retail development outside of the Clarksburg Town Center. Following the hearing, the Council voted 8-0 (Councilmember George Leventhal was not in attendance) to approve the amendment.

Councilmember Nancy Floreen, chair of the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, and Councilmember Craig Rice proposed the amendment that could lead to allowing construction of a grocery store (and potential ancillary uses) outside of Clarksburg Town Center before 90,000 square feet of retail space is developed in Town Center.

“I understand the frustration of the people who already live in Clarksburg,” said Councilmember Rice, who held a town hall meeting in Clarksburg on Monday evening. “Hopefully, passage of this amendment will be a major step toward bringing a grocery store to the community.”

The intent of the master plan was to have the first grocery store located in the Town Center to make sure the focus of retail development in Clarksburg was in the Town Center. The unintended consequence has been to delay the construction of a much needed grocery store because the Town Center property owners have no immediate plans to construct a grocery. However, property owners in the Village Centers section of Clarksburg have expressed interest in developing a grocery.

“For a variety of reasons, Clarksburg has not developed as intended, and in regard to needed retail amenities—such as a grocery store—the residents have not received what they expected,” said Councilmember Floreen. “While we believe in the intent of the master plan, this was a needed action to correct a situation we did not anticipate.”

The Montgomery County Planning Board has agreed that the master plan should be amended to allow construction of a grocery store in the Town Center or one of the two Village Centers.

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Release ID: 11-155
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939