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The Smart Growth Initiative

An Investment Strategy for County Government Facilities, Economic Development & Affordable Housing

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A Letter from County Executive

Our biggest piece of unfinished work concerns needed investments and shifts in County government facilities – a major task. I decided to comprehensively reevaluate the entire strategy as to how and where to invest a substantial number of the County’s valuable resources, advance our key economic priorities and move forward the implementation of the new Shady Grove Sector Plan to create thousands of new housing units near Metro.

 

 

County Executive Isiah Leggett

County Executive
Isiah Leggett

First, let me define the problem:

This plan cannot go forward until we find locations to move an array of important facilities out of the County service park on Crabbs Branch Road. For example, we need to find a place to relocate and expand our County Liquor warehouse, our school buses, school food preparation facilities, and our Equipment Maintenance Operations Center.

In the past, this was believed to be an almost impossible order to fill. But, thanks to strong and creative leadership, we have succeeded (see the Smart Growth flow chart). We start by creating a Public Safety Headquarters on a new single campus. This new campus will also have room for other County agency needs. This will free up both the current Public Safety Training Academy site and the County Service Park for alternate uses.

And, we realize better coordination and operational efficiencies by placing our public safety personnel together. The current PSTA site has enormous potential for boosting our biotech presence and laying the groundwork for our economic development far into the future.

Moving a large portion of the County Services Park will allow for transit-oriented development – with more housing, including affordable housing – next to the Shady Grove Metro Station – a more sustainable use that will capitalize on existing infrastructure and allow for development that is less reliant upon automobiles. And we are able to do all this and have it be as“cost-neutral" as possible. This is an approach that is better for our infrastructure, better for our environment and better for the future.

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County Executive