“We Think It Would Be a Regional Draw” (Video)
In this MyMCMedia extra, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marilyn Balcombe explains why the chamber is supporting plans for an outlet mall in Clarksburg.
(The following press release was issued on Aug. 8 by a public relations firm representing Pulte:)
The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce are calling on Montgomery County officials to forgo changing the 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan.
“Every component of the master plan was thoughtfully decided and balanced to support the vision of Clarksburg as the corridor city along the I-270 Corridor,” said Marilyn Balcombe, president/CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown chamber. “It’s future as a transit-oriented town that supports regional employment in the county’s technology corridor is dependent on the development principles stipulated in the master plan.”
Balcombe said it is important for county officials to demonstrate to the state that it is committed to the vision of Clarksburg. “Maryland has already put the second phase of the CCT [Corridor Cities Transitway] on an indefinite hold,” she said. “We can’t afford to give them more reason to stray from delivering this important transit to the upcounty.”
State officials have removed the CCT from Gaithersburg to Germantown and Clarksburg from the design schedule, saying there’s currently not enough growth in those areas to make funding design work cost effective. The CCT was planned to connect those upcounty communities with Metrorail. The first phase of the transitway, from Shady Grove Metro to the MARC train station in Gaithersburg, is schedule to be completed in 2020.
Bob Egan, president of the Greater Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce, said the business community in Clarksburg needs the residential density prescribed in the master plan. “In 2000 Clarksburg had a few hundred homes. Today, there’s a few thousand, but clearly that’s not enough to support the kind of liveable community we all want—and believe that Clarksburg can be,” he said. “We need county officials to believe in Clarksburg, too. We need them to keep our town on track and allow development in the ’94 master plan to proceed.”
Pulte Homes is the developer of Ten Mile Creek, a 1,000 home community on Clarksburg Road planned in the final stage of the master plan. County planning staff has recommended the development be dramatically reduced from current zoning, allowing about 215 homes on only 15 percent of Pulte’s 538-acre site. Staff suggests 85 percent of Pulte’s land, for which it paid about $60 million, be placed in a conservation easement. Pulte intends to build on half the site, leaving the other half as forest.
“It’s important that the community—and the county—understands that what’s at stake in Clarksburg is bigger than Ten Mile Creek,” said Gus Bauman, an attorney who has advised Pulte. “Clearly the business community gets it.”