Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan Sails Through Council
Affordable housing, pedestrian safety and public transit measures included in 20-year vision
A long-range plan for development in the Veirs Mill Road corridor between Rockville and Wheaton that will preserve affordable housing and take steps to make the area safer for pedestrians was unanimously approved Tuesday morning by the Montgomery County Council.
Council member Hans Riemer, chairman of the council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development committee, called the master plan “very progressive and visionary.” He noted the plan originally would have prevented a “net loss” of affordable housing, but council amendments will increase the available units.
“This is a net gain of affordable housing, and we accomplished that through some very bold and visionary approaches,” he said.
The master plan for one of the county’s most racially and ethnically diverse communities promotes use of public transit, reduces the speed limit on parts of Veirs Mill to 35 mph, and as low as 25 mph between Havard Street and Bushey Drive in Wheaton. The plan also includes the addition of an overpass for the county park system’s Matthew Henson Trail.
Other changes to the master plan include eliminating left turn lanes at certain intersections to limit crossing distances and exposure to pedestrians. They include the intersections of Veirs Mill and Connecticut Avenue, Randolph Road, Aspen Hill Road and Twinbrook Parkway.
The approval follows several months of work by the council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and several years of study by planners and rounds of public meetings.
Amendments in the plan include several new additions aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian fatalities in the county, which are in line with the county’s Vision Zero initiative, which was adopted in 2016 as a way to eliminate all pedestrian deaths by 2030.
The plan also recommends that the redevelopment of the Rock Creek Woods Apartments in Rockville provide a minimum of 15% moderately priced dwelling units and 5% market affordable housing units. Of the affordable units, 20% should be two-bedroom units, according to the plan. The master plan also recommends that the Halpine View Apartments, located nearby, adhere to this standard.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org