Visions for the Olney Town Center – make your voice heard. In keeping with our goal to finalize a Concept Plan for a Civic Center and Town Commons, in May, 2016 the committee presented a Concept Plan Draft  for Public Comment.  Approval for a final version is expected at the committee’s November meeting.

The committee spent the past 2 years developing this document which is in accordance with the Olney Master Plan to identify the need for “… a major open public space that would serve as a town commons, and … a civic center that houses various public services currently located in an around the town center.”

The September 21, 2016 edition of The Greater Olney News, reporting about the County Council Olney Town Hall, states: “When asked about supporting the proposed Olney Civic Center and Town Commons, [Council-member] Navarro said ‘the ball is rolling,’ and she and the other council members understand that it is an important amenity for Olney.”

This concept plan is the second task that the Olney Town Center is charged with as stated in the 2005 Master Plan. (see “Our History” below) The committee spent the past 2 years developing this document which is in accordance with the Olney Master Plan to identify the need for “… a major open public space that would serve as a town commons, and … a civic center that houses various public services currently located in an around the town center.”  

Background for this document is as follows: In December 2008 the OTCAC presented the Preliminary Concept Paper for Civic Center/Town Commons to GOCA and it was endorsed by majority vote (carried 17 in favor, 1 opposed, 3 abstained). See:  Combined statements of need 24 Nov. 2008.  After a lengthy and detailed presentation on the creation of a concept plan, in December 2016 a additional GOCA resolution was adopted requesting that the “… County Executive including the 2017-2022 Capital improvement Program Plan a facility feasibility study to consider the location, scope, and cost for an Olney Civic Center and Town Commons.” (See  GOCA Minutes_2015-12-08 )

At its meeting on  May 5, 2016 GOCA sent  this letter to councilwoman Nancy Floreen advocating for inclusion of the CC/TC Concept Plan in the county Capital Improvements Projects (CIP) list, and on June 14, 2016, GOCA passed another resolution in support of the Concept Plan for a Civic Center and Town Commons in Olney, Maryland (carried 17 in favor, 2 opposed, 3 abstained).
The OTCAC 2016-2018 Work Program emphasizes the finalization of the concept plan for a Civic Center/Town Commons. Here is a presentation that explains the formation of this goal: Creating a Concept Plan for the Civic Center
Click on the following link for a Questionnaire for Stakeholder Groups of the Proposed Civic Center and Town Commons: Questionnaire for Local Groups.

Look for us at the table with our banner during Community Night and Taste of Olney on October 10th at Good Council High School and take the opportunity to see this document for yourself.


Our History:

The Olney Town Center has long been more than just the intersection of two State highways. But, with the approval of the 2005 Olney Master Plan, the community and the County’s planners focused their attention on the future of our town center and how to further the goal of this and past master plans to make it a focal point for the greater Olney community. A zone was created to further that goal and a committee comprised of members from all facets of the community was created to help shape future town center development. The Olney Town Center Advisory Committee, also know as OTCAC, and defined in its Overview and  Fact Sheet 2016, is comprised of members affiliated with civic organizations, homeowners associations, County government or social service agencies or organizations, business groups and property owners in Olney, is chartered by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission to create a common community-based vision of what the future town center could look like and how it might function in relation to the surrounding neighborhoods. To do that the OTCAC is charged with:

  • Creating an Illustrative Concept and Design Guidelines for developers
  • Creating a Concept for a Civic Center/Town Commons, and
  • Reviewing development proposals for parcels within the town center before they are presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board


  • Facilitating communication among land owners within Olney town center
  • Developing recommendations for Capital Improvement Projects
  • Providing input to the redevelopment process in adjacent neighborhoods

The OTCAC wants to hear from you, so check this website often for information about our meetings; reaching the Committee at info.olneytowncenter@gmail.com; questioning and/or commenting on  the fact sheets referenced above, or Concept Illustration and Design Guidelines referenced below about plans, design elements, proposals, that the Committee looks at, during future public meetings, is linked below.

What’s Happening . . .

In addition to the above advocacy of the plan for a civic center and town commons, the committee continues to publicize the Conceptual Illustrations and Design Guidelines.  After vetting the documents with adjoining HOAs and Community Leaders, the committee voted to approve the documents.

  • The documents are published in 1 booklet, combining the 2 originals.  It was presented to, and accepted by, the Montgomery County Planning Board on April 17, 2014.
  • The Design Guidelines document focus on proposed, future development in the Olney Town Center. The Guidelines emphasize mixed-use development according to zoning changes outlined in the 2005 Olney Master Plan and revised in 2013.
  • The committee continues to share this publication with neighboring communities, at public meetings, and exhibiting at National Night Out each August and at Community Night each fall.
  • To view the document, follow this link: Olney Illustrative Concept and Design Guidelines 
  • The OTCAC continues to meet at 7:30 PM, usually on the fourth Tuesday of the odd-numbered months (except where noted), in the Olney Community Room of the Buffington RE/MAX Realty Center.Everyone is encouraged to attend – residents, business owners and operators, developers, non-profit and residential organizations: anyone interested in how the Town Center grows.

The following is the remaining Meeting Schedule for 2016:  September 27, and on Wednesday, November 30th.

As of May 2016, Lydia Rappolt replaced Jim Smith as the OTCAC Chair, and Helene Rosenheim is the Vice Chair.  Audrey Partington continues as Secretary.

Nominated by the Olney Chamber of Commerce,  John Ferguson replaced Marc Rosendorf at the OTCAC Meeting in May, 2015.

At the May 24, 2016 meeting,  Karen Rollings replaced Madeline Moreau representing retail property owners in the Olney town center.

One thought on “Home

  1. Dear Committee, The possible addition of a Town Commons is great news! As long-time members of the community, the Olney Concert Band and the Olney Big Band have always wished for an outdoor space where they could play for the town. Both groups are well known and have served the community over the years by playing at various festivals, events, and nearby senior centers.

    I’m a former member of the Concert Band a current member of the Big Band. Over the years, these groups have discussed events such as

    — a children’s concert, to let kids see and hear and touch individual instruments and performances of specially selected numbers; and
    — performances on summer evenings, with swing dancers to show off the amazing ballroom moves of those who danced to Glenn Miller and Count Basie.

    Think of all of the musical groups, dance groups, magicians, and others who could use the Town Commons to provide entertainment for young and old alike, from Spring through Fall. Such a place has long been a hope of at least these two groups, and I’m sure many more. Please work to make it a reality, for our Olney!

    Sincerely, Sue Vazakas

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