The newly approved Potomac Master Plan identifies more than 600 acres of new parkland and open space.
Some land will be bought by the County, some will be transferred to the county at no cost for conservation purposes, and some will be acquired through the Legacy Open Space Program.
For a full version of the Master Plan, call Community Relations at Park and Planning at 301-495-4600 or visit the Web site at www.mc-mncppc.org
<bt>A portion of Hookers Branch Tributary, 85 acres out of 224 total acres, is recommended for acquisition because of its rare geologic formation and forested riparian area. The county will acquire the land through dedication, part of the agreement with subdivision already filed.
<bt>The acquisition of the 7.74-acre Cahoon Property, located in the west of Glen and Glen Mill roads, is critical according to Callum Murray, Potomac team leader with Planning Board staff, because the property is surrounded by parkland and is a significant addition to the Watts Branch Stream Valley Park. The Watts Branch Stream Valley feeds into the region's water supply. The county will purchase this land.
<mh>Glenn Hills School
<bt>Montgomery County Public Schools currently owns this 9.74-acre site, adjacent to Circle Drive and Glen Hills Local Park along the mainstem of Piney Branch. The county, which seeks acquisition of the property in order to protect scarce and important forest areas along the Piney Branch tributary, will acquire the land as a transfer from the school system.
<bt>The Potter property, 34.47 acres at the end of Cervantes Avenue with access from Esworthy Road, has steep forested slopes contiguous to the Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park. The owner is willing to sell the land as a potential "bargain sale" or voluntary dedication as a tax strategy. A conservation easement is the county's fallback position if these strategies for purchasing the land fail.
<mh>Esworthy Road Properties
<bt>Two properties (10.5 acres and 34.47 acres) south of Esworthy Road — one surrounded on three sides by the Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park and the other contiguous to the park — already are on the County's Park Acquisition Map for purchase.
<mh>River Falls Elementary
<bt>Once intended as a site for River Falls Elementary School, this heavily wooded 8.13 acre site is directly across the street from the Rock Run Stream Valley Park, and will be incorporated into the park without any development.
<bt>Callithea Farm, 97 acres bordering Blockhouse Point and the C&O Canal along the Potomac River, will be preserved by the Potomac Master Plan.
The site, which is contiguous on three sides by federal or Park and Planning parkland, includes a horse farm. Acquiring the land won't cost the County anything since the Friends of Callithea Farm, Inc. are working with the owner of the property to acquire the land and ultimately transfer it to the county for conservation.
<bt>A group of citizens have offered to purchase three lots of the Gokturk Wood subdivision — a historic Seneca community — if two of the lots can ultimately be purchased by Park and Planning.
<mh>Miller and Smith
<bt> This 258-acre site is located west of Piney Meetinghouse Road and is zoned for one house per two acres. This property, also known as the Travilah Serpentine Area, is a rare natural community located on a large outcrop covered by thin nutrient-poor and chemically unusual soil. Considered the State’s rarest natural community type, the Miller and Smith property is one of four serpentinite-influenced sites remaining in Maryland. It is the second largest of these sites, and supports seven state-listed threatened or endangered species together with 13 watchlist species adapted to the prevalent harsh condition. The property owners have proposed a residential development, but the Master Plan will not allow the extension of sewer service to the land, and recommends purchasing the property during the next budget cycle.
<bt>Four properties totaling 144 acres share many of the same environmental features as the Miller and Smith property, 9 above, on a much smaller scale.
A joint development plan will call for 70 percent of the property, the most environmentally valuable portion, to be dedicated as parkland.
<bt>Portions of this working farm located in the area along the border of Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park, including the northern corner where a trail connection is desirable, of 170 acres across from the Potomac Horse Center will be rezoned to allow up to 170 new homes, clustered and including affordable housing. The plan will expand the stream valley park system and provide for a 12-13 acre recreational park, which could serve as a backup site for the future North Potomac Community Center if the preferred site on Travilah Road falls through.
<mh>Brickyard Road Junior High
<bt>The 20-acre site on Brickyard Road between Brent and Kingsgate roads. Council voted that the site should be considered for a range of options, including possible affordable and elderly housing, or ballfields.
<mh>Kendall Elementary School Site
<bt>The Kendall Elementary School site, located near Bradley Boulevard and Kentsdale Drive, will also be considered for a range of options including ballfields or affordable and/or elderly housing if the school system declares the site surplus.
<mh>Churchill Elementary School Site
<bt>The Council and the Master Plan recommend that Churchill Elementary School site, located near Cavanaugh Road and Shady Grove Road, be considered for a range of options, including affordable and/or elderly housing, ballfields or parkland if the school board ever declares it a surplus site.
However, Callum Murray, Potomac team leader, said he thinks the Churchill Elementary site may ultimately be used for its original planned use, to build a new public school in the future, due to the growing number of students in North Potomac.
<mh>North Potomac Community Center
<bt>County Council will acquire a site on Travilah Road to build a new community center to serve North Potomac.
<mh>Expansion of Scotland Community Center
<bt>See related story, page 3.