Residents want land reserved now for future Montgomery Co. schools

WASHINGTON — More public schools eventually will be needed in Montgomery County, and land should be set aside for them today.

That’s what several residents told county leaders at a public hearing Tuesday night.

The Montgomery County Council is considering a plan for new development in a 460-acre, bowtie-shaped area centered near the intersection of Rockville Pike and Montrose Road.

The White Flint 2 Sector Plan recommends changing largely commercial properties, especially shopping centers, into mixed-use centers.

That could lead to as many as 6,000 new homes in the area, and existing residents say more schools are needed sooner than later.

“Two years ago, we testified that a tsunami of students is headed to the Walter Johnson Cluster. It is now arriving,” said Wendy Calhoun.

“Take this opportunity now to reserve land in this plan, and don’t kick the can down the road. We just can’t afford it,” Kip Edwards, president of the Garrett Park Estates-White Flint Park Civic Association, told the council.

Garrett Park resident Michael Lutkenhouse has twin daughters who were born last year.

He also wants land for new schools reserved now.

As he testified while holding the girls in his lap, his voice cracked with emotion.

“Charlotte and Adelaide won’t graduate elementary school until 2026, middle school until 2029 and high school until 2033. When we talk about the impact of our decisions tonight in five, 10, even 15 years from now, it’s not on a hypothetical child in a room far, far away — it’s on my kids,” Lutkenhouse said.

Montgomery County Public Schools CEO Dr. Andrew Zuckerman also testified in favor of setting aside land now for future schools.

The White Flint 2 Sector plan heads next for a council committee work session, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9.

See the full White Flint 2 Sector Plan below.

White Flint 2 Sector Plan Planning Board Draft by wtopweb on Scribd

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up