Montgomery Parks is seeking input on a final conceptual site plan
Montgomery Parks is in the final stage of collecting input on the Silver Spring Intermediate Neighborhood Park Improvement Plan. The goal of the improvement plan is to refresh the park to meet accessibility and environmental requirements and better address the community's current and future needs. The recreational facilities will stay and receive improvements as necessary.
Background of the Park:
Silver Spring Intermediate Neighborhood Park is the site of a former Montgomery County Public School (MCPS). After the school buildings were demolished in the 1970s, the site was gradually developed as a park. Remnants of the site’s former use as an elementary school are still visible today, such as the 21-space asphalt parking lot, the two retaining walls, walkways, and the overall grading of the open space. There are also many mature trees that remain from the site’s previous use as a school.
The park was developed nearly 40 years ago, before the enactment of laws requiring accessibility and stormwater treatment. As a result, the park is not accessible to people with physical limitations and during intense rainfall there are areas with ponding and standing water. The stormwater runoff from the park is not treated before being discharged into the adjacent public storm drain system. Current federal law requires that all public facilities, including public parks meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, state and county laws require runoff generated by the site be treated before being safely conveyed through the public storm drain system.
Background on the Improvement Plan:
An initial community meeting was held on April 18, 2018, followed by an open comment period for public input. Based on the feedback collected, Montgomery Parks presented four potential site plans to the public at a second community meeting on June 12, 2018. Information from the previous community meetings is available on the park project page.
At the June 12, 2018 meeting, attendees voted for Option 2 as the most popular among the four options presented. During the subsequent Open Town Hall survey period, Option 4, which is similar to Option 2 but with more amenities and grading changes proposed, was voted as the most popular option by survey participants. The four options that were presented can be viewed here.
Final Conceptual Site Plan:
Based on feedback received during and after the April 18, 2018 and June 12, 2018, community meetings and Open Town Hall public comment periods, Montgomery Parks hired a consultant in September 2018 to study the two most popular options and develop the conceptual final site plan. The focus of the plan is to provide an accessible walkway to link the park entrances and amenities, and to resolve storm drainage issues. Montgomery Parks welcomes the community’s feedback on the conceptual site plan as we move forward with detailed design. Comments are being accepted until Feb 18, 2019.
The improvements in the final conceptual design include:
- Accessible walkway that connects the main park entrance, bus stop, courts, and playground
- New walkway that connects the Chicago Ave/Boston Ave entrance to the rest of the park
- Parking lot:
- New ADA accessible parking space
- Designated location for portable restroom, with screen
- New drinking fountain
- New bike racks
- Stormwater Management:
- New bioretention areas to treat stormwater runoff on site
- Minimal regrading of the open lawn area to create a smoother and more user-friendly play area
- Retaining Wall:
- Replacement of the existing retaining wall and guardrail at the SE corner on Boston Avenue.
- Spot repair of the existing white retaining wall along Boston Avenue, with new guardrail
- Accessible entrance to the playground
- New fixed tables
- New safety fences along Boston Avenue
- New natural play area and boardwalk near the existing playground and the new bio-retention area
- New bike racks
- Basketball courts: taller fences, new seating wall, more benches
- Tennis courts: leveled court surface, repainted to include pickle ball lines, new backstop walls, more benches
- Bus Stop:
- Accessible walkway linked into the park, with more benches near the waiting area
(Click photos to enlarge)
In the previous Open Town Hall survey, many people expressed interest in a small-sided soccer court, to be incorporated into the existing tennis courts. Montgomery Parks conducted a one-month observation of four nearby local and neighborhood park tennis courts to understand the court usage. Among the four nearby parks observed, tennis court usage at Silver Spring Intermediate Neighborhood Park (SSI-NP) was the highest. The study data is available to review here. Montgomery Parks concluded that SSI-NP tennis courts have sufficient tennis use to not warrant any conversion of these courts. Montgomery Parks Planning Division will be conducting a County wide study of sports courts to determine suitable sites for small-sided soccer courts.
We encourage and welcome your comments on the final conceptual design of the park renovation. Comments are being accepted until Feb 18, 2019.